And boys, be in nothing so moderate as in the love of man,
a clever servant, insufferable master.
There is the trap that catches noblest spirits, that caught—
they say—God, when he walked on earth.
– Robinson Jeffers (“Shine, Perishing Republic”)
How yet we cycle back to see the love of man bloom,
time and again, trapped on this planet spinning in space
with all its wars and ricochets, its plagues and tragedies—
that wonderful yearning to please like good dogs!
How the angels must envy us and sigh, especially in spring.
They have escaped and hate their detachment, cannot feel
rivers run through flesh, and they will suffer everlasting
life without needs, without winter’s frozen ground.
What clever genius, I suppose, to repopulate our space
to crowd us inward, to speculate in safe repose
and say, write poetry or paint a rose to give away—
time and again, trapped on this planet spinning in space.
I love this one, John. It has such depth.