Collected Poems of John Holmes
Holmes, John A., Jr.
The infinite orderliness of the natural world
Is past all wonder. Only I, ignorant, wonder
At common and colored and never-repeated curled
Slow growth of shells above sea and under.
A scum of seaweed is a jungle a green inch wide,
A man's lifetime long for seeing, naming, caring
To map it on one page. Spread there and dried,
It is one pattern for the mind's comparing
With Mind that remembers everything It made.
Caverns of almost nothing, and heavens, discover
Alike a little of the great calm of law obeyed.
Sun casts the year's same shadow over and over.
Out of shadow I, but no longer saying I,
Move myself from my self in an opening spiral,
Drawn toward the light in understanding why
One cell may be one cell yet see the spiral
Whole, and what slow accretion shaped the whole.
But there is more, a world in a tall fountain's
One waterdrop, more, fire in a crumb of coal,
And more worlds in the grains that make mountains.