The Eagle and the Mole

Avoid the reeking herd,
Shun the polluted flock,
Live like that stoic bird,
The eagle of the rock.

The huddled warmth of crowds
Begets and fosters hate;
He keeps above the clouds
His cliff inviolate.

When flocks are folded warm,
And herds to shelter run,
He sails above the storm,
He stares into the sun.

If in the eagle’s track
Your sinews cannot leap,
Avoid the lathered pack,
Turn from the steaming sheep.

If you would keep your soul
From spotted sight or sound,
Live like the velvet mole:
Go burrow underground.

And there hold intercourse
With roots of trees and stones,
With rivers at their source,
And disembodied bones.

– Elinor Wylie

The grass beside my elbow parted to reveal

the cat, stepping out in his seven-league boots, with a 4-inch-long bright green grasshopper in his jaws. […] It immediately began to trill, a noise that sounded as if in the body of this insect the grass had gone to emerald, sparkling like newly pressed sap. Translated through that insect intelligence, it had become music. If I had been asked to make music out of grass, I would have transcribed the movement of grass stalks, the way they sweep and weave in shadow and light over distance. I would have talked about mathematics, not about colour and sap. But then, I’m not an insect.

I stepped out into the knee-high clover and laughed and called Diane over, for the grass all around me was covered with those insects. There were hundreds of them chirping their bird-like bell tones in that small field I had let grow wild, and nowhere else.

After a couple minutes, both of the cats were prowling through the music like bad liner notes. […] All the time, the little brass songs of the insects rose out of the grass like Adam’s name for the grass itself.

– Winging Home, page 199-200,
Harold Rhenisch