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 Face

With the face goes a mirror
As with the mind a world.
Likeness tells the doubting eye
That strangeness is not strange.
At an early hour and knowledge
Identity not yet familiar
Looks back upon itself from later,
And seems itself.

To-day seems now.
With reality-to-be goes time.
With the mind goes a world.
Wit the heart goes a weather.
With the face goes a mirror
As with the body a fear.
Young self goes staring to the wall
Where dumb futurity speaks calm,
And between then and then


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With Arms Outstretched

with
arms outstreched
and crowned with wisps
of seaweed hair she floats, eyes closed
in a world of perfect silence
that is loud enough
to hear
light
a kaleidoscope
a shimmering, elusive glimmer
dances across the bottom, the reflection
of a white hot sun that fails
to reach beyond
the blue
alone
she dives spins glides
in effortless infinite motion
bubbles trailing like round diamonds
in a perfect sapphire sea
surging forward
free
scales
pearly sheened


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With a Bouquet of Twelve Roses

I saw Lord Buddha towering by my gate
Saying: "Once more, good youth, I stand and wait."
Saying: "I bring you my fair Law of Peace
And from your withering passion full release;
Release from that white hand that stabbed you so.
The road is calling. With the wind you go,
Forgetting her imperious disdain —
Quenching all memory in the sun and rain."

"Excellent Lord, I come. But first," I said,
"Grant that I bring her these twelve roses red.
Yea, twelve flower kisses for her rose-leaf mouth,


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Witch-Wife

She is neither pink nor pale,
And she never will be all mine;
She learned her hands in a fairy-tale,
And her mouth on a valentine.

She has more hair than she needs;
In the sun 'tis a woe to me!
And her voice is a string of coloured beads,
Or steps leading into the sea.

She loves me all that she can,
And her ways to my ways resign;
But she was not made for any man,
And she never will be all mine.


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Winter Song

The browns, the olives, and the yellows died,
And were swept up to heaven; where they glowed
Each dawn and set of sun till Christmastide,
And when the land lay pale for them, pale-snowed,
Fell back, and down the snow-drifts flamed and flowed.

From off your face, into the winds of winter,
The sun-brown and the summer-gold are blowing;
But they shall gleam with spiritual glinter,
When paler beauty on your brows falls snowing,
And through those snows my looks shall be soft-going.


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Winter Sleep

When against earth a wooden heel
Clicks as loud as stone on steel,
When stone turns flour instead of flakes,
And frost bakes clay as fire bakes,
When the hard-bitten fields at last
Crack like iron flawed in the cast,
When the world is wicked and cross and old,
I long to be quit of the cruel cold.

Little birds like bubbles of glass
Fly to other Americas,
Birds as bright as sparkles of wine
Fly in the nite to the Argentine,
Birds of azure and flame-birds go
To the tropical Gulf of Mexico:


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Winter Promises

Tomatoes rosy as perfect baby's buttocks,
eggplants glossy as waxed fenders,
purple neon flawless glistening
peppers, pole beans fecund and fast
growing as Jack's Viagra-sped stalk,
big as truck tire zinnias that mildew
will never wilt, roses weighing down
a bush never touched by black spot,
brave little fruit trees shouldering up
their spotless ornaments of glass fruit:

I lie on the couch under a blanket
of seed catalogs ordering far
too much. Sleet slides down
the windows, a wind edged


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Winter Nightfall

The day begins to droop,--
Its course is done:
But nothing tells the place
Of the setting sun.
The hazy darkness deepens,
And up the lane
You may hear, but cannot see,
The homing wain.
An engine pants and hums
In the farm hard by:
Its lowering smoke is lost
In the lowering sky.
The soaking branches drip,
And all night through
The dropping will not cease
In the avenue.
A tall man there in the house
Must keep his chair:
He knows he will never again


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Winter Nightfall

THE day begins to droop,--
   Its course is done:
But nothing tells the place
   Of the setting sun.

The hazy darkness deepens,
   And up the lane
You may hear, but cannot see,
   The homing wain.

An engine pants and hums
   In the farm hard by:
Its lowering smoke is lost
   In the lowering sky.

The soaking branches drip,
   And all night through
The dropping will not cease
   In the avenue.

A tall man there in the house


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