Thoughts At A Vestibule

Here's a vestibule. On holidays
Overcome by slavish fear,
The whole population, in a state of awe,
Rushes to the sacred doors.
Having left their names and ranks.
All these visitors return then to their homes
They are all so deeply satisfied
You might think this was their calling!
Yet on other days this ornate vestibule
Is beset by much more wretched sorts:
Schemers and position-seekers,
By a widow and an aged man.
To and fro each morning without cease
Couriers bustle with their papers.


This Time, You Come to Me

All through our lovely married life
I've had to go away.
And it was always you, my dear,
Who was back home to stay.

It wasn't my own choosing,
But the Government, which said
That I must leave my family,
And sacred marriage bed.

The FBI was first to pry
Our soothing arms apart.
And, each time I returned to you
With ever swelling heart.

The Foreign Service, next, attempted
Separate our arms.
But I was not to be denied,
Returning to your charms.


Thespis Act II

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

GODS

Jupiter, Aged Diety
Apollo, Aged Diety
Mars, Aged Diety
Diana, Aged Diety
Mercury

THESPIANS

Thespis
Sillimon
TimidonTipseion
Preposteros
Stupidas
Sparkeio n
Nicemis
Pretteia
Daphne
Cymon

ACT II - The same Scene, with the Ruins Restored


SCENE-the same scene as in Act I with the exception that in place


Thesaurus

It could be the name of a prehistoric beast
that roamed the Paleozoic earth, rising up
on its hind legs to show off its large vocabulary,
or some lover in a myth who is metamorphosed into a book.

It means treasury, but it is just a place
where words congregate with their relatives,
a big park where hundreds of family reunions
are always being held,
house, home, abode, dwelling, lodgings, and digs,
all sharing the same picnic basket and thermos;
hairy, hirsute, woolly, furry, fleecy, and shaggy


The Winding Stair

My Soul. I summon to the winding ancient stair;
Set all your mind upon the steep ascent,
Upon the broken, crumbling battlement,
Upon the breathless starlit air,
'Upon the star that marks the hidden pole;
Fix every wandering thought upon
That quarter where all thought is done:
Who can distinguish darkness from the soul

My Self. The consecretes blade upon my knees
Is Sato's ancient blade, still as it was,
Still razor-keen, still like a looking-glass
Unspotted by the centuries;


The Witch's frolic

[Scene, the 'Snuggery' at Tappington.-- Grandpapa in a high-backed cane-bottomed elbow-chair of carved walnut-tree, dozing; his nose at an angle of forty-five degrees,--his thumbs slowly perform the rotatory motion described by lexicographers as 'twiddling.'--The 'Hope of the family' astride on a walking-stick, with burnt-cork mustachios, and a pheasant's tail pinned in his cap, solaceth himself with martial music.-- Roused by a strain of surpassing dissonance, Grandpapa Loquitur. ]

Come hither, come hither, my little boy Ned!
Come hither unto my knee--


The Witches Song

"Hoity-toity! Hop-o'-my-thumb!
Tweedledee and Tweedledum!
All hobgoblins come to me,
Over the mountains, over the sea:
Come in a hurry, come in a crowd,
Flying, chattering, shrieking loud;
I and my broomstick fidget and call ---
Come, hobgoblins, we want you all!
I have a pot of a mischievous brew;
You must do what I tell you to;
Blow through the keyholes, hang to the eaves,
Litter the garden with dead brown leaves;
Into the houses hustle and run,
Here is mischevous and here is fun!


The Wild Blue-Bells

Came a bouquet from the city,
Fragrant, rich and debonair -
Sweet carnation and geraniium,
Heliotrope and roses rare.

Down beside the crystal river,
Where the moss-grown rocks are high,
And the ferns, from niche and crevice,
Stretch to greet the azure sky;

In the chaste October sunlight,
High above the path below,
Grew a tuft of lovely blue-bells,
Softly wind-swung to and fro.

Reached a dainty hand to grasp them,
Bore them home with loving care,


The Widening Spell of the Leaves

--The Carpathian Frontier, October, 1968
--for my brother

Once, in a foreign country, I was suddenly ill.
I was driving south toward a large city famous
For so little it had a replica, in concrete,
In two-thirds scale, of the Arc de Triomphe stuck
In the midst of traffic, & obstructing it.
But the city was hours away, beyond the hills
Shaped like the bodies of sleeping women.
Often I had to slow down for herds of goats
Or cattle milling on those narrow roads, & for


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