Curiously the wilderness
Had thousands of little beings going about in its wide, dark, cool ground, underneath the tall, uncaring trees.
It was a mad, quiet green which covered the multitudes of feeling, running smallnesses, bent on using earth and all joyously.
What way for joy has a black thing, many, many in an inch of wide, wilderness ground.
Here, in great coolness, insects speed and tumble, scream and are amazed and rightly disregard the sun, which yet is around.
They have fear, they tire, they go slower than before, they rumple sections of unforbidding ferns; they are cruel to certain matters coming their way; they have certain impressions as to the use and pleasure-giving powers of light, present here below in the wilderness.
(Wilderness light is around and light lets wilderness do as it will, which makes what some very small beings have: this, wilderness light.)
Light comes from some pretty far place, and gets through, O making-its-way light, the spaces between the branches of very tall trees, and comes to the cool thresholds of forests, the deeps and beginnings of wildernesses, and there is everything and all that to tugging, circling, line-making, satisfaction bent, noisy, exulting, shrieking societies using wilderness'sgreen inches.
Here we have victories and longings, small unutterable despairs and adequate joys.
Among the green, low lace of the wilderness an unfolding of destinies and an obedience to various divine wills, semi-divine, uncaring divine wills and some all excited and trembling.
Divine wills tremble at some sights in the low depths of wildernesses.
Divine will turned tiny and green, tiny and red, and set about scurrying unnoticed in wilderness's strange points.
Divine will got ardent and began playing life's eating and seeing game in miniature, complete fashion.
Up barks of trees impelled, live objects go and are proud to be somewhat high on trees, so they celebrate.
Celebrations are common on the wide, peopled, filled, very diverse floor of wilderness.
Fern is happy; weeds rejoice and eagles go with the fine news to many places.
And so we come to birds.
From Hot Afternoons Have Been in Montana: Poems (Definition Press)
© 1953 by Eli Siegel