Reading Gerard Manley Hopkins

            Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
            Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
            Selves—goes itself; myself it speaks and spills;
            Crying What I dó is me: for that I came.

Watching the pelican lift his head and shake
loose his great throat in early morning sun,
cormorants opening their damp wings
on stanchions in the harbor, slowly drying,
embracing light in the breeze across Calibogue
Sound; red-billed terns twisting in synchronized flight,
lowering to shore a rippling fabric of airy bone
and finely layered quill, then lifting again into
arabesque, settling near the sign warning
of undertow, again into the air, turning
like a black sail in sudden gusts—masked faces
and sleek heads the outward souls of many
acting as one. In the midst of all this wave
of being, the dreams that ruffle sleep
must be the rising and falling of what I am.

John Allman | Mudlark No. 31
Contents | Chameleons