Villanelle: No End and No Beginning


There is no end and no beginning.
Always this thought had troubled me
when I found myself in a new season

watching the turning sea and leaves
as I turned through years and vanished dreams,
finding no end and no beginning.

I thought this watching you that morning
you spoke of finding peace: what peace
would I find myself in this new season?

Nothing can come from such brief meeting;
I took no thought to watch surfs break free,
expecting no end and no beginning,

but to my surprise I find myself singing
old songs to you as I walk by the sea,
finding myself in this new season.

You taught me what I knew of teaching,
there will be time to learn new dreams.
I find myself in a new season,
there is no end and no beginning.



8 Sept 1963
for Dorothy, in Mendocino


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