I really must come to England more often. The last time I was here, in mid-February, Princess Margaret gave up the ghost. And now, even as I step off the wondrous train that connects Paris to London, the flags are hauled halfway down to mark the passing of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, last Empress of India. This was supposed to be a Jubilee year, marking half a century of the present sovereign's rule. But it has been a series of black-draped obsequies so far. And I plan to come back in early June...
Get set again for Liddy Dole.
She's back, to let the good times roll.
She's entering another race,
Her hair and diction all in place.
(Her hair is even more precise
Than that of Condoleezza Rice.)
Her problem is that she's been cast
As someone with a Beltway past.
Although she's Carolina bred,
She left her home to get ahead.
And now they say her luggage tag
Says DC--on a carpetbag.
"But ahm from heah," she'll say to all.
She'll say it in a Tarheel drawl.
The drawl alone should do the trick,
Unless she lays it on too thick--
Unless the voters say, in candor,
"We simply cannot understand her."
Perhaps time is our invention
To make things seem to move
Like the uncovering tail of the blue jay
As it lights its feet on the wet
Perhaps the seasons are really not
More than a single space with walls inside, disconnected
While fall and winter, and spring
Which we always anticipate, are only
Expansions of our own longings.
Perhaps there is only the now
Neither age nor youth, not even the vertigo of memories stilettoed
Except wounded into this present second
Shorter than the birth of a cell, or the nest dropped
With the sun and the rain always out together.
This center is absolute, it needs no endlessness
For heaven or hell. Or for creation, our own illusion of ourselves.
The minor variations we unfold are all the same
Inherently permutating at once
Repeating one design. Obscure. Lit at the edges of our time.