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When I began to write, I didn’t know

each of my words would bit by bit remove

things from the world and in return leave blank

You are still on the highway and the great light of

noon comes over the asphalt, the gravelled

shoulders. You are on the highway, there is a kind of

I told her, in plain language, how I felt. 

And by that I mean I mumbled a poorly 

paraphrased and already cryptic passage

Could our first father, at his toilsome plow,

Thorns in his path, and labor on his brow,

Clothed only in a rude, unpolished skin,

My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a tree

Toward heaven still,

And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill

Ah! why, because the dazzling sun

Restored my earth to joy

Have you departed, every one,

Wheat daughter, prisoner of sneaky pigweed, mother

to the five corners of the world and your three hectares,

beak-nosed carpenter’s wife and the potter’s lover,

From childhood’s hour I have not been

As others were — I have not seen

As others saw — I could not bring

“Oh where are you going with your love-locks flowing

On the west wind blowing along this valley track?”

“The downhill path is easy, come with me an it please ye,

It was many and many a year ago,

In a kingdom by the sea,

That a maiden there lived whom you may know

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;

As tumbled over rim in roundy wells

Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s

Often beneath the wave, wide from this ledge

The dice of drowned men’s bones he saw bequeath

An embassy. Their numbers as he watched,

Today doves flew from my head

and my hair grew

the longing is gone from my body

We can never be with loss too long.

Behind the warped door that sticks,

the wood thrush calls to the monks,

Thou ill-form’d offspring of my feeble brain,

Who after birth didst by my side remain,

Till snatched from thence by friends, less wise than true,

Your father worked Drumheller while you ate and slept at home. 

He travelled the badlands, squatted below rocks, read books 

you never knew he read. He sat until his eyes strained to know

Life has loveliness to sell,

All beautiful and splendid things,

Blue waves whitened on a cliff,

Beat! beat! drums! — blow! bugles! blow!

Through the windows — through doors — burst like a ruthless force,

Into the solemn church, and scatter the congregation,

All things within this fading world hath end,

Adversity doth still our joyes attend;

No ties so strong, no friends so dear and sweet,

      The air smells of rhubarb, occasional

Roses, or first birth of blossoms, a fresh,

Undulant hurt, so body snaps and curls

Blow, blow, thou winter wind,

Thou art not so unkind

As man’s ingratitude;

They said, ‘You have a blue guitar,

You do not play things as they are.’

The man replied, ‘Things as they are

A boat, beneath a sunny sky,

Lingering onward dreamily

In an evening of July —

We were combatants from the start. Our dad 

Bought us boxing gloves when we were ten — 

Champions like Euryalus, say, or Epeius 

What if the sun comes out

And the new furrows do not look smeared?

This is April, and the sumach candles

’Tis true, ’tis day, what though it be?

O wilt thou therefore rise from me?

Why should we rise because ’tis light?

Break, break, break,

On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!

And I would that my tongue could utter

my friends, my sweet barbarians,

there is that hunger which is not for food —

but an eye at the navel turns the appetite

Breathe dust like you breathe wind so strong in your face

little grains of dirt which pock around the cheeks peddling

against a dust-storm coming down a street to the edge of

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art —

Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night

And watching, with eternal lids apart,

Down from the purple mist of trees on the mountain,

lurching through forests of white spruce and cedar,

stumbling through tamarack swamps,

At 100 Mile House the cowboys ride in rolling

stagey cigarettes with one hand reining

half-tame bronco rebels on a morning grey as stone

That night your great guns, unawares,

Shook all our coffins as we lay,

And broke the chancel window-squares,

Writing is inhibiting. Sighing, I sit, scribbling in ink

this pidgin script. I sing with nihilistic witticism,

disciplining signs with trifling gimmicks — impish


Half a league, half a league,

Half a league onward,

Where is the word I want?


in the thicket,

Hog Butcher for the World,

Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,

Player with Railroads and the Nation’s Freight Handler;

A little black thing among the snow,

Crying “weep! ‘weep!” in notes of woe!

“Where are thy father and mother? say?”

When my mother died I was very young,

And my father sold me while yet my tongue

Could scarcely cry “‘weep! ‘weep! ‘weep! ‘weep!”

you are unaware of your obscure sources

but you are explicitly sure of the vast sea

as your final destination

 If I were a cinnamon peeler

 I would ride your bed

 and leave the yellow bark dust

The rain this morning pours from the gutters and 

everywhere else it is lost in the trees. You need your 

glasses to single out what you know is there because 

I’ve heard the phrase between you

and me too many times to believe

it to be true, but between me and you

At the end of the garden walk

the wind and its satellite wait for me;

their meaning I will not know

Come up from the fields father, here’s a letter from our Pete,

And come to the front door mother, here’s a letter from thy dear son.

