There are days when existing
when the ache for
is stronger than the
of the sun.
I hope you never know that.
Snow falling and night falling fast, oh, fast
In a field I looked into going past,
And the ground almost covered smooth in snow,
But a few weeds and stubble showing last.
The woods around it have it—it is theirs.
All animals are smothered in their lairs.
I am too absent-spirited to count;
The loneliness includes me unawares.
And lonely as it is that loneliness
Will be more lonely ere it will be less—
A blanker whiteness of benighted snow
With no expression, nothing to express.
They cannot scare me with their empty spaces
Between stars—on stars where no human race is.
I have it in me so much nearer home
To scare myself with my own desert places.
You were blue today
So I told you, “You look nice.”
And you were still blue.
My home was not that yellow house
Where my mother took to alcohol
To quell the pains that I am only now
Given to understand.
My home was the yard behind it
On moonless nights
With 6,000 stars overhead
Where I’d find peace.
You can never go home again
Wrote Thomas Wolfe—how did he know
They’d build up my hometown
And need more streetlights?
Now my home is a Brigadoon
That returns on that rare night
When power fails
Under clear skies.
Who says that all must vanish?Who knows, perhaps the flight
of the bird you wound remains,
and perhaps flowers survive
caresses in us, in their ground.
It isn’t the gesture that lasts,
but it dresses you again in gold
armor —from breast to knees—
and the battle was so pure
an Angel wears it after you..
Jenny kissed me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in:
Say I’m weary, say I’m sad,
Say that health and wealth have missed me,
Say I’m growing old, but add,
Jenny kissed me.
In memory of those who will give all
Fighting future wars,
Still just children,
Now just children
Playing at games of war,
I shed these tears for your parents’ hearts broken.