While Gazing on the Moon's Light

While gazing on the moon's light,
A moment from her smile I turn'd,
To look at orbs that, more bright,
In lone and distant glory burn'd.
But too far
Each proud star,
For me to feel its warming flame;
Much more dear
That mild sphere,
Which near our planet smiling came;
Thus, Mary, be but thou my own,
While brighter eyes unheeded play,
I'll love those moonlight looks alone
That bless my home and guide my way.

The day had sunk in dim showers,
But midnight now, with lustre meet,


Whene'er I See Those Smiling Eyes

Whene'er I see those smiling eyes,
So full of hope, and joy, and light,
As if no cloud could ever rise,
To dim a heaven so purely bright --
I sigh to think how soon that brow
In grief may lose its every ray,
And that light heart, so joyous now,
Almost forget it once was gay.

For time will come with all its blights,
The ruin'd hope, the friend unkind,
And love, that leaves, where'er it lights,
A chill'd or burning heart behind:
While youth, that now like snow appears,


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?


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 Shadow Chases Light

This is my delight,
thus to wait and watch at the wayside
where shadow chases light
and the rain comes in the wake of the summer.

Messengers, with tidings from unknown skies,
greet me and speed along the road.
My heart is glad within,
and the breath of the passing breeze is sweet.

From dawn till dusk I sit here before my door,
and I know that of a sudden
the happy moment will arrive when I shall see.

In the meanwhile I smile and I sing all alone.


Where is it Clean

when your mother can rise from her place
on the pew during the early service,

early enough that the sun barely fills the sky
with its weak straw, but row after row

in the auditorium is flush with folks who want
to be home before the football game gets underway

or hate the slower pace the later service takes
but still got to get their god on

before starting a new week: when she can rise
and tip down the aisle, three-inch heels

pointing a warning at hell through the plush


When you were born in this world - Dohas II

When you were born in this world
Everyone laughed while you cried
Conduct NOT yourself in manner such
That they laugh when you are gone

Kabir's mind got cleansed like the holy Ganges water
Now everyone follows, saying Kabir Kabir

Guru the washer man, disciple is the cloth
The name of God liken to the soap
Wash the mind on foundation firm
To realize the glow of Truth

Alive one sees, alive one knows
Thus crave for salvation when full of life


When you wake tomorrow

I will give you a poem when you wake tomorrow.
It will be a peaceful poem.
It won’t make you sad.
It won’t make you miserable.
It will simply be a poem to give you
When you wake tomorrow.

It was not written by myself alone.
I cannot lay claim to it.
I found it in your body.
In your smile I found it.
Will you recognise it?

You will find it under your pillow.
When you open the cupboard it will be there.
You will blink in astonishment,
Shout out, ‘How it trembles!


When You Meet a Man from Your Own Home Town

Sing, O Muse, in treble clef,
A little song of the A.E.F.,
And pardon me, please, if I give vent
To something akin to sentiment.
But we have our moments Over Here
When we want to cry and we want to cheer;
And the hurrah feeling will not down
When you meet a man from your own home town.

It's many a lonesome, longsome day
Since you embarked from the U.S.A.,
And you met some men--it's a great big war--
From towns that you never had known before;
And you landed here, and your rest camp mate


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