The Hard Structure Of The World

by Richard Eberhart

Is made up of reservoirs,
Birds flying South, mailmen

Snow falling or rain falling,
Railmen, Howard Johnson and airmen

Birds of Paradise
Silk lined caskets

Prize poems and guitars,
Beatitudes and bestiaries,

Children taught contemporary manners,
Time taking time away

With a haymaker or a sleigh,
Hope always belaboring despair.

Form is a jostle, a throstle,
Life a slice of sleight,

Indians are looking out from the
Cheekbones of Connecticut Yankees,

Poltergeists deploy northward
To tinderboxes in cupboards in Maine,

The last chock knocked, the vessel
Would not go down the Damariscotta

Until the sick captain's four-poster,
Moved to the window by four oldsters

Gave him a sight of her, and
He gave her a beautiful sign,

And there was the witch of Nobleboro
Who confounded the native farmers

Who, having lost the plow-bolt
Right at their feet, found it

Concealed in her apron: she laughed,
And made the earth fecund again.

The hard structure of the world,
The world structure of illusion.

From seeing too much of the world
We do not understand it.

There is something unknown in knowing.
Unfaith is what keeps faith going.

Last updated April 25, 2023