The Vast Man
But sweeter still than laughter and greater than longing came to me.
It was the boundless in you;
The vast man in whom you are all but cells and sinews;
He in whose chant all your singing is but a soundless throbbing.
It is in the vast man that you are vast,
And in beholding him that I beheld you and loved you.
For what distances can love reach that are not in that vast sphere?
What visions, what expectations and what presumptions can outsoar that flight?
Like a giant oak tree covered with apple blossoms is the vast man in you.
His might binds you to the earth, his fragrance lifts you into space, and in his durability you are deathless.
It may indeed be phantasy, when I
Essay to draw from all created things
Deep, heartfelt, inward joy that closely clings;
And trace in leaves and flowers that round me lie
Lessons of love and earnest piety.
So let it be; and if the wide world rings
In mock of this belief, it brings
Nor fear, nor grief, nor vain perplexity.
So will I build my altar in the fields,
And the blue sky my fretted dome shall be,
And the sweet fragrance that the wild flower yields
Shall be the incense I will yield to Thee,
Thee only God! and thou shalt not despise
Even me, the priest of this poor sacrifice
Perhaps not to be is to be without your being,
without your going, that cuts noon light
like a blue flower, without your passing
later through fog and stones,
without the torch you lift in your hand
that others may not see as golden,
that perhaps no one believed blossomed
the glowing origin of the rose,
without, in the end, your being, your coming
suddenly, inspiringly, to know my life,
blaze of the rose-tree, wheat of the breeze:
and it follows that I am, because you are:
it follows from ‘you are’, that I am, and we:
and, because of love, you will, I will,
We will, come to be.
Yet, love, mere love, is beautiful indeed
And worthy of acceptation. Fire is bright,
Let temple burn, or flax; an equal light
Leaps in the flame from cedar-plank or weed:
And love is fire. And when I say at need
I love thee . . . mark! . . . I love thee--in thy sight
I stand transfigured, glorified aright,
With conscience of the new rays that proceed
Out of my face toward thine. There's nothing low
In love, when love the lowest: meanest creatures
Who love God, God accepts while loving so.
And what I feel, across the inferior features
Of what I am, doth flash itself, and show
How that great work of Love enhances Nature's.
(trilogy for future music of Ernst Krenek)
Oh tear-filled figure who, like a sky held back,
grows heavy above the landscape of her sorrow.
And when she weeps, the gentle raindrops fall,
slanting upon the sand-bed of her heart.
O heavy with weeping. Scale to weigh all tears.
Who felt herself not sky, since she was shining
and sky exists only for clouds to form in.
How clear it is, how close, your land of sorrow,
beneath the stearn sky's oneness. Like a face
that lies there, slowly waking up and thinking
horizontally, into endless depths.
It is nothing but a breath, the void.
And that green fulfillment
of blossoming trees: a breath.
We, who are still the breathed-upon,
today still the breathed-upon, count
this slow breathing of earth,
whose hurry we are.
Ah, but the winters! The earth's mysterious
turning-within. Where around the dead
in the pure receding of sap,
boldness is gathered,
the boldness of future springtimes.
Where imagination occurs
beneath what is rigid; where all the green
worn thin by the vast summers
again turns into a new
insight and the mirror of intuition;
where the flowers' color
wholly forgets that lingering of our eyes.
All the huskies are eaten. There is no space
left in the diary, And the beads of quick
words scatter over his spouse's sepia-shaded face
adding the date in question like a mole to her lovely cheek.
Next, the snapshot of his sister. He doesn't spare his kin:
what's been reached is the highest possible latitude!
And, like the silk stocking of a burlesque half-nude
queen, it climbs up his thigh: gangrene.
Go and catch a falling star,
Get with child a mandrake root,
Tell me where all past years are,
Or who cleft the devil’s foot,
Teach me to hear mermaids singing,
Or to keep off envy’s stinging,
Serves to advance an honest mind.
