A String of Pearls

I got you a beautiful string of pearls for Mother's Day this year.
They are the beauty that I see when I look at your face.
They are the joy I have known for so many years
at having you for a mother.
They are a symbol of how much you mean to me.
You have always been loved;
you'll never realize just how much.
They are everything you have done for me
ever since you have had me.
They are for each and every time you
were on my side in everything I tried to do.
The gold clasp. .represents your heart.

Transit of the Gods

Strange that the self’s continuum should outlast
The Virgin, Aphrodite, and the Mourning Mother,
All loves and griefs, successive deities
That hold their kingdom in the human breast.
Abandoned by the gods, woman with an ageing body
That half remembers the Annunciation
The passion and the travail and the grief
That wore the mask of my humanity,
I marvel at the soul’s indifference.
For in her theatre the play is done,
The tears are shed; the actors, the immortals


Tom's Garland

upon the Unemployed


Tom—garlanded with squat and surly steel
Tom; then Tom’s fallowbootfellow piles pick
By him and rips out rockfire homeforth—sturdy Dick;
Tom Heart-at-ease, Tom Navvy: he is all for his meal
Sure, ’s bed now. Low be it: lustily he his low lot (feel
That ne’er need hunger, Tom; Tom seldom sick,
Seldomer heartsore; that treads through, prickproof, thick
Thousands of thorns, thoughts) swings though. Commonweal
Little I reck ho! lacklevel in, if all had bread:


Tommy's Dead

You may give over plough, boys,
You may take the gear to the stead,
All the sweat o' your brow, boys,
Will never get beer and bread.
The seed's waste, I know, boys,
There's not a blade will grow, boys,
'Tis cropped out, I trow, boys,
And Tommy's dead.

Send the colt to fair, boys,
He's going blind, as I said,
My old eyes can't bear, boys,
To see him in the shed;
The cow's dry and spare, boys,
She's neither here nor there, boys,
I doubt she's badly bread;
Stop the mill to-morn, boys,


Tomes

There is a section in my library for death
and another for Irish history,
a few shelves for the poetry of China and Japan,
and in the center a row of imperturbable reference books,
the ones you can turn to anytime,
when the night is going wrong
or when the day is full of empty promise.

I have nothing against
the thin monograph, the odd query,
a note on the identity of Chekhov's dentist,
but what I prefer on days like these
is to get up from the couch,
pull down The History of the World,


Tomes

There is a section in my library for death
and another for Irish history,
a few shelves for the poetry of China and Japan,
and in the center a row of imperturbable reference books,
the ones you can turn to anytime,
when the night is going wrong
or when the day is full of empty promise.

I have nothing against
the thin monograph, the odd query,
a note on the identity of Chekhov's dentist,
but what I prefer on days like these
is to get up from the couch,
pull down The History of the World,


Two Portraits

You say, as one who shapes a life,
That you will never be a wife,

And, laughing lightly, ask my aid
To paint your future as a maid.

This is the portrait; and I take
The softest colors for your sake:

The springtime of your soul is dead,
And forty years have bent your head;

The lines are firmer round your mouth,
But still its smile is like the South.

Your eyes, grown deeper, are not sad,
Yet never more than gravely glad;

And the old charm still lurks within


Twenty-Fourth Sunday After Trinity

Why should we faint and fear to live alone,
Since all alone, so Heaven has willed, we die,
Nor e'en the tenderest heart, and next our own,
Knows half the reasons why we smile and sigh?

Each in his hidden sphere of joy or woe
Our hermit spirits dwell, and range apart,
Our eyes see all around in gloom or glow -
Hues of their own, fresh borrowed from the heart.

And well it is for us our GOD should feel
Alone our secret throbbings: so our prayer
May readier spring to Heaven, nor spend its zeal


Twelve O'Clock

Mother, I do want to leave off my lessons now. I have been at my
book all the morning.
You say it is only twelve o'clock. Suppose it isn't any later;
can't you ever think it is afternoon when it is only twelve
o'clock?
I can easily imagine now that the sun has reached the edge of
that rice-field, and the old fisher-woman is gathering herbs for
her supper by the side of the pond.
I can just shut my eyes and think that the shadows are growing
darker under the madar tree, and the water in the pond looks shiny
black.


True Love

It is true love because
I put on eyeliner and a concerto and make pungent observations about the great issues of the day
Even when there's no one here but him,
And because
I do not resent watching the Green Bay Packer
Even though I am philosophically opposed to football,
And because
When he is late for dinner and I know he must be either having an affair or lying dead in the middle of the street,
I always hope he's dead.

It's true love because


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