Because this ground is mine it presses firmer
And softer up against my morning feet.
The grass ever is whispering as I walk.
The trees lean a little, and the spring,
There at the head of the road, leaps out to meet me.
Some afternoons I think these hundred acres,
Knowing I lie on the mountainside in the sun,
Curl over as if to fold me in; then, rising,
I smile and go, and they are level again.
But all of this is nothing to the night
I climbed that path and came into my own.
The darkness—my own darkness—was a warm
Still wind upon my face, until I reached
The topmost meadow, open to the sky.
One step, and I stood naked among stars—
White stars, that clustered closer and larger down;
Closer, until they entered my two eyes. . . .
When, deep inside, they burst without a sound.
This poem is in the public domain.
Once I freed myself of my duties to tasks and people and went down to the cleansing sea...
The air was like wine to my spirit,
The sky bathed my eyes with infinity,
The sun followed me, casting golden snares on the tide,
And the ocean—masses of molten surfaces, faintly gray-blue—sang to my heart...
Then I found myself, all here in the body and brain, and all there on the shore:
Content to be myself: free, and strong, and enlarged:
Then I knew the depths of myself were the depths of space.
And all living beings were of those depths (my brothers and sisters)
And that by going inward and away from duties, cities, street-cars and greetings,
I was dipping behind all surfaces, piercing cities and people,
And entering in and possessing them, more than a brother,
The surge of all life in them and in me...
So I swore I would be myself (there by the ocean)
And I swore I would cease to neglect myself, but would take myself as my mate,
Solemn marriage and deep: midnights of thought to be:
Long mornings of sacred communion, and twilights of talk,
Myself and I, long parted, clasping and married till death.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on May 24, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.