I am the mystic of this forest.
I am here and I’m not here.
My bare feet are atoms dissolving into
the atoms of the soil, or perhaps
I am the soil, air, the forest.
Inspired in part by this idea from Ralph Waldo Emerson:
“We return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life, — no disgrace, no calamity, (leaving me my eyes,) which nature cannot repair. Standing on the bare ground, — my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite spaces, — all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or parcel of God.”
The ducks have paddled away and so
I can skip stones across the pond.
Tree leaves like mouse ears, April bulbs
above ground though nights are still cold.
My mood is all yellow and purple.
This agreement in dimensions, proportion, arrangement, balance.
Desired by many as harmonious and beautiful.
Mathematical, geometric, in nature, arts, architecture, music.
Natural, but not easily achieved in life,
because cosmic forces, like time, are asymmetrical.
that flew beside me in my car,
at 30 mph down a suburban street:
Were you racing? Why choose my car?
Did you glance at my amazed face?
Can we talk? Coffee, worms and berries?
this twenty-first century morning makes me
a Roman meditating a thousand years ago
On the Nature of Things, a universe
without gods, made from very small particles,
eternal motion colliding, swerving in new directions.
This poem was inspired by reading The Swerve: How the World Became Modern. For a more in-depth version of my thoughts on all this, see “On the Nature of Things” on my Weekends in Paradelle blog.