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 up the ladder and round the bend
age spirals like a convolvulus
its bells break into the light
catching breath with their beauty
but how in the sightless earth
its roots work to a wise agenda

for all the seasonal pleasures
sun and open air afford us
we grow below more tightly
(knowing squeezed into essence)
till each pinch of inner space
networks our darkest truths

the convolvulus keeps climbing
probing wise tendrils into gaps
the sun still clings to - and finds
fresher vantage points to spell
its bright peals out - age stays young
turns its patterns into poems

flowers are to ring out loud
what roots keep tight about
and up the ladder round the bend
dances stately or bizarre
measure the joy of living
how lightly we twine or twist

they trumpet to the stars
and we are stretched ourselves
between the fixed earth and
the sky's impossible dimensions
such a step we have to make
to keep in tune with both

age brings the calm to do it
our plant has been spaced out
into its true proportions
nothing has to boast to let
its grace show - content to be
up the ladder and round the bend

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