Where bells no more affright the morn

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Where bells no more affright the morn—
Where scrabble never comes—
Where very nimble Gentlemen
Are forced to keep their rooms—

Where tired Children placid sleep
Thro' Centuries of noon
This place is Bliss—this town is Heaven—
Please, Pater, pretty soon!

"Oh could we climb where Moses stood,
And view the Landscape o'er"
Not Father's bells—nor Factories,
Could scare us any more!

Widow and Very Special Mother

In nineteen hundred twenty four,
Because our father died,
Our mother had to go to work,
And swallow family pride.
She had three youngsters then to raise;
It was no easy task;
For handout or for charity,
She wouldn't ever ask.

She paid her way, and theirs, as well,
An everlasting grind:
Example of the highest type
That one could ever find.
From typist to important jobs,
Advancing all the way;
Was dedicated to her work,
And she was there to stay.

Why

The little child crosses the street--
Why does she wave to me?
What sees she in my wasted form
To hail so joyously?

Her olive face and curly hair
Are tidings of earth-peace,
Her golden smile's a wreath of joy
That bids my sorrows cease.

To me she is a fairy sprite--
A heavenly harbringer
Whose sun-kissed eyes are songs of God--
But what am I to her?

Why We Tell Stories

For Linda Foster

I
Because we used to have leaves
and on damp days
our muscles feel a tug,
painful now, from when roots
pulled us into the ground

and because our children believe
they can fly, an instinct retained
from when the bones in our arms
were shaped like zithers and broke
neatly under their feathers

and because before we had lungs
we knew how far it was to the bottom
as we floated open-eyed
like painted scarves through the scenery
of dreams, and because we awakened

Why the Jackass Laughs

The Boastful Crow and the Laughing Jack
Were telling tales of the outer back:
"I've just been travelling far and wide,
At the back of Bourke and the Queensland side;
There isn't a bird in the bush can go
As far as me," said the old black crow.
"There isn't a bird in the bush can fly
A course as straight or a course as high.
Higher than human eyesight goes.

Why Art Thou Thus Cast Down, My Heart

Why art thou thus cast down, my heart?
Why troubled, why dost mourn apart,
O'er nought but earthly wealth?
Trust in thy God, be not afraid,
He is thy Friend who all things made.

Dost think thy prayers He doth not heed?
He knows full well what thou dost need,
And heaven and earth are His;
My Father and my God, who still
Is with my soul in every ill.

Who Understands Me But Me

They turn the water off, so I live without water,
they build walls higher, so I live without treetops,
they paint the windows black, so I live without sunshine,
they lock my cage, so I live without going anywhere,
they take each last tear I have, I live without tears,
they take my heart and rip it open, I live without heart,
they take my life and crush it, so I live without a future,
they say I am beastly and fiendish, so I have no friends,
they stop up each hope, so I have no passage out of hell,

Where We Live Now

1

We live here because the houses
are clean, the lawns run
right to the street

and the streets run away.
No one walks here.
No one wakens at night or dies.

The cars sit open-eyed
in the driveways.
The lights are on all day.

2

At home forever, she has removed
her long foreign names
that stained her face like hair.

She smiles at you, and you think
tears will start from the corners
of her mouth. Such a look

Where Once the Waters of Your Face

Where once the waters of your face
Spun to my screws, your dry ghost blows,
The dead turns up its eye;
Where once the mermen through your ice
Pushed up their hair, the dry wind steers
Through salt and root and roe.

Where once your green knots sank their splice
Into the tided cord, there goes
The green unraveller,
His scissors oiled, his knife hung loose
To cut the channels at their source
And lay the wet fruits low.

Where my sight goes

Who knows
Where my sight goes,
What your sight shows---
Where the peachtree blows?

The frogs sing
Of everything
And children run
As leaves swing.

And many women pass
Dressed in white,
As thoughts of noon pass
From sea to sea.

And all these things would take
My life from me.

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