restricted access The Eagle's Mile
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He turned up One ofthe streets with no lights. Into the seat I settled; black buildings thickened Around us, high tenements flattening Into squares; warehouses now, They were; maybe docks. I watched. No birds. No trash-cans. The car died Between two alley walls And froze, and a voice at last, still Out ofOklahoma, said "I want your money." We were present In silence. A brought-on up-backward thock Took place, and on the fresh blade A light alive in the hand New-born with spring-shock. It was mine At sixty. "I want your car," I said. TheEagle'sMile for Justice William Douglas The Emmet's Inch & Eagle's Mile -Blake Unwarned, catch into this With everything you have: the trout streaming with all its quick In the strong curve all things on all sides In motion the soul strenuous And still in time-flow as in water blowing Fresh and for a long time Downhill something like air it is Also and it is dawn There in merciless look-down As though an eagle or Adam In lightning, or both, were watching uncontrollably For meat, among the leaves. Douglas, with you The soul tries it one-eyed, halfyour sight left hanging in a river The EagleJs Mile / 444 In England, long before you died, And now that one, that and the new one Struck from death's instantLightning 's: like mankind on impulse blindsiding God-true-up together and ride On silence, enraptured surveillance, The eagle's mile. Catch into this, and broaden Into and over The mountain rivers, over the leaf-tunnel path: Appalachia, where the trail lies always hidden Like prey, through the trembling south-north ofthe forest Continent, from Springer Mountain to Maine, And you may walk Using not surpassing The trout's hoisted stand-offwith the channel, Or power-hang the same in the shattered nerves Oflightning: like Adam find yourselfsplintering out Somewhere on the eagle's mile, on peerless, barbaric distance Clairvoyant with hunger, Or can begin can be begin to be What out-gentles, and may evade: This second ofthe second year Ofdeath, it would be best for the living Ifit were your impulse to step out ofgrass-bed sleep As valuably as cautiously As a spike-buck, head humming with the first male split Ofthe brain-bone, as it tunes to the forked twigs Ofthe long trail Where Douglas you once walked in a white shirt as a man In the early fall, fire-breathing with oak-leaves, Your patched tunnel-gaze exactly right For the buried track, the England-curved water strong Far-offwith your other sight, both fresh-waters marbling together Supporting not surpassing The Eagle)s Mile / 445 What flows what balances In it. Douglas, power-hang in it all now, for all The whole thing is worth: catch without warning Somewhere in the North Georgia creek like ghost-muscle tensing Forever, or on the high grass-bed Yellow ofdawn, catch like a man stamp-printed by Godshock , blue as the very foot Offire. Catch into the hunted Horns ofthe buck, and thus into the deepest hearingNerveless , all bone, bone-tuned To leaves and twigs-with the grass drying wildly When you woke where you stood with all the blades rising Behind you, and stepped out possessing the trail, The racked bramble on either side shining Like a hornet, your death drawing life From growth from flow, as in the gill-cleansing turn Ofthe creek or from the fountain-twist Offlight, that rounds you Off, and shies you downwind Side-faced, all-seeing with hunger, And over this, steep and straight-up In the eagle's mile Let Adam, far from the closed smoke ofmills And blue as the foot Ofevery flame, true-up with blind-side outflash The once-more instantly Wild world: over Brasstown Bald Splinter uncontrollably whole. Daughter Hospital, and the fathers' room, where light Won't look you in the eye. No emergency But birth. I sit with the friend, and listen The Eagle)s Mile / 446 ...


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