On What Planet Uniformly over the whole countryside The warm air flows imperceptibly seaward; The autumn haze drifts in deep bands Over the pale water; White egrets stand in the blue marshes; Tamalpais, Diablo, St. Helena Float in the air. Climbing on the cliffs of Hunter's Hill We look out over fifty miles of sinuous Interpenetration of mountains and sea. Leading up a twisted chimney, Just as my eyes rise to the level Of a small cave, two white owls Fly out, silent, close to my face. They hover, confused in the sunlight, And disappear into the recesses of the cliff. All day I have been watching a new climber, A young girl with ash blond hair And gentle confident eyes. She climbs slowly, precisely, With unwasted grace. While I am coiling the ropes, Watching the spectacular sunset, She turns to me and says, quietly, "It must be very beautiful, the sunset, On Saturn, with the rings and all the moons."
[Thanks go to David Graham for passing this along.]