A Game of Chance

talking to the ghost
who speaks in tongues—
flames indulged
and torn in two
 
          *
 
pulled down
among the darkness
from where I came
and where I’ll go
 
          *
 
a game of chance—
you laugh in my face
as you drown
in the River Styx
 
          *
 
the impact was red—
orange mixed with light
fallen in a cryptic grave
and saved for many lives
 
          *
 
chatter, noise—
the pot boils over
and spills for the rats

Trouvee

Oh, why should a hen
have been run over
on West 4th Street
in the middle of summer?

She was a white hen
--red-and-white now, of course.
How did she get there?
Where was she going?

Her wing feathers spread
flat, flat in the tar,
all dirtied, and thin
as tissue paper.

A pigeon, yes,
or an English sparrow,
might meet such a fate,
but not that poor fowl.

Just now I went back
to look again.
I hadn't dreamed it:
there is a hen

Troths

Yellow dust on a bumble
bee's wing,
Grey lights in a woman's
asking eyes,
Red ruins in the changing
sunset embers:
I take you and pile high
the memories.
Death will break her claws
on some I keep.

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.

Tz'u No. 12

To the tune of "Happy Event Is Nigh"

The wind ceases; fallen flowers pile high.
Outside my screen, petals collect in heaps of red
and snow-white.

This reminds me that after the blooming
of the cherry-apple tree
It is time to lament the dying spring.

Singing and drinking have come to an end;
jade cups are empty;
Lamps are flickering.

Hardly able to bear the sorrows and regrets
of my dreams,
I hear the mournful cry of the cuckoo.

Two Sunsets

In the fair morning of his life,
When his pure heart lay in his breast,
Panting, with all that wild unrest
To plunge into the great world's strife

That fills young hearts with mad desire,
He saw a sunset. Red and gold
The burning billows surged and rolled,
And upward tossed their caps of fire.

He looked. And as he looked the sight
Sent from his soul through breast and brain
Such intense joy, it hurt like pain.
His heart seemed bursting with delight.

Two Neighbors

Faces of two eternities keep looking at me.
One is Omar Khayam and the red stuff
wherein men forget yesterday and to-morrow
and remember only the voices and songs,
the stories, newspapers and fights of today.
One is Louis Cornaro and a slim trick
of slow, short meals across slow, short years,
letting Death open the door only in slow, short inches.
I have a neighbor who swears by Omar.
I have a neighbor who swears by Cornaro.
Both are happy.

Twixt the Wings of the Yard

Hear the loud swell of it, mighty pell mell of it,
Thousands of voices all blent into one:
See “hell for leather” now trooping together, now
Down the long slope of the range at a run,
Dust in the wake of ‘em: see the wild break of ‘em,
Spear-horned and curly, red, spotted and starred:
See the lads bringing ‘em, blocking ‘em, ringing ‘em.
Fetching ‘em up to the wings of the yard.

Twilight Thoughts

The God of the day has vanished,
The light from the hills has fled,
And the hand of an unseen artist
Is painting the west all red.
All threaded with gold and crimson,
And burnished with amber dye,
And tipped with purple shadows,
The glory flameth high.

Twenty-Third Sunday After Trinity

Red o'er the forest peers the setting sun,
The line of yellow light dies fast away
That crowned the eastern copse: and chill and dun
Falls on the moor the brief November day.

Now the tired hunter winds a parting note,
And Echo hide good-night from every glade;
Yet wait awhile, and see the calm heaves float
Each to his rest beneath their parent shade.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - red