Here, as I walk I kick those leaves I left unraked last fall, still strewing that part of the yard beyond winter's unscented jasmine hedge, and their sound has dulled as they have decayed. In my mind my lost footsteps make not even that dead sound, and all the streets from which their echoes have vanished are gone as well.
When the jasmine blooms I'll remember the fog, but tonight the fog has forgotten me. It drifts away and as the stars brighten I'm still kicking rotted leaves that once played green music I can no longer hear. Night renders the path my feet have made invisible. It's as though the fog and I haven't been here, or there, at all.
by Heather McHugh
There, a little right
of Ursus Major, is
the Milky Way:
a man can point it out,
the biggest billionfold of all
predicaments he's in:
his planet's street address.
What gives? What looks
a stripe a hundred million
miles away from here
is where we live.
Let's keep it clear. The Northern Lights
are not the North Star. Being but
a blur, they cannot reassure us.
They keep moving – I think far
too easily. September spills
some glimmers of
the boreals to come:
they're modest pools
of horizontal haze, where later
they'll appear as foldings in the vertical,
a work of curtains, throbbing dim
or bright. (One wonders at
one's eyes.) The very sight
will angle off in glances or in shoots
of something brilliant, something
bigger than we know, its hints uncatchable
in shifts of mind ... So there
it is again, the mind, with its
old bluster, its self-centered
is dimming, what is bright?
The spirit sinks and swells, which cannot tell
itself from any little luster.