Far from bird noise and lazy cattle and chatty girls
I knelt in a drowsy glade to drink
As the purple mist of the afternoon closed
In on the green growing things around the lake.
Was there something in the water there
Under those phantasmal mist-cloaked trees,
A golden liquor, barley colored, jewelled,
Under shrouded skies, that caused me to break out
In a strange feverish sweat? You could
Have made a Motel sign out of me I was so lit up,
With half the neon on the fritz
Spelling out VA*AN*Y into encroaching evening.
Then storm changed the sky: dark nations,
Poles, columns, shelves and terminals of cloud
Blown in a vast wave across the blue night.
The stream escaped away through the woods
To white sands. A sharp wind came up.
Sheets of isinglass spilled across the lake. To think
That intent as a searcher after Eldorado or a pearl
I persisted still in stooping to imbibe!
Larme (Tear): Arthur Rimbaud, from Derniers Vers (1872): freely rendered into English by TC
Geothermal steam fog, Yellowstone, Wyoming: photo by US National Park Service, 2005
Wall cloud with lightning, over Miami. Texas: photo by Brad Smull (NOAA), 1980