If one were in his proper mind,
he might speak simply of an owl
dropping the same round tone
from a night limb to quiet water
that flows slowly past tangles
of roots, brush, broken rocks.
If standing on the opposite bank
while just listening and looking,
our good fellow would not dwell
on unsuitable themes for thinking.
But would he really be unwarranted
to imagine this night and its wild mood
were symbols of hermetic whisperings?
Things out here in the secret darkness,
beneath the rumor of an obscured moon,
might be aching inside wretched hours
to find a faint, organic sense of why
juices stream through bones and eyes
and push shuddering substance farther
into forms of movement and strong musk.
Even the pale bloom of a night flower,
blooming here amid yawning grasses,
looks almost embarrassed to be so open.
If he continued to wander dubiously
inside his own mind's evening regions,
he might see vast temples of obsession --
commerce, machines, politics, vast egos
deflecting the Question, twisting it harshly
into shapes of false bravado, benighted
conspiracies against the dream of an owl.
The birds of night are restless.
The water is flowing with a rumor
too shocking for most human ears.
Our good fellow is on his errand
of a fool, and a fool must riddle.