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      "Maybe it is autumn and he is looking at a sparrow.
      Maybe it is snowing on a town with a beautiful name."
         Billy Collins from "Reading an Anthology
         of Chinese Poems of the Sung Dynasty,
         I Pause to Admire the Length and Clarity
         of Their Titles"

It builds in expanding potential
a stored strength, a belief in possibility
awaiting action, movement, a vision
a man on a mountaintop who
descends into the misty chaos.

Once, he remembers, there was an order
the hands clasped, pew after pew
where many became a single thing
and, as the church bells rang, they stepped
into the town's swept streets and vista views.

Telephone lines held long rows of birds
that, one by one, fluttered silently away
as snowflakes flurried down, melting on sidewalks.
He remembers the breeze, the wind and change
a long winding walk down the hill

as the kinetic burst of fluttered wings
and eerie honk of geese hidden in clouds
are all absorbed into decay, the degradation
the final swirl of inert uniformity.
He remembers nothing, knowing only the fog.

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