Lo, ’tis autumn

Your best friend falls in love

and her brain turns to water.

You can watch her lips move,

Earth has not anything to show more fair:

Dull would he be of soul who could pass by

A sight so touching in its majesty:

What is he buzzing in my ears?

“Now that I come to die,

Do I view the world as a vale of tears?”

Constantly risking absurdity

                                          and death

            whenever he performs

The books sit on the shelf, a row of coma patients

in a ward, a series of selves no longer able to learn

and trapped at the point of injury: the last page.

Sunset and evening star,

And one clear call for me!

And may there be no moaning of the bar,

If I when my wife is sleeping

and the baby and Kathleen

are sleeping

A startled stag, the blue-grey Night,

Leaps down beyond black pines.

Behind — a length of yellow light —

It is 12:20 in New York a Friday

three days after Bastille day, yes

it is 1959 and I go get a shoeshine

How great unto the living seem the dead!

How sacred, solemn; how heroic grown;

How vast and vague, as they obscurely tread

No, nothing much has changed.

A year later, the world is still one you’d recognize —

no winged cars to clog the air,

He, who navigated with success

the dangerous river of his own birth

once more set forth


Late at night in Oklahoma, a very small, an extremely small man ran across the road in front of my friend’s car. He does not doubt this is real, though the rest of us do, and it doesn’t bother him. 

              dont worry yr eyes

         dont worry yr brain man th snow is

     cummin th bright burds flyin highr, th

The sea is calm tonight.

The tide is full, the moon lies fair

Upon the straits; on the French coast the light

Random Link Clicker.

Royal Bath Taker.

Receiver of Foot Rubs and Praise.

Take this kiss upon the brow!

And, in parting from you now,

Thus much let me avow —

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,

Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,

Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,

Once one gets what one wants

one no longer wants it.

One no longer wants what?

The trick to building houses was making sure 

they didn’t taste good. The ocean’s culinary taste 

was growing more sophisticated and occasionally 

The train has stopped for no apparent reason

In the wilds;

A frozen lake is level and fretted over

An old, mad, blind, despised, and dying King;

Princes, the dregs of their dull race, who flow

Through public scorn, — mud from a muddy spring;

On her Son H.P. at St. Syth’s Church where her body also lies interred

What on Earth deserves our trust?

Youth and Beauty both are dust.

— so we said to the somewhat: Be born —

     & the shadow kept arriving in segments, 

    cold currents pushed minerals

The lords of life, the lords of life, —

I saw them pass,

In their own guise,

The snake can separate itself

from its shadow, move on ribbons of light,

taste the air, the morning and the evening,

Hello, listen, I’m on a field phone, do not speak until I say “over.”

Repeat, don’t talk until I say “over.” Over. Do you understand,

or was your silence intentional? Over.


through black jade.

   Of the crow-blue mussel shells, one keeps

Dear Regret, my leaning this morning, my leather foot, want of

stone, age old, my burnished and bruised, hair lingering, hand

caked, spongy as November, my dear Relentless, my dear Aging,

What torture lurks within a single thought

When grown too constant, and however kind,

However welcome still, the weary mind

We deemed the secret lost, the spirit gone,

Which spake in Greek simplicity of thought,

And in the forms of gods and heroes wrought

Mark but this flea, and mark in this,

How little that which thou deniest me is;

Me it sucked first, and now sucks thee,

arsenic in calculators, mercury in felt

hats, mad as a poisoned hatter

pyrophoric undercurrent in mundane

Follow thy fair sun, unhappy shadow,

Though thou be black as night

And she made all of light,

Sometimes we are led through the doorway

by a child, sometimes

by a stranger, always a matter of grace changing

My bands of silk and miniver

Momently grew heavier;

The black gauze was beggarly thin;

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;

Where knowledge is free;

Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;

Give all to love;

Obey thy heart;

Friends, kindred, days,

a glass tube

for my leg       says Hugo Ball

my hat a cylinder

I wonder, by my troth, what thou and I

Did, till we loved? Were we not weaned till then?

But sucked on country pleasures, childishly?

