William Carlos Williams

Green Eyes

Solemnity of a bemused tiger, there in his eyes
temptation goes wandering and a shipwrecked man
sleeps on a hoary pillow of jade
the unwaited day of marvels
in ages which herds of horses have trampled.

A furious face, violence
is a river tumbled upon quietness in the valley,
awe where time abandons itself
to a motionless current, bathed
in rest repeating
the same phrase over and over from the first syllable.

Only a sound beneath the water insists
with loud clamor, and tardy precincts
of the hurricane, its exile
leaving a world fatigued and remote.

If perchance we understand, the epilogue
would be the thought of a world music,
languors broken by a chord
as the grape in a vertiginous shower
casts shadows confusing the eye.

With decorum let us proceed to the inn
where the smoke of our cigars has preceded us,
let us go to the brothel while waiting:
for at last beauty awaits us. 

spoken = Leon Branton