Poem – Several Questions Answered

What is it men in women do require?
The lineaments of Gratified Desire.
What is it women do in men require?
The lineaments of Gratified Desire.

The look of love alarms
Because ’tis fill’d with fire;
But the look of soft deceit
Shall Win the lover’s hire.

Soft Deceit & Idleness,
These are Beauty’s sweetest dress.

He who binds to himself a joy
Dot the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in Eternity’s sunrise

Poem – Upon a Dying Lady

I
Her Courtesy

WITH the old kindness, the old distinguished grace,
She lies, her lovely piteous head amid dull red hair
propped upon pillows, rouge on the pallor of her face.
She would not have us sad because she is lying there,
And when she meets our gaze her eyes are laughter-lit,
Her speech a wicked tale that we may vie with her,
Matching our broken-hearted wit against her wit,
Thinking of saints and of petronius Arbiter.

II
Curtain Artist bring her Dolls and Drawings
Bring where our Beauty lies
A new modelled doll, or drawing,
With a friend’s or an enemy’s
Features, or maybe showing
Her features when a tress
Of dull red hair was flowing
Over some silken dress
Cut in the Turkish fashion,
Or, it may be, like a boy’s.
We have given the world our passion,
We have naught for death but toys.

III
She turns the Dolls’ Faces to the Wall
Because to-day is some religious festival
They had a priest say Mass, and even the Japanese,
Heel up and weight on toe, must face the wall
— Pedant in passion, learned in old courtesies,
Vehement and witty she had seemed — ; the Venetian lady
Who had seemed to glide to some intrigue in her red shoes,
Her domino, her panniered skirt copied from Longhi;
The meditative critic; all are on their toes,
Even our Beauty with her Turkish trousers on.
Because the priest must have like every dog his day
Or keep us all awake with baying at the moon,
We and our dolls being but the world were best away.

IV
The End of Day
She is playing like a child
And penance is the play,
Fantastical and wild
Because the end of day
Shows her that some one soon
Will come from the house, and say —
Though play is but half done —
‘Come in and leave the play.’

V
Her Race
She has not grown uncivil
As narrow natures would
And called the pleasures evil
Happier days thought good;
She knows herself a woman,
No red and white of a face,
Or rank, raised from a common
Vnreckonable race;
And how should her heart fail her
Or sickness break her will
With her dead brother’s valour
For an example still?

VI
Her Courage
When her soul flies to the predestined dancing-place
(I have no speech but symbol, the pagan speech I made
Amid the dreams of youth) let her come face to face,
Amid that first astonishment, with Grania’s shade,
All but the terrors of the woodland flight forgot
That made her Diatmuid dear, and some old cardinal
Pacing with half-closed eyelids in a sunny spot
Who had murmured of Giorgione at his latest breath —
Aye, and Achilles, Timor, Babar, Barhaim, all
Who have lived in joy and laughed into the face of Death.

VII
Her Friends bring her a Christmas Tree
pardon, great enemy,
Without an angry thought
We’ve carried in our tree,
And here and there have bought
Till all the boughs are gay,
And she may look from the bed
On pretty things that may
please a fantastic head.
Give her a little grace,
What if a laughing eye
Have looked into your face?
It is about to die.

Poem – No Doctor’s Today, Thank You

They tell me that euphoria is the feeling of feeling wonderful,well, 

today I feel euphorian,

Today I have the agility of a Greek god and the appetitite of a

Victorian.

Yes, today I may even go forth without my galoshes,

Today I am a swashbuckler, would anybody like me to buckle

any swashes?

This is my euphorian day,

I will ring welkins and before anybody answers I will run away.

I will tame me a caribou

And bedeck it with marabou.

I will pen me my memoirs.

Ah youth, youth! What euphorian days them was!

I wasn’t much of a hand for the boudoirs,

I was generally to be found where the food was.

Does anybody want any flotsam?

I’ve gotsam.

Does anybody want any jetsam?

I can getsam.

I can play chopsticks on the Wurlitzer,

I can speak Portuguese like a Berlitzer.

I can don or doff my shoes without tying or untying the laces because

I am wearing moccasins,

And I practically know the difference between serums and antitoccasins.

Kind people, don’t think me purse-proud, don’t set me down as

vainglorious,

I’m just a little euphorious. 

Sonnet of Motherhood XXIX – Zora Bernice May Cross 

How strangely lone unto myself I grow,

Listening and looking for I know not what;

Turning my head with terror cold and hot

At wandering whispers of a music low!

Familiar pieces of my being flow

Far, far away, to thymy hill and plot,

While chained to patience in this close-shut spot

I sit apart from everything I know.
O Love, I fear the loneness of my limbs

Leaning to nothing to their solitude.

