Perhaps the sun will send the clouds packing before the churches fill with congregations unsummoned by any bells. This is a scattered place, and no sound can gather it together, no amount of light bring it into focus. It seems more coherent by night, when it can be pictured as a community of sleep, inhaling and exhaling with slow regularity, its disparate citizens conjoined by a universal need. By day, even leisure pulls the town apart.
But I am always apart from the town, even by night. My connection is to the trees and soil, the clouds and stars, the rooted grasses and the etched lines of distant mountains. All that is here built is strange to me, and the inhabitants are like figures in dreams, coming and going for no apparent reason. I sometimes wonder if, were I to return to Los Angeles, I would think that I had in fact dreamed this place. Maybe I will wake one day and find that I have.
by Richard Wilbur
At the alder-darkened brink Where the stream slows to a lucid jet I lean to the water, dinting its top with sweat, And see, before I can drink, A startled inchling trout Of spotted near-transparency, Trawling a shadow solider than he. He swerves now, darting out To where, in a flicked slew Of sparks and glittering silt, he weaves Through stream-bed rocks, disturbing foundered leaves, And butts then out of view Beneath a sliding glass Crazed by the skimming of a brace Of burnished dragon-flies across its face, In which deep cloudlets pass And a white precipice Of mirrored birch-trees plunges down Toward where the azures of the zenith drown. How shall I drink all this? Joy's trick is to supply Dry lips with what can cool and slake, Leaving them dumbstruck also with an ache Nothing can satisfy.