Sunrise tree
(This poem was published in The New York Times the final week its poetry column appeared on the opinion page in July or 1971. It was replaced by a paid opinion column, the first of which the Mobile Oil Company made the case for nonrenewable fuel. I have long since assumed partial responsibility for this catastrophe).

Photographing a Caterpillar or,
How Two Magicians Met

I stoop, crouch, fetalize myself
Around my machine, but even
My best intentions are too large
To crowd into his small world.

The idea of permanency arrests him,
But then he wrinkles on his way
To more important things, like
Spinning himself into butterflight.

With mechanico-chemical magic
I can spin light to sculpture
His attitudes for me on plastic
And never bother memory.

Still, it lays on my mind
That I can only photograph.
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