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or Sophocles) -- to feed,
to fl ower, again and again
to bear and be, in toughness
and delicacy, this strictly
conditional existence, small,
swift, incidental beauty, persisting.
Patch of wet sand there
by the water's edge
Packed with butterfl ies
doing what -- drinking?
Till one tottered upward
to circle me, then others,
One or two at a time,
and for a moment
I had going around me
in the playful silence
A big wreath of butterfl ies,
that broke away then
And went staggering high
above the Matilija
draft from the matilija
Down off the burnt-off slope
for a drink, the big snake
Stops me on my way
home at mid-day
To responsibilities (miles from here
in what is, for the U.S.,