38. On a camping one night

Awake before dawn,
on a camping, one night,
in the shelter of trees,

on a patch of marsh,
clasped between lakes,
in st. Fargeau.

The clang of a rope
on a mast carries far,
a chapel’s chime.

A low green rustle,
a shiver of wind.
Echo of ancient tribes,

huddled safe in communal
squat, they sniff the musk
of rotting leaves.

Stare ahead to apprehend
what they cannot grasp,
whether to fear or not.

Grasp at a flighty thought,
which ever may dawn,
sink back in their dimness.

How much more than the cow,
with its soft, stolid stare,
as it churns its cud?

How much less than us
dullards with our dream
of brilliance and wit?