Here we are viewing the land: waves of grave and grain.
That slight tremor? A house setting. A violent past walking through.
And over there, the burning deck. The political machine.
The inanimate come to life. The conventional flag wave.
Cormorants on pitched roofs watch the ship of state mandate folded twice
over. Many ingenious lovely things are gone. This turbulence. This
Corning one-two march through a landscape created.
The dark relative against the brilliance of the last act
Of some staged production. The cast bows. A tape player dick, click,
Clicks. Some kind of clock. A unit of measurement.
We wish ourselves back on the boat. Wish for the answer
To the question: When should we walk out
Of the theatre into the night? When should we accept that life is only
An exaggerated form of special pleading, romanticized
Beyond saying into moon, stone, flock and trees.
What in the picture would you get rid of? The land that stretches back
To prehistoric times? Myriad islands? Icecaps and etcetera?
The atmosphere? The human body? All of the above?
All but the latter? You'd like to keep human as an aspect of the formula
But rid it of its grappling ambition to destroy? Good luck with that.
What does it mean to have a point of view? What does it mean
To have a notable achievement? To succeed in representing
The nuances of a determinate activity?
Listen: however events turn out, if we want we can continue to see
The image of the moon as an outburst of lyric, a vision of John Keats
And his friends, but we still have the battle to fight.
How many more days will be there? The unperceptive will be busy
Believing in magic: crop circles, the unmanipulated image, definitions
That defy definition. Others will take at face value the less favorable
Consequences of both cynicism and commercialization.
The latter will say the flock is simply an assemblage,
An obsessive presence looking down on the building where someone sits
Predicting the landslide rate. Long after we are gone
We can say we were here. We were working, wittingly or not,
Towards the eventual erosion of places ground down
And fought over, especially in the literal sense—exploitation
And industrial damage. Nothing is lost. If anything, we gain
Experience, There will be that unsullied moment, down to the last
Detail, when the acquired interview and other quaint signs of demise
Will speak about us to the flood and the fire.