Storms of perfume lift from honeysuckle, lilac, clover—and drift across the threshold, outside reclaiming inside as its home. Warm days whirl in a bright unnumberable blur, a cup—a grail brimmed with delirium and humbling boredom both. I was a boy, I thought I'd always be a boy, pell—mell, mean, and gaily murderous one moment as I decapitated daises with a stick, then overcome with summer's opium, numb—slumberous. I thought I'd always be a boy, each day its own millennium, each one thousand years of daylight ending in the night watch, summer's pervigilium, which I could never keep because by sunset I was an old man. I was Methuselah, the oldest man in the holy book. I drowsed. I nodded, slept—and without my watching, the world, whose permanence I doubted, returned again, bluebell and blue jay, speedwell and cardinal still there when the light swept back, and so was I, which I had also doubted. I understood with horror then with joy, dubious and luminous joy: it simply spins. It doesn't need my feet to make it turn. It doesn't even need my eyes to watch it, and I, though a latecomer to its surface, I'd be leaving early. It was my duty to stay awake and sing if I could keep my mind on singing, not extinction, as blurred green summer, lifted to its apex, succumbed to gravity and fell to autumn, Ilium, and ashes. In joy we are our own uncomprehending mourners, and more than joy I longed for understanding and more than understanding I longed for joy.
"Blur," from Ecstatic in the Poison by Andrew Hudgins. Copyright © 2003 by Andrew Hudgins. Used by permission of Overlook Press (www.overlookpress.com).
Date Published: 2003-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/blur