It is night, and I am alone.
I sit, gathering my thoughts.
Memories turn to images
Odeurs of sage and dry dry earth
Skies so bleached with heat
That the sunset is white and yellow
Falling from mountains into skies and yellow horizons
Feeling my soul breathing with the world.
Thin pale grasses sway in the dark of falling evening
Under the great oak trees
Which are black against a deepening sky.
The sounds here are only my feet in the leaves and dirt
And the soft flow of water
In the twilight air, almost a non-noise, like a breath
Or a heartbeat.
Cool black oaks, do you still remain standing?
Or has fire crawled and cracked the very marrow of your grainèd souls
And licked with tongues of heat and hell
Your graceful archèd boughs?
Singing a song of a thousand years
In the quiet of voicelessness.
Heard by myself only
In the wayward paths of shadowed mountain flanks.
Warm and earthy flanks,
Do you no longer have even the strength to breathe
The breath of life
After such monstrous flames?
Burned, gone, oh my beloved!
My beloved evening, my cherished and treasured memories
My wayward mornings where the moon crowned the misty shadows of a pink-paled sky
White with wisps of dawn.
Where oaken boughs swayed and sang in the blanketed silence.
Blanket of quiet and whisper of leaves,
Mysterious and wandering dusk
Who's fairy hair and elvish jewels
Were the ghostly little spiders which crawled among the dried leaves
Were the fangèd whisps of moss along the winding and gloomy path
Were the tiny brilliance of infant ferns dotting the black-mudded stream-bank.
Oh, these precious precious images, cradle of quiet
Wherein my soul gained wings,
Wildish and incomprehensible valleyways
Along which my lonely and particular wanderer's steps
Traced an invisible history.
My life, my life is cast in shadows and dreams
On those hills, and now that time is gone, gone
Dissolved into the wind that brought it
And will bring it ever again.