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.


Twelve Months After

Hullo! here’s my platoon, the lot I had last year.
‘The war’ll be over soon.’
‘What ’opes?’
‘No bloody fear!’
Then, ‘Number Seven, ’shun! All present and correct.’
They’re standing in the sun, impassive and erect.
Young Gibson with his grin; and Morgan, tired and white;
Jordan, who’s out to win a D.C.M. some night;
And Hughes that’s keen on wiring; and Davies (’79),
Who always must be firing at the Boche front line.

. . . .
‘Old soldiers never die; they simply fide a-why!’


Twelfth Night

His first infidelity was a mistake, but not as big
As her false pregnancy. Later, the boy found out

He was born three months earlier than the date
On his birth certificate, which had turned into
A marriage license in his hands. Had he been trapped
In a net, like a moth mistaken for a butterfly?
And why did she--what was in it for her?
It took him all this time to figure it out.
The barroom boast, "I never had to pay for it,"
Is bogus if marriage is a religious institution


Truth

A rock, for ages, stern and high,
Stood frowning 'gainst the earth and sky,
And never bowed his haughty crest
When angry storms around him prest.
Morn, springing from the arms of night,
Had often bathed his brow with light.
And kissed the shadows from his face
With tender love and gentle grace.


Day, pausing at the gates of rest,
Smiled on him from the distant West,
And from her throne the dark-browed Night
Threw round his path her softest light.
And yet he stood unmoved and proud,


Trust in God

Deep trust in God—for that I still have sought
Through all the grim doubts that bemock the soul,
When in the amazement of far-reaching throught,
We list the labourings that for ever roll
Like dubious thunders through those clouded regions
Where night and destiny the counsels keep
Of Time developing his shadowy legions.
And when I ve stood upon some hazardous steep
Of speculation—heaving up its bare
And rugged ridge high in the nebulous air


True Love

In silence the heart raves.It utters words
Meaningless, that never had
A meaning.I was ten, skinny, red-headed,

Freckled.In a big black Buick,
Driven by a big grown boy, with a necktie, she sat
In front of the drugstore, sipping something

Through a straw. There is nothing like
Beauty. It stops your heart.It
Thickens your blood.It stops your breath.It

Makes you feel dirty.You need a hot bath.
I leaned against a telephone pole, and watched.
I thought I would die if she saw me.


Tristia

I have studied the Science of departures,
in night’s sorrows, when a woman’s hair falls down.
The oxen chew, there’s the waiting, pure,
in the last hours of vigil in the town,
and I reverence night’s ritual cock-crowing,
when reddened eyes lift sorrow’s load and choose
to stare at distance, and a woman’s crying
is mingled with the singing of the Muse.

Who knows, when the word ‘departure’ is spoken
what kind of separation is at hand,
or of what that cock-crow is a token,


Tree and Sky

Let my soul, a shining tree,
Silver branches lift towards thee,
Where on a hallowed winter’s night
The clear-eyed angels may alight.

And if there should be tempests in
My spirit, let them surge like din
Of noble melodies at war;
With fervour of such blades of triumph as are
Flashed in white orisons of saints who go
On shafts of glory to the ecstasies they know.


Travel

The railroad track is miles away,
And the day is loud with voices speaking,
Yet there isn't a train goes by all day
But I hear its whistle shrieking.

All night there isn't a train goes by,
Though the night is still for sleep and dreaming,
But I see its cinders red on the sky,
And hear its engine steaming.

My heart is warm with friends I make,
And better friends I'll not be knowing;
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,
No matter where it's going.


Transcription of Organ Music

The flower in the glass peanut bottle formerly in the
kitchen crooked to take a place in the light,
the closet door opened, because I used it before, it
kindly stayed open waiting for me, its owner.

I began to feel my misery in pallet on floor, listening
to music, my misery, that's why I want to sing.
The room closed down on me, I expected the presence
of the Creator, I saw my gray painted walls and
ceiling, they contained my room, they contained
me
as the sky contained my garden,
I opened my door


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