I feel the caress of my own fingers
on my own neck as I place my collar
and think pityingly
of the kind women I have known.
Pink confused with white
flowers and flowers reversed
take and spill the shaded flame
darting it back
into the lamp’s horn

petals aslant darkened with mauve

red where in whorls
petal lays its glow upon petal
round flamegreen throats

petals radiant with transpiercing light
contending
              above
the leaves
reaching up their modest green
from the pot’s rim

and there, wholly dark, the pot
gay with rough moss.
8.5k
Dawn
Ecstatic bird songs pound
the hollow vastness of the sky
with metallic clinkings—
beating color up into it
at a far edge,—beating it, beating it
with rising, triumphant ardor,—
stirring it into warmth,
quickening in it a spreading change,—
bursting wildly against it as
dividing the horizon, a heavy sun
lifts himself—is lifted—
bit by bit above the edge
of things,—runs free at last
out into the open—!lumbering
glorified in full release upward—
                              songs cease.
In passing with my mind
on nothing in the world

but the right of way
I enjoy on the road by

virtue of the law—
I saw

an elderly man who
smiled and looked away

to the north past a house—
a woman in blue

who was laughing and
leaning forward to look up

into the man’s half
averted face

and a boy of eight who was
looking at the middle of

the man’s belly
at a watchchain—

The supreme importance
of this nameless spectacle

sped me by them
without a word—

Why bother where I went?
for I went spinning on the

four wheels of my car
along the wet road until

I saw a girl with one leg
over the rail of a balcony
7.4k
The Poor
By constantly tormenting them
with reminders of the lice in
their children’s hair, the
School Physician first
brought their hatred down on him.
But by this familiarity
they grew used to him, and so,
at last,
took him for their friend and adviser.
so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens
Of death
the barber
the barber
talked to me

cutting my
life with
sleep to trim
my hair—

It’s just
a moment
he said, we die
every night—

And of
the newest
ways to grow
hair on

bald death—
I told him
of the quartz
lamp

and of old men
with third
sets of teeth
to the cue

of an old man
who said
at the door—
Sunshine today!

for which
death shaves
him twice
a week
5.5k
Primrose
Yellow, yellow, yellow, yellow!
It is not a color.
It is summer!
It is the wind on a willow,
the lap of waves, the shadow
under a bush, a bird, a bluebird,
three herons, a dead hawk
rotting on a pole—
Clear yellow!
It is a piece of blue paper
in the grass or a threecluster of
green walnuts swaying, children
playing croquet or one boy
fishing, a man
swinging his pink fists
as he walks—
It is ladysthumb, forget-me-nots
in the ditch, moss under
the flange of the carrail, the
wavy lines in split rock, a
great oaktree—
It is a disinclination to be
five red petals or a rose, it is
a cluster of birdsbreast flowers
on a red stem six feet high,
four open yellow petals
above sepals curled
backward into reverse spikes—
Tufts of purple grass spot the
green meadow and clouds the sky.
5.3k
Arrival
And yet one arrives somehow,
finds himself loosening the hooks of
her dress
in a strange bedroom—
feels the autumn
dropping its silk and linen leaves
about her ankles.
The tawdry veined body emerges
twisted upon itself
like a winter wind . . . !
School is over.  It is too hot
to walk at ease.  At ease
in light frocks they walk the streets
to while the time away.
They have grown tall.  They hold
pink flames in their right hands.
In white from head to foot,
with sidelong, idle look—
in yellow, floating stuff,
black sash and stockings—
touching their avid mouths
with pink sugar on a stick—
like a carnation each holds in her hand—
they mount the lonely street.
5.1k
Epitaph
An old willow with hollow branches
slowly swayed his few high gright tendrils
and sang:

Love is a young green willow
shimmering at the bare wood’s edge.
4.8k
Daisy
The dayseye hugging the earth
in August, ha!  Spring is
gone down in purple,
weeds stand high in the corn,
the rainbeaten furrow
is clotted with sorrel
and crabgrass, the
branch is black under
the heavy mass of the leaves—
The sun is upon a
slender green stem
ribbed lengthwise.
He lies on his back—
it is a woman also—
he regards his former
majesty and
round the yellow center,
split and creviced and done into
minute flowerheads, he sends out
his twenty rays— a little
and the wind is among them
to grow cool there!

