"Lines After Rereading T.S. Eliot"

The orchard is fading out.
                           All nine of the fruit trees
Diminish and dull back in the late Sunday sunlight.

The dead script of vines
                         scrawls unintelligibly
Over the arbor vitae.

A cricket, a little black luck charm,
                                      stops at my feet
On his singular pathway

Across the wasteland between the brown
Apricot leaf and the hedge.
                             Hello, good luck, goodbye.


Whatever happened to the dark sublime,
                                       sin of the third eye,
Cross-gap between flesh and abstraction?

Pain, the old standby, is what calls us,
A life between the rocks,
                          the desert’s sweet syllable.

We cannot forgive ourselves.
When our ears sing our guiltless blood,
                                        we cannot forgive ourselves.

We know hell in our bones—
                            outside time, outside comprehension,
We know it in our bones.


Ambition is such a small thing.
                         Like a late pear in the autumn sun,
Hard, green, indigestible,

It hangs in front of our eyes.
                                It hangs there and grows dark
As the light of Indian summer seeps away at our backs.

Illustrious and unknown
                        is what we should wish for ourselves,
Fading the way this landscape fades

Into its anonymity
                   and various selves,
So indefinable, so dumb.

~Charles Wright [buy]

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