Iii. Ah, Anima!

Watch the great bough lashed by wind and rain. Is it
A metaphor for your soul—or Man’s—or even
Mine in the hurricane of Time? Now,
In the gray and splintered light, in the scything
Tail of the hurricane, miles of forest around us
Heave like the sea, and the gray underside of leaf is exposed
Of every tree, non-coniferous. The tall
Pine blackly staggers. Beyond,
The bulk and backdrop of mountain is
Obscured. Can you locate yourself
On the great chart of history?
In the distance a tree crashes.
Empires have fallen, and the stream
Gnashes its teeth with the klang of boulders.
Later, sleep. Tomorrow, help
Will come. The Governor promises. Roads, houses, will be
Rebuilt, food distributed. But meanwhile, sleep
Is a disaster area, too. You have lain down
On shards of Time and in unroar of the wind of Being,
And when, in the dark, you wake, with only
The klang of distant boulders in your ears,
You may wish that you, even in the old wrack and pelt of gray light,
Had run forth, screaming as wind snatched your breath away
Until you were nameless—oh, anima!—and only
Your round mouth is there, the utterance gone. Perhaps
That is the only purity—to leave
The husk behind, and leap into the
Blind and antiseptic anger of air.