One turns the thing over
in his hand and looks
at it from the rear:  brownedged,
green and pointed scales
armor his yellow.

But turn and turn,
the crisp petals remain
brief, translucent, greenfastened,
barely touching at the edges:
blades of limpid seashell.
The half-stripped trees
struck by a wind together,
bending all,
the leaves flutter drily
and refuse to let go
or driven like hail
stream bitterly out to one side
and fall
where the salvias, hard carmine—
like no leaf that ever was—
edge the bare garden.
4.0k
The Rose
The rose is obsolete
but each petal ends in
an edge, the double facet
cementing the grooved
columns of air—The edge
cuts without cutting
meets—nothing—renews
itself in metal or porcelain—

whither? It ends—

But if it ends
the start is begun
so that to engage roses
becomes a geometry—

Sharper, neater, more cutting
figured in majolica—
the broken plate
glazed with a rose

Somewhere the sense
makes copper roses
steel roses—

The rose carried weight of love
but love is at an end—of roses

It is at the edge of the
petal that love waits

Crisp, worked to defeat
laboredness—fragile
plucked, moist, half-raised
cold, precise, touching

What

The place between the petal’s
edge and the

From the petal’s edge a line starts
that being of steel
infinitely fine, infinitely
rigid penetrates
the Milky Way
without contact—lifting
from it—neither hanging
nor pushing—

The fragility of the flower
unbruised
penetrates space
4.0k
El Hombre
It’s a strange courage
you give me ancient star:

Shine alone in the sunrise
toward which you lend no part!
You sullen pig of a man
you force me into the mud
with your stinking ash-cart!
Brother!
            —if we were rich
we’d stick our chests out
and hold our heads high!
It is dreams that have destroyed us.
There is no more pride
in horses or in rein holding.
We sit hunched together brooding
our fate.

                Well—
all things turn bitter in the end
whether you choose the right or
the left way
                            and—
dreams are not a bad thing.
3.8k
Blizzard
Snow:
years of anger following
hours that float idly down—
the blizzard
drifts its weight
deeper and deeper for three days
or sixty years, eh?  Then
the sun!  a clutter of
yellow and blue flakes—
Hairy looking trees stand out
in long alleys
over a wild solitude.
The man turns and there—
his solitary track stretched out
upon the world.
3.8k
Love Song
Sweep the house clean,
hang fresh curtains
in the windows
put on a new dress
and come with me!
The elm is scattering
its little loaves
of sweet smells
from a white sky!
Who shall hear of us
in the time to come?
Let him say there was
a burst of fragrance
from black branches.
3.0k
Primrose
Yellow, yellow, yellow, yellow!
It is not a color.
It is summer!
It is the wind on a willow,
the lap of waves, the shadow
under a bush, a bird, a bluebird,
three herons, a dead hawk
rotting on a pole—
Clear yellow!
It is a piece of blue paper
in the grass or a threecluster of
green walnuts swaying, children
playing croquet or one boy
fishing, a man
swinging his pink fists
as he walks—
It is ladysthumb, forget-me-nots
in the ditch, moss under
the flange of the carrail, the
wavy lines in split rock, a
great oaktree—
It is a disinclination to be
five red petals or a rose, it is
a cluster of birdsbreast flowers
on a red stem six feet high,
four open yellow petals
above sepals curled
backward into reverse spikes—
Tufts of purple grass spot the
green meadow and clouds the sky.
You say love is this, love is that:
Poplar tassels, willow tendrils
the wind and the rain comb,
tinkle and drip, tinkle and drip—
branches drifting apart.  Hagh!
Love has not even visited this country.
All this —
               was for you, old woman.
I wanted to write a poem
that you would understand.
For what good is it to me
if you can’t understand it?
                   But you got to try hard —
But —
        Well, you know how
the young girls run giggling
on Park Avenue after dark
when they ought to be home in bed?
Well,
that’s the way it is with me somehow.
2.5k
The Poor
By constantly tormenting them
with reminders of the lice in
their children’s hair, the
School Physician first
brought their hatred down on him.
But by this familiarity
they grew used to him, and so,
at last,
took him for their friend and adviser.
I think I have never been so exalted
As I am now by you,
O frost bitten blossoms,
That are unfolding your wings
From out the envious black branches.

