Deep in the shady sadness of a vale
Far sunken from the healthy breath of morn,
Far from the fiery noon, and eve's one star,
Sat gray-hair'd Saturn, quiet as a stone,
Still as the silence round about his lair;
Forest on forest hung about his head
Like cloud on cloud. No stir of air was there,
Not so much life as on a summer's day
Robs not one light seed from the feather'd grass,
But where the dead leaf fell, there did it rest.
A stream went voiceless by, still deadened more
By reason of his fallen divinity
I sigh for the heavenly country,
Where the heavenly people pass,
And the sea is as quiet as a mirror
Of beautiful beautiful glass.
I walk in the heavenly field,
With lilies and poppies bright,
I am dressed in a heavenly coat
Of polished white.
When I walk in the heavenly parkland
My feet on the pasture are bare,
Tall waves the grass, but no harmful
Creature is there.
At night I fly over the housetops,
And stand on the bright moony beams;
Gold are all heaven’ s rivers,
And silver her streams.
Clear night, thumb-top of a moon, a back-lit sky.
Moon-fingers lay down their same routine
On the side deck and the threshold, the white keys and the black keys.
Bird hush and bird song. A cassia flower falls.
I want to be bruised by God.
I want to be strung up in a strong light and singled out.
I want to be stretched, like music wrung from a dropped seed.
I want to be entered and picked clean.
The spider, juiced crystal and Milky Way, drifts on his web through the night sky
And looks down, waiting for us to ascend...
At dawn he is still there, invisible, short of breath, mending his net.
All morning we look for the white face to rise from the lake like a tiny star.
And when it does, we lie back in our watery hair and rock.
After the clash of elevator gates
And the long sinking, she emerges where,
A slight thing in the morning’ s crosstown glare,
She looks up toward the window where he waits,
Then in a fleeting taxi joins the rest
Of the huge traffic bound forever west.
Old Woman Nature
naturally has a bag of bones
tucked away somewhere.
a whole room full of bones!
A scattering of hair and cartilage
bits in the woods.
A fox scat with hair and a tooth in it.
a bone flake in a streambank.
A purring cat, crunching
the mouse head first,
eating on down toward the tail--
For Russians the stars are always incontinent, ejaculatory
smears across the squalor of a boundlessly
unhygienic sky. You’ d scoff, Marina, at how I go at them
with a tiny plastic shovel and my litter box
technique, scooping up the sidereal splooge while trying
to wipe down the universe. You’ d say
I tug at God’ s Old Testament beard, praying the prayers
of a coward. You’ d confide to your diary my eyelashes
don’ t bat sootily enough. Such a lummox
The mountain skies were clear
except for the umlaut of a cloud
over the village.
The little girl wore yellow gloves.
She looked in the peephole and saw
a stack of unused marionettes.
Yet, she wondered.
On the beach at night alone,
As the old mother sways her to and fro singing her husky song,
As I watch the bright stars shining, I think a thought of the clef of the universes and of the future.