I never knew Biddle, the man with spectacles and a butterfly net,
but a first rate railway man, who left that net outside his hut
one morning, and at evening was buried, but now I am doomed to
think of him while I live.
- H.M. Tomlinson, The Sea and the Jungle
The good ship Capella sang in the wind
like a little round oracle on the sea.
She was sound, and round, and though the River Z
was a bumpy logogriph, she could understand:
word married thing, in commonwealth parlance
(Adam and Eve, engaged before they met
in a net of chit-chat). Mankind a kind of poet,
sort of, waltzing in a circle-dance
of hermeneutical honey-dew. Footsteps
of the forebears paved a slow pavane (stately,
exact) for weathering reality;
life was proof (by trial) of their precepts.
In the shade of overhanging willow limbs,
the tail-end of the tribal trail... the compass
of an oscillating nest, or crib; slow rose
of sanded pendulum. Some noose of hymns.
We took a shortcut through the twilight aisles.
It is not good to be alone. Grey monotone,
brown boles, parchment of laurel; flowers, none.
Dilapidated lianas in the high, dark vaults.
Back at camp, we squabbled over maps;
the humid air had melted our concord.
If Ralph left at A, and met the pair at Z...
fumblers for words, sodden slippers-into-mishaps...
And where's the President? His father's ranch?
He set out looking for shining Cibola,
found his caboodle kit, and lost America.
What's left of Biddle? Add it to the launch.
Happy 4th of July.