In a skiff on a sunrisen lake we are watchers.
Swimming aimlessly is luxury, just as walking
Loudly up a shallow stream is.
As we lean over the deep well, we whisper.
Friends at hearths are drawn to the one warm air;
stranger meet on beaches drawn to the one wet sea.
What wd it be to be water, one body of water
(what water is is another mystery). (We are
water divided.) It wd be a self without walls,
with surface tension, specific gravity, a local
exchange between bedrock and cloud of falling and rising,
rising to fall, falling to rise.
Old Jokes Appreciate
Up the long stairs I run
Impatience is hopelessly
Sort out the private from the personal.
Advance on losses at a decent pace.
"Aside from all that, Mrs. Lincoln,
how did you like the play?"Origin
The skull or shell
or wall of bone shaped
with its egg advantages
does not advertise
the gardens it contains,
the marriages, the furies,
or the city it shelters
(clangs, clouds, silences,
found souls crowding,
big dank cans where things
or the glade it hides
for us to hide in, where
—our lives eased open—
we drowse by the pond and wake
beside ourselves with thirst,
where (dipping the cup we find)
we get of necessity
a drink of some depth
full of taste
The darling face,
the fragrant chevelure,
even the beautiful ears
on the shell do not
boast about the workplace inside.
They prefer to appear to agree
they are just along for the ride.From the Hardcover edition.
Excerpted from Springing by Marie Ponsot. Copyright © 2002 by Marie Ponsot. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.