City Light and Darkness
Beneath the moon-sphere city lights
in foggy halos cast like stars
their asterisks upon the night
and make the concrete glow, and cars
in speed unheeding of moving scene
as if it were a blur on movie screen
make motion, growling, headlights bright,
and slice their way through starlit night.
Beside the road, and unremarked,
a sidewalk-walker travels home
with step on step through rushing dark
that he may shed his long-spent roam
like shoes on floors of well-lit rooms
and, reading, bunker from the gloom
until, now tired, with a card to mark
his page, he thence to dreams embarks.
And weary now I feel, aching feet,
and all the world seems as it were a dream,
and I, a walker too, march in beat
to final glimpse of one bright homely gleam;
but of the lights I see, none that shine
give promise of my goal, for none are mine:
but forward still I march, nor retreat
until that window-shine, of light most sweet.
Wisdom needs leisure to prosper and grow,
the time that makes rivers to run deep and slow,
the time that makes mountains wear down into hills,
duration that all of necessity fills;
and calm afternoons set for nothing but thought,,
spun out like great webs in which problems are caught,
or else like the streams that gather and pool
into bodies of vastness, clear, deep, and cool.
So where is the wisdom in all of our haste?
In the land of lost chances, lost and laid waste.