Cycles

George Spaeth

The gray unfurls from sky to bay;
A chill, wet, northeast wind, the least
Disturbing aspect of the day,
Has veered toward the hazy east;
The ocean's surface of low swells
Is restless, crinkled by a slow
Incessant chop. The gray foretells
No certainty. But yet I know
The rain will stop, and times at least
To me more pleasant, will return;
Perhaps a welcome, warming breeze
That's backing from a southwest source,
With sunlight hot enough to burn
Away the heavy, dampening fog
Frosting the branches of the firs,
The dripping on my chilly sleeves.
I sit, inside a cozy room;
Outside, the eider float in spume.


Ideas surface endlessly;
So, also, matter, certainly
Evolves. A gull, a person, all
Will lose their own identity:
This sticky pen, the berry pie
I eat with steaming tea, the bog
Whose peat gives Scotch its smoky call,
This day, that mussel, you and I
Are changing, changing; on and on.
Living things are not generic
States like force or free or even fog.
For me, I’m like a whitening cleric
Doing what I do, then gone.


Many never wonder whether
Cycles will continue cycling
As the wheel rolls on forever,
Always reincarnating prior
Eras. Inside, I stoke the fire
Higher and fool myself that this
Applies to me, so, like the sea,
My certain tides of ebb and flow
Will long continue flowing. I lie
So skilfully to myself that I
Believe the pleasant fib. Strike
That! I can't deny I know
That every day my daily tide
Retreats a little further from

The edges of the living; I
Glide further from the rhythmic
Beat of life, whose energetic hum
Can only in this world awhile
Be heard. It’s only now the heat
Of being’s felt. “Forever’s” guile.


The northeast wind will cycle
Through the compass points; the sun
Will seem to rise and set, and rise
And set again, a perfect circle.
I know the cold-gray sea will fade,
Transforming into dark-green jade.
Every single thing that is
Is changing now to something else.
What makes us us will disappear
As surely as our sun will run
Its course and then no longer be.


The seagulls look into the wind
And fasten tight onto the rocks,
Down which run rivulets of wet,
To change unseen the endless sea.
They have not purchased rising stocks
Nor fashioned bombs or Bibles, yet
As I sit here, and look out there
I ask are they more wise than we?