Denise Levertov


The impasto* of what is past,
the purple!
of swarthy yellow!
                              But the unremembered
makes itself into a granite-hued
nylon scarf, tight at the throat—
flies out
             backwards, a drifting
banner, tangles
the wheel.

In a landscape of boxed interiors,
among clefts, revealed strata, roofed-over
shafts, the road roves.
                                   A shadow

not of a bird, not of a cloud,
draws a dark stroke over
the hills, the mind.
And another, another.
Our fears keep pace with us.
We are driven.
We drive

on, shift gears, grind
up into the present in first, stop,
look out, look down.
In dust
           the lace designs incised
by feet of beetles:
paths crossing, searching—
here a broad swathe
where manna was found,
and dragged
away to be savored.
                                At the horizon

vaster than cathedrals
are crowding. The motor idles.
Over the immense upland
the pulse of their blossoming
thunders through us.

*impasto - the process or technique of laying on paint or pigment 
thickly so that it stands out from a surface - paint applied thickly.