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Toward a Sudden Meaning

At dusk an alder is

red leaves and silver bark

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going a watery black

all of a sudden,

wind pulling

the sounds of leaf-bristle

out of the limbs,

from the ground,

the odor of mushroom and cedar.

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Pick your way out

over the smooth flanks of rock,

humped like dark cattle

fording the river.

Listen to the soft

shivering mouths of its stream.

This evening

the sheer face of the moon

is its own meaning,

and the stars,

swarming from their nests

are yours.

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