The half moon is at meridian. Still damp, the dim trees exude their scent, enlivening the cold air. Every few seconds, accumulated water drips from leaf tip to lower leaf with a soft plop. No other sounds break the Sunday morning stillness until I walk, and my footsteps echo in the darkness, and I imagine they can be heard clear to the drifting dome of thin clouds.
by Richard Wilbur
Meridians are a net Which catches nothing; that sea-scampering bird The gull, though shores lapse every side from sight, can yet Sense him to land, but Hanno had not heard
Hesperidean song, Had he not gone by watchful periploi; Chalk rocks, and isles like beasts, and mountain stains along The water-hem, calmed him at last near-by
The clear high hidden chant Blown from the spellbound coast, where under drifts Of sunlight, under plated leaves, they guard the plant By praising it. Among the wedding gifts
Of Here, were a set Of golden McIntoshes, from the Greek Imagination. Guard and gild what's common, and forget Uses and prices and names; have objects speak.
There's classic and there's quaint, And then there's that devout intransitive eye Of Pieter de Hooch: see feinting from his plot of paint The trench of light on boards, the much-mended dry
Courtyard wall of brick, And sun submerged in beer, and streaming in glasses, The weave of a sleeve, the careful and undulant tile. A quick Change of the eye and all this calmly passes
Into a day, into magic. For is there any end to true textures, to true Integuments; do they ever desist from tacit, tragic Fading away? Oh, maculate, cracked, askew,
Gay-pocked and potsherd world I voyage, where in every tangible tree I see float among the leaves, all calm and curled, The Cheshire smile which sets me fearfully free.