From plane of light to plane, wings dipping through Geometries and orchids that the sunset builds, Out of the peak's black angularity of shadow, riding The last tumultuous avalanche of Light above pines and the guttural gorge, The hawk comes. His wing Scythes down another day, his motion Is that of the honed steel-edge, we hear The crashless fall of stalks of Time. The head of each stalk is heavy with the gold of our error. Look! Look! he is climbing the last light Who knows neither Time nor error, and under Whose eye, unforgiving, the world, unforgiven, swings Into shadow. Long now, The last thrush is still, the last bat Now cruises in his sharp hieroglyphics. His wisdom Is ancient, too, and immense. The star Is steady, like Plato, over the mountain. If there were no wind we might, we think, hear The earth grind on its axis, or history Drip in darkness like a leaking pipe in the cellar.
Robert Penn Warren - 1905-1989
Here is the shadow of truth, for only the shadow is true. And the line where the incoming swell from the sunset Pacific First leans and staggers to break will tell all you need to know About submarine geography, and your father's death rattle Provides all biographical data required for the Who's Who of the dead. I cannot recall what I started to tell you, but at least I can say how night-long I have lain under the stars and Heard mountains moan in their sleep. By daylight, They remember nothing, and go about their lawful occasions Of not going anywhere except in slow disintegration. At night They remember, however, that there is something they cannot remember. So moan. Theirs is the perfected pain of conscience that Of forgetting the crime, and I hope you have not suffered it. I have. I do not recall what had burdened my tongue, but urge you To think on the slug's white belly, how sick-slick and soft, On the hairiness of stars, silver, silver, while the silence Blows like wind by, and on the sea's virgin bosom unveiled To give suck to the wavering serpent of the moon; and, In the distance, in plaza, piazza, place, platz, and square, Boot heels, like history being born, on cobbles bang. Everything seems an echo of something else. And when, by the hair, the headsman held up the head Of Mary of Scots, the lips kept on moving, But without sound. The lips, They were trying to say something very important. But I had forgotten to mention an upland Of wind-tortured stone white in darkness, and tall, but when No wind, mist gathers, and once on the Sarré at midnight, I watched the sheep huddling. Their eyes Stared into nothingness. In that mist-diffused light their eyes Were stupid and round like the eyes of fat fish in muddy water, Or of a scholar who has lost faith in his calling. Their jaws did not move. Shreds Of dry grass, gray in the gray mist-light, hung From the side of a jaw, unmoving. You would think that nothing would ever again happen. That may be a way to love God.