792. The Beaver Pond, by Loren Eiseley

A beaver pond is so much like my mind
I look into its mirror and I glimpse
what lies up here behind my brows; I see
old sticks entangled that might be a thought
too stiff to move; the larval dragonfly,
stretching new wings into the glittering heat,
one hour ago was a masked deadly worm.
Within the shallows hover tiny fish,
minnows of thought, one might say, quick to go,
leaving the surface troubled, and dead leaves
fretted to merest skeletons like those
kept in late age someplace within the brain,
leached skeletons of girls, nameless, features etched away,
this one and that, the pain all sunk below,
not to be stirred, not ever to be stirred.
A beaver pond is silent, the leaves fall,
one leaf fell rather, without sound. This way
the pond accumulates, seeds sometimes grow
but mostly things lie here that try to work
their slow way back to the unreasoning mud.
It is a place of age, this mind, this beaver pond.
Into it I can stare, while thoughts like blue
great devil's darning needles pass, but where
I need not know, girls' skeletons, lost leaves—
what can one make of an old beaver pond?
Nothing, exactly nothing but a presence.
So, too, with mind, and so with God in essence.

Source: The Innocent Assassins

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