I went for a walk last evening (alone, in the almost-dark), out in the park by my house. To the west, there was this:
But to the east, the east in the evening, there was this glorious sight:
It was more coral than my camera would catch. My iPhone was a little better at picking up the tint, but not so good with the details. The moon sifted itself between the scattered clouds,
and silhouetted the branches of trees:
And as I sat by my open window, choosing photos, the horned owl came by to hoo-hoo plaintively in the tree. Shortly thereafter, in response to a siren in the distance, a lone coyote howled in a plangent fashion, and I thought of Richard Wilbur’s poem, “Beasts,” with which I shall leave you:
Beasts in their major freedom Slumber in peace tonight. The gull on his ledge Dreams in the guts of himself the moon-plucked waves below, And the sunfish leans on a stone, slept By the lyric water,
In which the spotless feet Of deer make dulcet splashes, and to which The ripped mouse, safe in the owl’s talon, cries Concordance. Here there is no such harm And no such darkness
As the selfsame moon observes Where, warped in window-glass, it sponsors now The werewolf’s painful change. Turning his head away On the sweaty bolster, he tries to remember The mood of manhood,
But lies at last, as always, Letting it happen, the fierce fur soft to his face, Hearing with sharper ears the wind’s exciting minors, The leaves’ panic, and the degradation Of the heavy streams.
Meantime, at high windows Far from thicket and pad-fall, suitors of excellence Sigh and turn from their work to construe again the painful Beauty of heaven, the lucid moon And the risen hunter,
Making such dreams for men As told will break their hearts as always, bringing Monsters into the city, crows on the public statues, Navies fed to the fish in the dark Unbridled waters.
Didn’t you and Dr. Morgan give me a start, sitting by my bed, watching and waiting for me to wake up! Yet how happy I was to see you after all these weeks apart.
You told me so much on the way to your house that all I could do was ride the crest of the information wave that flowed from you. I had no chance to respond before we arrived at yours and I, of course, had to sleep again.
And now that I am awake, I find you where you where you should be ~ at your papa’s side (how glad I am to see him too, though I would he were better). I cannot talk to you freely in front of him, so I pretend to write a letter to my cousin, but I shall leave it on the escritoire for you to read while I sit with your father.
How kind it was of Dr. Torres to stay with your papa so you and Dr. Morgan could fetch me. And how fortunate it was that she found the last page of the Legends book. Now that I’ve read the story through and looked at the unexpected map on the back of that fateful final folio, I wish to talk with you more. Will you, tonight, come sneak into my room, as you did when we were children so we could read under the sheets and giggle and whisper, so that we can puzzle over the chart together? Our two heads will be more effective than the one of your
P.S. It is a small torture to have you so near, yet be unable to speak freely!