Leave Taking, After Matsuo Basho, Circa 1978
'There is a blessed fidelity in things.
Graceless things grow lovely with good uses.' - John Tarrant
Expecting more rain.
Not yet light though 6 a.m.-
night still over the barn.
From the porch, high wind.
The moon, a corner of it,
rides comfortably in clouds.
Clouds moving over mountains,
their night work -
some rain in the buckets.
things feel their boundaries,
robes of autumn rain.
Back to bed,
Noises in these old walls -
mice search for food or string,
bird stretching its wings.
Soon these things I must leave -
wood smoke, frayed rope coil,
finger prints on faded walls' wrong color.
Last flights -
on the sill
gently waving webs.
A fertile shelter.
Many nights I have wrestled here.
Some mornings have
broken into me like thunder.
I have shed skin after skin.
These I leave behind.
Some warmth they may
provide for the mice,
rags for the moths to eat.
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