She moves through the fluent grass
with her un-Platonic waddle,
knowing there never was
a First Idea of Turtle,
only a festoon of turtles
tied mouth to tail through the possible
green, and all is well.
Her back, wide as a pancake,
granite to the predator,
centers her world in complete turtle.
Her eggs are gold and white,
smooth sun and moon, clenching
tight their turtle eternities.
By day, she meditates the earth
to a round swoon, a self-contained silence.
She beholds all opposites
clasped whole in turtle passion.
She glows in her testudine joy
like a Tiffany lamp with feet,
pleased with her own enlightenment.
By night, her ebony eyes
behold the sky curved round with turtles,
strung with turtle gods and angels,
and below, turtles all the way down.
A great turtle grunt announces
a new music of the spheres, each sphere
enshelled in the sweet bell of the universe.
And she asks you:
“What is heaven if not here,
where what I see
in my bright imagery
is all and only what I am,
and what I am is sum of all I’ve seen
in my patient, tortoise journey?”