Monday, January 16, 2017


And whan that hit ys eve, I renne blyve,
As sone as evere the sonne gynneth weste,

To seen this flour, how it wol go to reste,
For fere of nyght, so hateth she derknesse.

--Chaucer, Prologue to the Legend of Good Women. 

I still don't know how flowers go to rest,
how they draw petal over petal, as might
a man pull on his wretched coat at five;
I still don't know what muscles they contract,

or how they know that dusk has settled in.
I still don't even know what aim is served:
from what night ravening brutality
do they imagine that they save themselves?

But I do know how they feel when the dark
is drifting over lawn and field, and when
such beauty as they have is spread too wide;

each tender raw integument withdraws
and looks for shelter under every other; 
each eye desires a curtain and a close.


marly youmans said...

Oh, I have been too, too busy of late. And have missed Moledom. This is lovely. As is the Chaucer-inspiration: "To seen this flour, how it wol go to rest, / For fere of nyght."

Thinking of Blake, the large and small together: To create a little flower is the labour of ages.

Lucy said...

Indeed it is sad and lovely.

Jeff said...

Tender, honest, and beautiful--and a wise use of unrhymed pentameter.

John JMesserly said...

Damned fine work Dale. And you once called me the mystic.

Perhaps you will come visit us in new zealand some time.