I see you displaced, condensed, within my dream,
Yet here before me in your daily shape.
And think, can my dream touch you any way
Or move you as in it you otherwise moved?
I prosper in the dream, yet may it not
Touch you in any way or make you move.
It is the splendour of the possible
Not to appear in actual shape and form.
It is the splendour of the actual
So to be still and still be satisfied,
That any else or more becomes a dream,
Displaced, condensed, as by my dreamed regard.
When with the skin you do acknowledge drought,
The dry in the voice, the lightness of feet, the fine
Flake of the heat at every level line;
When with the hand you learn to touch without
Surprise the spine for the leaf, the prickled petal,
The stone scorched in the shine, and the wood brittle;
Then where the pipe drips and the fronds sprout
And the foot-square forest of clover blooms in sand,
You will lean and watch, but never touch with your hand.
All our roads go nowhere.
Maps are curled
To keep the pavement definitely
On the world.
All our footsteps, set to make
Lapse into arcs in deference
All our journeys nearing Space
Skirt it with care,
Shying at the distances
Present in air.
Blithely travel-stained and worn,
Erect and sure,
All our travels go forth,
Making down the roads of Earth