This way of minutes miserably mixed With their own blinks misunderstood By birds and trees, this eye-born sisterhood, Whose lisps and whispers ripen in betwixt, While nature hastens to complete a list Of symbols that pull down a dusty hood O’er wrinkled worlds that lately love to brood On past, not having present to persist.
And if sometimes they happen to perform Some droning dance which smells of here and now, With springing forms and circles staying warm, They start to tremble on a pointed prow Of universe and dream of their home In whirls destroying leaves to leave a bough.
In whirls destroying leaves to leave a bough The small transparent boat is all on end, It doesn’t matter whether sea or land To choose – it would be stranded, anyhow. The things have grouped together to allow No pass for it and, like a gluing hand, Their sick perception struggles to amend Its constitution, to a shading sough.
And, full of odours of a fallen fruit, Refusing both to curse and to kotow Through all the modulations of pursuit, It blocks the creek where many of a scow, Entangled in the tunnel of a flute, The tree of time intends to disavow.
The tree of time intends to disavow All breathing forms, creations of the word, And when it ends to ravish and to cord Strange, subtle ones – then it directs its brow Towards itself and, having stopped to bow, Strikes with the flat of its reversing sword The stagnant dells, and pinches the brass chord On the world’s lute that does endure somehow.
And so it stands and multiplies its arms, And stiffens fingers, and imprints a fist Upon its trunk, and presses bloodless gums With lips of clefts, and feels not in the least How it has harmed and how it still harms Its own growth through cumulating mist.
Its own growth through cumulating mist Sees every soul that never waits an answer, And, as reaction, multiplies the stanze Of plashing waves that wandered, howled, and creased, And reared like an omniform blue beast, But now lull reflection cast by Cancer, Orion stretching like a dreaming lancer, Great Bear from the starry woods dismissed.
And curves of sails repeat with some declension Dense brimming curves of billows and, displeased At their half-successful imitation, Go round like eyeballs of the diseased Or claws of eagles, and discharge the tension Of thorny things too tired to insist.
Of thorny things too tired to insist, Some grow enough to spring a velvet flower And some still go on to fall or hover If they’re inclined to darken or to feast Among their crumbling castles, ever seized By fear that they’d spend the only dower Of total chance, and that the grapes are sour, And that in landscape something would be missed.
So they reflect, to move or to restrain, While mist is changing colours, and a sow Triumphantly reclines on sprouted grain, Revelling crying crows make a row And fields refrain from modulating rain On dragging forth their red decaying plough.
On dragging forth their red decaying plough, The ploughmen of years drop down dead, Recurrent shower bends his silver head, Still mumbling vague and undetermined vow Concerning future: ‘twill be fruitful, how – He wouldn’t say, he was himself misled By music of reverberating lead That hits the ship within the only clow.
Thus feelings, having set and fixed their aim, And paid for it like Faustus Lenau, Have never strength to chase it or to claim Back their past where they could die or dow, The blade of passion stabs them all the same, Stuck in the mud to be a blooming bow.
Stuck in the mud to be a blooming bow Of images, illusions of the mind, Ships always leave their better winds behind As if they do not need them in the slough. Frail memory is dying to endow Dim sketches with retouch of any kind, Its fervent fingers hurry on to bind Thin legs of past, the future’s sacred cow.
All broken visions gather in the central Immobile juncture of the thoughts that ceased To pay with pain their ever growing rental Under the sun that slides from west to east, Disputing that the time is transcendental, Amid the meadows mellowed and appeased.
Amid the meadows mellowed and appeased The tower-clock of time is slow or silent, The present is encircled like an island With humid airs that have already breezed. On goes the busy wind, a hair-stylist, Whose rushy hands are quick, but hardly violent, In azure shrines he found his lonely aisle, and Old frescoes with recognition glimpsed.
For time collects its power from the things And pushes on the sun like a huge tire, And other suns to this one tightly links. Supreme reversibility of fire Has total strength and future but, methinks, The ardent heads of poppies go higher.
The ardent heads of poppies go higher, Because they have what other creatures miss – Much concentration of enfolded peace Intact within accelerating gyre Of images which all of air hire And all of land, just to express the bliss Of chirping their eternal vocalise, Like shabby puppets jerking on a wire.
Illusions have to hide their real size To redirect the universe again, For its perception not to be precise When they the fields of ages start to scan Like tumbleweeds that have much tighter ties Than cypress-trees, in spite of their span.
Than cypress-trees, in spite of their span, And so on, because they’re made of matter Quite different from undecided patter Of heavy drops upon some rusted can Or crimson rays that gaily lift a ban From singing, jumping, whispering – the latter By quality, perhaps, is somewhat better, But all that matters forms a single clan.
Though there exists a mere alien sort Of things that cannot wander in the mire And always give immediate retort When anything intrudes upon the spire Of their existence, firmer than a fort, Than ripe, discursive, meditative brier.
Than ripe, discursive, meditative brier Of days that weren’t predicted by the life Absorbed in counterpoint of rest and strife, Proclaiming, like a vigorous messiah, Its crazy maxims o’er the fumy pyre, Washing with its own tears its bloody knife – Those, other things for ever dance and thrive As do Aglaia, Euphrosyne, Thalia.
Their being, unrestrained by lofty order Of elements that rules a beast, a man, A planet, is more passionate and colder: In their marble woods where panting Pan Merged music into death, the last flute-holder, Oblivion unfolds its fiery fan.
Oblivion unfolds its fiery fan Considered by the sequences of theses To be life minus memory, but this is Too simple, and they obviously can Do better, if reject their former plan. Without this the definition misses The point, as do at dawn the scarlet scissors That slash the night’s flamboyant caravan.
Unchained perception running on the edge Of heads and tails, suppresses its desire To cleave the coin with its smoothed out wedge. Our term has definitions given prior: Life minus future - sounds like a pledge, For time, as has been promised, will retire.
For time, as has been promised, will retire With withered bushes and unflourished plants, With all this globe that curses and enchants, With human mind, an inconsistent dyer. The next will start: indeed, it will be dryer Than our time with its belated grants, That lives on dying memories and chants Its metaphors to a translucent lyre.
The next one will reduce its own presence, Say, to a horse that here never ran, Or to a bird with subtly seething essence, Or to the ocean, this richly tuned organ: It can exist when either grows or lessens With everything that finished or began.
With everything that finished or began The constellations, totally unbound, Will bump into each other with a sound Resembling tumbles of a crashing van. The reason is a moth on a tartan, The soul is like a skinny hungry hound Which puts a quaking hare on the ground Before a sporting vegetarian.
But everything will certainly return, So bloom the tulips when the shafts have hissed, A shoot will spring from a deserted urn With a carven maiden kissing a harpist, And growing real, the creatures will re-learn This way of minutes miserably mixed.
This way of minutes miserably mixed In whirls destroying leaves to leave a bough, The tree of time intends to disavow Its own growth through cumulating mist Of thorny things too tired to insist On dragging forth their red decaying plough Stuck in the mud to be a blooming bow Amid the meadows mellowed and appeased.
The ardent heads of poppies go higher Than cypress-trees, in spite of their span, Than ripe, discursive, meditative brier: Oblivion unfolds its fiery fan, For time, as has been promised, will retire With everything that finished or began.