Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE PURSUIT, by HENRY BELLAMANN

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THE PURSUIT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I know you now
Last Line: Winged, fire striped -- and arrowed.

I know you now --
I know you,
and there is fear in me --
fear like shaken waters,
flying waters, --
Waves that come again, thunder broken,
from the deep.

Always I have come too late
upon the places where you moved,
and the leaves,
star shaped, and wing shaped,
agile, shuddering leaves
that closed upon your track
were like the flight
of most strange, ecstatic birds.

The light that crept again
along the purple furrow
of your flowing shadow
was like quick swimming gold
of mythic fishes, deep enchanted
by some intricate, thin singing --
singing lost and twisted
into whispering
that fled like swift refolding foam
from the sharp and delicate
slim curving wake
of your purple shadowed going.

Your flying, slight and pointed steps
upon the tall, quiescent, virginal, bent grasses --
your penetrant and pointed cruel steps
lay like gold edged arrows
in the silver virgin grasses.

Are you tigress?
Are you winged --
winged and arrow footed --
white sail swift and purple shadow silent?
Are you shape of wind and singing, --
thousand winged?
Are you fire and black striped,
arrow footed tigress? --
steel winged or desperate eagle?

I am too late
to perfectly surprise your sickle step;
but a fear is in the sinuous waters
of my heart's most secret pool
of guarded stillness.

I have seen them,
and I know you --
I have seen the faces passing --
scarred and slim, most frail swift faces --
those who held you,
those who knew you, --
arrowed, striped -- and winged.

I must find you --
break some sudden curtain,
starred and sounding
of most slender, pale and swinging
white and silver willow leaves, --
break some willow curtain,
break and crumble the small shadows --
come like swift pursuit of sun upon you --
see you,
know you, --
winged, fire striped -- and arrowed.

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