O to break loose, like the chinook salmon jumping and falling back, nosing up to the impossible stone and bone-crushing waterfall – raw-jawed, weak-fleshed there, stopped by ten steps of the roaring ladder, and then to clear the top on the last try, alive enough to spawn and die. Stop, back off. The salmon breaks water, and now my body wakes to feel the unpolluted joy and criminal leisure of a boy – no rainbow smashing a dry fly in the white run is free as I, here squatting like a dragon on time's hoard before the day's begun! Vermin run for their unstopped holes; in some dark nook a field mouse rolls a marble, hours on end, then stops; the termite in the woodwork sleeps — listen, the creatures of the night obsessive, casual, sure of foot, go on grinding, while the sun’s daily remorseful blackout dawns. Fierce, fireless mind, running downhill. Look up and see the harbor fill: business as usual in eclipse goes down to the sea in ships – wake of refuse, dacron rope, bound for Bermuda or Good Hope, all bright before the morning watch the wine-dark hulls of yawl and ketch. I watch a glass of water wet with a fine fuzz of icy sweat, silvery colors touched with sky, serene in their neutrality – yet if I shift, or change my mood, I see some object made of wood, background behind it of brown grain, to darken it, but not to stain. O that the spirit could remain tinged but untarnished by its strain! Better dressed and stacking birch, or lost with the Faithful at Church – anywhere, but somewhere else! And now the new electric bells, clearly chiming, "Faith of our fathers," and now the congregation gathers. O Bible chopped and crucified in hymns we hear but do not read, none of the milder subtleties of grace or art will sweeten these stiff quatrains shoveled out four-square – they sing of peace, and preach despair; yet they gave darkness some control, and left a loophole for the soul. No, put old clothes on, and explore the corners of the woodshed for its dregs and dreck: tools with no handle, ten candle-ends not worth a candle, old limber banished from the Temple, damned by Paul’s precept and example, cast from the kingdom, banned in Israel, the wordless sign, the tinkling cymbal. When will we see Him face to face? Each day, He shines through darker glass. In this small town where everything is known, I see His vanishing emblems, His white spire and flag- pole sticking out above the fog, like old white china doorknobs, sad, slight, useless things to calm the mad. Hammering military splendor, top-heavy Goliath in full armor – little redemption in the mass liquidations of their brass, elephant and phalanx moving with the times and still improving, when that kingdom hit the crash: a million foreskins stacked like trash ... Sing softer! But what if a new diminuendo brings no true tenderness, only restlessness, excess, the hunger for success, sanity of self-deception fixed and kicked by reckless caution, while we listen to the bells – anywhere, but somewhere else! O to break loose. All life's grandeur is something with a girl in summer ... elated as the President girdled by his establishment this Sunday morning, free to chaff his own thoughts with his bear-cuffed staff, swimming nude, unbuttoned, sick of his ghost-written rhetoric! No weekends for the gods now. Wars flicker, earth licks its open sores, fresh breakage, fresh promotions, chance assassinations, no advance. Only man thinning out his kind sounds through the Sabbath noon, the blind swipe of the pruner and his knife busy about the tree of life ... Pity the planet, all joy gone from this sweet volcanic cone; peace to our children when they fall in small war on the heels of small war – until the end of time to police the earth, a ghost orbiting forever lost in our monotonous sublime.