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He lifts his head at last, done
with drinking, and without haste
Or hesitation winds out over the water --
not toward the far bank
But downstream, steering purposefully
between the rocks, the current
Very fast down there, he lifting his head higher,
moving rapidly now with an air
Of matter-of-fact eagerness into the loud water
smashing itself solid white
Among the boulders jammed together
below, where he vanishes.
What is it, to be? Slowly to fi nd yourself
already alive to some place, alone with
Purposes already forming; what is snake
intelligence but intelligence
First and last, snake experience
but wholly experience?
No king of darkness, no god, but something
as good, I think.... To live,
To live and at midday there, to be
a snake completely, very thirsty,
And drink your fi ll, at length, of
the clear Matilija.
study of wild oats
2: the fisherman
It is something unhuman in us,
doubtless (serene,
Though, for what it's worth)
which now has that fi gure