Thursday, July 13

 Maximus, to himself

I have had to learn the simplest things
last.  Which made for difficulties.
Even at sea I was slow, to get the hand out, or to cross
a wet deck.
                  The sea was not, finally, my trade.
But even my trade, at it, I stood estranged
from that which was most familiar.  Was delayed,
and not content with the man's argument
that such postponement
is now the nature of
                  that we are all late
                  in a slow time,
                  that we grow up many    
                  And the single
                  is not easily
It could be, though the sharpness (the achiote)
I note in others,
makes more sense
than my own distances.  The agilities
                  they show daily
                  who do the world's
                  And who do nature's
                  as I have no sense
                  I have done either
I have made dialogues,
have discussed ancient texts,
have thrown what light I could, offered
what pleasures
doceat allows
                  But the known?
This, I have had to be given,
a life, love, and from one man
the world.
                  But sitting here
                  I look out as a wind
                  and water man, testing
                  And missing
                  some proof
I know the quarters
of the weather, where it comes from,
where it goes.  But the stem of me,
this I took from their welcome,
or their rejection, of me
                  And my arrogance
                  was neither diminished
                  nor increased,
                  by the communication

It is undone business
I speak of, this morning,
with the sea
stretching out
from my feet

-- Charles Olson

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