Bloom quickly and make much of the sunshine
The twigs conspire against you
Hear them!
They hold you from behind

You shall not take wing
Except wing by wing, brokenly,
And yet—
Even they
Shall not endure for ever.
Light hearted William twirled
his November moustaches
and, half dressed, looked
from the bedroom window
upon the spring weather.

Heigh-ya! sighed he gaily
leaning out to see
up and down the street
where a heavy sunlight
lay beyond some blue shadows.

Into the room he drew
his head again and laughed
to himself quietly
twirling his green moustaches.
2.3k
The Birds
The world begins again!
Not wholly insufflated
the blackbirds in the rain
upon the dead topbranches
of the living tree,
stuck fast to the low clouds,
notate the dawn.
Their shrill cries sound
announcing appetite
and drop among the bending roses
and the dripping grass.
Go to sleep—though of course you will not—
to tideless waves thundering slantwise against
strong embankments, rattle and swish of spray
dashed thirty feet high, caught by the lake wind,
scattered and strewn broadcast in over the steady
car rails!  Sleep, sleep!  Gulls’ cries in a wind-gust
broken by the wind; calculating wings set above
the field of waves breaking.
Go to sleep to the lunge between foam-crests,
refuse churned in the recoil.  Food!  Food!
Offal!  Offal!  that holds them in the air, wave-white
for the one purpose, feather upon feather, the wild
chill in their eyes, the hoarseness in their voices—
sleep, sleep . . .

Gentlefooted crowds are treading out your lullaby.
Their arms nudge, they brush shoulders,
hitch this way then that, mass and surge at the crossings—
lullaby, lullaby!  The wild-fowl police whistles,
the enraged roar of the traffic, machine shrieks:
it is all to put you to sleep,
to soften your limbs in relaxed postures,
and that your head slip sidewise, and your hair loosen
and fall over your eyes and over your mouth,
brushing your lips wistfully that you may dream,
sleep and dream—

A black fungus springs out about the lonely church doors—
sleep, sleep.  The Night, coming down upon
the wet boulevard, would start you awake with his
message, to have in at your window.  Pay no
heed to him.  He storms at your sill with
cooings, with gesticulations, curses!
You will not let him in.  He would keep you from sleeping.
He would have you sit under your desk lamp
brooding, pondering; he would have you
slide out the drawer, take up the ornamented dagger
and handle it.  It is late, it is nineteen-nineteen—
go to sleep, his cries are a lullaby;
his jabbering is a sleep-well-my-baby; he is
a crackbrained messenger.

The maid waking you in the morning
when you are up and dressing,
the rustle of your clothes as you raise them—
it is the same tune.
At table the cold, greeninsh, split grapefruit, its juice
on the tongue, the clink of the spoon in
your coffee, the toast odors say it over and over.

