by Rhina P. Espaillat
The wind will answer nothing new:
useless to ask it what to do,
what news it’s heard, how much it knows.
The wind’s a phantom, comes and goes
without a word that’s false or true.
Beside the sea you muse alone:
no meaning shapes its monotone,
however long you cup your ear.
The vacuous ranting that you hear
is all these shores have ever known.
Valley and hill and field are mute,
except for what they teach the root
to translate up through stem to leaf.
They have no lexicon for grief;
the flower is silent, and the fruit.
No voice will answer but your own,
plucked on strings or carved on stone,
breathed through stops or brushed with ink,
spent on the void that cannot think,
or utter more than trill or moan.
The wind will answer nothing new;
beside the sea you muse alone;
valley and hill and field are mute;
no voice will answer but your own.