44444444 quartets back

the crossroad seems wide open to you
and there a four-faced janus watches
a silence already filled with noises, a canvas on which emerges a chorus of smiles, a winter morning
but the agony abides
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
and, growing between them, indifference which resembles the others as death resembles life, being between two lives - unflowering, between the live and the dead nettle
attachment to self and to things and to persons, detachment
from self and from things and from persons
for liberation - not less of love but expanding of love beyond desire, and so liberation from the future as well as the past while the world moves
in appetency, on its metalled ways
of time past and time future
this is the one way, and the other is the same, not in movement but abstention from movememnt
where is there and end to the drifting wreckage,
the prayer of the bone on the beach, the unprayable
prayer at the calamitous annunciation?

you'll never see the bright moon again, you've now achieved the unalterable sum of moments granted you by fate

they know me well who surround me here, know well my afflictions and weakness
a symbol perfected in death
no wind, but pentecostal fire in the dark time of the year
a whistling buoy
but which
that i've walked already one last time, indifferently and without knowing it, submitting to one who sets up omnipotent laws and a secret and a rigid measure for the shadows, the dreams, and forms that work the warp and weft of this life you'll not be seen to visit that well under white sun or yellow moon

driven by daemonic, chthonic
and the rest
is prayer, observance, discipline, thought and action

costing not less than everything

a condition of complete simplicity
and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well when the tongues of flames are in-folded into the crowned knot of fire and the fire and the rose are one there is a time for building and a time for living and for generation and a time for the wind to break the loosened pane and to shake the wainscot where the field-mouse trots and to shake the tattered arras woven with a silent motto
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
beneath the bleeding hands we feel the sharp compassion of the healer's art resolving the enigma of the fever chart no occupation either, but something given
and taken, in a lifetime's death in love,
ardour and selflessness and self-surrender

humility is endless
whether, or not, due to misunderstanding,
having hoped for the wrong things or dreaded the wrong things,
not in question
are likewise permanent
with such permanence as
time has
dying is a habit
well-known to many

on the money'
the taste of fruit, the taste of water,
that face returned to us in dream,
the first jasmine flowers of november,
the infinite yearning of the compass,
a book we thought forever lost,
the pulsing of a hexameter,
the little key that opens a house,
the smell of sandalwood or library,
the ancient name of a street,
the colourations of a map,
an unforeseen etymology,
the smoothness of a filed fingernail,
the date that we were searching for,
counting the twelve dark bell-strokes,
a sudden physical pain
we had the experience but missed the meaning, and approach to the meaning restores the experience in a different form, beyond any meaning we can assign to happiness

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
so krishna, as when he admonished arjuna
on the field of battle

are you here? you are not those who saw the harbour receding, or those who will disembark
fare forward, you who think that you are voyaging
though not to the ear,
the murmuring shell of time, and not in any language
on the money'

dying is a habit
well-known to many
in spite of which we like to think
that we are sound, substantial flesh and blood-
again, in spite of that, we call this friday good

the wonder that i feel is easy,
yet ease is cause of wonder
involved with past and future
and never know that we are gone
they'll long outlast our oblivion
the future is before us
the past is finished not escaping from the past
into different lives, or into any future
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
watching the furrow that widens behind you,
you shall not think
see, they return, and bring us with them
on a halcyon day it is merely a monument, in navigable weather it is always a seamark to lay a course by, but in the sombre season or the sudden fury, is what it always was
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
i gaze but don't understand
it's as if they were strangers
when christ has judged me who knows what they'll see