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Beyond the Romantic Destination

ISSUE:  Winter 1982

Why has the landscape always to be leading,
Spelling with wind-sibilancies a suspended meaning,

Insinuating with wire-tangled twigs the thorn
Of an archaic script, bark like old iron
Gating a road that goes to the horizon,
A tree the Lost City’s column?
Do women share this search for destination?
Or is it errant but knightly man, aligning
Each pine wood into arcades, projecting
His nave into the wild limbs’ vaulting,
Pursuing the body he explores unto exhaustion?
Afterward, what is there to promise or hide
For either woman or countryside?
Isn’t there only the pushing-through of sapling and briars,
The ordinary effort of stepping from rock to rock?
No river courses all of waterfall or cataract.
What of later, at leisure, no act
But simple stare into water, as still years
Suspend into pools? Better
One place then than many another, a weather
Holding cabin and a tree: so clear as to obscure
The valleys always farther but never farther understood.
One stream seethes with seas beyond the wood.



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