Wild Deer

Where are you O Wild Deer?
I have known you for a while, here.

Both loners, both lost, both forsaken
The wild beast, for ambush, have all waken

Let us inquire of each other's state
If we can, each other's wishes consummate

I can see this chaotic field
Joy and peace sometimes won't yield

O friends, tell me who braves the danger
To befriend the forsaken, behold the stranger

Unless blessed Elias may come one day
And with his good office open the way

It is time to cultivate love


Widows

My mother's playing cards with my aunt,
Spite and Malice, the family pastime, the game
my grandmother taught all her daughters.

Midsummer: too hot to go out.
Today, my aunt's ahead; she's getting the good cards.
My mother's dragging, having trouble with her concentration.
She can't get used to her own bed this summer.
She had no trouble last summer,
getting used to the floor. She learned to sleep there
to be near my father.
He was dying; he got a special bed.

My aunt doesn't give an inch, doesn't make


Why

The little child crosses the street--
Why does she wave to me?
What sees she in my wasted form
To hail so joyously?

Her olive face and curly hair
Are tidings of earth-peace,
Her golden smile's a wreath of joy
That bids my sorrows cease.

To me she is a fairy sprite--
A heavenly harbringer
Whose sun-kissed eyes are songs of God--
But what am I to her?


Why, When Our Sun Shines Clearest

Why, when our sun shines clearest,
Why, when our hopes seen nearest,
Why, when our life feels dearest,
Rises a secret pain—
Hope's perfect mirror broken—
Shadows of things unspoken-—
Why will not some sure token
Calm us to rest again?

Mixed with all earthly blessing
Lingers the fear distressing—
-Conscience within confessing
Nothing of ours is pure.
Still must such thoughts upbraid us,
Seeking our own to aid us;
God, not ourselves, hath made us;
Trusting in Him we’re sure.


Why Is This Age Worse...

Why is this age worse than earlier ages?
In a stupor of grief and dread
have we not fingered the foulest wounds
and left them unhealed by our hands?

In the west the falling light still glows,
and the clustered housetops glitter in the sun,
but here Death is already chalking the doors with crosses,
and calling the ravens, and the ravens are flying in.


Whitsunday

Listen sweet Dove unto my song,
And spread thy golden wings in me;
Hatching my tender heart so long,
Till it get wing, and fly away with thee.

Where is that fire which once descended
On thy Apostles? thou didst then
Keep open house, richly attended,
Feasting all comers by twelve chosen men.

Such glorious gifts thou didst bestow,
That th'earth did like a heav'n appear;
The stars were coming down to know
If they might mend their wages, and serve here.

The sun which once did shine alone,


Whispered Into Afternoon

Sun of autumn, thin and shy
And fruit drops off the trees,
Blue silence fills the peace
Of a tardy afternoon’s sky.

Death knells forged of metal,
And a white beast hits the mire.
Brown lasses uncouth choir
Dies in leaves’ drifting prattle.

Brow of God dreams of hues,
Senses madness’ gentle wings.
Round the hill wield in rings
Black decay and shaded views.

Rest and wine in sunset’s gleam,
Sad guitars drizzle into night,
And to the mellow lamp inside


While yet we wait for spring, and from the dry

While yet we wait for spring, and from the dry
And blackening east that so embitters March,
Well-housed must watch grey fields and meadows parch,
And driven dust and withering snowflake fly;
Already in glimpses of the tarnish'd sky
The sun is warm and beckons to the larch,
And where the covert hazels interarch
Their tassell'd twigs, fair beds of primrose lie.
Beneath the crisp and wintry carpet hid
A million buds but stay their blossoming;
And trustful birds have built their nests amid


Where the Pelican Builds

The horses were ready, the rails were down,
   But the riders lingered still --
   One had a parting word to say,
   And one had his pipe to fill.
Then they mounted, one with a granted prayer,
   And one with a grief unguessed.
   "We are going," they said, as they rode away --
   "Where the pelican builds her nest!"

They had told us of pastures wide and green,
   To be sought past the sunset's glow;
   Of rifts in the ranges by opal lit;
   And gold 'neath the river's flow.


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


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