Pot-bellied Burn

Whether a soul is birthed
Or forged
Who can say?

Yet between those prosaic amblers,
Those who gambol through the race,
Always remarking in kind,
“What a lovely day,”
And “The early bird gets his worm,”
For whom their IRAs,
Their endgame plans,
Stretch no farther in imagination
Than the angle of repose.
Of those I have very little to say…

But the others between
As one out of pace,
Out of country, out of tune-
Who burn like furnaces
Churning their influences
Into solid states-
Whose collars smell
Of woodsmoke, of bootblacking and waste
No open air or sea
Who taste of sap,
Of antiquity and ideas-

Of these
I am gripped by sudden
Recognition, a filial fealty,
And the aching awareness
Of the vast impermanence
Of all things.

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