Word-weary, I dream of some Valhalla where
I hear a god proclaim the swans will sing
once more. I look down from ramparts ranging
above thunderheads, and glimpse an opal sphere
that glows, and swells until it cracks skywide
with a silver-winged cyclone of swans who sing
and sing, until the audience of gods there
staggers like wild ships keeling in a tide.

In sympathy, the humblest of the host
whispers in my ear: “That world is lost.
The swans have come to return our gift of song.
Cloud-drifts will unveil a new world soon.”
And gazing down again, I see the larks
from their heaven joyfully descending.

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 5 Number 8, on page 37
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