Mornings like this I awaken and wonder
How I have moved so far, how I have moved so little
And yet in essence stayed the same
Always passionate for the unattainable
For Joan Baez to make me her analyst,
To tour Ireland with Eddie and Finbar Furey
To be made a Chevalier des Palmes for translating Milosz.
I remember one road, many roads I did not take
And my heart lurches and my stomach turns
At the vertigo of mystery
At the simplicity of childhood
And its melancholy
At the silence of the moors
Beckoning, unreachable, tormenting me
As I lie helpless at the border of infirmity
With my soul burning and brimming over
With adolescent passion.
Only analysis with its symmetries and asymmetries
Exactness and paradox, scientific as Heisenberg’s
Principle of Uncertainty, yet various as the shades of Monet,
I think of those I have known and know no longer,
Who have died needlessly, disappeared irrevocably
Or changed beyond recognition.
I think of the bridge, river and streets
Of my Montmartre, gone under and made over
Into the grey utilities of trade, the empty road,
Sad as telegraph poles, my Sacrй Coeur silent and boarded up.
My Seine empty of the barges of Dйrain
My Sorbonne absorbed, its students gone
Mornings like this, I awaken and wonder.