The open street-door lets in the breath of
the morning wind from over the lake.
The bus coming to a halt grinds from its sullen brakes—
lullaby, lullaby.  The crackle of a newspaper,
the movement of the troubled coat beside you—
sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep . . .
It is the sting of snow, the burning liquor of
the moonlight, the rush of rain in the gutters packed
with dead leaves:  go to sleep, go to sleep.
And the night passes—and never passes—
— and from basement entries
neatly coiffed, middle aged gentlemen
with orderly moustaches and
well-brushed coats
When I was younger
it was plain to me
I must make something of myself.
Older now
I walk back streets
admiring the houses
of the very poor:
roof out of line with sides
the yards cluttered
with old chicken wire, ashes,
furniture gone wrong;
the fences and outhouses
built of barrel staves
and parts of boxes, all,
if I am fortunate,
smeared a bluish green
that properly weathered
pleases me best of all colors.

                    No one
will believe this
of vast import to the nation.
There is a bird in the poplars!
It is the sun!
The leaves are little yellow fish
swimming in the river.
The bird skims above them,
day is on his wings.
Phoebus!
It is he that is making
the great gleam among the poplars!
It is his singing
outshines the noise
of leaves clashing in the wind.
There is a bird in the poplars!
It is the sun!
The leaves are little yellow fish
swimming in the river.
The bird skims above them,
day is on his wings.
Phoebus!
It is he that is making
the great gleam among the poplars!
It is his singing
outshines the noise
of leaves clashing in the wind.
School is over.  It is too hot
to walk at ease.  At ease
in light frocks they walk the streets
to while the time away.
They have grown tall.  They hold
pink flames in their right hands.
In white from head to foot,
with sidelong, idle look—
in yellow, floating stuff,
black sash and stockings—
touching their avid mouths
with pink sugar on a stick—
like a carnation each holds in her hand—
they mount the lonely street.
so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens
A middle-northern March, now as always—
gusts from the South broken against cold winds—
but from under, as if a slow hand lifted a tide,
it moves—not into April—into a second March,

the old skin of wind-clear scales dropping
upon the mold: this is the shadow projects the tree
upward causing the sun to shine in his sphere.

So we will put on our pink felt hat—new last year!
—newer this by virtue of brown eyes turning back
the seasons—and let us walk to the orchid-house,
see the flowers will take the prize tomorrow
at the Palace.
                    Stop here, these are our oleanders.
When they are in bloom—
                                       You would waste words
It is clearer to me than if the pink
were on the branch.  It would be a searching in
a colored cloud to reveal that which now, huskless,
shows the very reason for their being.

And these the orange-trees, in blossom—no need
to tell with this weight of perfume in the air.
If it were not so dark in this shed one could better
see the white.
                      It is that very perfume
has drawn the darkness down among the leaves.
Do I speak clearly enough?
It is this darkness reveals that which darkness alone
loosens and sets spinning on waxen wings—
not the touch of a finger-tip, not the motion
of a sigh.  A too heavy sweetness proves
its own caretaker.
And here are the orchids!
                                        Never having seen
such gaiety I will read these flowers for you:
This is an odd January, died—in Villon’s time.
Snow, this is and this the stain of a violet
grew in that place the spring that foresaw its own doom.

And this, a certain July from Iceland:
a young woman of that place
breathed it toward the South.  It took root there.
The color ran true but the plant is small.

This falling spray of snow-flakes is
a handful of dead Februaries
prayed into flower by Rafael Arevalo Martinez
of Guatemala.
                      Here’s that old friend who
went by my side so many years:  this full, fragile
head of veined lavender.  Oh that April
that we first went with our stiff lusts
leaving the city behind, out to the green hill—
May, they said she was.  A hand for all of us:
this branch of blue butterflies tied to this stem.

June is a yellow cup I’ll not name; August
the over-heavy one.  And here are—
russet and shiny, all but March.  And March?
Ah, March—
                   Flowers are a tiresome pastime.
One has a wish to shake them from their pots
root and stem, for the sun to gnaw.

Walk out again into the cold and saunter home
to the fire.  This day has blossomed long enough.
I have wiped out the red night and lit a blaze
instead which will at least warm our hands
and stir up the talk.
                             I think we have kept fair time.
Time is a green orchard.
1.9k
Apology
Why do I write today?

