A lull in time


A lull in time.
The pines stand mute above the silent oaks and shrubs
as though transfixed.
Nothing stirs
except a couple of grasses there—
tall, thin tendrils spiring through the foliage
that patches here in the little grove
between the cabin and the slope of forest.
They are so thin, so tall, these frail grass prongs
with not a leaf from ground to stalk tip tuft,
that reason is unable to explain
their standing there at all
and more than that
their growing day by day to such a height
against the air itself
(and this in spite of rain that fell last week
and hail that tore green needles off the pines
and threw them over the ground).
But there they are
and though all nature seems spellbound
these grasses stir.
More marvel still,
the air that moves no leaf in sight
moves these two grasses,
only inches from each other,
each a different way.
It tentatively nudges one,
it prods the other gently, side to side—.
Or does the air pass blindly through the grasses
and does each grass respond in its own way.
One will not bend, but sways with all its length—a haughty nod,
the other bows a little, genuflects—a dainty drift.
Before the breeze and after the breeze has passed
one grass, erect, points higher still,
the other turns and contemplates the ground.

Reason returns, demurs. It can explain.
The measures of weights, the lengths,
the grasses’ health and diet,
the systems of roots—
these and the patterns of airflow,
for instance velocities, temperatures, densities, so on,
these and (how many!) more matters of substance
account for behaviors of grasses and wind—

—but do so without my existence
or that of these grasses and zephyrs this morning.
And when I use such measures looking at grasses,
the moment, the morning, and grove disappear.
That rare lull in time turns irrelevant, moot.

And thus I decline the correction.

For I was here at the moment of physis
when grasses breathed vapors that I too was breathing.
I who with grasses bend,
had a certain immediate meeting
just here
with the grasses and ghosts
in the morning.