"Death Rides by a Comanche Moon"

by ENahte

Upon the darkened prairie
a Comanche Moon shines,
rising from the horizon
and a swath of yellow pines.

Rousted from the tall grass
where buffaloes once roamed--
rabbits, ferrets and bobwhites
from the safety of their homes.

The ground doth tremble
and the earth doth quake.
Advancing shadows from the forest
disrupt the peaceful state.

Grasshoppers fly from their perch.
Wolf packs bound out of sight.
Something deadly stalks the prairie
shedding blood on the moon this night.

Troth with the Dead

The moon is broken in twain, and half a moon
Before me lies on the still, pale floor of the sky;
The other half of the broken coin of troth
Is buried away in the dark, where the still dead lie.
They buried her half in the grave when they laid her away;
I had pushed it gently in among the thick of her hair
Where it gathered towards the plait, on that very last day;
And like a moon in secret it is shining there.

My half shines in the sky, for a general sign
Of the troth with the dead I pledged myself to keep;


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Tz'u No. 11

To the tune of "Lamentation"

It was far into the night when, intoxicated,
I took off my ornaments;
The plum flower withered in my hair.

Recovered from tipsiness,
the lingering smell of wine
broke my fond dream
before my dreaming soul could find
my way home.

All is quiet.
The moon lingers,
And the emerald screen hangs low.
I caress the withered flower,
Fondle the fragrant petals,
Trying to bring back the lost time.


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Tz'u No. 1

To the tune "Courtyard Filled with Fragrance"

Fragrant grass beside the pond
green shade over the hall
a clear cold comes through
the window curtains
crescent moon beyond the golden bars
and a flute sounds
as if someone were coming
but alone on my mat with a cup
gazing sadly into nothingness
I want to call back
the blackberry flowers
that have fallen
though pear blossoms remain
for in that distant year
I came to love their fresh fragrance
scenting my sleeve


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Two Wishes XI

In the silence of the night Death descended from God toward the earth. He hovered above a city and pierced the dwellings with his eyes. He say the spirits floating on wings of dreams, and the people who were surrendered to the Slumber.

When the moon fell below the horizon and the city became black, Death walked silently among the houses -- careful to touch nothing -- until he reached a palace. He entered through the bolted gates undisturbed, and stood by the rich man's bed; and as Death touched his forehead, the sleeper's eyes opened, showing great fright.


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Two Poems from the War

Oh, not the loss of the accomplished thing!
Not dumb farewells, nor long relinquishment
Of beauty had, and golden summer spent,
And savage glory of the fluttering
Torn banners of the rain, and frosty ring
Of moon-white winters, and the imminent
Long-lunging seas, and glowing students bent
To race on some smooth beach the gull's wing:

Not these, nor all we've been, nor all we've loved,
The pitiful familiar names, had moved
Our hearts to weep for them; but oh, the star
The future is! Eternity's too wan


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Twilight on Sixth Avenue at Ninth Street

Over the tops of the houses
Twilight and sunset meet.
The green, diaphanous dusk
Sinks to the eager street.

Astray in the tangle of roofs
Wanders a wind of June.
The dial shines in the clock-tower
Like the face of a strange-scrawled moon.

The narrowing lines of the houses
Palely begin to gleam,
And the hurrying crowds fade softly
Like an army in a dream.

Above the vanishing faces
A phantom train flares on


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Twilight on Sandusky Marsh

Low in the west the moon's slim crescent swings.
Across the marsh the vesper breezes bear
The sounds of gloaming; from far cornfields fare
The chittering blackbirds, whose ingathering brings
The silken flutter of a myriad wings.
The wild duck's cry floats down the thickening air
As of one hunted, full of fear and care.
Sad twilight comes with dubious whisperings.
How changed from that exultant world which lay
In the wide smile of noon! The evening's shiver
Means the day's death; its thronging whispers blend


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Travels With John Hunter

We who travel between worlds
lose our muscle and bone.
I was wheeling a barrow of earth
when agony bayoneted me.

I could not sit, or lie down,
or stand, in Casualty.
Stomach-calming clay caked my lips,
I turned yellow as the moon

and slid inside a CAT-scan wheel
in a hospital where I met no one
so much was my liver now my dire
preoccupation. I was sped down a road.

of treetops and fishing-rod lightpoles
towards the three persons of God


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