Aug 212011

Pale and leery, alone in bed,
Alone in bed, pale and leery,
Unawake and lively-weary,
Selfless as coming slumber numb,
My speaking self a word of wind
Sighing simply "Nevermind"
Til I one nothing do become,
Selfless, single, pale and weary.

The slow lightning of moonrise,
The cloudscape depths of pearl,
Consecrate my mood and room,
Entomb me like a knight-at-arms,
Cross-handed, on his final pallet carved:
My feet in pale armor sheathed, setting forth
To no Jerusalem.  Dead men wail
In the woeful wind that pushes
All aside from the frowning moon.

The moon in bone-blank vision nearing,
Cold and haughty, a dead man's face,
Through the pulled-back curtain shines
Pale and weary and alone.
The quiet casement looking in
Unquiet undream apprehends,
Forlorn beyond the memory of friends:
Here my human heart in dread
Lingers loath on what had been said.

How softly sounds the shell of sleep
Calling our visions to its verge
That had not otherwise been so deep;
How softly sounds the shell of sleep!
Traffic of splashes, remote yet near,
Small edges blent to one static shush
As even now the boat draws clear....
Softly, softly, Windemere.

When our causes, obscure as eddies,
At last had crested to their crisis,
I failed the fathoming!  My love
I let recede when tolled the tide,
An unwinning and a winless game,
In violentest crash the green reef
Cracking, killing.

Hush!  now the frowning moon's a man,
Shadow from wed shadow departing,
Nimble-light as moth-wings darting:
You come in sorrow into the room,
Ghost of exhausted meditations,
And at the bed's foot look sadly down,
All silvered-over as if in snow.
Dear live ghost of my living ghost,
Memory sacred, not serene!

Self-salving waters of the breast
That spill in richness mixed with dust,
Sigh your human blessing in the night!
Come, tears!  Let your salt effluence
Replace the bitter pourings of the moon!
Here am I in my human minim,
Unperspectivized man
Too naked now to endure the cold
Howsoe'er endued with warmth
I once was.

Let salt pelt out salt til salt alone
Weeps into being our green souls.
The nightmare, the scar, is here, here.
Like a battery's pile grown large 
With potential charge-- would but some salt water 
Soak and connect their shocks!
Those memories are high-piled 
That wait for charitable water
To flood from my unfortunate eyes--
Then-- oh what mystery and what light!

The shore recedes, and recedes the day,
Softly, softly in sweet delay
Until all shore is shorelessness
And a damping fog is in the eye
Turned outward-inward in the mist.
And then, what wetness?

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