I used to go to school on foot and by trolley-bus.
Simple time. Slow tempo. Ad lib tempo.
It followed the streets, or vice versa. And time
Was not just a rebus, which is called empirical,
Or you understand. And the town, too, from a trolley-bus
Seemed to be my size, school-shaped, like a pupil
Who hears some music on the radio –
Carried through the open window to the yard. This is
Probably some chamber piece, for strings.
I passed out top and took to travelling
By fixed-route taxi. The rainy
Streets’ rhythms gathered pace. The three colours
Of the traffic lights shone more. The pedestrian crossing
Filled with people, with watchmen’s huts. ‘University’
I hurried mostly, and I completely
Lost the strolling child, the aesthete.
Now I’m always late for something, and work
Demands I take taxis. The precise black and white
Geometry, as depicted, of the city –
Contained for a moment in the car mirror –
In accelerated rhythm and tempo runs away, runs in,
Turns back and strikes my face as a shadow
Of people, monuments, shop windows, a long building
In whose windows we seek some story,
And disturbs our curtains. And when in the same mirror
The sky is reflected, with a cloud and an aeroplane,
Where travellers look down at cities from the air,
Which stand, but in them something governs
All sorts of inner motion of the cities,
And we move constantly with regard to its lay-out.
Thus somewhere I realise – freedom
Is a pause between one rhythm and another,
Which can only be heard inwardly, is achieved in thoughts
And then so rarely oozes out in words.