The poet wanders in the lane
that leads from thinking into dreams
and watches pictures in the sky
above her almost sleeping mind.
What is it makes a poet mad?
What is it gives her double sight?
For in her lines two images
are one, two meanings overlap
like holograms or magic eye.
Rain to snow is prose to verse;
a mother is a silken tent;
a lover is a summer’s day.
That day is open to the heaven’s airs
like consciousness to new ideas.
That sun is heady to the birthing brain
like champagne pouring into clear
and ardent atmospheres of pairs.
That sky is all one color, so she knows
that from her harmonies of rhyming
and her melodies of feet
trust is true and solid like the vault
of cloudless sky; something must have meaning
like each truss of moted sunbeams
bolted to interpretative earth.
The question is, which one of many truths?
A cloud comes by without a word,
for words don’t equal things;
the sky’s a sound, or sky is soundless—
both very much the same—
and I do not have pictures in my brain.
Colors are external to my sense,
and so are shapes: ideas
come feathered-footed, formless, whispering
in shapes as close to shapelessness as are.
The summer day is there, but does not wait,
whether I go barefoot in its creeks
or sit and wonder what day’s flavor is,
or what its pitch if it were played as tune,
or how to use it as a metaphor.
This is not enchantment, and it is:
the mystery of meaning in a sound,
the miracle that you can read these lines,
the supernatural seeing of the things
I’ve merely named. And I have learned
that something like a summer day may live
in my own house, in my own heart, and I
have only to take off my stupid shoes.