Howard W. Robertson Website --- Page 2

Below is a
sample poem
by Howard W.

Sojourn where worlds might merge

The sun is a morning star whose size and light
and heat just mean proximity allowing the bee
to buzz, the flower to bloom, the root to delve,
the earthworm to dig, and Boris my big black
dog and me to sniff around in our front yard in
fine weather in April of 2002 beside the budded
alder and ash trees beginning to leaf out while a
blue jay perches on the Scotch pine bough and
imitates the cry of the red-tailed hawk, a single
metaphysical cloud dreaming directly overhead
in the energetic firmament as I regard the small
unmarked spot near the front porch where our
cat Lizzie lies buried and consider briefly how I
plan to bury Boris out back beside the deck but
have no certain idea where I myself will wind
up, vielleicht unter Linden am Rhein wie Heine
sang but more likely in a glazed clay urn a few
miles away in the South Hills Cemetery though
my animating spirit who knows whither really?
or whence ultimately?, soon distracting myself
from these grave reflections with the cheerful
thought of Christopher Smart's cat Jeoffrey who
at first glance of God's glory in the eastern sky
would worship in his feline way, then focussing
my waking attention on that parallel world we
call nature but only reluctantly admit to overlap
with things human as if we ourselves play no
part in sunlight, honeybee, blossom, rhizome,
worm, leaf, bird, and insouciant canine who
knows better than this and acts accordingly as
my unalienated companion now where I stand
stranded Cruesoelike on this little island in the
great ocean of time, pausing like some avatar of
Emerson or Thoreau or other New Englander of
old to ponder the nature of nature and suburban
humanity, deciding deliberately that I am not a
Whitman nor a Rousseau to tramp a perpetual
journey nor to saddle up civilization with my
discontents and spur her off into the sunset,
appreciating on the contrary my cozy home
right behind me since as the squirrel who runs
barking to our feeder for sunflower seeds I too
need a nest to return to, yet wishing sincerely
that all these self-important neighborhoods
preoccupied with human beings might merge
vastly and irreversibly with the nonhuman
instead, would integrate our tiny perspectives
with what is always almost everything and
devoid of people's passions, dreams, virtues,
concepts, and usual folly: the far immenser
realm of plant, animal, fungus, stone, stream,
wind, nearest star, and cosmic emptiness.

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