Draw up the blinds and let the stars rush in,

The mournful moon and all the air she swims.

I would not languish in my mother-mood

While just without earth makes her old, mad din. 

North Haven – Elizabeth Bishop

In Memoriam: Robert Lowell 
I can make out the rigging of a schooner

a mile off; I can count

the new cones on the spruce. It is so still

the pale bay wears a milky skin; the sky

no clouds except for one long, carded horse¹s tail.
The islands haven’t shifted since last summer,

even if I like to pretend they have–

drifting, in a dreamy sort of way,

a little north, a little south, or sidewise–

and that they¹re free within the blue frontiers of bay.
This month our favorite one is full of flowers:

buttercups, red clover, purple vetch,

hackweed still burning, daisies pied, eyebright,

the fragrant bedstraw’s incandescent stars,

and more, returned, to paint the meadows with delight.
The goldfinches are back, or others like them,

and the white-throated sparrow’s five-note song,

pleading and pleading, brings tears to the eyes.

Nature repeats herself, or almost does:

repeat, repeat, repeat; revise, revise, revise.
Years ago, you told me it was here

(in 1932?) you first “discovered girls”

and learned to sail, and learned to kiss.

You had “such fun,” you said, that classic summer.

(“Fun”–it always seemed to leave you at a loss…)
You left North Haven, anchored in its rock,

afloat in mystic blue…And now–you’ve left

for good. You can’t derange, or rearrange,

your poems again. (But the sparrows can their song.)

The words won’t change again. Sad friend, you cannot change. 

Uncle Jim – Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

‘I got no time fer wasters, lad,’ sez ‘e, 

‘Give me a man wiv grit,’ sez Uncle Jim. 

‘E bores ‘is cute ole eyes right into me, 

While I stares ‘ard an’ gives it back to ‘im. 

Then orl at once ‘e grips me ‘and in ‘is: 

‘Some’ow,’ ‘e sez, ‘I likes yer ugly phiz.’ 
‘You got a look,’ ‘e sez, ‘like you could stay; 

Altho’ yeh mauls King’s English when yeh yaps, 

An’ ‘angs flash frills on ev’rythink yeh say. 

I ain’t no grammarist meself, per’aps, 

But langwidge is a ‘elp, I owns,’ sez Unk, 

‘When things is goin’ crook.’ An’ ‘ere ‘e wunk. 
‘Yeh’ll find it tough,’ ‘e sez, ‘to knuckle down. 

Good farmin’ is a gift—like spoutin’ slang. 

Yeh’ll ‘ave to cut the luxuries o’ town, 

An’ chuck the manners of this back-street gang; 

Fer country life ain’t cigarettes and beer.’ 

‘I’m game,’ I sez. Sez Uncle, ‘Put it ‘ere!’ 
Like that I took the plunge, an’ slung the game. 

I’ve parted wiv them joys I ‘eld most dear; 

I’ve sent the leery bloke that bore me name 

Clean to the pack wivout one pearly tear; 

An’ frum the ashes of a ne’er-do-well 

A bloomin’ farmer’s blossomin’ like ‘ell. 
Farmer! That’s me! Wiv this ‘ere strong right ‘and 

I’ve gripped the plough; and blistered jist a treat. 

Doreen an’ me ‘as gone upon the land. 

Yours truly fer the burden an’ the ‘eat! 

Yours truly fer upendin’ chunks o’ soil! 

The ‘ealthy, ‘ardy, ‘appy son o’ toil! 
I owns I’ve ‘ankered fer me former joys; 

I’ve ‘ad me hours o’ broodin’ on me woes; 

I’ve missed the comp’ny, an’ I’ve missed the noise, 

The football matches an’ the picter shows. 

I’ve missed—but, say, it makes me feel fair mean 

To whip the cat; an’ then see my Doreen. 
To see the colour comin’ in ‘er cheeks, 

To see ‘er eyes grow brighter day be day, 

The new, glad way she looks an’ laughs an’ speaks 

Is worf ten times the things I’ve chucked away. 

An’ there’s a secret, whispered in the dark, 

‘As made me ‘eart sing like a flamin’ lark. 
Jist let me tell yeh ‘ow it come about. 

The things that I’ve been thro’ ‘ud fill a book. 

Right frum me birf Fate played to knock me out; 

The ‘and that I ‘ad dealt to me was crook! 

Then comes Doreen, an’ patches up me parst; 

Now Forchin’s come to bunk wiv me at larst. 
First orf, one night poor Mar gits suddin fits, 

An’ floats wivout the time to wave ‘good-byes.’ 

Doreen is orl broke up the day she flits; 

It tears me ‘eart in two the way she cries. 

