MORNING OCCURRENCE AT XANADU by Charles Wright
Swallows are flying grief-circles over their featherless young,
Night-dropped and dead on the wooden step.
The aspen leaves have turned grey, slapped by the hard, west wind.
Someone who knows how little he knows
Is like the man who comes to a clearing in the forest, and sees the light spikes
And suddenly senses how happy his life has been.
(from Scar Tissue, 2006, FSG)
SLOW MUSIC by Tomas Tranströmer
The building is closed. The sun crowds in through the windowpanes
and warms up the surfaces of desks
that are strong enough to take the load of human fate.
We are outside today, on the long wide slope.
Many have dark clothes, You can stand in the sun with your eyes shut
and feel yourself blown slowly forward.
I come too seldom down to the water. But I am here now,
among large stones with peaceful backs.
Stones which slowly migrated backwards up out of the waves.
(on Virginia Woolf’s birthday)