A Poem About George Doty in the Death House

Lured by the wall, and drawn
To stare below the roof,
Where pigeons nest aloof
From prowling cats and men,
I count the sash and bar
Secured to granite stone,
And note the daylight gone,
Supper and silence near.

Close to the wall inside,
Immured, empty of love,
A man I have wondered of
Lies patient, vacant-eye.
A month and a day ago
He stopped his car and found
A girl on the darkening ground,
And killed her in the snow.

Beside his cell, I am told,
Hardy perennial bums


A Peasant

Iago Prytherch his name, though, be it allowed,
Just an ordinary man of the bald Welsh hills,
Who pens a few sheep in a gap of cloud.
Docking mangels, chipping the green skin
From the yellow bones with a half-witted grin
Of satisfaction, or churning the crude earth
To a stiff sea of clods that glint in the wind—
So are his days spent, his spittled mirth
Rarer than the sun that cracks the cheeks
Of the gaunt sky perhaps once in a week.
And then at night see him fixed in his chair


A Nervous Governor-General

We read in the press that Lord Northcote is here
To take up Lord Tennyson's mission.
'Tis pleasant to find they have sent us a Peer,
And a man of exalted position.
It's his business to see that the Radical horde
From loyalty's path does not swerve us;
But his tastes, and the task, don't seem quite in accord
For they say that His Lordship is nervous.
Does he think that wild animals walk in the street,
Where the wary marsupial is hopping?
Does he think that the snake and the platypus meet


A Jungle

Why should anyone call this town a Jungle?
Is it a joke? Is it ignorance?
Is it arrogance?
Or it is just an other image making exercise…

Why should anyone call this town a Jungle?
A town full of schools,
Hospitals, restaurants,
Mansions, roads, well know companies

A town, which has one of the best arts
Museum of the world
A town that can stage an international
Boxing event of the century

A town full of intellectuals, students,
Workers, singers, actors, diplomats,


A Garden In Chicago

In the mid-city, under an oiled sky,
I lay in a garden of such dusky green
It seemed the dregs of the imagination.
Hedged round by elegant spears of iron fence
My face became a moon to absent suns.
A low heat beat upon my reading face;
There rose no roses in that gritty place
But blue-gray lilacs hung their tassels out.
Hard zinnias and ugly marigolds
And one sweet statue of a child stood by.

A gutter of poetry flowed outside the yard,
Making me think I was a bird of prose;


A Dream of Foxes

fox

who
can blame her for hunkering
into the doorwells at night,
the only blaze in the dark
the brush of her hopeful tail,
the only starlight
her little bared teeth?

and when she is not satisfied
who can blame her for refusing to leave,
Master Of The Hunt, why am i
not feeding, not being fed?

the coming of fox

one evening i return
to a red fox
haunched by my door.

i am afraid
although she knows
no enemy comes here.


2 Futilists

Even if the mountain I climbed
Proved to be merely a duncecap It
was only on gaining its peak
That that knowledge reached me.

*

Is there a single inch--
one square millimeter
on the face of our planet
which some animal
human or otherwise
has not shit on?

Is there anywhere even a
pore's-worth of ground--
earth that has never
(not once in its eons)
been covered by what
golgotha of dung?

If such a place exists,
I want to go there


End of Summer 1966

I'm tired of murdering children.
Once, long ago today, they wanted to live;
now I feel Vietnam the place
where rigor mortis is beginning to set-in upon me.

I force silence down the throats of mutes,
down the throats of mating-cries of animals who know they are extinct.
The chameleon's death-soliloquy is your voice's pulse;
your scorched forehead a constellation's suicide-note.

A phonograph needle plunges through long black hair,
and stone drips slowly into our veins.
The earth has been squandered by the meek.


Satire against reason and mankind

Were I (who to my cost already am
One of those strange, prodigious creatures, man)
A spirit free to choose, for my own share,
What case of flesh and blood I pleased to wear,
I'd be a dog, a monkey or a bear,
Or anything but that vain animal
Who is so proud of being rational.

The senses are too gross, and he'll contrive
A sixth, to contradict the other five,
And before certain instinct, will prefer
Reason, which fifty times for one does err;
Reason, an ignis fatuus in the mind,

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