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.