One time, your heart almost slipped away on a river
barge. Your hands seemed to claw the sky. I’m sorry.
No one else made anything out of those streaked clouds.
The fact that it happened is proof enough for me.
Richard Jackson, from “Certainty,” Out of Place: Poems (The Ashland Poetry Press, 2014)
Be it life or death, we crave only reality. If we are really dying, let us hear the rattle in our throats and feel cold in the extremities; if we are alive, let us go about our business. Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains. I would drink deeper; fish in the sky, whose bottom is pebbly with stars. I cannot count one. I know not the first letter of the alphabet. I have always been regretting that I was not as wise as the day I was born. The intellect is a cleaver; it discerns and rifts its way into the secret of things.