Thursday, July 10, 2008

But No Ruined Stones

The inward gates of a bird are always open.
It does not know how to shut them.
That is the secret of its song,
But whether any man's are ajar is doubtful.
I look at these stones and know little about them,
But I know their gates are open too,
Always open, far longer open, than any bird's can be…

Hugh MacDiarmid, 'On a Raised Beach'

We are so easily baffled by appearances
And do not realise that these stones are one with the stars.
It makes no difference to them whether they are high or low,
Mountain peak or ocean floor;
palace or pigsty. There are plenty of ruined buildings in the world
but no ruined stones.

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