I tell you, hopeless grief is passionless;

That only men incredulous of despair,

Half-taught in anguish, through the midnight air

like the beginnings — o odales o adagios — of islands

from under the clouds where I write the first poem

its brown warmth now that we recognize them

To Kristin Lems

We miss something now

as we think about it


If but some vengeful god would call to me

From up the sky, and laugh: “Thou suffering thing,

Know that thy sorrow is my ecstasy,

From plains that reel to southward, dim,

The road runs by me white and bare;

Up the steep hill it seems to swim

My father bequeathed me no wide estates;

No keys and ledgers were my heritage;

Only some holy books with yahrzeit dates

By H. D.

All Greece hates

the still eyes in the white face,

the lustre as of olives

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee

Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;

For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow

In the onion, there’s

something of fire. That fire known as

Fog. The onion is the way

“Hope” is the thing with feathers — 

That perches in the soul — 

And sings the tune without the words — 

I am awake between stiff

sheets tonight in room thirty

four, listening to the heat

They are all gone away,

The House is shut and still,

There is nothing more to say.

For weeks and weeks the autumn world stood still,

Clothed in the shadow of a smoky haze;

The fields were dead, the wind had lost its will,

Wilt thou forgive that sin where I begun,

Which was my sin, though it were done before?

Wilt thou forgive that sin, through which I run,

I am — yet what I am none cares or knows;

My friends forsake me like a memory lost:

I am the self-consumer of my woes —

i am writing to tell you

that yes, indeed,

we have noticed

I am the people — the mob — the crowd — the mass.

Do you know that all the great work of the world is done through me?

I am the workingman, the inventor, the maker of the world’s food and clothes.

Down a long, long corridor 

I keep walking… 

—A window straight ahead so bright it hurts the eyes, 

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,

And Mourners to and fro

Kept treading — treading — till it seemed

I have not lingered in European monasteries

and discovered among the tall grasses tombs of knights

who fell as beautifully as their ballads tell;

I think I should have loved you presently,

And given in earnest words I flung in jest;

And lifted honest eyes for you to see,

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

If this brain’s over-tempered

consider that the fire was want

and the hammers were fists.

Calved from a glacier near Godhaven coast,

It left the fiord for the sea — a host

Of white flotillas gathering in its wake,

We cannot know this statue, this satyr 

with his head propped on a wineskin; 

we cannot know if he dreams. In fact, 

wandering to the other, wandering

the spiritual realities, skilled in all

ways of contending, he did not search

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

If I were to sleep, it would be on an iron bed,

bolted to the floor in a bomb-proof concrete room

with twelve locks on the door.

Thin are the night-skirts left behind

By daybreak hours that onward creep,

And thin, alas! the shred of sleep

Newfoundland is, or was, full of interesting people.

Like Larry, who would make a fool of himself on street corners

for a nickel. There was the Russian who called himself

I ask them to take a poem

and hold it up to the light

like a color slide

Piping down the valleys wild,

Piping songs of pleasant glee,

On a cloud I saw a child,

Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the Pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

I know that I shall meet my fate

Somewhere among the clouds above;

Those that I fight I do not hate,

So I’m an alcoholic Catholic mother-lover

yet there is no sweetish nectar no fuzzed-peach

thing no song sing but in the word

Pavement slipp’ry, people sneezing,

Lords in ermine, beggars freezing;

Titled gluttons dainties carving,

“A cold coming we had of it,

Just the worst time of the year

For a journey, and such a long journey:

Someone waiting in the lobby of a Hotel Imperial amid

the spaciousness tourists and peeling gold leaf

might see it all as too hesitant for truth

the re-invention of oneself 

through the tongues of whispering mountains 

the re-arrangement of the universe 

Or, a vision in a dream. A Fragment.

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan

A stately pleasure-dome decree:

O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,

Alone and palely loitering?

The sedge has withered from the lake,

O quam te memorem virgo...

Stand on the highest pavement of the stair —

Lean on a garden urn —


before the sun’s liquid

spilled gradually, flooding

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,

And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;

Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,

‘O Jesus Christ! I’m hit,’ he said; and died.

Whether he vainly cursed, or prayed indeed,

The Bullets chirped — In vain! vain! vain!

Hidden in wonder and snow, or sudden with summer,

This land stares at the sun in a huge silence

Endlessly repeating something we cannot hear.

oh papa, to have you drift up, some part of you drift up through

water through

fresh water into the teal plate of sky soaking foothills, papa,

Escape me?

