The Very Rich Hours Poem by James McMichael

The Very Rich Hours

Amant in bed,
There are no
borders to this

B moves Bateau across the night.
It is all the loops can do
to let their gilding
bulge with what is there.
One light on the wide sea.
The bones of stars.

No other country is so
curiously watered.
From the estuaries to the very
sources of its inwardtending channels,
it rises in fogs which are themselves
arterial. For its earth
has more than once been seen
quite early in the morning
to lighten and give way.

At the gate to the garden,
Fair Welcome.
She raises her hand.
to greet and to save.

Leisures of tendrils are on all sides,
winding with the snails
through white acanthus and discarded
badges of pilgrims.
You may assign to the nineteen
portholes in these borders
whatever you like.

The sand is of such fineness
and the flow so singly clear
that nothing seems to pass through,
golden, and with all its lights.

Water makes very much the best
portable horizon.
While its reflections are
fainter than those in the speculum,
their angles may be measured
and the differences from a true meridian
reckoned by the clock.
These sightings should be taken at least
three hours
before and after noon.

Two liveried falconers,
the jesses and bells, the gloves.
Amant with the dove's neck-ring,
The lady in her chamber.
Winter trees, rooks in the white
branches, hounds, the dying boar.
On the top of a mountain
a lion waving his tail.

The general course of the river
straightens, and is moderately timbered.
Scattered islands covered w/willow.
Across from a single, long bluff of open rock,
the plain to the S. is higher, extending
quite to the mountains which contain still
great quantities of snow.
A small creek falls in from this side.
Pursued its bottom for perhaps 4 m.
Cottonwood. Much evidence of beaver.

Now all of this is to be understood
in a spiritual manner.
Let us cover
the nakedness of our fathers
with the cloak of a
favorable interpretation.

Under a dry stalk of burdock, iron-brown
latches and fittings, a few nails.
The bulls are eating apples.
Thick grasses sweat through the whole pasture.

Dame Reason with her
chaplet of apothegms.
He should put his heart
in a single place only.
The truest things about bodies
are their shadows.

Pleas put me back
in the water I am

She has done this before.
She wades into the current
to the one point where the current
lounges at her hips.
She stands there.
With all the time in the world,
steadily, she kneels steadily
deeper, to her shoulders, smiling, her hair
cupped in both hands behind her neck.

The Familiar gives Its first
lesson to the lover.
A new order
is one that is renewed

A drove of geese in its tall, while file
plucks home through the wet fallow.
Hedges darken between the fields.
Along the wolds for miles in level tracts,
haze from the lime-kilns.
All quarters of the sky are wintry, huge.

We could no longer be sure
that we had passed the Préveranges.
Freshets from the little stream
poured onto the lane, filling
ruts and drainages. In the dusk,
and with our shoes soaked, we set
off through a meadow, and another,
and found soon an abandoned
cottage of some old forester.
We determined that I should
stay and secure it as an outpost.
Meaulnes went on alone.

At an earlier hour,
the ground at the wood's edge
illumines to some thousand
footcandles, fades under the
canopies, the layers
of trees, of shrubs and herbs,
under the dark itself,
brighter by as many
eyes as are buried there.

Tied to a washboard,
the panes of glass
chime like clean ice.

they are dangers harebells and
just where the fall goes over
they lean into the spray so
far and bob so on their stems
they thrill and a hammer rings
carillon down the cows spine
feel it there it goes again

Death hath its seat
close to the entrance of delight.

Sifting over porches and limp hibiscus,
rust from the canvas awnings,
its red spores dull in a moon that shows
everything, houses and driveways,
fishponds, all of them
hiding from their insides, forgetting,
looking around.

there is no way to lie down
and not lie in the same way
that someone has had to lie
thinking of how far it is
to the places no one goes
or to any place this far
from the beds where the dying
cry into the night this far

Deacons and presbyters.
The Laying On of Hands.
In a vial,
juice from the wild cucumber,
powdered glass,
the divine Endura.

James McMichael

James McMichael

Pasadena, California
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