Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mann und Kind

One does not eat soup
With the long spoon.
It is used for meat alone;
The living flesh of those
Who, leaving care
Filled homes,
Filled holes
In fields
Of France
And else
Where rot the dreams
Of 'Mann und Kind' of
Europe's lonely Womanhood.


('Long Spoon' == The bayonet).

Fear

Inside each moment,
When there's little to give,
There's an instant where
Coward and Hero both live.

The battles which rage then
Are given no names,
Or loud martial music,
Or bursting of flames.

And yet, in a way
That we fear most of all,
It is there, in that instant,
We stand or we fall.

Miki

Like the wetness of our
Two bodies,
Must I remember always,
Even beyond this life,
How time has turned our fire
Into ashes?

ARGIVE

If you've sent for to know how the future will go,
Well then, this, I suspect, is the law:
We will outlive the Czars, and the Red Commisars,
But we'll still know the Bear by its claw.

Newmarket Girls

"You've 'ad it Yank,"
She said in a fret.
I said "That's not quite true."
For I couldn't recall having 'ad it' yet,
And she said "You h'aint goin to."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Breakup

We lie here, close together
But, somehow, far apart.
Waiting for this night to end
And for our lives to start.

Some feel love as something warm
Touching, holding, knowing, known.
But lonely people feel its' hurt
And we are soon alone.

Scissors And Wives

Scissors and knives,
And other men's wives
Can certainly serve as fool's sport.

But if you insist
Upon that sort of tryst
Your life will be merry

And short.

John

Lo' the elegant John!
That which we aim,
Or sit upon.

We must be careful
Not to soil it.

And never, never
Call it 'Toilet'.

Victors

When they've bought us and they've tricked us.
What, pray, will their justice be?

What the Romans called 'Vo Victus,'
Or the Britts 'Rule 303'?

To The British Queen

In 1814 your navy came
And set our capital all aflame.

They stood in our Congress,
Scrawled words which were naughty,
And swaggered about,
In a manner damned haughty.

Our poor Congressmen had to flee
For their lives
Along with servants, and cousins,
And in-laws, and wives.

And bureaucrats too, had to take
To their heels
Discarding all thoughts of large
Pensions and deals.

Ah yes, Gracious Sovereign, there is
Much to remember
Of that grim Summer day
(Or was it night in December?).

But though we preserve all of what
We've been taught
Of the toil of our forebears and
Their freedoms, hard bought,

And of all the dear things for which
They had striven,
Still, I think I may say
You are truly forgiven.

1814 now pales in the light
Of your reign...
Won't you please send your
Navy to do it again?

Bread And Pearls

"Give up your nation's strength and skill,
Let it pass to other lands.
And let us look to eat our fill
From the toil of other hands."

Thus our leaders speak from power
But when we're starving to be fed
They'll not grind their pearls to flour
Even could it serve for bread.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

M.R. 1958

If I should die,
Remember me
For I have often
Thought of thee.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

T.D. 1960

The heliograph was used extensively in the Raj by the British Army during the nineteenth century. The standard preamble to any message was often a searching: "Are you there?" repeated several times while waiting for a sun-borne reply from another heliograph. That precedent is being followed here.

T.D. 1960

Are you there?
Are you there?
Are you there?
Are you there?

Up and down all the streets
Nearby Washington Square,
My thoughts beam your name
Through the bright summer air.

Are you there?
Are you there?
Are you there?

[Actually the poem was shorter than the explanation... Sometimes it's better that way].

Lover's Haiku

Do not hurl small insults
And smile at me so.
Else people will know
We Love.


(sventeen vowel sounds I think).

Choice

Who knows what lies behind the mask?
We cannot look and dare not ask.

The shining gold? The glowing coal?
Such choice confronts my childlike soul.

English Dads

"Thay's three things wrong wi' you Yanks m'lad!"
Said the old da' of my dear.

"Ye're overpaid.
Ye're oversexed,
And, By Gor',
Ye're over-'ere!"

Memorial

They're selling little flags, I'm told,
By the wall with the names of our dead.
Where the letters are etched with yellow gold,
And the faces that seek there, with dread.

And scholars come, when the weather is good,
To discuss the old battles anew,
But these little know who ran, or who stood,
Or who was it cried out "Sov-ki-poo!"

Got Mittens?

On the steel of your swords
You have writ "Gott Mit Uns."
But we don't need mere words.
What we need are your sons,
To stand with our own sons
When they are but few.
Else keep your damned mittens.
We've "Got Mittens" too.

