The Muffled Drum




Night falls on roads.
the goads that force the travel
are repeated often
and unsparingly. Ends
are never reached. Sounds
the muffled drum.

Days that might be sought
are taught no more in count
of mileposts numbered
backwards from no origin.
Seen and gone. Sounds
the muffled drum.

Onwardness traduced,
reduced to days and pauses
And the smell of journeying.
Counting’s end: Blue haze on
unknown fields. Sounds
the muffled drum.

Unclear distance; unsharp, plains’
edge wanes; light indistinct;
roads’ unend; unbending heat
above the half-heard beat
within the night. Sounds
the muffled drum.

Sounds the muffled drum.
Must come unlight; not borne
across the air, stare in sleep,
no flight, nowhere; window-dust,
the rattled sash. Sounds
the muffled drum.

The sound of a coming - ours -
and a going; the echo on the night
room’s wall; light in outline,
travels slowly, slides across
the ceiling: sounds
the muffled drum.



The Muffled Drum