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(But in this case there was nothing
in itself to shew even whether the
flower were shutting or opening.

Hopkins, Journal, 1871)

Stopped by design at the end of my lot,
I hear the rhythm of dying reeds,
The dry conclusive notes of hot
August winds that breathe into weeds

A chaos. Shapes quiver into hurt
Limbs that rise and fall against the heat.
Quick oak branches strive--to fall inert
Against the dead. Colors, fading, repeat

The silence of things unformed. I see
An energy scattered on the ground,
The dry leaves of a once flourishing tree,
Feel the spent cadence of familiar sound.

Poem by Richard Lee from As If
1967 by Richard Lee & John Martin
[This book was presented to me on March 22, 1979.]