Whitman, Not a Cardiologist

by Lee Slonimsky

I never knew the way the earth’s pulse beat
until I stood long hours at this spout
where water sputtered forth each now and then,
as if an open capillary breathed
its salty cargo to the still blue air
up on this cliff, next to the glimmering sea.
Walt Whitman, not a cardiologist
would nonetheless perceive this flow of pulse
and shimmer of its rainbows stalking mist
that congregates above the granite hole,
an open ended vein of the great heart
that pulses on four thousand miles below.
The sea’s as tranquil as a butterfly:
not a ripple to suggest
a worry, caution, sigh.
More a sense of blue-washed earth at rest.