The beauty of
the terrible faces
of our nonentites
stirs me to it:

colored women
day workers—
old and experienced—
returning home at dusk
in cast off clothing
faces like
old Florentine oak.

Also

the set pieces
of your faces stir me—
leading citizens—
but not
in the same way.
1.9k
Play
Subtle, clever brain, wiser than I am,
by what devious means do you contrive
to remian idle?  Teach me, O master.
I have discovered that most of
the beauties of travel are due to
the strange hours we keep to see them:

the domes of the Church of
the Paulist Fathers in Weehawken
against a smoky dawn—the heart stirred —
are beautiful as Saint Peters
approached after years of anticipation.
1.8k
March
I

Winter is long in this climate
and spring—a matter of a few days
only,—a flower or two picked
from mud or from among wet leaves
or at best against treacherous
bitterness of wind, and sky shining
teasingly, then closing in black
and sudden, with fierce jaws.

     II

March,
           you reminded me of
the pyramids, our pyramids—
stript of the polished stone
that used to guard them!
                                    March,
you are like Fra Angelico
at Fiesole, painting on plaster!

March,
             you are like a band of
young poets that have not learned
the blessedness of warmth
(or have forgotten it).
At any rate—
I am moved to write poetry
for the warmth there is in it
and for the loneliness—
a poem that shall have you
    in it March.

     III

See!
         Ashur-ban-i-pal,
the archer king, on horse-back,
in blue and yellow enamel!
with drawn bow—facing lions
standing on their hind legs,
fangs bared!  his shafts
bristling in their necks!

Sacred bulls—dragons
in embossed brickwork
marching—in four tiers—
along the sacred way to
Nebuchadnezzar’s throne hall!
They shine in the sun,
they that have been marching—
marching under the dust of
ten thousand dirt years.

Now—
they are coming into bloom again!
See them!
marching still, bared by
the storms from my calender
—winds that blow back the sand!
winds that enfilade dirt!
winds that by strange craft
have whipt up a black army
that by pick and shovel
bare a procession to
                               the god, Marduk!

Natives cursing and digging
for pay unearth dragons with
upright tails and sacred bulls
alternately—
                      in four tiers—
lining the way to an old altar!
Natives digging at old walls—
digging me warmth—digging me sweet loneliness
high enamelled walls.

     IV

My second spring—
passed in a monastery
with plaster walls—in Fiesole
on the hill above ‘Florence.
My second spring—painted
a virgin—in a blue aureole
sitting on a three-legged stool,
arms crossed—
she is intently serious,
                                  and still
watching an angel
with colored wings
half kneeling before her—
and smiling—the angel’s eyes
holding the eyes of Mary
as a snake’s hold a bird’s.
On the ground there are flowers,
trees are in leaf.

     V

But! now for the battle!
Now for murder—now for the real thing!
My third springtime is approaching!
Winds!
lean, serious as a virgin,
seeking, seeking the flowers of March.

Seeking
flowers nowhere to be found,
they twine among the bare branches
in insatiable eagerness—
they whirl up the snow
seeking under it—
they—the winds—snakelike
roar among yellow reeds
seeking flowers—flowers.

I spring among them
seeking one flower
in which to warm myself!

I deride with all the ridicule
of misery—
my own starved misery.

Counter-cutting winds
    strike against me
refreshing their fury!

Come, good, cold fellows!
    Have we no flowers?
Defy then with even more
desperation than ever—being
    lean and frozen!

But though you are lean and frozen—
think of the blue bulls of Babylon.

Fling yourselves upon
    their empty roses—
              cut savagely!

