New Year’s Day Voyage

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 1/1/08

What has happened to the attention of that one,
So much like ourselves, but calmer, more
Involved in gazing? When the light crumbles down
Through the layers of evergreen branches,
Spangling the ridged bark red, how is it that he hears those hues
Sigh “forest.” That one sees everything as birth,
And erects no myth of utility
Between himself and the candied ice in the road ruts.
In the rush of birds, he succumbs to virginity’s thrall,
As fecund and as boundless as the ocean’s surge.
That one, so much like ourselves, so achingly near,
So terribly absent when we try to touch him,
Seems always to be preoccupied, engaged,
So that others, too much like ourselves,
Those who excavate layers of light
To make use of them, comment sardonically,
“That one seems always lost in the middle of something,”
As if from his world to ours was the dangerous distance
Between the closest center and the farthest verge.
Mists rise into serpents from the forest valleys
And coil like questions from the city’s pavements,
The peaks and the building-tops drifting on golden clouds,
So that that one, at the prow of an elegantly gilded sloop,
Climbs up, slides down through billows of vaporous jewels.
Calm, on the deck, alone, though surrounded by others,
Those like ourselves, whose hearts would drown to be near him,
He is showered with sun spray as he plunges forward,
Sailing through boisterous time, with no thought of steering.

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