The Notion of Order at Montauk

Roy Herndon Smith

Oh! Blessed rage for order, pale Ramon
          —Wallace Stevens

Sitting on the stool,
in the dark, in the back room
of the b and b,

I can’t see Mary
dreaming of what I know I
do not know, but feel

as clearly as I
hear the crashing of the sea
on the shore, crickets

singing, and silence
breathing the cosmos in and
out of emptiness.

Bright Wallace, tell me,
if you can, how nothing’s alone—
the velvet unknown

of Mary sleeping,
the rush and quiet of waves,
the crickets’ sharp chirps—

no single one’s rage
for order’s blessed—no sole
artificer sings

the brilliant orange
light shining through ghostly black
demarcations drawn

by leaves and branches
of the hedge onto the night,
songs of crickets in

the stillness, the sea
sighing under the heavens,
Mary lost and found.