The hawk climbs, and climbing,
seems to hang for ever;
but he too passes over the hill.
Once I found a hawk’s skull,
stern dry hook and bone,
unchanged for centuries,
perfected. Yet the seasons
took him, for all his mastery.
I look through the hawk’s clean lens
for an essence I guess at,
the place where his circling ends
and nothing turns into the dark.
Fieldmice under leaves, speckled
pebbles, I can see them,
and the small dust kicked up
by boys running to school.
I can feel the hard growing
in the bones of such children.
There’s not a movement
in the country of my eyes
which is not counted. But where
are the lean young men who live
for ever? How far are the fields
where broken ponies run, their legs
whole again? Where is the green country
which put an end to time?
I shall search with the hawk’s eye
until that land is found.
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 3 Number 3, on page 44
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