Never —


God moves in a mysterious way,

His wonders to perform;

He plants his footsteps in the sea,

‘Is there anybody there?’ said the Traveller,

Knocking on the moonlit door;

And his horse in the silence champed the grasses

When I put my finger to the hole they’ve cut for a dimmer switch

in a wall of plaster stiffened with horsehair

it seems I’ve scratched a two-hundred-year-old itch

Cedar and jagged fir

uplift sharp barbs

against the gray

Lord of my heart’s elation,

Spirit of things unseen,

Be thou my aspiration

Love bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back,

Guilty of dust and sin.

But quick-ey’d Love, observing me grow slack

Love in Fantastic Triumph sat,

Whilst Bleeding Hearts around him flowed,

For whom Fresh pains he did Create,

The sun goes down, and over all

These barren reaches by the tide

Such unelusive glories fall,

About the Shark, phlegmatical one,

Pale sot of the Maldive sea,

The sleek little pilot-fish, azure and slim,

“Had he and I but met

By some old ancient inn,

We should have sat us down to wet

A march in the ranks hard-prest, and the road unknown,

A route through a heavy wood with muffled steps in the darkness,

Our army foil’d with loss severe, and the sullen remnant retreating,

A thin wet sky, that yellows at the rim,

And meets with sun-lost lip the marsh’s brim.

The pools low lying, dank with moss and mould,

Backward & down into inbetween as Vicki says. Or as Robin teaches

the gap, from which all things emerge. A left

handed compliment. Bats, houses of parliament, giants, stones.

Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn,

Grew lean while he assailed the seasons;

He wept that he was ever born,

side a:

1. 18 and Life

her friend takes her to

We have each tried to read to him, with no success, except for James, 

who read him all of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Travels with a Donkey in the


Coin Exhibit, British Museum.

Their misshapenness strikes the table in tiny splashes,

like still-cooling splatters of silver. Stater and shekel,

Mr. Kessler, you know, was in the army,

And he drew six dollars a month as a pension,

And stood on the corner talking politics,

There are no stars tonight

But those of memory.

Yet how much room for memory there is

Very loud    a mad frenzy    The wooden

barrel she rode would have roared


(I first wrote “road”)

That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall,

Looking as if she were alive. I call

That piece a wonder, now; Frà Pandolf’s hands

Sure, there’s a spell the leaves can make, shuddering, 

and in their lying suddenly still again — flat, and still, 

like time itself when it seems unexpectedly more 

I was ready for a new experience.

All the old ones had burned out.

They lay in little ashy heaps along the roadside

Sent to the ice after white coats,

rough outfit slung on coiled rope belts,

they stooped to the slaughter: gaffed pups,

No coward soul is mine

No trembler in the world’s storm-troubled sphere

I see Heaven’s glories shine

A noiseless patient spider,

I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated,

Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,

Nobody heard him, the dead man,

But still he lay moaning:

I was much further out than you thought 

If all the world and love were young,

And truth in every Shepherd’s tongue,

These pretty pleasures might me move,

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,

The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,

The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,

Happy the man, whose wish and care

A few paternal acres bound,

Content to breathe his native air,

’Twas on a lofty vase’s side,

Where China’s gayest art had dyed

The azure flowers that blow;

Oh, Hope! thou soother sweet of human woes!

How shall I lure thee to my haunts forlorn!

For me wilt thou renew the withered rose,

Ay, tear her tattered ensign down!

Long has it waved on high,

And many an eye has danced to see

I grieve and dare not show my discontent,

I love and yet am forced to seem to hate,

I do, yet dare not say I ever meant,

What needs my Shakespeare for his honoured bones,

The labor of an age in pilèd stones,

Or that his hallowed relics should be hid

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;

so many things seem filled with the intent

to be lost that their loss is no disaster.


The Owl and the Pussy-Cat went to sea

In a beautiful pea-green boat,

I met a traveller from an antique land,

Who said — “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone

Stand in the desert.... Near them, on the sand,

In the middle of the night Matt would fly to Vancouver so he could take a walk on the sea wall the next day, then go home.

Wouldnt tell anyone, no telephone call, just run a scene through his peculiar Ontario head, no snow on that beach.

No one can imagine Matt teaching religion at McMaster, Matt eyeing math in a Bay Street shop window.

Come live with me and be my love,

And we will all the pleasures prove,

That Valleys, groves, hills, and fields,

I lift the Lord on high,

Under the murmuring hemlock boughs, and see

The small birds of the forest lingering by

Glory be to God for dappled things —

For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;

For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;

It was powdered blood

in heavy brown paper bags

supposed to be strong enough

The sky, lit up like a question or

an applause meter, is beautiful

like everything else today: the leaves

Out of the deep and the dark,

A sparkling mystery, a shape,

Something perfect,

I too, dislike it: there are things that are important

                        beyond all this fiddle.

   Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one

Queen and King, they rule side by side

in golden thrones above the clouds.

Her giggle and wide eyes remind him

A high bare field, brown from the plough, and borne

Aslant from sunset; amber wastes of sky

Washing the ridge; a clamour of crows that fly

I am told by many of you that I must forgive and so I shall   

after an Indian woman puts her shoulder to the Grand Coulee Dam   

and topples it. I am told by many of you that I must forgive  


The winter evening settles down

With smell of steaks in passageways.

Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white;

Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk;

Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font.

What the Heart of the Young Man Said to the Psalmist.

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,

Life is but an empty dream!

When God at first made man,

Having a glass of blessings standing by,

“Let us,” said he, “pour on him all we can.

            It is 2005, just before landfall.

Here I am, a labyrinth, and I am a mess.

I am located at the corner of Waterway

GOODLOOKING BOY wasn’t he / yes/ blond /

yes / I do vaguely

/ you never liked

O my Luve is like a red, red rose

That’s newly sprung in June;

O my Luve is like the melody

Out through the fields and the woods

And over the walls I have wended;

I have climbed the hills of view

Ay, gaze upon her rose-wreathed hair,

And gaze upon her smile;

Seem as you drank the very air

Whenever Richard Cory went down town,

We people on the pavement looked at him:

He was a gentleman from sole to crown,

Lay down these words

Before your mind like rocks.

             placed solid, by hands   

After Li Po

While my hair was still cut straight across my forehead

I played about the front gate, pulling flowers.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

Jenny kissed me when we met,

Jumping from the chair she sat in;

Time, you thief, who love to get

Often visitors there, saddened   

by lack of trees, go out   

to a promontory.

Here at Woodlands, Moriah, 

these thirty-five years later, 

still I could smell her fear. 

60s pulled us from starvation into government jobs

antiquated Indians in Saskatchewan danced for rain

Manitoba Indian doings were hidden for a jealous

His Grace! impossible! what dead!

Of old age too, and in his bed!

And could that mighty warrior fall?

Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

He wants to be

a brutal old man,

an aggressive old man,

Shall earth no more inspire thee,

Thou lonely dreamer now?

Since passion may not fire thee

She walks in beauty, like the night

Of cloudless climes and starry skies;

And all that’s best of dark and bright

Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,

Arrives the snow, and, driving o’er the fields,

Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air

So, we’ll go no more a roving

So late into the night,

Though the heart be still as loving,

If I should die, think only this of me:

That there’s some corner of a foreign field

That is for ever England. There shall be

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;

Weep, and you weep alone;

For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,

Sometimes a voice — have you heard this? —

wants not to be voice any longer, wants something

whispering between the words, some

sometimes I find myself


at the oddest moment

Go, lovely rose!

Tell her that wastes her time and me,

That now she knows,

Drink to me only with thine eyes,

And I will pledge with mine;

Or leave a kiss but in the cup,

Come, my Celia, let us prove,

While we can, the sports of love;

Time will not be ours forever;

Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Admit impediments. Love is not love

Which alters when it alteration finds,

Not marble nor the gilded monuments

Of princes shall outlive this powerful rhyme,

But you shall shine more bright in these contents

Our life is like a forest, where the sun

Glints down upon us through the throbbing leaves;

The full light rarely find us. One by one,

When I consider everything that grows

Holds in perfection but a little moment,

That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

Methought I saw my late espoused saint

Brought to me, like Alcestis, from the grave,

Whom Jove’s great son to her glad husband gave,

When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,

I all alone beweep my outcast state,

And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height

My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight

He totaled his blue truck — 

slowly spun out on an icy bridge, 

rammed it into a guard rail. 

When daisies pied and violets blue

And lady-smocks all silver-white

And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue

Nothing is so beautiful as Spring —

When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;

Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush

At the beginning I noticed

the huge stones on my path

I knew instinctively

The willows are thinking again about thickness,

slowness, lizard skin on hot rock,

and day by day this imaging transforms them

yesterday at the Oakland zoo

I was walking alone for a moment

past the enclosure holding the sun bear

          What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whitman, for I walked

down the sidestreets under the trees with a headache self-conscious looking

at the full moon.

Sweet sweet sweet sweet sweet tea.

    Susie Asado.

