Happy 4th of July.


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.

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