The real reality

The real reality

The fervent heat
            of this pure day down by
the glassy waters of the creek
            white and pink pond-blossoms
with great heart-shaped leaves
            the banks with dense bushery
and the picturesque beeches
            and shade and turf
the tremulous reedy call
            of some bird from recesses
breaking the warm indolent
            half-voluptuous silence

just over the surface of the pond
            two large slate-colored dragon-flies
with their wings of lace
            circling and darting
occasionally stopping quite still
            their wings quivering all the while
a flitting blackbird
            crosses obliquely

warmth light shade
            sounds that enhance the solitude
the quawk of some pond duck
            crickets and grasshoppers
mute in the noon heat
            but I hear the first of the cicadas

the prevailing delicate yet palpable,
            spicy grassy clovery
perfume to my nostrils
            and encircling over all
to my sight and soul
            the free space of the sky
transparent and blue
            and there in the west
a mass of white-gray fleecy clouds
            the sailors call “shoals of mackerel”
the sky with silver swirls
            like locks of tossed hair
spreading expanding— a vast
            voiceless formless simulacrum
yet may-be – who knows ? –
            the most real reality of all

Walt Whitman

(adapted from Specimen Days by John Lyons)


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