Blue Sonata

from Houseboat Days (1977)

        Long ago was the then beginning to seem like now
	As now is but the setting out on a new but still
	Undefined way.  That now, the one once
	Seen from far away, is our destiny
	No matter what else may happen to us.  It is
	The present past of which our features,
	Our opinions are made.  We are half it and we
	Care nothing about the rest of it.  We
	Can see far enough ahead for the rest of us to be
	Implicit in the surroundings that twilight is.
        We know that this part of the day comes every day
	And we feel that, as it has its rights, so
	We have our right to be ourselves in the measure
	That we are in it and not some other day, or in
	Some other place.  The time suits us
	Just as it fancies itself, but just so far
	As we not give up that inch, breath
	Of becoming before becoming may be seen,
	Or come to seem all that it seems to mean now.
        The things that were coming to be talked about
	Have come and gone and are still remembered
	As being recent.  There is a grain of curiosity
	At the base of some new thing, that unrolls
	In a question mark like a new wave on the shore.
	In coming to give, to give up what we had,
	We have, we understand, gained or been gained
	By what was passing through, bright with the sheen
	Of things recently forgotten and revived.
	Each image fits into place, with the calm
	Of not having too many, of having just enough.
	We live in the sigh of our present.
        If that was all there was to have
	We could re-imagine the other half, deducing it
	From the shape of what is seen, thus
	Being inserted into its idea of how we
	Ought to proceed.  It would be tragic to fit
	Into the space created by our not having arrived yet,
	To utter the speech that belongs there,
	For progress occurs through re-inventing
	These words from a dim recollection of them,
	In violating that space in such a way as
	To leave it intact.  Yet we do after all
	Belong here, and have moved a considerable
	Distance; our passing is a façade.
	But our understanding of it is justified.