Small cat with the white lines of make-up
By your watchful eyes,
You do not need to invent yourself
Each morning the hot bright sun
Sleeks your shoulders as it strokes
The tawn hillside, the tawny golden.
Your eyes are golden too.
You could not be improved upon
In grace, in poise, in clear intent
Of being. As for me,
Unrelated to the hill, and, for the moment,
Unrelated to my daily life, I ask,
How can I invent myself for this day?
I’ll go down into the wooded canyon, and interrogate
The old boiler, huge, rusted,
Prostrate beneath the great redwoods
That are the young ones of the trees
Which were lumbered out of here
Almost a hundred years ago.
They encircle the old stumps,
The stumps of giants.
In the immense silence—no voices,
Few birds, for there are few insects
In the redwoods—there is only the voice
Of Harrington Creek; and overhead
A little stirring in the leaves
Of bay laurel, or alder,
Pale-barked trees that like the water
Only these, to replace the havoc
Of the shingle mill.
The havoc has not ceased: it has gone elsewhere.
But the trees, which know their own business
Like the cat, continue with it.
Given another hundred years, the trees
Will look even better. The cat
Will also be here.