But—
think of the painted monastery
  at Fiesole.
Vast and grey, the sky
is a simulacrum
to all but him whose days
and vast and grey, and—
In the tall, dried grasses
a goat stirs
with nozzle searching the ground.
—my head is in the air
but who am I . . ?
And amazed my heart leaps
at the thought of love
vast and grey
yearning silently over me.
Pink confused with white
flowers and flowers reversed
take and spill the shaded flame
darting it back
into the lamp’s horn

petals aslant darkened with mauve

red where in whorls
petal lays its glow upon petal
round flamegreen throats

petals radiant with transpiercing light
contending
              above
the leaves
reaching up their modest green
from the pot’s rim

and there, wholly dark, the pot
gay with rough moss.
My shoes as I lean
unlacing them
stand out upon
flat worsted flowers
under my feet.
Nimbly the shadows
of my fingers play
unlacing
over shoes and flowers.
The birches are mad with green points
the wood’s edge is burning with their green,
burning, seething—No, no, no.
The birches are opening their leaves one
by one.  Their delicate leaves unfold cold
and separate, one by one.  Slender tassels
hang swaying from the delicate branch tips—
Oh, I cannot say it.  There is no word.
Black is split at once into flowers.  In
every bog and ditch, flares of
small fire, white flowers!—Agh,
the birches are mad, mad with their green.
The world is gone, torn into shreds
with this blessing.  What have I left undone
that I should have undertaken?

O my brother, you redfaced, living man
ignorant, stupid whose feet are upon
this same dirt that I touch—and eat.
We are alone in this terror, alone,
face to face on this road, you and I,
wrapped by this flame!
Let the polished plows stay idle,
their gloss already on the black soil.
But that face of yours—!
Answer me.  I will clutch you. I
will hug you, grip you.  I will poke my face
into your face and force you to see me.
Take me in your arms, tell me the commonest
thing that is in your mind to say,
say anything.  I will understand you—!
It is the madness of the birch leaves opening
cold, one by one.

My rooms will receive me.  But my rooms
are no longer sweet spaces where comfort
is ready to wait on me with its crumbs.
A darkness has brushed them.  The mass
of yellow tulips in the bowl is shrunken.
Every familiar object is changed and dwarfed.
I am shaken, broken against a might
that splits comfort, blows apart
my careful partitions, crushes my house
and leaves me—with shrinking heart
and startled, empty eyes—peering out
into a cold world.

In the spring I would be drunk!  In the spring
I would be drunk and lie forgetting all things.
Your face!  Give me your face, Yang Kue Fei!
your hands, your lips to drink!
Give me your wrists to drink—
I drag you, I am drowned in you, you
overwhelm me!  Drink!
Save me!  The shad bush is in the edge
of the clearing.  The yards in a fury
of lilac blossoms are driving me mad with terror.
Drink and lie forgetting the world.

And coldly the birch leaves are opening one by one.
Coldly I observe them and wait for the end.
And it ends.
Lady of dusk-wood fastnesses,
Thou art my Lady.
I have known the crisp, splintering leaf-tread with thee on before,
White, slender through green saplings;
I have lain by thee on the brown forest floor
Beside thee, my Lady.
Lady of rivers strewn with stones,
Only thou art my Lady.
Where thousand the freshets are crowded like peasants to a fair;
Clear-skinned, wild from seclusion
They jostle white-armed down the tent-bordered thoroughfare
Praising my Lady.
This plot of ground
facing the waters of this inlet
is dedicated to the living presence of
Emily Dickinson Wellcome
who was born in England; married;
lost her husband and with
her five year old son
sailed for New York in a two-master;
was driven to the Azores;
ran adrift on Fire Island shoal,
met her second husband
in a Brooklyn boarding house,
went with him to Puerto Rico
bore three more children, lost
her second husband, lived hard
for eight years in St. Thomas,
Puerto Rico, San Domingo, followed
the oldest son to New York,
lost her daughter, lost her “baby,”
seized the two boys of
the oldest son by the second marriage
mothered them—they being
motherless—fought for them
against the other grandmother
and the aunts, brought them here
summer after summer, defended
herself here against thieves,
storms, sun, fire,
against flies, against girls
that came smelling about, against
drought, against weeds, storm-tides,
neighbors, weasels that stole her chickens,
against the weakness of her own hands,
against the growing strength of
the boys, against wind, against
the stones, against trespassers,
against rents, against her own mind.

