Prisoner Interrogation During War

The tormentor slammed the heavy wrought iron door.
"No information yet from this guy" he mumbled to himself
"But we have ways, yes we do," he continued to murmur to himself.
After all the prisoner, captured from the underground was very fortunate.
"How may in his group in the forest? How many women? Weapons? What are they up to next?
It was like an annoying ant on a thick-skinned elephant/
Besides the lieutenant realized, we're losing the damned war.
How will it end? How many more months?

Tourists

Visits of condolence is all we get from them.
They squat at the Holocaust Memorial,
They put on grave faces at the Wailing Wall
And they laugh behind heavy curtains
In their hotels.
They have their pictures taken
Together with our famous dead
At Rachel's Tomb and Herzl's Tomb
And on Ammunition Hill.
They weep over our sweet boys
And lust after our tough girls
And hang up their underwear
To dry quickly
In cool, blue bathrooms.


The Testimony Of Light

Our life is a fire dampened, or a fire shut up in stone.
--Jacob Boehme, De Incarnatione Verbi

Outside everything visible and invisible a blazing maple.
Daybreak: a seam at the curve of the world. The trousered legs of the women
shimmered.
They held their arms in front of them like ghosts.

The coal bones of the house clinked in a kimono of smoke.
An attention hovered over the dream where the world had been.

For if Hiroshima in the morning, after the bomb has fallen,


Paradise Seed

Where is the seed
Of the tree felled,
Of the forest burned,
Or living root
Under ash and cinders?
From woven bud
What last leaf strives
Into life, last
Shrivelled flower?
Is fruit of our harvest,
Our long labour
Dust to the core?
To what far, fair land
Borne on the wind
What winged seed
Or spark of fire
From holocaust
To kindle a star?


My Heart Was Wandering in the Sands

MY heart was wandering in the sands,
a restless thing, a scorn apart;
Love set his fire in my hands,
I clasp’d the flame unto my heart.

Surely, I said, my heart shall turn
one fierce delight of pointed flame;
and in that holocaust shall burn
its old unrest and scorn and shame:

surely my heart the heavens at last
shall storm with fiery orisons,
and know, enthroned in the vast,
the fervid peace of molten suns.

The flame that feeds upon my heart


Millenial Hymn to Lord Shiva

Earth no longer
hymns the Creator,
the seven days of wonder,
the Garden is over —
all the stories are told,
the seven seals broken
all that begins
must have its ending,
our striving, desiring,
our living and dying,
for Time, the bringer
of abundant days
is Time the destroyer —
In the Iron Age
the Kali Yuga
To whom can we pray
at the end of an era
but the Lord Shiva,
the Liberator, the purifier?

Our forests are felled,
our mountains eroded,
the wild places


Liberty

New Castle, July 4, 1878

or a hundred years the pulse of time
Has throbbed for Liberty;
For a hundred years the grand old clime
Columbia has been free;
For a hundred years our country's love,
The Stars and Stripes, has waved above.

Away far out on the gulf of years--
Misty and faint and white
Through the fogs of wrong--a sail appears,
And the Mayflower heaves in sight,
And drifts again, with its little flock
Of a hundred souls, on Plymouth Rock.


Burning Drift-Wood

Before my drift-wood fire I sit,
And see, with every waif I burn,
Old dreams and fancies coloring it,
And folly's unlaid ghosts return.

O ships of mine, whose swift keels cleft
The enchanted sea on which they sailed,
Are these poor fragments only left
Of vain desires and hopes that failed?

Did I not watch from them the light
Of sunset on my towers in Spain,
And see, far off, uploom in sight
The Fortunate Isles I might not gain?

Did sudden lift of fog reveal


A Recantation

1917


What boots it on the Gods to call?
Since, answered or unheard,
We perish with the Gods and all
Things made--except the Word.

Ere certain Fate had touched a heart
By fifty years made cold,
I judged thee, Lyde, and thy art
O'erblown and over-bold.

But he--but he, of whom bereft
I suffer vacant days--
He on his shield not meanly left
He cherished all thy lays.

Witness the magic coffer stocked
With convoluted runes
Wherein thy very voice was locked


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