Ask

Yesterday and today: Merril's historical musings

John William Waterhouse, The Sorceress

Know if lives in nature’s song—
thick on spring’s rustle

between every breath that comes
verdant and sublime, there was
an almost,
never rooted,
a moon-rose, eggshell fragile—

but ask, ask, ask, she says–
for dreams,
a dance on a long bee-path,
soft blooms of dusk,
a shadow-fiddle
like a lullaby as night’s blanket rests.

Watch, as frost-lichens bloom,
and then color, stone to berry-warm

reflections in ancient rivers–
a murmur, a laugh,
the embrace of sky,

rippling secrets, there and gone.

The Oracle really wanted me to ask today. Every set I looked at gave me that word. Then these lines came, and the poem fell into place.

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