A CHANGE OF PLANS
It's tiring, this endless revision of our idea of a world which is being continually revised-- as the painter good-naturedly lengthens the ash on his model's cigarette--or, if nature is his model, subtracts a leaf from the birch undressing in the yard. It's hard to remember what we're practicing for with this long succession of goodbyes as each new understanding goes out of date, like a window turning into a mistake. What we've learned is mostly not to be so smart--to believe, as the hands believe in only what they hold. And we don't rush our explanations. Instead, we tell a story: Remember how the reptiles, after generations of desire to taste the yellow flowers, thrust out wings one day and lifted from the ground? Being birds by that time, their appetites had changed, But they kept on flying.
From the book Sweet Ruin by Tony Hoagland, @ 1992, The University of Wisconsin Press
Possibly one of the very best poets of our generation, speaking with brilliant metaphor and language addressing the foremost concerns of our time. Wit, humor, satire, and mostly, deep humanity. We lost him to cancer today in 2018.