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44444444 quartets back

tendril and spray
clutch and cling?
where every word is at home, taking its place to support the others, the word neither diffident nor ostentatious, an easy commerce of the old and the new, the common word exact without vulgarity, the formal word precise but not pedantic, the complete consort dancing together every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning,
every poem an epitaph
the pools where it offers to our curiosity the more delicate algae and the sea anemone
the sea is the land's edge also, the granite, into which it reaches, the beaches where it tosses its hints of earlier and other creation
the starfish, the horseshoe crab, the whale's backbone
the wonder that i feel is easy,
yet ease is cause of wonder

and the time of death is every moment
and do not think of the fruit of action
'on whatever sphere of being the mind of a man may be intent at the time of death' - that is the one action which shall fructify in the lives of others
the future is before us
the past is finished you are not the same people who left that station
or who will arrive at
any terminus,
while the narrowing rails slide together behind you

not escaping from the past into different lives, or into any future
or
watching the furrow that widens behind you, you shall not think
not admiration or victory but simply to be accepted as part of an undeniable reality, like stones and trees
the communication of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living
human kind cannot bear very much reality
a whistling buoy
if i think of a king at nightfall, of three men, and more, on the scaffold and a few who died forgotten in other places, here and abroad, and of one who died blind and quiet, why should we celebrate these dead men more than the dying?
and he
i am not eager to rehearse
my thoughts and theory which you have forgotten
a dignified and commodious sacrament
where is there and end to the drifting wreckage, the prayer of the bone on the beach, the unprayable prayer at the calamitous annunciation?
love is itself unmoving, only the cause and end of movement, timeless, and undesiring except in the aspect of time caught in the form of limitation between un-being and being
so krishna, as when he admonished arjuna
on the field of battle
they know me well who surround me here, know well my afflictions and weakness
now they are paolo, francesca,
not two friends who are sharing
the savour of a fable
the shame of things ill done and done to others' harm which once you took for exercise of virtue
at the source of the longest river the voice of the hidden waterfall and the children in the apple-tree not known, because not looked for but heard, half-heard, in the stillness between two waves of the sea
in the brown baked features the eyes of a familiar compound ghost both intimate and unidentifiable at the still point, there the dance is,
but neither arrest nor movement
neither from nor towards the crossroad seems wide open to you
and there a four-faced janus watches
they say
the first snow will fall america waits for me on every street, but i feel in the decline of evening today so long, and yesterday so brief
fare forward, you who think that you are voyaging
you are not those who saw the harbour
receding, or those who will disembark
though not to the ear,
the murmuring shell of time, and not in any language
i may not comprehend, may not remember


on the money'
dying is a habit
that's well-known to many
neither daylight
investing form with lucid stillness
turning shadow into transient beauty
with slow rotation suggesting permanence
nor darkness to purify the soul
emptying the sensual with deprivation
cleansing affection from the temporal
figlia del tuo figlio, queen of heaven
but that which is only living can only die
that the future is a faded song, a royal rose or a lavender spray of wistful regret for those who are not yet here to regret, pressed between yellow leaves of a book that has never been opened
i gaze but don't understand
it's as if they were strangers
and that is where we start
see, they depart, and we go with them
for liberation - not less of love but expanding
of love beyond desire, and so liberation
from the future as well as the past
and now, under conditions that seem unpropitious
this is the one way, and the other is the same, not in movement but abstention from movememnt
while the world moves in appetency, on its metalled ways of time past and time future
the trailing consequence of further days and hours, while emotion takes to itself the emotionless years of living among the breakage of what was believed in as the most reliable- and therefore the fittest for renunciation
that soon we may touch, love, explain
that their merely being there
means something
and those who saw them off have left the platform
their faces relax from grief into relief,
to the sleepy rhythm of a hundred hours
release omens by sortilege, or tea leaves, riddle the inevitable with playing cards, fiddle with pentagrams or barbituric acids, or dissect the recurrent image into pre-conscious terrors- to explore the womb, or tomb, or dreams
and always will be, some of them especially
whether on the shores of asia, or in the edgware road,
men's curiosity searches past and future
and clings to that dimension
all these are usual pastimes and drugs, and features of the press
accompanies you since that one night or evening lost in time now, on which your restless eyes first deciphered her forever in a garden or patio turned to dust
misquoting virgil
the latter a partial fallacy encouraged by superficial notions of evolution, which becomes, in the popular mind, a means of disowning the past
although we were not
and never know that we are gone
they'll long outlast our oblivion
a silence already filled with noises, a canvas on which emerges a chorus of smiles, a winter morning driven by daemonic, chthonic
powers