Friday, November 28, 2003

"As If To Demonstrate an Eclipse" by Billy Collins

About gratitude on this weekend of thanks.
    I pick an orange from a wicker basket
    and place it on the table
    to represent the sun.
    Then down at the other end
    a blue and white marble
    becomes the earth
    and nearby I lay the little moon of an aspirin.
    I get a glass from a cabinet,
    open a bottle of wine,
    then I sit in a ladder-back chair,
    a benevolent god presiding
    over a miniature creation myth,
    and I begin to sing
    a homemade canticle of thanks
    for this perfect little arrangement,
    for not making the earth too hot or cold
    not making it spin too fast or slow
    so that the grove of orange trees
    and the owl become possible,
    not to mention the rolling wave,
    the play of clouds, geese in flight,
    and the Z of lightning on a dark lake.
    Then I fill my glass again
    and give thanks for the trout,
    the oak, and the yellow feather,
    singing the room full of shadows,
    as sun and earth and moon
    circle one another in their impeccable orbit
    and I get more and more cockeyed with gratitude.
Billy Collins is the US poet laureate. This poem is in his book Nine Horses, reviewed here.
(Thanks to Marlo for the poem).