Winter

When icicles hang by the wall
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail
And Tom bears logs into the hall,
And milk comes frozen home in pail,
When Blood is nipped and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
Tu-who;
Tu-whit, tu-who: a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

When all aloud the wind doth blow,
And coughing drowns the parson's saw,
And birds sit brooding in the snow,
And Marian's nose looks red and raw
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,


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Wordsworth

Wordsworth, thy music like a river rolls
Among the mountains, and thy song is fed
By living springs far up the watershed;
No whirling flood nor parching drought controls
The crystal current: even on the shoals
It murmurs clear and sweet; and when its bed
Darkens below mysterious cliffs of dread,
Thy voice of peace grows deeper in our souls.

But thou in youth hast known the breaking stress
Of passion, and hast trod despair's dry ground
Beneath black thoughts that wither and destroy.


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Woolworth's

for Greg Fallon

A kid yells "Mother Fucker" out the school bus window.
I don't think anyone notices the afternoon clouds turning pink along the horizon,
sunlight dripping down the stone facades,
the ancient names of old stores fading like the last century
above the street, above the Spandex women who adjust their prize buttocks,
sweating in the sun as I wonder how this city that has no more memory of itself
than a river has of rain, survives.

Is it just a matter of time, or that peasant woman


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Women's Suffrage

Fellow men! why should the lords try to despise
And prohibit women from having the benefit of the parliamentary Franchise?
When they pay the same taxes as you and me,
I consider they ought to have the same liberty.

And I consider if they are not allowed the same liberty,
From taxation every one of them should be set free;
And if they are not, it is really very unfair,
And an act of injustice I most solemnly declare.

Women, farmers, have no protection as the law now stands;


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Women's Rights

You cannot rob us of the rights we cherish,
Nor turn our thoughts away
From the bright picture of a "Woman's Mission"
Our hearts portray.

We claim to dwell, in quiet and seclusion,
Beneath the household roof,--
From the great world's harsh strife, and jarring voices,
To stand aloof;--

Not in a dreamy and inane abstraction
To sleep our life away,
But, gathering up the brightness of home sunshine,
To deck our way.

As humble plants by country hedgerows growing,
That treasure up the rain,


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Woe

It is true, our tribe is similar to the bees,
It gathers honey of wisdom, carries it, stores it in honeycombs.
I am able to roam for hours
Through the labyrinth of the main library, floor to floor.
But yesterday, looking for the words of masters and prophets,
I wandered into high regions
That are visited by practically no one.
I would open a book and could decipher nothing.
For letters faded and disappeared from the pages.
Woe! I exclaimed-so it comes to this?
Where are you, venerable ones, with your beards and wigs,


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Within the Alamo

He drew a straight line
Across the dirt floor:
Within, it was death-still--
Without, was a roar
And a scream of the trumpets:
Within, was a Word--
And a line drawn clean
By the sweep of a sword.
No help was coming, now--
That hope was done.
No more the free air,
no more the sun
Bright on the blue leagues
Of buffalo-clover.
Travis drew a line
And they all crossed over.
Travis had a wife at home,
Travis was young;
Travis had a little boy
Whose tight arms clung,


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With the Cattle

The drought is down on field and flock,
The river-bed is dry;
And we must shift the starving stock
Before the cattle die.
We muster up with weary hearts
At breaking of the day,
And turn our heads to foreign parts,
To take the stock away.
And it’s hunt ‘em up and dog ‘em,
And it’s get the whip and flog ‘em,
For it’s weary work, is droving, when they’re dying every day;
By stock routes bare and eaten,
On dusty roads and beaten,
With half a chance to save their lives we take the stock away.


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Wisteria

The first purple wisteria
I recall from boyhood hung
on a wire outside the windows
of the breakfast room next door
at the home of Steve Pisaris.
I loved his tall, skinny daughter,
or so I thought, and I would wait
beside the back door, prostrate,
begging to be taken in. Perhaps
it was only the flowers of spring
with their sickening perfumes
that had infected me. When Steve
and Sophie and the three children
packed up and made the move west,
I went on spring after spring,


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Winter Uplands

The frost that stings like fire upon my cheek,
The loneliness of this forsaken ground,
The long white drift upon whose powdered peak
I sit in the great silence as one bound;
The rippled sheet of snow where the wind blew
Across the open fields for miles ahead;
The far-off city towered and roofed in blue
A tender line upon the western red;
The stars that singly, then in flocks appear,
Like jets of silver from the violet dome,
So wonderful, so many and so near,


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