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Black velvet darkness, tufts of shredded clouds heading slow-
ly up the coast, the lamp-like February snow moon the host
the celebrant raises at the Consecration steady above the coast,
transfiguring the empty sands of the Atlantic coast below.

I sat there transfixed as if in prayer, for once at peace
with what I was surprised to have the sense this time round
to see, the inner wars that for eighty years have ground
me down in history’ s nightmare drifting north northeast. 

What words, what notes can net what one feels in those too-brief
blissful moments? Grasshopper transcendence, Williams called it,
as he caught their translucent wings whirring up into the light
before the roar of those milling crowds forced their entry like some thief.

Show us a sign, we say, show us what we think we want to see.
Though, if you think about it, could we say what such a sign would be?
Or is the thing we seek already there before us, for you and me,
and all we need to see that luminous gaze are the eyes to see?

—Paul Mariani

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