Who has not stopped by a damp place in a wood,
startled by ordinariness, by breath, by blood,
by the touch of day on hands and face,
by the anonymity of a leaf,
by the weight of the world underfoot.
Of course it cannot last, this moment of
uncounted time, this old eternity
in the missed beat of earth, like a new tense;
future infinitive, future forgotten,
a time that never was, and always was.
And so the heart-stopped world returns
and the plain stare of ordinary is ordinary again.
And yet the moment surely stood
for something, and stands for something still
by this damp place in a wood
where mist is handing day to evening,
ghosting the trees, curtaining the vision
to nearer margins, closer kindnesses,
whose modest colours, innocent of glare,
now come into their own, as fineness fills the air.
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