Post-Industrial Landscape

Once in it you choose bewilderment
till reason is overthrown and you imagine
the wild deer’s wet muzzle in your palm.
Now you understand the shadow message

leaves stammer on rock, the useless language
the sun taught you before you fell asleep
and woke up talking. Tiny furnaces
of decay sing immortality

into the soil, from whence springs all delight
and all terror. Your gaze fastens with relief
on a green-skinned caterpillar ( as if its beauty
led to an explanation). There are none

that would not insult a consciousness
they could contain. For some they ease the panic
of bearing everything, gaining the light.
Description helps; or some count breaths: One. One.

17 June 2003