Cole's Voyage of Life: Childhood
Over your ridge of
shaded securities & settled
conquests, bursting with inner-

amongst your slaves:
be careful of th'One False Step: Th'One color
of th'greenest (dead-end Origin's
agents of despair

grown out of th'buzzing flames
all around you, from amongst th'hours
made wild free birds one after th'other one

or the monotonies that clutter your head
sporting Significance's gaudy disguises,

your head for Tomorrow, pouncing
upon th'Since (peopled grey, or phosphorous

phantoms, or those opulent demons, those all-
quenching Aprils that play within Silence's

less & less, with th'famished witches
of snow at its infancy, or th'dappled
tides that lick us down

        --We, inmates of th'Scene
within th'vermil Perhaps' hap piety--We
Impossibility's mariners, aged to th'sonorous,

denizens of the Adventurous, always shoveling
th'Symbols out of our all-bloodied loins
into Oblivion's giddy sails of strange velvets,

Anguish's internal lavenders, Contradiction's
reddest sympathies, Reason's most uproaring

bluest Explanation's last layer (th'least bright)
circled by clusters of less than (green) hues, all

only, alone, & parts of many an all, th'edging
atoms of universes on top of each other

trying to put to bed your cares' clever contents,

your too ornate collaborations with Summer's
sultry, your honest sweat's widely intervening

divisions unjust, your motives all bantered
down their trivial lengths, your sleepy evil
that covers, of late, Decay's circumference

trying to plagiarize th'incisive Autumn's disheveled
manuscript, or trying to pluck eternity's

prophetic Never from th'Sudden's swarms, to
store it in th'null of your values like vaults

incorruptible, but only insistent blushes
which fade at th'least touch of Nothing, at

Affirmations' untold conflicts, trying to disturb
Nature's wilderness (to disturb
th'highest culture beyond Man--out of which

your words are full of letters (only), of syllables'
null decibels (only), lacking all sense: You

stricken to death or worse with those jolts (Yesterday's
Truths & Meanings--now but abandoned memories), these

mere particles of infinitesimal specks (of
th'once brutal, in Now's peacefully untravelled ways

through the ornate, colossal he-
mispheres of kindness & concern

towards th'conical Cannot
go those tiny objects that think

like lamps down the dark intervals
towards th'gaping mouth of mouthing their self-
cornucopianed lives wafting in th'immense & boundless

crudest sea of Imagination: raising up a stink

(kicking all kinds-a crap) in a pygmies' pageantry
in front of th'tall tyrants of their own Affront

done an ode, building up an army in th'blunt
points of their militant prose

resilient as September, down th'deprived spasms
of civilization

                 ... we march, baffling
Progress' good aims & mercies with our chills

deployed to deform Th'Norm, arrayed deep in
th'groves of Melancholy (after being swept off
Th'Ugly plains by Beauty

in th'Thereby, we rogues like roses--there
attempting our last stand
like shams so haughty in th'husk our fright:
th'bait--our pointless positions of late

--Here comes th'Enemy: Patience's dripping
pen, lobbed eloquence, amidst our gusts of groans

the Wintering winds' all-wilting twills
& all-dialectical alien splendors & oracles

fanged with drastic blooms, wreathes
of th'forevermore round their heads

of ethereal thunders, packing
foliage's all-grasping pages, flowers
of all facets fanned & fuming like Penance,

Wisdom self-wrapped in its frost-biting
bursting in th'faint dew like emerald ambers
Triumph's piping harps, solemn

--A stand-
ard of hand-to-hand-
ling Fate intricate-

armorial: Wait! Th'refugees (of
Spring), giggling down their hair-lines,
grumbling bamboo volunteers by Jasper light
hurrying from Nature's maturest mercies

discover by their old nests, abandoned--how long
life is! ... Then, one color of th'smallest
significance to th'universe, confined

to a chill in th'spine, in th'momentary
shock of an ape's nerves, who rocks
back & forth self-huddled in th'Warmth of

One! rocks in hand... making ready to kill
Time--with a shot at th'heart of th'blank
cosmos (about him:

             perhaps but th'scum
that always comes well-knuckled, th'wan cobwebs
that trap th'Heart's celestial colts
at liberty, th'Mind's hellish birds (our

belongings), the non-destructive Genius (of
a Bach), to try to splash th'Black

perhaps with a singular mud-dab, maybe
a monumental rumor he starts, maybe...

in th'Bright: th'Grave's baying most grey
--At last: Conspiracy's nude gun!

                     ... which
justifies his military intervention, his re-
writing of all Nature's noncommittal mottoes

(to make them take on his god-gasping Egad, his ivy-
lulled) walls, a self-defense dynamo we are

All of Us: flinging blind, blinding handfuls
of th'mud around us at the snow's warden,

at credit's careful traps, at th'Gem's
light stratagems, at Time's Church

Monumental, at dear, beloved, old
Nanny Nuisance, her forehead Redemption,

her looks' mauling beauty, her shiftless eye-
lashes all over our defenseless

Alarm! Alarm! ...        

--the moon's manikins in th'Sun
cocks th'hammer of his ghastly sight

... perhaps a ragged color th'least bright

his bullet, th'least colorful, telling,
th'least expressive, self-revealing, least


           Th'least likely to betray
th'thrower, Destroyer--Yet, to him:

Th'Most Important Color
of all: Th'One that makes him, marks

him--from all he is not--th'One
that paints all he is

on all he is --All that dull stuff
that's colorfully maddened in th'Gradual's
shrink--All of them--by thus

painting them his

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