To-Day, This Insect

To-day, this insect, and the world I breathe,
Now that my symbols have outelbowed space,
Time at the city spectacles, and half
The dear, daft time I take to nudge the sentence,
In trust and tale I have divided sense,
Slapped down the guillotine, the blood-red double
Of head and tail made witnesses to this
Murder of Eden and green genesis.

The insect certain is the plague of fables.

This story's monster has a serpent caul,
Blind in the coil scrams round the blazing outline,


To Winter

"Blow, blow, thou winter wind."
Away from here,
And I shall greet thy passing breath
Without a tear.

I do not love thy snow and sleet
Or icy flows;
When I must jump or stamp to warm
My freezing toes.

For why should I be happy or
E'en be merry,
In weather only fitted for
Cook or Peary.

My eyes are red, my lips are blue
My ears frost bitt'n;
Thy numbing kiss doth e'en extend
Thro' my mitten.

I am cold, no matter how I warm
Or clothe me;


To The Man Of The High North

My rhymes are rough, and often in my rhyming
I've drifted, silver-sailed, on seas of dream,
Hearing afar the bells of Elfland chiming,
Seeing the groves of Arcadie agleam.

I was the thrall of Beauty that rejoices
From peak snow-diademed to regal star;
Yet to mine aerie ever pierced the voices,
The pregnant voices of the Things That Are.

The Here, the Now, the vast Forlorn around us;
The gold-delirium, the ferine strife;
The lusts that lure us on, the hates that hound us;


To Robert Nichols

(From Frise on the Somme in February, 1917, in answer to a letter saying: “I am just finishing my ‘Faun’s Holiday.’ I wish you were here to feed him with cherries.”)


Here by a snowbound river
In scrapen holes we shiver,
And like old bitterns we
Boom to you plaintively:
Robert, how can I rhyme
Verses for your desire—
Sleek fauns and cherry-time,
Vague music and green trees,
Hot sun and gentle breeze,
England in June attire,
And life born young again,
For your gay goatish brute


To Rinaldo

SOFT is the balmy breath of May,
When from the op'ning lids of day
Meek twilight steals; and from its wings
Translucent pearls of ether flings.
MILD is the chaste Moon's languid eye,
When gliding down the dappled sky
She feebly lifts her spangled bow,
Around her glitt'ring darts to throw.­
SWEET are the aromatic bowers,
When Night sends forth refreshing showers
O'er every thirsty fainting bud,
That drinks with joy the grateful flood.
Yet, can the deeply wounded Mind,


Young Love

I

I cannot heed the words they say,
The lights grow far away and dim,
Amid the laughing men and maids
My eyes unbidden seek for him.

I hope that when he smiles at me
He does not guess my joy and pain,
For if he did, he is too kind
To ever look my way again.

II

I have a secret in my heart
No ears have ever heard,
And still it sings there day by day
Most like a caged bird.

And when it beats against the bars,
I do not set it free,


Your Feet

When I cannot look at your face
I look at your feet.
Your feet of arched bone,
your hard little feet.
I know that they support you,
and that your sweet weight
rises upon them.
Your waist and your breasts,
the doubled purple
of your nipples,
the sockets of your eyes
that have just flown away,
your wide fruit mouth,
your red tresses,
my little tower.
But I love your feet
only because they walked
upon the earth and upon
the wind and upon the waters,


Young Henry

Air -- "Drummer Boy of Waterloo"

I
Young Henry was as faithful boy
As ever stood on the American soil,
And he did enlist, without a doubt,
When the rebellion was broke out.
II
He was his parents' only son,
And only child he was but one,
That was a girl aged seventeen,
Henry called her his May Queen.
III
Young Henry said, "Dear sister May,
What do you think my friends will say?
For now my name is on the roll,
And I down south will have to go."
IV


You Can Be A Republican, I'm A Genocrat

Oh, "rorty" was a mid-Victorian word
Which meant "fine, splendid, jolly,"
And often to me it has reoccurred
In moments melancholy.
For instance, children, I think it rorty
To be with people over forty.

I can't say which, come eventide,
More tedious I find;
Competing with the juvenile stride,
Or meeting the juvenile mind.
So I think it rorty, yes, and nifty,
To be with people over fifty.

The pidgin talk the youthful use
Bypasses conversation.
I can't believe the code they choose


You Asked How formerly Even Now She Is Turning, Saying Everything I Always Wanted Her to Say

At the end there were straws
in her glove compartment, I'd split them open
to taste the familiar bitter residue, near the end
I ate all her Percodans, hungry to know
how far they could take me.
A bottle of red wine each night moved her along
as she wrote, I feel too much, again and again.

You asked how and I said, Suicide, and you asked
how and I said, An overdose, and then
she shot herself, and your eyes filled
with wonder, so I added, In the chest, so you
wouldn't think


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