The lizard on the wall, engrossed,
The sudden silence from the wood
Are telling me that I have lost
The possibility of good.
I know this flower is beautiful
And yesterday it seemed to be,
It opened like a crimson hand.
It was not beautiful to me.
I know that work is beautiful.
It is a boon. It is a good.
Unless my working were a way
Of squandering my solitude.
And solitude was beautiful
When i was sure that I was strong.
I thought it was a medium
In which to grow, but I was wrong.
The jays are swearing in the wood.
The lizard moves with ugly speed.
The flower closes like a fist.
The possibility recedes.
by James Fenton