all pictures of poets are gray
and cold like handled dusty brooms
like staves that wait at iron dooryards
to clean up attics of being-sold barns
and houses where children cry in their beds.
i put on gray some years ago
a volunteer of duty, not joy
i was the reluctant doorbelling boy
and rarely i roamed beyond it.
winter's messengers are legion crows
its implements: charcoal smoke and snow
winter and company built a monopoly
over the hemisphere whole; no man
gave them permission. God did.
summertime sometimes gives rust
often the sun shines on ashes and dust
but, on the far side of a mountain
one evergreen pine sprite fountain
in the heart of a Maine May
can fill up our lungs with day
and free us this moment from gray.
Need you not my life to hear:
I was born, now I am here.
If few words disinterest thee,
Cut the limb and leave the tree.
Will you jump to laugh and jeer
Something slim or slight or mere?
Tales without a finite end,
Records played out, year by year, is
All I have to offer, and to
You, who whistles troves of them,
Heaps of wool 'twould be to shear.
Why pay mind, when all I wrote were
Songs of a resolving note?
If but one would come sincere,
I would, glad, delight their ear.
I would start to weave a thread,
Then my life would seem less dead.
But, as prying faces peer,
Wherefore I remain austere.
So there's nothing more to see;
Birth and death defineth me.
I was born, now I am here:
Need you not the rest to hear.
Four enchanted rainbows
From earth's fair far corners
Surge west at red canyons,
Cris-crossing my heartstone.
One by one, each sect fades—
Blue, yellow, every shade—
Becoming one pure white.
The Sky Jeweler fuses
The flowing lava streams
(Decanted airs, sunbeams)
With cloudless glints of light.
O jovial Jeweler,
Take this magic mission:
Cast a precious diamond
From carbon flakes and coal;
Meld my multicolored heart
And make me truly whole.
oh speckled albatross
purveyor of stacked rocks
when you float
how a worthy note
issues from your auburn throat
golden's the cap
on your pope hat of brass
oh gallant albatross
eleven feet across
when you glide
how your wingside
sweeps beats with the swollen tide
proud is the wash
wind that keeps you aloft
I clung contemptuously
to summerborne auburn misgivings
I sung a tempt to you thusly
but truth overshadowed forgivings
the sun is orange
it blazes hot
but doesn't warm me
i am cold
i am blue
for you, for you
I live in a nation called America,
and, today, I am human.