No Escape

No, not yet, move nothing until
  you have filled yourself with
        intention, or

your act will freeze, immutable, and
  your thought will have aborted
        into misshapen stumbling.

We stammer in the effort to speak, lurch
  out of a passion to walk, slump
        in lieu of sitting; yet,

within, awareness reaches toward
  an attainable state in which
        we seek to direct our selves

as a rider guides the most accomplished of
  horses, crupper gathering, hooves
        pattering, neck yearning toward

heaven, and the supple trunk
  conveys itself over the earth without
        anticipation or effort.

This is the ascent into the self,
  encountering possibility just as it
        flowers into the actual.

We attain fulfillment only if we carry
  the breath of the world
        without surrender
        or escape.


 

Presented by

Peter Davison was The Atlantic's longtime poetry editor.

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