Not best friends, or similar thinkers, even. He writes in a style that blows the tops off my atria, and makes my cerebrum sick, and I don't like it.
But he writes so well. He is that player on the other team that I hate just because he doesn't play for my team. He is that general I despise when he beats me fair and square. He is that driver who silently reminds me of the fact that I never had the right of way. And then he says this to me,
"Moth-force a small town always has,
Given the night.
What field-forms can be,
Outlying the small civic light-decisions over
A man walking near home?
Men are not where he is
Exactly now, but they are around him around him like the strength
Of fields. The solar system floats on
Above him in town-moths.
Tell me, train-sound,
With all your long-lost grief,
what I can give.
Dear Lord of all the fields
what am I going to do?
Street-lights, blue-force and frail
As the homes of men, tell me how to do it how
To withdraw how to penetrate and find the source
Of the power you always had
light as a moth, and rising
With the level and moonlit expansion
Of the fields around, and the sleep of hoping men.
You? I? What difference is there? We can all be saved
By a secret blooming. Now as I walk
The night and you walk with me we know simplicity
Is close to the source that sleeping men
Search for in their home-deep beds.
We know that the sun is away we know that the sun can be conquered
By moths, in blue home-town air.
The stars splinter, pointed and wild. The dead lie under
The pastures. They look on and help. Tell me, freight-train,
When there is no one else
To hear. Tell me in a voice the sea
Would have, if it had not a better one: as it lifts,
Hundreds of miles away, its fumbling, deep-structured roar
Like the profound, unstoppable craving
Of nations for their wish.
Hunger, time and the moon:
The moon lying on the brain
as on the excited sea as on
The strength of fields. Lord, let me shake
With purpose. Wild hope can always spring
From tended strength. Everything is in that.
That and nothing but kindness. More kindness, dear Lord
Of the renewing green. That is where it all has to start:
With the simplest things. More kindness will do nothing less
Than save every sleeping one
And night-walking one
My life belongs to the world. I will do what I can."
And though my ribs curl with truth, I thrash around in my loud cocoon, and tell him he'll never be right.
What good will that do, my feet say, to walk where there isn't a sidewalk?I step outside, and I curse under my breath when he shows me how obvious it is.
(p.s.-- That poem is by an American legend named James Dickey. it's called "The Strength of Fields", and it is just a bit of his amazing work. Just so we're clear, Estate of James Dickey, that I didn't write that.)