from a poem by Sir Thomas Wyatt

What we try to snag and hold fast
of laughter, wood smoke, but especially
the necessary ignorance

to go forward, to trust: I have netted
baubles from air bubbles, pictures of cozy
life in books, the way hot cider

by a warm stove completes winter
and sunset was sunset because you said
“Look at that!” to someone you loved.

At a reading, John Ashbery was asked,
“But what was that about?” and he said,
“I guess I’m just sad about time,”

and who can be sorry he was sad, when
such fabric lengths of poems came off
the loom, in down-home-and-I-guess baroque.

Sometimes my dog turns, flops down,
and presses against me with a sigh that
fills the world with peace, making

permanent what would otherwise fly away
on the lash of a clock’s tick. You have to think
about things in a different way, allow

ephemera to etch their brain-webs,
allow yourself to last as another beholds.