A pony came whose coat was black as pitch, Whose blood was broody as water in a ditch. Her eyes were saucers of red command, Her teeth grew square on the taste of hands. Wildflowers grew more wild at her passing scent; Like nerves through skin she raced where she went. There was more than strangeness in what made her so. There was more of night in her hooves than men know. Proud, unobeying breed of tameless hills, Storm of strength with a godless guideless will. What light burned behind her being may Not have been heaven sent, but burned to stay. An inner star served as her only lamp: None took her, none kept her, none triumphed.
When a wandering impulse from heaven Visits the daily mind of man, lending Some alien hatchling who eyes up the sun, Our faithfulness is born in ignorance. A wetted shadow robs us of rest, Knowing neither the mystery of birth Nor the disappearing gulf into which we're poured. Our dying height is but the eagle's nest.
Pinned to minutes and the clock gone mad, Round and round its stranger's face, Round the hours sane as grace, Round landscapes of strangers, I go ghosted and gone in the flying dark And this strangeness has no end. I'd be lost if I could be found, If found unlost at last I'd nail the heart Home with the hammer of the soul. But no nail shines, no hammer moves, No home comes kissing from a cloud. Strip the gilding from the stars, Let hands tear down the dark dim griefs That moored the heaven-faring lights; Let hands build chapels as they move, Wanderers wide round stranger and sky In this strangeness that has no end. Now I wander through cool body's shroud Distant as touch in a statue's hand A blownback bit without sail or keel; No nail glows, no hammer moves. Hands were made to fashion as they feel.
I sing of him whose heart had hung Above all struggle or wonder Of our broken woes. Far oh far Beyond our little lays he'd sung. Yet here's no death, no reason, and No loss. No loss? No loss but less Of friendship than I'd lief confess, A faded castle, fallen sand Built up upon imperfect hope Toward another sky. Lost, the dream; Lost the meaning once deemed more firm, The promise more than swami's rope. We'd had heaven's ascent held fast: What we'd reared in reckless dawn As though God's own brave secret shown, Looms a gibbet now dawn is past And sunless exile welcomes me.
But, yet, I've reconciled such loss, Made grief my dish and my dessert, And lived to love again and cry hurt, Heedless of my passive loss. The hearse triumphal in the rain And heaven all one weltered bruise That threatens tears, nor offers dews, Takes hope from throats, gives hymns of pain. The author's pen cannot note the deed That seared the author into ash; He only sings how feels the lash: The sting, the wet, the heat, the need.