and the night hold no memories

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and the night hold no memories
but what we can read from it
time is not now
nor am I time’s ghost

read not by dint of a writing
since words are water
O hush of crickets mother me home
like matins like a bell

she is gone, gone to the sea
is gone to it, gone forever
and now every black shadow
seems a good place to hide

O hush and mother me home
like an awkward drum at night-time
like an empty coat
in a room full of empty coats

gigantic hush of crickets
and the moon giving no light
to see these black streets
only the intersections lit up

to see again from this height
between the crossed streets the shadows
darkness dimly lit
the moon

meanwhile all of them
are joining their way homeward
two and by two
two and by two

all are parting the cool air
O and when it closes behind them
they are come home
they are arrived

 

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there’s something sacred

First and Last Word

there’s always been something
sacred about a lost corner

of cracked asphalt
under the daylong sun

where absolutely nothing grows
except the sad weeds

 

just as I thought I heard
trumpets sound

though I was taught
the walls were long down

I noted the prophet
head cocked patient

sitting on the curb
beside the riven pavement

and knew there were still ramparts
and work for the trumpeters

 

from my mundane height I hear
every car on the road

every radio every satellite
how much more

does he hear sitting down there
among the holy holy weeds

 

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How lovely is the semblance

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How lovely is the semblance
Eternity is come
And Past and Future gathered are
In compass of this room;

How beautiful the sleeping form
The eyes that look within
The hands that do not seek to grasp
The legs that will not run;

Though Memory’s in water writ
However still it pools
This vision having once had
I cannot bear to lose;

I shall become a student
At that patient school of art
That studies years to draw one line
Direct from eye to heart.

 

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dreamed

4-bears

dreamed
I was
pursued
by 4 bears

1 was continually arriving from beyond the east
1 was striking like a hammer without any anvil
1 was in love with god who tangled him up like a vine
1 was singing like a river om om om om

by 4 bears
pursued
I was
dreamed

 

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The Ring of Fire

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This summer I breathed with you
Past a thousand miles of dead volcanoes
To where the night was a room
Unlit by our lamps.

An owl had outfaced us
Across an empty highway
Flapped into mastered dark
Left us onrushing helplessly.

We stopped just once to argue
About time and commerce.
You had the money but I had the keys
And after that we drove on together.

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It was the gods all right

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And the golden gods went by running
When the day was ending and the sun.
You may not have noticed, they could have been anyone

Except the way the light
Penetrated the world just then;
Except the way the aspen’s goldcoin leaves
Quivered as if air were water;
Except the way the birds went on singing
Even after night rose up all around;
Except the way the bat cut new sigils into the dark
And the way the stars were bright.

They’re gone now but yes
It was the gods all right.

 

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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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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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