AND THE morning green, and the buildup of weather, and my brows
Have not been brushed, and never will be, by the breezes of divinity.
That much is clear, at least to me, but yesterday I noticed
Something floating in and out of clouds, something like a bird,
But also like a man, black-suited, with his arms outspread.
And I thought this could be a sign that I've been wrong. Then I woke,
And on my bed the shadow of the future fell, and on the liquid ruins
Of the sea outside, and on the shells of buildings at the water's edge.
A rapid overcast blew in, bending trees and flattening fields. I stayed in bed,
Hoping it would pass. What might have been still waited for its chance.
WHATEVER the star charts told us to watch for or the maps
Said we would find, nothing prepared us for what we discovered.
We toiled away in the shadowless depths of noon,
While an alien wind slept in the branches, and dead leaves
Turned to dust in the streets. Cities of light, long summers
Of leisure were not to be ours; for to come as we had, long after
It mattered, to live among tombs, great as they are,
Was to be no nearer the end, no farther from where we began.
THESE NIGHTS of pinks and purples vanishing, of freakish heat
That strokes our skin until we fall asleep and stray to places
We hoped would always be beyond our reach - the deeps
Where nothing flourishes, where everything that happens seems
To be for keeps, We sweat, and plead to be released
Into the coming day on time, and panic at the thought
Of never getting there and being forced to drift forgotten
On a midnight sea where every thousand years a ship is sighted, or a swan,
Or a drowned swimmer whose imagination has outlived his fate, and who swims
To prove, to no one in particular, how false his life had been.