Sweet sweet sweet sweet sweet tea.

For Hetti Corea, 8 years old

‘The Sinhalese are beyond a doubt one of the least musical

people in the world. It would be quite impossible to have

For everyone

The swimmer's moment at the whirlpool comes,

But many at that moment will not say

These poems, these poems,

these poems, she said, are poems

with no love in them. These are the poems of a man 


In view of the fading animals

the proliferation of sewers and fears   

They flee from me that sometime did me seek

With naked foot, stalking in my chamber.

I have seen them gentle, tame, and meek,

This city is beauty

unbreakable and amorous as eyelids,

in the streets, pressed with fierce departures,

Thou poem of lost attention and half try,

do you fear more the inner world or outer?


I do not love the self less than the others,

There, Robert, you have kill’d that fly — ,

And should you thousand ages try

The life you’ve taken to supply,

A moment the wild swallows like a flight

Of withered gust-caught leaves, serenely high,

Toss in the windrack up the muttering sky.

The tide rises, the tide falls,

The twilight darkens, the curlew calls;

Along the sea-sands damp and brown

On Turning up in Her Nest with the Plough, November, 1785

Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim’rous beastie,

O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!

When Love with unconfinèd wings

Hovers within my Gates,

And my divine Althea brings

The time you won your town the race

We chaired you through the market-place;

Man and boy stood cheering by,

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,

Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;

Conspiring with him how to load and bless

Helen, thy beauty is to me

Like those Nicéan barks of yore,

That gently, o’er a perfumed sea,

Had we but world enough and time,

This coyness, lady, were no crime.

We would sit down, and think which way

If ever two were one, then surely we.

If ever man were loved by wife, then thee.

If ever wife was happy in a man,

Wife and servant are the same,

But only differ in the name:

For when that fatal knot is tied,

Gather ye rose-buds while ye may,

Old Time is still a-flying;

And this same flower that smiles today

More than a storey high and twice that long,

it looks igneous, the Buhler Versatile 2360,

possessed of the ecology of some hellacious

The elevator carries the trash

and the trash carry gilded cell phones.

The suits are hooked up for the weekend

Fair tree! for thy delightful shade

’Tis just that some return be made;

Sure some return is due from me

There are things you have words for, things you do not

have words for. There are words that encompass all your

feelings & words that encompass none. There are feelings

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

In the forests of the night,

What immortal hand or eye

Does the road wind up-hill all the way?

Yes, to the very end.

Will the day’s journey take the whole long day?

About me the night        moonless           wimples the mountains

wraps ocean      land         air           and mounting

sucks at the stars       The city            throbbing below

No, no! Go from me. I have left her lately.

I will not spoil my sheath with lesser brightness,

For my surrounding air hath a new lightness;

It is never easy

Walking with an invisible border

Separating my left and right foot


In my body flows the blood of Gallic

Bastille stormers and the soft, gentle

ways of Salish/Cree womanhood.

We wear the mask that grins and lies,

It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes, —

This debt we pay to human guile;

What horror to awake at night

and in the dimness see the light.

               Time is white

When I consider how my light is spent,

Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,

And that one Talent which is death to hide

When I have fears that I may cease to be

Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain,

Before high-pilèd books, in charactery,

When I was fair and young, then favor graced me.

Of many was I sought their mistress for to be.

But I did scorn them all and answered them therefore:

Rain at Muchalat, rain at Sooke, 

And rain, they say, from Yale to Skeena, 

And the skid-roads blind, and never a look 

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,

And nodding by the fire, take down this book,

And slowly read, and dream of the soft look

Where there’s a wall

there’s a way through a

gate or door. There’s even

Living, I had no might

To make you hear,

Now, in the inmost night,

Wild Nights — Wild Nights!

Were I with thee

Wild Nights should be

I caught this morning morning’s minion, king-

dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding

Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding

It was down that road he brought me, still

in the trunk of his car. I won’t say it felt right,

but it did feel expected. The way you know

The simple contact with a wooden spoon and the word

recovered itself, began to spread as grass, forced   

as it lay sprawling to consider the monument where  

The world is too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers; —

Little we see in Nature that is ours;

creation stories are lullabies for grown-ups

they remind us of all the possible ways & means

that worlds can be born

Entirely windless, today’s sea; of these waters’ many names

the best seemed “field-of-pearl-leaves,” for it smelled like the air

in the house he built entirely of doors: pink school door,

You charm’d me not with that fair face

Though it was all divine:

To be another’s is the grace,