When a People Reach the Top of a Hill

When a people reach the top of a hill,
Then does God lean toward them,
Shortens tongues and lengthens arms.
A vision of their dead comes to the weak.
The moon shall not be too old
Before the new battalions rise,
Blue battalions.
The moon shall not be too old
When the children of change shall fall
Before the new battalions,
The blue battalions.

Mistakes and virtues will be trampled deep.
A church and a thief shall fall together.
A sword will come at the bidding of the eyeless,


What The Dog Perhaps Hears

If an inaudible whistle
blown between our lips
can send him home to us,
then silence is perhaps
the sound of spiders breathing
and roots mining the earth;
it may be asparagus heaving,
headfirst, into the light
and the long brown sound
of cracked cups, when it happens.
We would like to ask the dog
if there is a continuous whir
because the child in the house
keeps growing, if the snake
really stretches full length
without a click and the sun
breaks through clouds without


What Magic Is There

What magic is there in thy mien
What sorcery in thy smile,
Which charms away all cark and care,
Which turns the foul days into fair,
And for a little while
Changes this disenchanted scene
From the sere leaf into the green,
Transmuting with love's golden wand
This beggared life to fairyland?

My heart goes forth to thee, oh friend,
As some poor pilgrim to a shrine,
A pilgrim who has come from far
To seek his spirit's folding star,
And sees the taper shine;


Wedding-Ring

My wedding-ring lies in a basket
as if at the bottom of a well.
Nothing will come to fish it back up
and onto my finger again.
       &nb sp;       &nbs p;    It lies
among keys to abandoned houses,
nails waiting to be needed and hammered
into some wall,
telephone numbers with no names attached,
idle paperclips.
       &nb sp;  It can't be given away
for fear of bringing ill-luck.
       &nb sp;  It can't be sold
for the marriage was good in its own


Web

Intricate and untraceable
weaving and interweaving,
dark strand with light:

designed, beyond
all spiderly contrivance,
to link, not to entrap:

elation, grief, joy, contrition, entwined;

shaking, changing,

forever

forming,

transforming:

all praise,

all praise to the

great web.


Wave-won

To-night I hunger so,
Beloved one, to know
If you recall and crave again the dream
That haunted our canoe,
And wove its witchcraft through
Our hearts as 'neath the northern night we sailed the northern stream.

Ah! dear, if only we
As yesternight could be
Afloat within that light and lonely shell,
To drift in silence till
Heart-hushed, and lulled and still
The moonlight through the melting air flung forth its fatal spell.

The dusky summer night,
The path of gold and white


Waiting

Today I will let the old boat stand
Where the sweep of the harbor tide comes in
To the pulse of a far, deep-steady sway.
And I will rest and dream and sit on the deck
Watching the world go by
And take my pay for many hard days gone I remember.

I will choose what clouds I like
In the great white fleets that wander the blue
As I lie on my back or loaf at the rail.
And I will listen as the veering winds kiss me and fold me
And put on my brow the touch of the world's great will.


Walking

To walk abroad is, not with eyes,
But thoughts, the fields to see and prize;
Else may the silent feet,
Like logs of wood,
Move up and down, and see no good
Nor joy nor glory meet.

Ev'n carts and wheels their place do change,
But cannot see, though very strange
The glory that is by;
Dead puppets may
Move in the bright and glorious day,
Yet not behold the sky.

And are not men than they more blind,
Who having eyes yet never find
The bliss in which they move;
Like statues dead


Waiting

Serene, I fold my hands and wait,
Nor care for wind, nor tide, nor sea;
I rave no more 'gainst time or fate,
For lo! my own shall come to me.

I stay my haste, I make delays,
For what avails this eager pace?
I stand amid the eternal ways,
And what is mine shall know my face.

Asleep, awake, by night or day,
The friends I seek are seeking me;
No wind can drive my bark astray,
Nor change the tide of destiny.

What matter if I stand alone?


Voyages

Pond snipe, bleached pine, rue weed, wart --
I walk by sedge and brown river rot
to where the old lake boats went daily out.
All the ships are gone, the gray wharf fallen
in upon itself. Even the channel's
grown over. Once we set sail here
for Bob-Lo, the Brewery Isles, Cleveland.
We would have gone as far as Niagara
or headed out to open sea if the Captain
said so, but the Captain drank. Blood-eyed
in the morning, coffee shaking in his hand,
he'd plead to be put ashore or drowned,


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