William Carlos Williams

The Source

The slope of the heavy woods
pales and disappears
in the wall of the mist that hides

the edge above whose peak
last night the moon ---

But it is morning and a new light
marks other things
a pasture which begins

where silhouettes of scrub
and balsams stand uncertainly

On whose green three maples
are distinctly pressed
beside a red barn

with new shingles in the old
all cancelled by

A triple elm’s inverted
lichen mottled
triple thighs from which

wisps of twigs
droop with sharp leaves

Which shake in the crotch
brushing the stained bark

Beyond which lies
the profound detail of the woods
restless, distressed

soft underfoot
the low ferns

Mounting a rusty root
the pungent mold
globular fungi

water in an old
hoof print

Cow dung and in
the uneven aisles of
the trees

rock strewn a stone

A spring in whose depth
white sand bubbles

clear under late raspberries
and delicate-stemmed touch-me-nots

Where alders follow it marking
the low ground
the water is cast upon

a stair of uneven stones
with a rustling sound

An edge of bubbles stirs
swiftness is molded
speed grows

the profuse body of advances
over the stones unchanged

spoken = Leon Branton