Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TIME, by SALLY BRUCE KINSOLVING

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

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First Line: They talked of palm beach lots
Last Line: We fell to talking trivial commonplaces.
Subject(s): Life; Time

They talked of Palm Beach lots
And Pullman reservations,
Of building-funds and what-nots,
Breaking in upon my meditations,
Till suddenly I wondered why
Life should be clothed in irony:
For these two travelers were more prodigal of time
Than a solitary poet weaving an endless rhyme,
While you and I,
In one short hour together, sought to fathom truths that lie
Beyond all living,
Taking and giving
Thought for thought with ecstasy.

Coming out of the cold March night,
With pale stars shining overhead
Like calm battalions of the dead,
Color and warmth and light
In an empty car
Beckoned to us from afar
Like poppies in a garden gold and red.
There beside you -- touching you but lightly
As a flower might brush a bee
Yet with eyes like those
Of thirsty deer, at the day's close,
Drawing long draughts of sweetness from a forest pool
That is dark and cool --
I drank out of the clear depths of your eyes:
Your eyes that are deeper than the depth that lies
Beyond the faintest stars
Hung in the farthest skies,
Yet near with home and peace
Like lanterns swung from gently swaying spars
Of harbored ships
Far from tumultuous seas.
And so near were your lips --
Lips that I knew might be
More tumultuous than these . . .
Yet speeding through the night,
Like worlds that spin in vortices of exhaustless light,
Motionless, we talked of all things still,
Of stone and hill
And contemplation,
And dwelt in speculation
Upon man's final destiny.
Moment by moment I counted miserly,
Like drops of precious ointment falling from a broken crystal,
Knowing that all
The golden effluence of that hour
Spilling upon time was drenching us with splendor
Like sunrise on the sea . .
But suddenly
I saw a human gargoyle grinning there at me,
With leering eyes and wicked merriment,
As of one sent
Out of the deep abyss of hell to heaven,
To spy upon the bliss of a single moment given
When soul and soul
Are bound within one aureole . . .
Then light on light
Flashed back at us like white lilies in the dark,
Until the city, a scarlet flower, opened all her petals to the night;
For beauty, though secret in its birth,
Even as a rainbow, rests its arc
Upon the earth;
And soon with hurrying feet
We added to the measured beat
And tread of sound upon a city street,
Until within a room illumined by many faces,
We fell to talking trivial commonplaces.

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