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Lying in the long dark, insomniac,
I see it clearly: sea and beach and air
And a red winter sun, down low, for fi re,
For the fourth element made out by the Greek
On Sicily's coast two dozen centuries back --
Fire that'll turn me into atmosphere
After I'm dead, and ashes tossed out where
Maybe they'll wash ashore. I hear gulls creak,
And put my being in with the elements
We share with the whole show, rather than
With the odd creature in it that is man
Or with my self, still odder ... till the tense
Weavings of wakefulness begin to fray
Loosen and come apart and fl oat away --
Phrasing in lines 11 and 12 taken from Santayana's Dialogues in Limbo.
50 continued
Not bad, for night thoughts, but as Hemingway
Noticed, night thoughts on recollection,
Deep as you went for them, don't pass inspection
Laid out and drying in the light of day.
Something on which there is not much to say,
Sheer Nothingness, once more escapes detection,
Though disciplined minds can reach by indirection
What the imagination hides away ...
Yes, darkness, sundown, water -- take your pick
Of pictures: wings, a little boat, dark blue
Of gentians, you can't make any of it stick.
So human, moving, lovely, and untrue.
By the fresh light of morning being bound
To thought that makes the phrase, if not resounding, sound.