Denise Levertov

The Message

Cross-country, out if sea fog
comes a letter in dream: a Bard
claims from me ‘on whose land they grow,’
seeds of the forget-me-not.

‘I ask you
to gather them for me,’ says
the Spirit of Poetry.
                                The varied blue
in small compass. In multitude
a cloud of blue, a river
beside the brown river.

Not flowers but
their seeds, I am to send him.
And he bids me
remember my nature, speaking of it
as of a power.
And gather
the flowers, and the flowers
of ‘labor’ (pink in the dream,
a bright centaury with more petals.
Or the form changes to a sea-pink.)

Ripple of blue in which are
distinct blues. Bold
flower of work and transition.
Out of sea fog, from a hermitage,
at break of day.

Shall I find them, then—
here on my own land, recalled
to my nature?
                      O, great Spirit!
An absolute
Trees stand
up to their knees in
fog. The fog
slowly flows
cobwebs, the grass
leaning where deer
have looked for apples.
The woods
from brook to where
the top of the hill looks
over the fog, send up
not one bird.
So absolute, it is
no other than
happiness itself, a breathing
too quiet to hear.