Carne Levare

Know Other People

St. Augustine & A.R. Ammons

Posted by Remy on December 17, 2009

But what is this? I asked the earth and she replied: “It is not I,” and all that is in her made the same response. I asked the sea and the deeps and the creeping spirits and they answered: “We are not thy God; look above us.” I asked the fleet winds, and the whole air with its inhabitants said: “Anaximenes is mistaken. I am not God.” I asked the sky, the sun, the moon and the stars. “Neither are we,” said they, “the God whom thou seekest.” And I cried to everything that stands about the doors of my flesh: “Tell me of my God, since you art not He. Tell me something of Him!” And they shouted aloud: “He made us.”
-St. Augustine

The pieces of my voice have been thrown
away I said turning to the hedgerows
and hidden ditches
Where do the pieces of
my voice lie scattered
The cedarcone said you have been ground
down into and whirled

Tomorrow I must go look under the clumps of
marshgrass in wet deserts
and in dry deserts
when the wind falls from the mountain
inquire of the chuckwalla what he saw go by
and what the sidewinder found
risen in the changing sand
I must run down all the pieces
and build the whole silence back

As I look across the fields the sun
big in my eyes I see the hills
the great black unwasting silence and
know I must go out beyond the hills and seek
for I am broken over the earth-
so little remains
for the silent offering of my death

-A.R. Ammons

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