Seen From Above
On a dirt road lies a dead beetle.
Three little pairs of legs carefully folded on his belly.
Instead of death's chaos - neatness and order.
The horror of this sight is mitigated,
the range strictly local, from witchgrass to spearmint.
Sadness is not contagious.
The sky is blue.
For our peace of mind, their death seemingly shallower,
animals do not pass awa, but simply die,
losing - we wish to believe - less awareness of the world,
leaving - it seems to us - a stage less tragic.
Their humble little souls do not haunt our dreams,
they keep their distance,
know their place.
So here lies the dead beetle on the road,
glistens unlamented when the sun hits.
A glance at him is as good as a thought:
he looks as though nothing important had befallen him.
What's important is valid supposedly for us.
For just our life, for just our death,
a death that enjoys an extorted primacy.
Look: the sun has spread its wings
over the earth to dispel the darkness.
Like a great tree, with its roots in heaven,
and its branches reaching down to the earth.
Pale blossoms, each balanced on a single jointed stem,
And leaves curled back in elaborate Corinthian scrolls;
And the air cool, as if drifting down from wet hemlocks,
Or rising out of ferns not far from water,
A crisp hyacinthine coolness,
Like that clear autumnal weather of eternity,
The windless perpetual morning above a September cloud.