love song


Love Song
A.R. Ammons

Like the hills under dusk you
fall away from the light:
you deepen: the green
light darkens
and you are nearly lost:
only so much light as
stars keep
manifests your face:
the total night in
myself raves
for the light along your lips.

this black rich country


This Black Rich Country
A.R. Ammons

Dispossess me of belief:
between life and me obtrude
no symbolic forms:

grant me no mission: let my
mystical talents be beasts
in dark trees: thin the wire

I limp in space, melt it
with quick heat, let me walk
or fall alone: fail

me in all comforts:
hide renown behind the tomb:
withdraw beyond all reach of faith:

leave me this black rich country,
uncertainty, labor, fear: do not
steal the rewards of my mortality.

Photo by Filip Zrnzević on Unsplash

finishing up


Finishing Up
A.R. Ammons
I wonder if I know enough to know what it’s really like
to have been here: have I seen sights enough to give
seeing over: the clouds, I’ve waited with white
October clouds like these this afternoon often before and

taken them in, but white clouds shade other white
ones gray, had I noticed that: and though I’ve
followed the leaves of many falls, have I spent time with
the wire vines left when frost’s red dyes strip the leaves

away: is more missing than was never enough: I’m sure
many of love’s kinds absolve and heal, but were they passing
rapids or welling stirs: I suppose I haven’t done and seen
enough yet to go, and, anyway, it may be way on the way

before one picks up the track of the sufficient, the
world-round reach, spirit deep, easing and all, not just mind
answering itself but mind and things apprehended at once
as one, all giving all way, not a scrap of question holding back.

Photo by Banter Snaps on Unsplash

shred of loyalty


A.R. Ammons
trust no one: there is not a shred of loyalty
that will not yield to advantage or change of

circumstance: when you do what you’re supposed
to do and others do what they’re supposed to

do, trust is not called for: (the point,
actually is to foray for aye – and not to

yield): (you know how wide the universe is;
we can blow off a few spots and nothing

ever missing): oh, foller the dollar, it knows
the way: dam the way up, so the dollars get

out of hand in mounds, deep chests, and long
keepings, moldy trusts: put your dollars to

work: and stay home yourself: if you don’t
have two dollars, start with one: pretty soon

you’ll be sitting around thinking of all the
things money can’t buy: (it is important to

note that all states are miserable: the only
joy is in thinking it desirable to get from

one to the other, state, I mean: California
is the best state, because you can’t get to

another state that way, so your misery can
turn into the delights of imagining an East:

oh, the tricky land of the luck-strewn East,
the painted temples scribbled and scrolled

so amply as to allow the falling out of the
farthest personal chance, number: let’s see:

what other moralizing can I do, orders give,
prayers urge – all unimaged, unexampled:

(take Long San Temple, for example, the
dolphins yin and yang circling the center,

a floridity of dragons (florality?) entertwining
the outside of the circle, the inside of the

octagon): Shakespeare, heightening artifice,
renaturalizes nature…