872. Thomas, by Edgar Bowers

A porter found him in the Pullman car,
A few weeks old, dressed like a rich man's child.
The orphanage named him Thomas, for Aquinas.
The parents who adopted him were Czech,
New immigrants, the promise of the new
Betrayed by the Depression, the greying city
Idle, but for Feller on the mound
And Fred and Ginger's pastorals on the screen.
At school he read his namesake, then, in the Air Force,
As if a revelation sent to him,
His lineage and his birthright. Their starry son,
Trying untried elations of the skies
Above the green earth's curve, his silver wing
Climbing and spinning through undarkened day,
He grasped the golden bowl and drank the wine,
His pride and joy like Hermes' beauty, wings
Dancing with every debutante, a feast
Of arms for boys and girls, where no death is.
The destiny that holds the hero's life
Appeared to him above the clouds of France
In combat, on the field of dread. Messerschmitts
Everywhere in pursuit of his pursuit,
He never reported sick or turned away
Suddenly over the Channel, for a year,
Till over Frankfurt screaming from its pyre,
Engine aflame, then cockpit, he bailed out,
The parachute his spirit in the dark.
Burnt air, burnt earth, burnt time! An angry mob
Mistook him for another bomber pilot
And hanged him from a tree, near Goethe's house.

Source: Collected Poems

873. 'As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame,' by Gerald Manley Hopkins

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
   As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
   Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell's
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
   Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
   Selves - goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying What I do is me: for that I came.

I say more: the just man justices;
   Keeps grace: that keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God's eye what in God's eye he is -
   Christ. For Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
   To the Father through the features of men's faces.

Source: Poetry and Prose

874. Day, by A. R. Ammons

On a cold late
September morning,
wider than sky-wide
discs of lit-shale clouds

skim the hills,
crescents, chords
of sunlight
now and then fracturing

the long peripheries:
the crow flies
on course but destinationless,

hurry, hurry,
the running light says,
while anything remains.

Source: The Selected Poems