Reassurance For A General

In the darkness beyond any steadying call,
Where dreams sometimes fill up with fear,
We often see our people fall,
And despair as our enemies cheer.

And we worry, inside the blackness of night,
That our talents are simply too few,
But the enemy rarely does what they might,
For they have their generals too.

Old Streets

I walked upon old streets today
Which, long ago, I'd known,
But though my thoughts called "Come away,"
My poor heart whispered, "Home?"

Diplomacy

Lions and Eagles and Bears
Have grown old and no longer make law.

They have outlived the Czars,
And the Red Commissars,

But the Bear is still known by its' Claw.

Farm Boy At Shiloh

"Oh lay me down to sleep," he said.
The laudanum had proved its' worth.
He did not recognize the bed.
The place we'd laid him in was Earth.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Greenland Exile 1958

There are no echoes here
Save those of reminiscence.

Sometimes there are flowers;
Tiny living beings which
move within themselves
Yet do little to allay
One's loneliness.

Remember Me

If you should leave
Please think of me.
For I shall grieve
Long after thee.

Rain Like Wine

Each year I think I could almost forget
But when Autumn comes
And the pavement's wet,
And the City sheds
Light rain like wine
I hear long ago footsteps
Next to mine.

Rice Wine

One night I came upon a small bottle of rice wine which
had, I thought, a very fine flavour. At first I drank merely
half a glass but soon, not being one to do such things by
halves, had several more until the poor small bottle
contained far less of the wine than I did. At this point I
began to feel quite mellow and relaxed and was therefore
not a bit surprised when a young woman's voice began
to speak to me from no place in particular.

Her name, she said, was Emily and she wished me to
write down some words for her. There was a pen nearby,
and some paper as well so I did as she wished. I
remember thinking at the time that I should really ask
some questions of her but by then the rice wine had taken
hold and so I let it go.

When I awoke I found the following small poem written in
a hand which was not my own:



Rice Wine

They came upon me as I slept,
But then fled silently,
Those words I wish I might have kept,
Of immortality.

It seemed, just then, that life had fled
Beyond half opened doors.
And in the quiet of my bed
I'd heard God's voice -- or Your's.

E.D. 1980
Triangle St.
Amherst, MA.

(I checked this address and found that it is a graveyard... The very one in which Emily Dickinson is buried.)

Like The Sun

The women I have known
All had cold thoughts,
Save one,
Whose mind was fiery,
Like the Sun.

Her grave lies far away from me,
Without a tear,
Without a song.
I do not know where mine will be.
We love so soon,
And live so long.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Greenland Summer 1958

When Earth bows down,
And glacier weeps,
And fjord sends calvings
To the bay,
I wonder that a heart still keeps
The warmth a it once felt.
Far away.

I've looked my eyes out everywhere
For that cold smile and pensive stare,
And searched from Nord to Quinnervaat,
And believe now that the world is flat.
And, somehow, though who wish may scoff,
That one of us has fallen off.

Ancient Loves

Long gone, the days of passion.
Far past, the days of giving.
All that has fled from fashion
Though we each continue living.

Swords

How useful is the sharpened pen
To prick complacent hordes,
Though sometimes, 'mongst complacent men,
I think I'd vote for swords.

Nis La Trom

If you have ever traded
Ridicule for respect,
Betrayal for loyalty,
Deceit for the unguarded sincerity
Of some young person,
Hungry for the outstretched hand
Of an older brother;

If you have ever done any of these,
Merely in order to hold your place
Inside a pack of pandering bullies,
Where you did not belong,
And knew it,
Then you, my friend, are guilty of something
Which only you can ever forgive.

Right

"For the lands of our fathers we will rise up and fight!"
All the peoples cry out as they struggle and fall.

In the world roundabout there's no shortage of Right.
There just seems not to be enough room for it all.

North Of Thermopylae

What comfort for our Dead and Maimed
Who once obeyed and now are blamed?
While others, who in safety stand,
Lie here , obedient to command.

Love Poem

I woke into the world one night
When stars were cold and thoughts were bare
And heard you call my name
And went
And found you standing, shivering, there.
And kissed your eyes, your worried eyes,
And touched
And breathed your loosened hair,
And warmed your body with my own,
And whispered words you would not dare.

Red Square

The iron of our cities is rotting and red,
Red with the rust of a plan gone broke.
The jobs are all going, more people unfed,
The dreams of our forebears gone up in smoke.

A river of paper has crammed our banks,
And past is forgotten, and future the same.
But the words of our leaders still spew from their ranks...
Pay up! Pay up! We're not to blame!