If thou be’st born to strange sights,
Things invisible to see,
Ride ten thousand days and nights,
Till age snow white hairs on thee,
Thou, when thou return’st, wilt tell me,
All strange wonders that befell thee,
Lives a woman true and fair.
If thou find’st one, let me know,
Such a pilgrimage were sweet;
Yet do not, I would not go,
Though at next door we might meet,
Though she were true, when you met her,
And last, till you write your letter,
False, ere I come, to two, or three.
"Along the Hard Crust..."1917
Along the hard crust of deep snows,
To the secret, white house of yours,
So gentle and quiet – we both
Are walking, in silence half-lost.
And sweeter than all songs, sung ever,
Are this dream, becoming the truth,
Entwined twigs’ a-nodding with favor,
The light ring of your silver spurs...
My father was soon afraid of having been born.
But he soon remembered also
the duties of a man
and they taught him
to pray, to save, to work.
So that soon my father was a good man.
(“A real man”, my grandfather would say).
– like a dog whining, muzzled
and tied to a stake – fear persisted
at the core of my father.
Of my father,
who as a boy had sad eyes, and as an old man
hands as solemn and as clean
as silence at dawn.
And always, always, the air of a lonely man.
So that when I was born my father gave me
all that his disoriented heart
knew how to give. And that included
the loving gift of his fear.
As an upright man, my father worked each morning
and got around each night and, when he was able to,
he bought in installments the little death
he always wished to have.
He paid for it strictly,
without any anxiety, year after year,
like an upright man, my good old father.
Arapaho Ghost Dance Songs
by Arapaho (Anonymous)
(19th Century) Timeline
Primal/Tribal/Shamanic : American Indian
How bright the moonlight
how bright the moonlight
as I ride in with my load of buffalo meat.
My father did not recognize me.
Next time he saw me he said,
You are the child of a crow.
I am looking at my father
I am looking at him
he is beginning to turn into a bird
turning into a bird
the spirit army is approaching,
the spirit army is approaching,
the whole world is moving onward,
the whole world is moving onward.
See, everybody is standing, watching.
Everybody is standing, watching.
The whole world is coming,
a nation is coming, a nation is coming.
The Eagle has brought the message to the people.
The father says so, the father says so.
Over the whole earth they are coming.
The buffalo are coming, the buffalo are coming.
The Crow has brought the message to the people,
the father says so, the father says so.
My children, my children,
it is I who wear the morning star on my brow,
it is I who wear the morning star on my brow.
I show it to my children,
I show it to my children.
with an Apple Macintosh
you can't run Radio Shack programs
in its disc drive.
nor can a Commodore 64
drive read a file
you have created on an
IBM Personal Computer.
both Kaypro and Osborne computers use
the CP/M operating system
but can't read each other's
for they format (write
on) discs in different
the Tandy 2000 runs MS-DOS but
can't use most programs produced for
the IBM Personal Computer
bits and bytes are
but the wind still blows over
and in the Spring
the turkey buzzard struts and
flounces before his
By Adrienne Rich
In paradise every
the desert wind is rising
in hell there are no thoughts
is of earth
sand screams against your government
issued tent hell’s noise
in your nostrils crawl
into your ear-shell
wrap yourself in no-thought
wait no place for the little lyric
wedding-ring glint the reason why
they never told you
Heroes are those who dare cling
To life’s ennui.
I’ve picked up a toy from inside a book.
“Only edible crops should grow
On arable lands
On the earth,” they say.
In the garden
A corpse dissolves,
A pack of salted peanuts.
People wear designer shirts timidly.
But does he himself have any sense?
On a trishaw.
In a rocket to the moon.
“To paint bovine portraiture
It’s necessary to live an animal life,”
Van Gogh says.
A cup of drinking water
I was privileged with.
“This happened . . .”
“This happened . . .”
5th January, Monday
I’ve been through a hundred trials.
Just like that in the life of impermanence
Devils of human existence
Passed by and paused
Glorifying my integrity.
On a rooftop
Under the moon
My soul sits like an aristocrat
While my body rests
In a dimly lit corner.