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 We Two Parted

When we two parted
In silence and tears,
Half broken-hearted
To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold
Sorrow to this.

The dew of the morning
Sank chill on my brow -
It felt like the warning
Of what I feel now.
Thy vows are all broken,
And light is thy fame:
I hear thy name spoken,
And share in its shame.

They name thee before me,
A knell in mine ear;
A shudder come o'er me -
Why wert thou so dear?


When the Light Appears

You'll bare your bones you'll grow you'll pray you'll only know
When the light appears, boy, when the light appears
You'll sing & you'll love you'll praise blue heavens above
When the light appears, boy, when the light appears
You'll whimper & you'll cry you'll get yourself sick and sigh
You'll sleep & you'll dream you'll only know what you mean
When the light appears, boy, when the light appears
You'll come & you'll go, you'll wander to and fro
You'll go home in despair you'll wonder why'd you care


When the Fishing Boats Go Out

When the lucent skies of morning flush with dawning rose once more,
And waves of golden glory break adown the sunrise shore,
And o'er the arch of heaven pied films of vapor float.
There's joyance and there's freedom when the fishing boats go out.

The wind is blowing freshly up from far, uncharted caves,
And sending sparkling kisses o'er the brows of virgin waves,
While routed dawn-mists shiver­oh, far and fast they flee,
Pierced by the shafts of sunrise athwart the merry sea!


When the Evening Star Went Down

The morning was fearful at sea--
The voyagers weary and pale;
Their steamer a wreck, from keel to deck,
Before an Autumnal gale.
Old Neptune came forth in power--
He wore on his features a frown;
And many a guest he took to rest,
When the "Evening Star" went down.

They sleep in a fathomless grave,
The guest and the mariner brave;
They pillow their heads on coral beds,
Beneath the blue ocean waves,
Beneath the blue ocean waves.

Sail'd ever a ship from her quay,
So heavily laden as she,


When Someone Says Alexandria

When someone says: "Alexandria,"
I see the white walls of a house,
a small garden row of gillyflowers,
an autumn evening's pale sunlight
and hear the music of distant flutes.

When someone says: "Alexandria,"
I see stars above the hushed city,
drunken sailors in dark quarters,
a dancing girl performing the "wasp,"
and hear tambourines and the noise of fights.

When someone says "Alexandria,"
I see a pale purple sunset above the green sea,
the flickering of furry stars


When Once the Twilight Locks No Longer

When once the twilight locks no longer
Locked in the long worm of my finger
Nor damned the sea that sped about my fist,
The mouth of time sucked, like a sponge,
The milky acid on each hinge,
And swallowed dry the waters of the breast.

When the galactic sea was sucked
And all the dry seabed unlocked,
I sent my creature scouting on the globe,
That globe itself of hair and bone
That, sewn to me by nerve and brain,
Had stringed my flask of matter to his rib.

My fuses are timed to charge his heart,


When I Too Long Have Looked Upon Your Face

When I too long have looked upon your face,
Wherein for me a brightness unobscured
Save by the mists of brightness has its place,
And terrible beauty not to be endured,
I turn away reluctant from your light,
And stand irresolute, a mind undone,
A silly, dazzled thing deprived of sight
From having looked too long upon the sun.
Then is my daily life a narrow room
In which a little while, uncertainly,
Surrounded by impenetrable gloom,
Among familiar things grown strange to me


When I Have Passed Away

When I have passed away and am forgotten,
And no one living can recall my face,
When under alien sod my bones lie rotten
With not a tree or stone to mark the place;

Perchance a pensive youth, with passion burning,
For olden verse that smacks of love and wine,
The musty pages of old volumes turning,
May light upon a little song of mine,

And he may softly hum the tune and wonder
Who wrote the verses in the long ago;
Or he may sit him down awhile to ponder


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