On Body Forms: Photos by Klaus Kampert
The City Limits
by A. R. Ammons
When you consider the radiance, that it does not withhold
itself but pours its abundance without selection into every
nook and cranny not overhung or hidden; when you consider
that birds' bones make no awful noise against the light but
lie low in the light as in a high testimony; when you consider
the radiance, that it will look into the guiltiest
swervings of the weaving heart and bear itself upon them,
not flinching into disguise or darkening; when you consider
the abundance of such resource as illuminates the glow-blue
bodies and gold-skeined wings of flies swarming the dumped
guts of a natural slaughter or the coil of shit and in no
way winces from its storms of generosity; when you consider
that air or vacuum, snow or shale, squid or wolf, rose or lichen,
each is accepted into as much light as it will take, then
the heart moves roomier, the man stands and looks about, the
leaf does not increase itself above the grass, and the dark
work of the deepest cells is of a tune with May bushes
and fear lit by the breadth of such calmly turns to praise.
I love thinking how so much of Ammons' greatest poetry he wrote while an elementary school principal, a real estate salesman, an editor, and an executive in his father's biological glass company. His surprising and swerving mind embues the world we live our lives in with the radiance of meaning and beauty.
Varanasi is the epicenter of Hinduism, its Holy City, its Rome or Mecca. In his series, Holy Men: Varanasi , India, Joey L finds these wonderfully expressive faces of holy men, women and boys in his gorgeous portraits.