Denise Levertov

August Daybreak

Slowly the crows patrol the parapet.
A leopard-slug, sated with leaf-juice, vanishes for the day.
Brown, untwirling, laburnum seedpods recapitulate
the golden rain of June.
                                      Indoors, the timid millipedes
venture a tango across the cellar floor.
I hear the books in all the rooms
breathing calmly, and remember a dream I had years ago:
my father—all that complexity, cabalistic lore,
childish vanity, heroic wisdom, goodness, weakness,
defeat and faith—had become, after traveling
through deaths gated tunnel, a rose,
                           an old-fashioned dark-pink garden rose.

There is no breeze. A milky sky. Traces
of blue shadow
                        melting like ice.
The day will be hot.
Not shadow—wisps of night. I feel them
under my eyes; and after a deep breath
at the open window, draw down the blind.
It meant, I say to myself, he let knowledge
                                     fall from his hands,
no longer needed  now he could be his essence,
                  it was there all along, many-petaled, fragrant,
‘a blissful foolish rose’ in the sun.
                                     I return to sleep
as if to the slippery fragrance
of pinewoods, the needles’ shelving
in soft darkness, the last of night