To see ‘er grief, it almost made me glad 

I never knowed the mar I must ‘ave ‘ad. 
We done poor Muvver proud when she went out 

A slap-up send-orf, trimmed wiv tears an’ crape. 

An’ then fer weeks Doreen she mopes about, 

An’ life takes on a gloomy sorter shape. 

I watch ‘er face git pale, ‘er eyes grow dim; 

Till—like some ‘airy angel—comes ole Jim. 
A cherub togged in sunburn an’ a beard 

An’ duds that shouted ”Ayseed!’ fer a mile: 

Care took the count the minute ‘e appeared, 

An’ sorrer shrivelled up before ‘is smile, 

‘E got the ‘ammer-lock on my good-will 

The minute that ‘e sez, ‘So, this is Bill.’ 
It’s got me beat. Doreen’s late Par, some way, 

Was second cousin to ‘is bruvver’s wife. 

Somethin’ like that. In less than ‘arf a day 

It seemed ‘e’d been my uncle orl me life. 

‘E takes me ‘and: ‘I dunno ‘ow it is,’ 

‘E sez, ‘but, lad, I likes that ugly phiz.’ 
An’ when ‘e’d stayed wiv us a little while 

The ‘ouse begun to look like ‘ome once more. 

Doreen she brightens up beneath ‘is smile, 

An’ ‘ugs ‘im till I kids I’m gettin’ sore. 

Then, late one night, ‘e opens up ‘is scheme, 

An’ passes me wot looks like some fond dream. 
‘E ‘as a little fruit-farm, doin’ well; 

‘E saved a tidy bit to see ‘im thro’; 

‘E’s gittin’ old fer toil, an’ wants a spell; 

An’ ‘ere’s a ‘ome jist waitin’ fer us two. 

‘It’s ‘ers an’ yours fer keeps when I am gone,’ 

Sez Uncle Jim. ‘Lad, will yeh take it on?’ 
So that’s the strength of it. An’ ‘ere’s me now 

A flamin’ berry farmer, full o’ toil; 

Playin’ joo-jitsoo wiv an’ ‘orse an’ plough, 

An’ coaxin’ fancy tucker frum the soil, 

An’ longin’, while I wrestles with the rake, 

Fer days when me poor back fergits to ache. 
Me days an’ nights is full of schemes an’ plans 

To figger profits an’ cut out the loss; 

An’ when the pickin’s on, I ‘ave me ‘an’s 

To take me orders while I act the boss; 

It’s sorter sweet to ‘ave the right to rouse…. 

An’ my Doreen’s the lady of the ‘ouse. 
To see ‘er bustlin’ ’round about the place, 

Full of the simple joy o’ doin’ things, 

That thoughtful, ‘appy look upon ‘er face, 

That ‘ope an’ peace an’ pride o’ labour brings, 

Is worth the crowd of joys I knoo one time, 

An’ makes regrettin’ ’em seem like a crime. 
An’ ev’ry little while ole Uncle Jim 

Comes up to stay a bit an’ pass a tip. 

It gives us ‘eart jist fer to look at ‘im, 

An’ feel the friendship in ‘is warm ‘and-grip. 

‘Im, wiv the sunburn on ‘is kind ole dile; 

‘Im, wiv the sunbeams in ‘is sweet ole smile. 
‘I got no time fer wasters, lad,’ sez ‘e, 

‘But that there ugly mug o’ yourn I trust.’ 

An’ so I reckon that it’s up to me 

To make a bloomin’ do of it or bust. 

I got to take the back-ache wiv the rest, 

An’ plug along, an’ do me little best. 
Luck ain’t no steady visitor, I know; 

But now an’ then it calls—fer look at me! 

You wouldn’t take me, ’bout a year ago, 

Free gratis wiv a shillin’ pound o’ tea; 

Then, in a blessed leap, ole Forchin lands 

A missus an’ a farm fair in me ‘ands.

Geography Lesson – Brian Patten

Our teacher told us one day he would leave 

And sail across a warm blue sea 

To places he had only known from maps, 

And all his life had longed to be. 

The house he lived in was narrow and grey 

But in his mind’s eye he could see 

Sweet-scented jasmine clinging to the walls, 

And green leaves burning on an orange tree. 

He spoke of the lands he longed to visit, 

Where it was never drab or cold. 

I couldn’t understand why he never left, 

And shook off the school’s stranglehold. 

Then halfway through his final term 

He took ill and never returned, 

And he never got to that place on the map 

Where the green leaves of the orange trees burned. 

The maps were redrawn on the classroom wall; 

His name was forgotten, it faded away. 

But a lesson he never knew he taught 

Is with me to this day. 

I travel to where the green leaves burn 

To where the ocean’s glass-clear and blue, 

To all those places my teacher taught me to love 

But which he never knew.