FROST SMOKE

The world was tricked today by sun,

Broken up by needles in the ice,

Fragments of the universal light

Flaming from a corner of the trunk,

 

A footprint in the dusted snow

Turned by frost to frozen chrome,

The wood a planetarium

Lit on every leaf with tremolos

 

Of solar wind, the mirrored sequins

That the watchful human eye

Turns into entire galaxies,

An evolutionary sequence

 

From a star to ice to us,

Where now it melts the hard-won

Glaze the ground depends on,

Not to warm the summer dust,

 

But to keep it cold for just

Such tricks of time as these,

When the gilt of cosmic rust

Coaxes errors from the trees.

 

February 9th, 1987

Bedford