The Strength Of Fields

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... a separation from the world, a penetration to some source of power and a life-enhancing return ...

  Van Gennep: Rites de Passage

Moth-force a small town always has,

  Given the night.

  What field-forms can be,
  Outlying the small civic light-decisions over
  A man walking near home?
  Men are not where he is
  Exactly now, but they are around him  around him like the strength

Of fields.  The solar system floats on
  Above him in town-moths.
  Tell me, train-sound,
  With all your long-lost grief,
  what I can give.
  Dear Lord of all the fields
  what am I going to do?
  Street-lights, blue-force and frail
As the homes of men, tell me how to do it  how
  To withdraw  how to penetrate and find the source
  Of the power you always had
  light as a moth, and rising
  With the level and moonlit expansion
  Of the fields around, and the sleep of hoping men.

  You?  I?  What difference is there?  We can all be saved

  By a secret blooming. Now as I walk
The night  and you walk with me  we know simplicity
  Is close to the source that sleeping men
  Search for in their home-deep beds.
  We know that the sun is away  we know that the sun can be conquered
  By moths, in blue home-town air.
  The stars splinter, pointed and wild. The dead lie under
The pastures.  They look on and help.  Tell me, freight-train,
  When there is no one else
  To hear. Tell me in a voice the sea
  Would have, if it had not a better one: as it lifts,
  Hundreds of miles away, its fumbling, deep-structured roar
  Like the profound, unstoppable craving
  Of nations for their wish.
  Hunger, time and the moon:

  The moon lying on the brain
  as on the excited sea  as on
  The strength of fields. Lord, let me shake
  With purpose.  Wild hope can always spring
  From tended strength.  Everything is in that.
  That and nothing but kindness.  More kindness, dear Lord
Of the renewing green.  That is where it all has to start:
  With the simplest things. More kindness will do nothing less
  Than save every sleeping one
  And night-walking one

  Of us.
  My life belongs to the world. I will do what I can.

© James Dickey