Two swans in a trance two seekers
making the sounds of thought with their wings
all down the aisle of the river
                 flew by me and out

                 as far as the coast they went
and changed their skins and came back again
                 shocked by the dusk

                                 Still shocked by the dusk
                                                  diminished by the wind
two cormorants in mourning with strained necks
two wretched regretters flew by me

                                 creaking their stuffing and
                                 asking for nothing and
                                 voicing their reasonable grievance
                                                 with worn-down wings


It was wonderful when that freighter slid
towards and then beyond us
        in doubled darkness

at first the sternlight
made a spectral penciled suggestion about circles
then there was


in which the beam
to indicate height and doubt
and cloud and unconcluded night
cut out and swung
                                 a white isoceles with no third side

it was horrible it was too reasonable and right
the way the rays went out and out and stopped
and then the thought came weeping back
that there had been a staff change in space

and those twelve hours
who used to turn the sky with expressive
old-fashioned faces
had been replaced

                                by rain