feels like the carving of a nation from new air
or the long address to the world
on urgent matters
--the removal of doubt
the resolving of problems out there--
big stuff big as worlds
that we do in private
in our little glow
at the keyboard
in hope that someone somewhere will find our importance
cast up upon the sand
the answer to it all within
is how it feels this thing that we do here in ourselves
and strive to put forth with the unquestioning urgency
of any young plant
like all that it feels
but is only a little thing done in secret
underneath all that
just a hidden shaking of the tree at the centre
(the tree adorned like a wishing tree with bright charms
and spells for the alluring of spirits
and Oh I know most of us
end up snared in our own spell
staring at our own colours
but really it's a side thing; it is. And it's not that. It's just not.
Those fluttering rags, those drifting shapes
those rhymes and rushes (all petals to bring
the workers to do the work that cannot be done
to act the last part of it the missing piece
the moment when it catches
the final act of the theft of fire--
all chimes and hues and incense otherwise, that's all)
those musics and clevernesses
and not the thing
itself (though anyone has a right to dress nicely
and smell good). No, not all that. This! The communiqué, the address
the message the long song in the night
just the singing not even the song
that or something like it. Maybe that then. Just that. A convulsion of some kind.)
the mast the spine the frame
that wants to stretch its bones
just for the sheer stretching of it all
thinking maybe its stretching is unique, exemplary and vital
and filled with the representative charge of all moments
as though this act could stand for all acts
if you would only look into it.
In this spirit, I ask you please to look into it
for at least a few moments
before you move on.
This asking is all I am asking
for I cannot requite myself in this way.
To everyone their little looking in by the other.
To everyone this act of attention this wish this question this prayer
(every poem a prayer).
To everyone all this little vast yearning.
To everyone this little ongoing truth
that the very small
is the whole damn world
and all the teeth-chattering shudder and collision of new nations.