Two for Tuesday: Pastorals
it is best
to focus your eyes
a little off to one side;
it is better to know things
drained of their color, to fathom
the black horses cropping
at winter grass,
their white jaws that move
in steady rotation, a sweet sound.
And when they file off to shelter
under the trees
you will find the dark circles of snow
pushed aside, earth opening
its single, steadfast gaze:
towards stars ticking by, one by one, overhead,
the given world flaming precisely out of its frame.
~ Jane Hirshfield
Sheep in Fog
The hills step off into whiteness.
People or stars
Regard me sadly, I disappoint them.
The train leaves a line of breath.
Horse the colour of rust,
Hooves, dolorous bells—
All morning the
Morning has been blackening,
A flower left out.
My bones hold a stillness, the far
Fields melt my heart.
To let me through to a heaven
Starless and fatherless, a dark water.