Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Calendar Series: 37th Month / Beloved Ocean with Imaginary Fruit (1988)

Human Being 

Human being - walking in doubt from childhood on: walking a ledge of slippery stone in the world's woods deep-layered with wet leaves - rich or sad: on one side of the path, ecstasy, on the other dull grief. Walking the mind's imperial cities, roofed-over alleys, thoroughfares, wide boulevards that hold evening primrose of sky in steady calipers. Always the mind walking, working, stopping sometimes to kneel in awe of beauty, sometimes leaping, filled with the energy of delight, but never able to pass the wall, the wall of brick that crumbles and is replaced, of twisted iron, of rock, the wall that speaks, saying monotonously: Children and animals who cannot learn anything from suffering, suffer, are tortured, die in incomprehension. This human being, each night nevertheless summoning - with a breath blown at a flame, or hand's touch on the lamp-switch - darkness, silently utters, impelled as if by a need to cup the palms and drink from a river, the words, "Thanks. Thanks for this day, a day of my life.' And wonders. Pulls up the blankets, looking into nowhere, always in doubt. And takes strange pleasure in having repeated once more the childish formula, a pleasure in what is seemly. And drifts to sleep, downstream on murmuring currents of doubt and praise, the wall shadowy, that tomorrow will cast its own familiar, chill, clear-cut shadow into the day's brilliance. 

Denise Levertov

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