WINTER MIDNIGHT

after reading Michael McClure

 

Can I let the winter go without a poem?
Let the minutes disappear wordlessly
As the moon is gone by morning. And yet
It returns. I’ve seen winter enough times
By now to know it comes again. I am myself
The winter as it enters me, changes the complexion
Of the blood, turns my thoughts deep into themselves.

Why write a poem to commemorate this cycle
That is as much of what I am as my arm, or
The moon. I don’t get enough facts into my poems.
This year I saw racoons in the moonlight,
Playing with the abandon of creatures utterly
Untroubled by abstractions. They had come for our
Chickens, who sat inside their coop in a continual
Perplexity, almost human, seemingly sleepless

While the racoons, two little ones with a family foursome,
Wrestled on the lawn. The planet is set up for
Wild things, not money and reputations, not desks
And questions, but the obliterating intelligence of
Pure play. The mind indistinguishable from its own
Body, like the mind of a poplar, which is pure shape, mobile
Upon the air. There is no way to make a living as a poet
In America, and yet I often make some kind of meal

Of a poem. I see the light, the radiant suffusions
Of this world and I want a kind of geometric song
To speak of it, to say it—so it will be in speech too.
Like snow falling, like snow falling, like snow falling.

 

From Day & Night: Bolinas Poems by Aram Saroyan. Published in 1998 by Black Sparrow Press, Santa Rosa. A beautiful book.

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