Nothing is so beautiful as Spring –
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush’ s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
Nothing is so beautiful as Spring –
Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright,
The bridal of the earth and sky;
The dew shall weep thy fall to-night,
For thou must die.
Sweet rose, whose hue angry and brave
Bids the rash gazer wipe his eye;
Thy root is ever in its grave,
And thou must die.
Sweet spring, full of sweet days and roses,
A box where sweets compacted lie;
My music shows ye have your closes,
And all must die.
Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.
Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.
And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.
To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of the crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only under ground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots.
Life in itself
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
Snow would be the easy
way out — that softening
sky like a sigh of relief
at finally being allowed
to yield. No dice.
We stack twigs for burning
in glistening patches
but the rain won’ t give.
So we wait, breeding
mood, making music
of decline. We sit down
in the smell of the past
and rise in a light
that is already leaving.
We ache in secret,
Plum black & the blush white of an apple
shoulder, melon & cream, in tones to list
the flesh; in light, washed colors off at last
& textures sheer with damp I slowly pull
from you with your quick help. Weekend's ample
procrastinations to forget the least
of what we want to do. April, half a blast
of cold, half new light, green & simple.
But sometimes I forget where I am,
Imagine myself inside that life again.
Recalcitrant mornings. Sun perhaps,
Or more likely colorless light
Filtering its way through shapeless cloud.
And when I begin to believe I haven’ t left,
The rest comes back. Our couch. My smoke
Climbing the walls while the hours fall.
Straining against the noise of traffic, music,
Anything alive, to catch your key in the door.
And that scamper of feeling in my chest,
Again with spring
she wore light colours
and with gentle steps
again with spring
again in summer
she was smiling.
Among fresh blossoms
breast naked to the veins
beyond the dry night
beyond the white old men
whether it would be better
to give up the keys
or to pull the rope
and hang from the noose
to leave empty bodies
there where souls couldn’ t endure
there where the mind couldn’ t catch up
and knees buckled.
How light the heavy world becomes, when with transparent waters
All the shy elms and wakeful appletrees are dressed!
How the sun shouts, and spins his wheel of flame
And shoots the whole land full of diamonds
Enriching every flower’ s watery vesture with his praise,
O green spring mornings when we hear creation singing!
Nice spring day off big white cloud
At Inspiration Point escaping time wars
Poet takes book & wine bottle up into Mist Mountains
Since only available agenda is rhyming with silence
Seeking window of opportunity on a wall
I disguise what I have to say by sounding Chinese
Such as stars are now darker and farther away
They take deeper drinks because space is
Drying out afraid to think own thoughts