No Man is an Island

Now the trees are dry and still.
Gray morning, no birds,
No squirrels, no restless cats or dogs.

Spider burrow sleeping,
Dreamclocks set on spring,
Light-brown hatch on sunblessed wall,
Rubbled earth a hundred miles below.

We ate our fill in autumn,
Now wait through quiet and cold,
Listen to columns of smoke.

Patient as a lardmouse,
Cupboard-bound, counting
Tick, tick, tick of the broomswish
In warmhandle hands softyearning,
Tock, tock, tock of the squeaksole,
Heel-weight, big toe, rudder of a ship
Tied in, lap-lap-lapping by the shore,
A hungry multitude aboard,
Thoughtward dreaming,
Dreamward beaming,
Kettle full of stars.

No man is an island
Until his light goes out.
In the dark, his sails hang around him,
Shroudwise, whisperwonder singing.
He remembers fingers in the mist,
Knows the ancient score, eighth-notes,
Quarter-notes, rest, rest,
In solitude believing, hands to oar,
Plies the firmament.

January 3, 2006

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