Thousands of magnolia flowers,
by Danby’s gate
and yellowstone walls,
test vernal powers
against the winds of March; and wait.
Slowly, blossoms fall,
like heavy snowflakes, one by one,
lit by a dull and clouded sun.
Tourists have gathered here to see
the wonder of this snow-blossom tree
to stop it slip away
with inner eye
Try as they may
to seize the glories of this day,
tree, branch and twig will rot,
yellowstone wall be broken and decayed;
Earl Danby’s name will be forgot,
his gate demolished, scrapped and weighed.
The photographs themselves will fade.
And, as the months and years slide by,
what of the harvest of that “inner eye”?
Even those mind-made facsimiles
are lost in old-age imbecilities.