She does not place, relate, or name
the objects of her hall,
nor bother to repair her ceiling,
sweep her floor, or paint a wall
symmetrical with mountains.
Cylindrical, her tent
is pitched of ocean on one side
and – rakish accident –
forest on the other,
granular, her rug
of many marbles, or of roots,
or needles, or a bog –
outrageous in its pattern.
The furniture is pine
and oak and birch and beech and elm;
the water couch is fine.
Mottled clouds, and lighting rifts,
leaking stars and whole
gushing moons despoil her roof.
Contemptuous of control,
she lets a furnace burn all day,
she lets the winds be wild.
Broken, rotting, shambled things
lie where they like, are piled
on the same tables with her sweets,
her fruits, and scented stuffs.
Her management is beauty.
Of careless silks and roughs,
rumpled rocks, the straightest rain,
blizzards, roses, crows,
April lambs and graveyards,
she chances to compose
a rich and sloven manor.
Her prosperous tapestries
are too effusive in design
for our analyses –
we, who through her textures move,
we specks upon her glass,
who try to place, relate, and name
all things within her mass.
- May Swenson