Looking with dispassion,
doesn’t it shine brighter than a thousand suns?
The broken wing,
the severed finger,
the uncompleted life;
‘the smyler with the knife’,
the smell of fear,
spirochaetes, viruses and germs
and the ever-chewing sepulchral worms?
And don’t we see a thousand times and more
that what we build and try to hold in place
disintegrates, vanishes without trace?
And what we hoard up
and try to store
provides a breeding ground for rats?
And this, which is the Past,
is also Evermore?
What we cannot preserve here
when we have felt the betrayal of the breath
we save for heaven,
taking our joys and pains
across the no-man’s land of death
and there, in finer, subtler, intellectual realms
plant our standards.
And still the Eternal, empty wind
blows them down.