Zilpha Marsh

At four o'clock in late October
I sat alone in the country school-house
Back from the road 'mid stricken fields,
And an eddy of wind blew leaves on the pane,
And crooned in the flue of the cannon-stove,
With its open door blurring the shadows
With the spectral glow of a dying fire.
In an idle mood I was running the planchette --
All at once my wrist grew limp,
And my hand moved rapidly over the board,
Till the name of "Charles Guiteau" was spelled,
Who threatened to materialize before me.


You cannot put a Fire out

530

You cannot put a Fire out—
A Thing that can ignite
Can go, itself, without a Fan—
Upon the slowest Night—

You cannot fold a Flood—
And put it in a Drawer—
Because the Winds would find it out—
And tell your Cedar Floor—


Your Slander Is Sweet

Rana, to me your slander is sweet.

Some praise me, some blame me. I

go the other way.

On the narrow path, I found God’s

people. What should I turn back for?

I am learning wisdom among the

wise, and the wicked look at me

with malice.

Mira’s Lord is Giridhar Nagar.

Let the wicked burn in the kitchen fire.







Mira’s God is the lifter of mountains.

I don’t like your strange world, Rana,


You, Darkness

You, darkness, that I come from
I love you more than all the fires
that fence in the world,
for the fire makes a circle of light for everyone
and then no one outside learns of you.

But the darkness pulls in everything-
shapes and fires, animals and myself,
how easily it gathers them! -
powers and people-

and it is possible a great presence is moving near me.

I have faith in nights.


You Will Hear Thunder

You will hear thunder and remember me,
And think: she wanted storms. The rim
Of the sky will be the colour of hard crimson,
And your heart, as it was then, will be on fire.

That day in Moscow, it will all come true,
when, for the last time, I take my leave,
And hasten to the heights that I have longed for,
Leaving my shadow still to be with you.


You Thought I Was That Type

You thought I was that type:
That you could forget me,
And that I'd plead and weep
And throw myself under the hooves of a bay mare,

Or that I'd ask the sorcerers
For some magic potion made from roots and send you a terrible gift:
My precious perfumed handkerchief.

Damn you! I will not grant your cursed soul
Vicarious tears or a single glance.

And I swear to you by the garden of the angels,
I swear by the miracle-working icon,
And by the fire and smoke of our nights:


You must not wonder, though you think it strange

You must not wonder, though you think it strange,
To see me hold my lowering head so low;
And that mine eyes take no delight to range
About the gleams which on your face do grow.
The mouse which once hath broken out of trap
Is seldom teased with the trustless bait,
But lies aloof for fear of more mishap,
And feedeth still in doubt of deep deceit.
The scorched fly which once hath 'scap'd the flame
Will hardly come to play again with fire.
Whereby I learn that grievous is the game


Yes Yes

when God created love he didn't help most
when God created dogs He didn't help dogs
when God created plants that was average
when God created hate we had a standard utility
when God created me He created me
when God created the monkey He was asleep
when He created the giraffe He was drunk
when He created narcotics He was high
and when He created suicide He was low

when He created you lying in bed
He knew what He was doing
He was drunk and He was high


Yea, the Roses Are Still on Fire

Yea, the roses are still on fire
With the bygone heat of July,
Though the least little wind drifting by
Shake a rose-leaf or two from the brier,
Be it never so soft a sigh.

Ember of love still glows and lingers
Deep at the red heart's smouldering core;
With the sudden passionate throb of yore
We shook as our eyes and clinging fingers
Met once only to meet no more.


XXII

When our two souls stand up erect and strong,
Face to face, silent, drawing nigh and nigher,
Until the lengthening wings break into fire
At either curved point,--what bitter wrong
Can the earth do to us, that we should not long
Be here contented ? Think. In mounting higher,
The angels would press on us and aspire
To drop some golden orb of perfect song
Into our deep, dear silence. Let us stay
Rather on earth, Beloved,--where the unfit
Contrarious moods of men recoil away
And isolate pure spirits, and permit


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