the earth too is an ephemerid



a moment’s earth-waves

rising and hollowing; the earth

too’s an ephemerid; the stars— short-lived

as grass the stars quicken in the nebula and dry

in their summer, they spiral blind up space, scattered

black seeds of a future; nothing lives long, the whole sky’s

recurrences tick the seconds of the hours of the ages of the gulf

before birth, and the gulf after death is like dated: to labor eighty

years in a notch of eternity is nothing too tiresome, enormous repose

after, enormous repose before, the flash of activity. Surely you never

have dreamed the incredible depths were prologue and epilogue

merely to the surface play in the sun, the instant of life, what is

called life? I fancy that silence is the thing, this noise a found

word for it; interjection, a jump of the breath at that silence;

stars burn, grass grows, men breathe: as a man finding

treasure says ‘Ah!’ but the treasure’s the essence;

before the man spoke it was there, and

after he has spoken he gathers it,

inexhaustible treasure.


Robinson Jeffers