Howling at the Moon
On a moonlit late night
I sat in a bar
Drinking drams of demented, fermented dream dew
Just an unhinged lunatic
Dreaming of howling at the full moon
Watching the world walk by
Looking at all the fine-looking babes
Walking by the street
Thinking wild, erotic thoughts
Of endless wild libertine passions
When into the bar
Walked the most beautiful women
In the Universe
So wild, so free
So wonderfully alive
The moon shone bright that night
Beautiful and full.
I can still picture it.
It was magical the way the light danced.
It swallowed every star in the sky
In its majestic glow.
Tonight, however, the moon is gone.
I don’t know where it went.
I wish it would come back
To light up the darkness like it once did
But wherever it’s gone, I hope it’s happier there.
Upon the darkened prairie
a Comanche Moon shines,
rising from the horizon
and a swath of yellow pines.
Rousted from the tall grass
where buffaloes once roamed--
rabbits, ferrets and bobwhites
from the safety of their homes.
The ground doth tremble
and the earth doth quake.
Advancing shadows from the forest
disrupt the peaceful state.
Grasshoppers fly from their perch.
Wolf packs bound out of sight.
Something deadly stalks the prairie
shedding blood on the moon this night.
Troth with the Dead
The moon is broken in twain, and half a moon
Before me lies on the still, pale floor of the sky;
The other half of the broken coin of troth
Is buried away in the dark, where the still dead lie.
They buried her half in the grave when they laid her away;
I had pushed it gently in among the thick of her hair
Where it gathered towards the plait, on that very last day;
And like a moon in secret it is shining there.
My half shines in the sky, for a general sign
Of the troth with the dead I pledged myself to keep;
Tz'u No. 11
To the tune of "Lamentation"
It was far into the night when, intoxicated,
I took off my ornaments;
The plum flower withered in my hair.
Recovered from tipsiness,
the lingering smell of wine
broke my fond dream
before my dreaming soul could find
my way home.
All is quiet.
The moon lingers,
And the emerald screen hangs low.
I caress the withered flower,
Fondle the fragrant petals,
Trying to bring back the lost time.
Tz'u No. 1
To the tune "Courtyard Filled with Fragrance"
Fragrant grass beside the pond
green shade over the hall
a clear cold comes through
the window curtains
crescent moon beyond the golden bars
and a flute sounds
as if someone were coming
but alone on my mat with a cup
gazing sadly into nothingness
I want to call back
the blackberry flowers
that have fallen
though pear blossoms remain
for in that distant year
I came to love their fresh fragrance
scenting my sleeve
The sun's gone dim, and
The moon's turned black;
For I loved him, and
He didn't love back.
Two Wishes XI
In the silence of the night Death descended from God toward the earth. He hovered above a city and pierced the dwellings with his eyes. He say the spirits floating on wings of dreams, and the people who were surrendered to the Slumber.
When the moon fell below the horizon and the city became black, Death walked silently among the houses -- careful to touch nothing -- until he reached a palace. He entered through the bolted gates undisturbed, and stood by the rich man's bed; and as Death touched his forehead, the sleeper's eyes opened, showing great fright.
Two Poems from the War
Oh, not the loss of the accomplished thing!
Not dumb farewells, nor long relinquishment
Of beauty had, and golden summer spent,
And savage glory of the fluttering
Torn banners of the rain, and frosty ring
Of moon-white winters, and the imminent
Long-lunging seas, and glowing students bent
To race on some smooth beach the gull's wing:
Not these, nor all we've been, nor all we've loved,
The pitiful familiar names, had moved
Our hearts to weep for them; but oh, the star
The future is! Eternity's too wan
Twilight on Sixth Avenue at Ninth Street
Over the tops of the houses
Twilight and sunset meet.
The green, diaphanous dusk
Sinks to the eager street.
Astray in the tangle of roofs
Wanders a wind of June.
The dial shines in the clock-tower
Like the face of a strange-scrawled moon.
The narrowing lines of the houses
Palely begin to gleam,
And the hurrying crowds fade softly
Like an army in a dream.
Above the vanishing faces
A phantom train flares on