The tower beyond tragedy

polar star trails by Larry Pollock

I entered the life of the brown forest,
And the great life of the ancient peaks, the patience of stone.
I felt the changes in the veins
In the throat of the mountain … and I was the stream
Draining the mountain wood; and I the stag drinking:
and I was the stars.
Boiling with light, wandering alone, each one the lord of his own summit;
and I was the darkness
Outside the stars, I included them, they were part of me.
I was mankind also, a moving lichen
On the cheek of the round stone … they have not made words for it,
to go beyond things, beyond hours and ages,
And be all things in all time, in their returns and passages,
in the motionless and timeless centre,
In the while of the fire … how can I express the excellence
I have found, that has no colour but clearness:
No honey but ecstasy; nothing wrought nor remembered;
no undertone nor silver second murmur
That rings in love’s voice …

Robinson Jeffers