I am sick of men and women
but am not therefore going
sentimental and praising the wisdom of animals
(unlike us, they are wise without praise).
Nor in order to look at the stars
do I have to be snide about learn’d Astronomers,
who after all look
at the stars more often than I do.
In sickness I still sing, dogged,
the intellectual passion.
I will not even with Jeffers
turn to the rocks enduring
before us and after.
what good is a rock not looked at?
The landscape within me these days
is of stone: mountains,
stars, the open sky.
Not even trees. The beaches
empty in twilight.
is a stone on fire.
A mind, an eye
is stone-dust, is star-stuff
and the light that fills it
is the light.
Are those grey coasts I walk on
the shores of the beginning
or the margins of the last chapter?
I do not know. I walk there
alone on the edges
angry, afraid, and uncertain
with my eyes wide open.
Excerpted from Ursula K. Le Guin: Collected Poems. Copyright © 2023 by Library of America. Courtesy of the Estate of Ursula K. Le Guin. Used by permission of the publisher.