And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
William Butler Yeats
The unknowing beast drips into the white I
that floats in the morning-glory blue of you;
he is an orange instant, a fleeting part,
quickly lost in the variegated whole,
the minute, vast flows of shades and tints of love,
the inhaling, pause, the exhaling, of breaths.
The knowing beast dreams the dream of not breathing,
immortal, always visible, only I,
the flower that blooms, but does not droop, the love
of gentle dawn, never burning noon, and you,
ever-holding, never falling away, whole,
eternal light without night or dusky part.
The beast tweets in terror of being a part,
a flowering, a dying, a flying breath
in the storming, stilling, of the airy whole,
a white transitoriness, a wisp, of I,
gone in the midnight void, midday sun, of you,
the continual evanescence of love.
The beast slouches, drifts down, drops into the love,
the womb holding him, not yet alone, the part
not born, not sliding, not busting, out of you,
not yet knowing your pungent bearing down breaths,
this mother crying, laughing, loosing this I
in this morning-glory-blue, white-hearted whole.
The beast shrivels in this killing, white-hot whole;
he cannot stand this wilting, this cruel, love.
He cannot trust in the morning-glory I,
in its disappearance into moving parts,
this wind rushing, whispering, into this breath,
this susurration of words wafting in you.
The sleeping beast rises towards the rose of you
fingering the tear in the black of the whole,
the fear catching in, fluttering into, breath,
rising over, falling on, the swells of love,
from which he, startling awake in lies, departs,
for the false fixity of a shattered I.
The all-knowing beast knows neither you nor love,
neither morning-glory whole, nor passing parts;
though, when comatose, he breathes, the unknown I.
Roy Herndon Smith