You, my several, severed, Gentle selves, limned with wishes-- In the dawnwash of daybreak delivered (When sleep's gone over to ashes), I write my soul's shelving shore On eyelids and tears. Come, while the saying's braying And the farmshed's full of wisdom Lowing to be milked by however praying, Come walk the dawn's ways, and some Of your gentle heart's heats share With mouth and ear. Together in the forevering grace Of day brought burning from its source Let's let simplest and supremest play Nor ask the sun to go another course But with hands crossed as lilies lay Dissolve into love.
This spirit of mine is something unstudied, Inexorable and white, alive in solemn permanence. ---Lord Dermond To forget about the self at the self's Uttermost extent; it is the self Made a self at last. To survive in vigor The confinement of the eye, The glistering pinhole through which The self is summoned As by a bronze gong Until all the air is peacock feathers Is one way--in wild trial-- That the self, and its amiable Particulars may be forgotten. Cheered onward in a doubtful dark By numerous rumoring murmurs And silken sibilances, as if Drawn on by a forceful river Tumbling a blind man downstream To the sound of thickening confusion Is another way for the self to go,-- On and on, on and on, In dark discovery. To feel our broadening sexual silks Pulled and pulled, as through A pinhole, through the self And out of the self and into Another, and that self flowing And pulling as if a river until Our colors lay piled and swollen Before our adoring, a silken sail Full-bellied with desiring And with desiring only--a wind That moves through the self the self Had left behind and abandoned On the shore of no more. Is that another way, a wayless way Of want and wont? Dead or dreaming, the self Disappears, and in its place, In the place of the self spilled out Of itself, displaced and streaming, The self that had left its eye behind Like an abandoned portal, The self that had had an ear And has an ear no more, bereft, as it was, Among night voices in a dark place, The self that had had a sex Torn away in a shimmering wind Until the self has a self no more,-- Is only this, this fathomless Wildness without a where Without a how, without a why, Only this this,--in the place of that, Nearby, nearly here, In the place of the place and in place of it. A contemptuous wind Crawls like sludge Over motley rocks.
A creature of whatever trouble Is cartilage and mischief, Trimmed in skin and the smile's lie That all shall be kinship 'til kinship dies. A creature of whichever wish Is eyelashes and ifs, Entrancing Time in evening's dish To coddle dear dreams 'til sun's undone. O creature picked of which and what, All elbows and ears, Take of this trouble its whatever worth And wish the wisher kin until His wish full is of death and earth.
Wrung from the walleyed wait of the womb, Marooned to a prayer from god's grave side And all community of the duly good, An apple unpinned from its savior branch, I fall as I fell, have fallen, will fall Each rainy inch in angst against gravity. Born moonblind to majesty and mystery And deaf to reverenced heaven's sighs, Alone on the lovely ground crowded with brothers And blitzed by a gracing despair, I rot Blood-ripe and rosy beyond my own reach. Against this windy time will I stand again Who fell to a world wrung dumb by pain? I inch each word in angered prayer to a leaf.
Doublecrossed by the terror of birth Into the troubled thrum of becoming, Uneaseful in our mirth, When summer's feather moults to winter's bone--- We wake in cold wonder At snow's undoing. Wrenched upright, awry by our thrown bones-- Uncramped from the comfortable hunch Inside neutral mother And stretched to stand in decisive day, Thrown to thrones in the hissing wheats, We bleed into seed. Shambleshanks unpacked on a walk as long as thought, Our knowing as nothing as nothing else Unless such nothing is--- We hold seed and snow in eye and hand; In bone and feather bred, our flight Tells all and nothing less Than Christ-crossed oblivion.
Dreaming of sleep in a tear-tugged thrub, Hammocked in heartstop, my picayune pulse Charts angina and angst incarnadined And slows my blood woes to was. Dumbly in dreams my aspiring vine Climbs moon and sun---in calms, in gusts;--- I arise on passion's hid hooks to this Wither of insistences. Said the unopened poem in my buttoned heart: "Too dumbly comforted you lay your limbs Wet upon the sandy shoals of pain, Too fell, too full, too grievy and grim." Now hung christ-crossed on an electric cord And stabbed by life's lethargic thorns, I bleed my soul's mutinies to the seething sea, A leviathan on a rock, stillborn.
Gallant as a cloud, proud Before all the eyes of earth, death No more niggly than a gnat, hat Never humbly in hand, upstand- Ing I was born. Feathered in fiery skin, sin A stranger to my heart-knot I ran graced, and I crowed, crowned By loud Love's crying spires All my lengthening youth. Outfitted with a suit of ruth, death My wages on my way, away I gave day to moon-soothing night, lit By my scholar's candle, dull- Witted with ignorance and loss. O I knew nothing, nothing In my pinnacled prime, time My wings and my hearse; terse Time clocked me back to one; gone Was my youth like a cloud.
Daylong in the waist-high weeds and ivies I ate the wonderfully buttery summer's bread, And bright as tears on sleeves I played and frisked And forgot the wolf in the clock. And windy summer ran out of the morning And the stag-breasted dew each dawned day Rode running and riotous from the cool of the moon Unwound from the darks of mouse and fox. Then the others, the pummellers Came unashamed with their wronging love, With sham-battering hands and scolding mouths They gave away anger for their deepest, hurt truth. With red apple hands, with bones twice broken, They strode hero-headed over the blown-down time, Over the greeny edge of the faraway weather, Topping sun and cloud of the tumbledown town. Deep in the heartwood home, and hunched and knotted, As full of fears as a tit-mouse's shivers I kept the woods home that kept me hid In the bone-lonely branches of my bloodred ribs. And dawn in its trial of summer survival Turned red in the remembered air, And summer's sun crept crabwise until it was moon, And I heard the sun's hours ride down to their doom. All about the sold home and understood wood, Beyond the dog-drowning stones that cried aloud In the midnight riverbed's spattering blacks, Down in my hallowed home's owlly hollows With my pockets full of leaves and string and talisman rocks, Vowelling dogs howled to adder and frog, And fired childhood crashed shamed as ashes While my hands grew knots to stop the clocks And all the everlasting woe of Time. But oh the woods were golden in their burning prime.
Warm and capable hand, now cast Against yourself in this crimping cramp,-- Folded under, knuckle and finger, Fist-forced to fight all foldings; Spider on a mirror how you pray, All self-reference in sinew and deity; Age salts the joints fluid youth found mighty, Steadfastly tossing treasure to trash. Hand beyond starlight still remote, Flick from cyclops Time the mote Torn from history and hope to this: A present absence less final than If.