Cento II

     A light moves on the north sky line.
     Light on the foam, breathed on by
     zephyrs, & a world is covered with jade.

     Dig well & drink of the water. I would
     put it in better order than this is. Not
     that it were natural opposite, but only

     twisteth out of natural measure. Wild
     geese swoop to the sand-bar, heaping
     the pyre with goods for sacrifice. Then

     comes a catalogue, disjunct in mid
     darkness, & all the time, there were
     people going in front of the Moscow

     station. A swollen magpie in a fitful
     sun entered the quiet air, the new sky.

Cento IV

     Smoke hangs on the stream, ply
     over ply, thin glitter of water;
     moves like a worm, in the crowd.

     The valley is thick with leaves,
     with a black border half an inch
     or more deep, with leaves, the trees.

     There was a man there talking,
     working up to a climax. Holding
     his power even though the gondolas

     cost too much, that year. A black
     cock crows in the sea-foam. Moves
     like a worm. The camel drivers

     sit in the turn of the stairs.
     Some cook, some do not cook.

Lines from The Cantos

Mark Young‘s most recent book is random salamanders (2017), a Wanton Text Production.