A long poem is written on the outer ‘petals’ of this heliotrope. Installed March 2012 originally on the Vanderbilt campus.

Awakening Words
“changed, changed utterly
A terrible beauty is born.”


Even a flotilla of angels
Hatched at dazzle dawn
Would be outflanked by
These feeler strands of time

While they seem asleep
Recumbent on the grass
An electric sky applauds
Each tiny stir or twitch

As on the morning tide when
Beach stones pose as eggs
Licked by urgent waves
Splashing slow grey skins

This mole-blind Leviathan
Will surely rattle headstones
As it creaks its way along
Mumbling articulation

While wisest beards observe
The flight of Time’s new firebird
My heart cannot drown the hope
Of your exquisite touch

Trembling with the quiet truth
That what rends the firmament
Casting stars from any track
Is your shadowed descent

And yet desire
Was not born with me

Is not each now brim-bursting
With the future it must bear?
Does not each here long
To nudge a distant there?

Does not every frozen being
Imagine breathing out and in
Does not every resting shape
Fantasize being animate?

All earthly things have dreamed
Of loosening their wings
While birds and butterflies
Are launched on skies beyond

Love may be a straggler
A ripple in the swell
But joy will shed its rosy cheeks
As flotsam in the sound

Lend dormancy your weather eye
A touch, a cosmic hug, a sign,
May soon direct a hungry breeze
Across old Gaia’s loins

Slothful somnambulist
Last raggedy man
This call’s for us for sure
And this time we must take it

Lest with sorry whimpering
We make a legless exit