Would we had

Waiting_Master Bi EDIT

Un—, un—, un—,
Nay, nay, nay,
Fie, fie, fie,
Stay, stay, stay!

Such were the songs we said and sung
When the world was full and we were young.
Would we had dug in our heels and heeded
The silent center we craved and needed!

But came the sibilant prophets of Yes
And Aye, and Too, and Sure, I guess
And Oh, why not, and What the heck
And never a thought of rue or feck.

Would we had gone to the end of the track
And not beyond, and then turned back!
So much to learn, but we were clever
Why shouldn’t we want to go on forever?

Would we had died when Death called Time
Not borrowed breath for one more rhyme.

 

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U, u: Unassuming Unicorns

Unicorns all kinds.jpg

The unassuming unicorns united underground
Upthrusting their umbrellas with an ululating sound;
Their umbrage unassuaged, they undertook an upward run
Emerging all unbidden underneath an umber sun.

 

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No magic, child

girl shelves 16356126231_78bca1661c_z

There is no magic, child.
No mysterious stranger
awaiting the proper stormswept night
on which to introduce you to your destiny.
Your mother and father
are really your mother and father.
There are words for everything.
Behind every bookcase is only a wall,
and the walls are solid walls
and behind them only two by fours
plaster and pink insulation and thick wires
through which ordinary currents pulse invisibly.

There is no magic, child,
because it is entirely usual
to have been born to people
about whom you know nothing
and who have secrets they themselves will never fathom.

There is no magic, child,
because it is entirely mundane
to live side by side
with the passionate electricity
that lurks behind your bedroom walls.

There is no magic, child,
since the world is just the world
and there are words for everything
even if the ones you will someday require
may be in a language no one living speaks.

There is no magic, child,
because it is entirely ordinary
for entire peoples to spring up
and sing for a hundred years
only to vanish with their only traces
to be found in a bookcase
with a solid wall behind it
while within the wall seethes
the invisible electricity
that powers the screens and machines
that belong to the parents
who are really your parents.

There is no magic, child.
The stranger who will appear
some unexceptional day
and make truths of wishes
you never even knew you were capable of

is no more mysterious than you.

 

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Do not leave traces

Navajo blanket detail GIMP

When prayers are offered, do not leave traces.

Jesse Biakeddy

The dusty gods are made out of sand and pollen,
colored sand and different kinds of pollen
according to their nature, it is their nature
that determines what they are made out of,
what they are made out of does not determine their nature.

Sand and pollen have made the dusty gods,
with wind and sunlight they have been making these gods,
it has taken forever, that’s why these gods are immortal.

Now I wipe away the sand and pollen, look, now the dusty gods are gone,
you will have forgotten about them before my song ends, look!

 

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All Quiet for the Queen (a prequel)

(Being an account of the Peculiar Events leading up to the Monstrous and Notorious Tragedy of the Four and Twenty Blackbirds who were martyred by being baked into a pie; and of the Warning previously issued to all Fowl within the Royal Earshot, which these aforementioned Blackbirds roundly ignored, to their own Detriment and Ultimate Demise; written by one, Witness to the Aforesaid Events.)

800px-four_and_twenty_blackbirds

Go quietly, quietly! Quell every sound,
You geese in the air and you quails on the ground!

You ducks with your querulous ducklings in tow,
You may go as you like; only quietly go.

No quacking; no quarreling; quash every cry;
Not a chirp from you blackbirds who quarter the sky!
The queen is asleep:
If you cease not to peep
She’ll awake and demand you be baked in a pie!

 

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For Ambrose Bierce on his birthday

Ambrose_Bierce-1

The only death I want is one
that maybe never really happens
like yours Mr. Bierce
the one you maybe had
after you disappeared
into the Mexican desert
or that you maybe didn’t have
because nobody ever saw you die
so maybe.

You know what I mean?

The death I want is that kind
a little bit like hope
and a little bit like a shrug
and which never provably happened
so there’s always that chance.

You know what I mean.

Which is just to say
happy hundred-and-seventy-fourth
if you’re still out there
you crabby old bastard.

 

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Of magic doors there is this

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1.

Of course I have arrived here just too late.
Oh, well, I have nothing better to do than wait.

No sense in haring off hoping to find another way;
Surely a door that opened once will open again one day.

Anyhow the land all about here is much to my taste:
Abandoned, overgrown, waste.

2.

Not even Madame Sosostris could have foreseen
Despite her wicked cards and her eyes that were Gypsy green

From the butterfly’s chaotic flutter
What hurricanes might utter.

3.

I offer a modest voice, speaking
An old language, having lived
Not quite long enough to have attained wisdom,
A bit too long to maintain a plausible ignorance.

What I recollect in this my time of tranquility
Is the weeping that took me over, years of it, years earlier.
What I remember now are the waves that heaved
Me up out of the sea that was my past.

In this my time of tranquility
Which will also pass
There is little more to be said
Once so much has been said.

 

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Orpheus in the world above

orpheus and eurydice

Once I thought I’d knit the world back up,
Heroically—another Orpheus, but one
With lyre self-sacrificially unstrung
And husbanding for thread my lengths of gut.
So in my time I’ve darned a few loose ends
Inexpertly, leaving the places
Where the brittle cloth had frayed
Still all too visible. Still, mended.
Confessedly I took the greater care
Near home, not wanting to slip out
Of the world myself through a thin spot.
And if I went wrong it was there:

Narrowly tending to the world above,
Where the real Orpheus chose to harrow hell for love.

 

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13 Things the Government Doesn’t Want You to Know About Blackbirds

(after Wallace Stevensway after)

Blackbird detail   1280px-psm_v84_d214_flocking_habit_of_migratory_birds_fig1

1.
New rule in your city:
How everything you know about blackbirds
Is about to change.

2.
The blackbird told me
One simple trick
That would get the IRS off my back.

3.
Check out these
Hilarious blackbird fails!

4.
These thirteen words
Reveal the secrets
Of the world’s richest blackbirds.

5.
Click to view
Celebrity nude blackbirds

6.
I am Nigerian prince,
Recently come into possession
Of substantial Blackbirds.
Transmission of a small sum
To pay off Customs
Will enable their release to you.

7.
Watch how this chance meeting
Between two blackbirds
Erupts into violence.

8.
The unblinking eye
Of the blackbird
Is our last bulwark
Against terrorism.

9.
Here are six wild predictions
That came true
About a blackbird.

10.
Yes! Yes!
Blackbird!

11.
Red wing; black bird;
The all-in-all.
It took millions of colors
To make this clear.

12.
Secret brain pill blackbirds are using
May soon let them
Replace humans.

13.
True science:
This blackbird
Kept in a sealed box
Was both alive and dead
And neither.

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