Witness

Sometimes the mountain
is hidden from me in veils
of cloud, sometimes
I am hidden from the mountain
in veils of inattention, apathy, fatigue,
when I forget or refuse to go
down to the shore or a few yards
up the road, on a clear day,
to reconfirm
that witnessing presence.
~~ Denise Levertov ~~
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Once Only

All which, because it was 
flame and song and granted us 
joy, we thought we’d do, be, revisit, 
turns out to have been what it was 
that once, only; every invitation 
did not begin 
a series, a build-up: the marvelous 
did happen in our lives, our stories 
are not drab with its absence: but don’t 
expect to return for more. Whatever more 
there will be will be 
unique as those were unique. Try 
to acknowledge the next 
song in its body-halo of flames as utterly 
present, as now or never.
 
~~ Denise Levertov ~~

Living

The fire in leaf and grass
so green it seems
each summer the last summer.

The wind blowing, the leaves
shivering in the sun,
each day the last day.

A red salamander
so cold and so
easy to catch, dreamily

moves his delicate feet
and long tail. I hold
my hand open for him to go.

Each minute the last minute.

~~ Denise Levertov ~~