That further mile

That further mile

All the loss of the bloom and odor
         of the earth and of the flowers
and of the atmosphere and of the sea
         the toss and pallor of years of moneymaking
the scorching days and the icy nights
         the stifling deceits and underhand dodgings
the shameless stuffing while others starve
         A life without elevation or aspiration

What wisdoms fill the thinness of years

         what prudence protects and enhances
the good fortune of the body-soul ?
         So the poet questions all false economies
that blotch the surface and system
         of dysfunctional civilization
Word and deed—all that a person
         does or thinks or dreams
is of consequence
         From the first inspiration
down the windpipe
         all that a male or female
does that is vigorous
         and benevolent and just
is sure profit to him or her
         in the unshakable order
of the universe
         Innocence lives in parallel
an open book of revelations
         the hawk and the sparrow
the cabbage white
         or the iridescent dragonfly
that skims the shimmering surface
         of summer ponds and cool lagoons
all periods and locations and processes
         and animate and inanimate forms
held in the bond of time
         anchored in the day of our day

John Lyons


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