If It All Went Up in Smoke

- 1908-1984
that smoke
would remain

the forever
savage country poem's light borrowed

light of the landscape and one's footprints praise

from distance
in the close
crowd all

that is strange the sources

the wells the poem begins

neither in word
nor meaning but the small
selves haunting

us in the stones and is less

always than that help me I am
of that people the grass

blades touch

and touch in their small

distances the poem
begins

More by George Oppen

Who Shall Doubt

consciousness

        in itself

of itself carrying

    'the principle
        of the actual' being

actual

itself ((but maybe this is a love 
poem

Mary) ) nevertheless

        neither

the power
of the self nor the racing 
car nor the lilly

        is sweet but this

Psalm

Veritas sequitur ... 


In the small beauty of the forest 
The wild deer bedding down—

That they are there! 
                        
                              Their eyes 
Effortless, the soft lips 
Nuzzle and the alien small teeth 
Tear at the grass 

                              The roots of it 
Dangle from their mouths 
Scattering earth in the strange woods. 
They who are there. 

                              Their paths 
Nibbled thru the fields, the leaves that shade them 
Hang in the distances 
Of sun 

                              The small nouns 
Crying faith 
In this in which the wild deer 
Startle, and stare out.