The street awakens. She looks, exhausted
With the mute windows' sullen eyes,
On sleepy faces, red from the cold,
That with thoughts chase the stubborn sleep away.
The blackened trees with rime are covered -
With trace mysterious of the night's fun,
In gleaming brocade sad ones are standing,
Just like the dead the alive among.
The gray coat mingles, trampled upon,
The forage-cup with a wreathe, a bored look,
And the red arms, pressed to the ears,
And the black apron with the tied books.
The street awakens. She looks, unpleasant
With mute windows' sullen eyes, it would seem.
To sleep, in a happy thought be forgotten,
What life seems to us, this is a dream!
A dry, pale winged transient, over water
a day, then a day, this fifty million
times goes back to the start, more than we are,
though not even the first age.
Tiny, winged, pallid darts over
wrinkled grey water. See, in the small,
the minute, the idea, that uniqueness conceals,
the inferred, the wrong
generalisation. Time to begin
again. New, yellow flowers like stars,
tiny in oceans of grass, tormentil’s yellow.
You can’t play games with the Void,
only bow with the mind.
The wing lifts, the flower
creeps, waits, shines.
Kyrie With beads I pray, whisper to Vincenzo Grossi, Maria Romero, all the novice saints. I beg for fear to fall away – the clatter of unlocked shackles like the child lost in a crowd pressing toward a subway door, who reaches up to grasp any stranger’s empty hand.
I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: `Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed. And on the pedestal these words appear -- "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.'
Everything has been taken that anyone thought worth taking. The stairs are tilted, scattered with sycamore leaves curled like ammonites in inland rock. Wood shows through the paint on the frame and the door is open--an empty room, sunlight on the floor. All that is left on the porch is the hollow cylinder of an Albert's Quick Oats cardboard box and a sewing machine. Its extraterrestrial head is bowed, its scrolled neck glistens. I was born, that day, near there, in wartime, of ignorant people.
Like primitives we buried the cat with his bowl. Bare-handed we scraped sand and gravel back into the hole. They fell with a hiss and thud on his side, on his long red fur, the white feathers between his toes, and his long, not to say aquiline, nose.
We stood and brushed each other off. There are sorrows keener than these.
Silent the rest of the day, we worked, ate, stared, and slept. It stormed all night; now it clears, and a robin burbles from a dripping bush like the neighbor who means well but always says the wrong thing.
If you are the dealer, I'm out of the game If you are the healer, it means I'm broken and lame If thine is the glory then mine must be the shame You want it darker We kill the flame
Magnified, sanctified, be thy holy name Vilified, crucified, in the human frame A million candles burning for the help that never came You want it darker
Hineni, hineni I'm ready, my lord
There's a lover in the story But the story's still the same There's a lullaby for suffering And a paradox to blame But it's written in the scriptures And it's not some idle claim You want it darker We kill the flame
They're lining up the prisoners And the guards are taking aim I struggled with some demons They were middle class and tame I didn't know I had permission to murder and to maim You want it darker
Hineni, hineni I'm ready, my lord
Magnified, sanctified, be thy holy name Vilified, crucified, in the human frame A million candles burning for the love that never came You want it darker We kill the flame
If you are the dealer, let me out of the game If you are the healer, I'm broken and lame If thine is the glory, mine must be the shame You want it darker
The lot by the graves was a dusty hot land;
The river behind -- blue and cool.
You told me, 'Well, go to a convent,
Or go marry a fool...'
Princes always say that, being placid or fierce,
But I cherish this speech, short and poor --
Let it flow and shine through a thousand years,
Like from shoulders do mantles of fur.
And, as if in wrong occasion,
I said, 'Thou,' else...
And an easy smile of pleasure
Lit up dear face.
From such lapses, told or mental,
Every cheek would blaze.
I love you as forty gentle
Sisters love and bless.