She grubbed this earth with her own hands,
domineered over this grass plot,
blackguarded her oldest son
into buying it, lived here fifteen years,
attained a final loneliness and—

If you can bring nothing to this place
but your carcass, keep out.
1.6k
Postlude
Now that I have cooled to you
Let there be gold of tarnished masonry,
Temples soothed by the sun to ruin
That sleep utterly.
Give me hand for the dances,
Ripples at Philae, in and out,
And lips, my Lesbian,
Wall flowers that once were flame.

Your hair is my Carthage
And my arms the bow,
And our words arrows
To shoot the stars
Who from that misty sea
Swarm to destroy us.

But you there beside me—
Oh, how shall I defy you,
Who wound me in the night
With breasts shining
Like Venus and like Mars?
The night that is shouting Jason
When the loud eaves rattle
As with waves above me
Blue at the prow of my desire.
Your thighs are appletrees
whose blossoms touch the sky.
Which sky?  The sky
where Watteau hung a lady’s
slipper.  Your knees
are a southern breeze—or
a gust of snow.  Agh!  what
sort of man was Fragonard?
—as if that answered
anything.  Ah, yes—below
the knees, since the tune
drops that way, it is
one of those white summer days,
the tall grass of your ankles
flickers upon the shore—
Which shore?—
the sand clings to my lips—
Which shore?
Agh, petals maybe.  How
should I know?
Which shore?  Which shore?
I said petals from an appletree.
1.5k
Blueflags
I stopped the car
to let the children down
where the streets end
in the sun
at the marsh edge
and the reeds begin
and there are small houses
facing the reeds
and the blue mist in the distance
with grapevine trellises
with grape clusters
small as strawberries
on the vines
and ditches
running springwater
that continue the gutters
with willows over them.
The reeds begin
like water at a shore
their pointed petals waving
dark green and light.
But blueflags are blossoming
in the reeds
which the children pluck
chattering in the reeds
high over their heads
which they part
with bare arms to appear
with fists of flowers
till in the air
there comes the smell
of calmus
from wet, gummy stalks.
Light hearted William twirled
his November moustaches
and, half dressed, looked
from the bedroom window
upon the spring weather.

Heigh-ya! sighed he gaily
leaning out to see
up and down the street
where a heavy sunlight
lay beyond some blue shadows.

Into the room he drew
his head again and laughed
to himself quietly
twirling his green moustaches.
It is cold.  The white moon
is up among her scattered stars—
like the bare thighs of
the Police Sergeant’s wife—among
her five children . . .
No answer.  Pale shadows lie upon
the frosted grass.  One answer:
It is midnight, it is still
and it is cold . . . !
White thights of the sky! a
new answer out of the depths of
my male belly:  In April . . .
In April I shall see again—In April!
the round and perfects thighs
of the Police Sergeant’s wife
perfect still after many babies.
Oya!
1.5k
Hic Jacet
The coroner’s merry little children
Have such twinkling brown eyes.
Their father is not of gay men
And their mother jocular in no wise,
Yet the coroner’s merry little children
  Laugh so easily.
They laugh because they prosper.
Fruit for them is upon all branches.
Lo! how they jibe at loss, for
Kind heaven fills their little paunches!
It’s the coroner’s merry, merry children
  Who laugh so easily.
The Archer is wake!
The Swan is flying!
Gold against blue
An Arrow is lying.
There is hunting in heaven—
Sleep safe till tomorrow.
The Bears are abroad!
The Eagle is screaming!
Gold against blue
Their eyes are gleaming!
Sleep!
Sleep safe till tomorrow.
The Sisters lie
With their arms intertwining;
Gold against blue
Their hair is shining!
The Serpent writhes!
Orion is listening!
Gold against blue
His sword is glistening!
Sleep!
There is hunting in heaven—
Sleep safe till tomorrow.
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