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God Lay Dead In Heaven
God lay dead in heaven;
Angels sang the hymn of the end;
Purple winds went moaning,
Their wings drip-dripping
That fell upon the earth.
It, groaning thing,
Turned black and sank.
Then from the far caverns
Of dead sins
Came monsters, livid with desire.
Wrangled over the world,
But of all sadness this was sad –
A woman’s arms tried to shield
The head of a sleeping man
From the jaws of the final beast.
Did you ever wonder about dreaming?
How the pictures get in your head?
Why they’re only there when you’re sleeping?
Why they’re only there in your bed?
You can fly anywhere that you want to.
You can soar above houses and cars.
You can even go higher than that, if you want,
way, way up to the moon and the stars.
You can be someone great, someone special
who has magical powers to use
to save your brother from monsters –
or NOT save, if that’s what you choose.
Dreaming is different from movies.
You don’t get dressed up and go out.
And a dream can be different every night –
you make up what the dream is about.
It’s too bad dreaming’s for bedtime,
but I guess that’s just how it must be.
If we walked around dreaming in daylight,
why would we ever need sleep?
If We Must Die
If we must die, let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
Making their mock at our accursèd lot.
If we must die, O let us nobly die,
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!
O kinsmen! we must meet the common foe!
Though far outnumbered let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one death-blow!
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack,
Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!
A Winter Dream
In winter we’ll travel in a little pink carriage
With cushions of blue.
We’ll be fine. A nest of mad kisses waits
In each corner too.
You’ll shut your eyes, not to see, through the glass,
Grimacing shadows of evening,
Those snarling monsters, a crowd going past
Of black wolves and black demons.
Then you’ll feel your cheek tickled quite hard…
A little kiss, like a maddened spider,
Will run over your neck…
And you’ll say: “Catch it!” bowing your head,
– And we’ll take our time finding that creature
– Who travels so far…
My God And My Lord
Eyes are at rest, the stars are setting.
Hushed are the stirrings of birds in their nests,
Of monsters in the ocean.
You are the Just who knows no change,
The Balance that can never swerve,
The Eternal which never passes away.
The doors of Kings are bolted now and guarded by soldiers.
Your Door is open to all who call upon You.
Each love is now alone with his beloved.
And I am alone with You.
Rabia Al Basri
It was 1963 or 4, summer,
and my father was driving our family
from Ft. Hood to North Carolina in our 56 Buick.
We’d been hearing about Klan attacks, and we knew
Mississippi to be more dangerous than usual.
Dark lay hanging from the trees the way moss did,
and when it moaned light against the windows
that night, my father pulled off the road to sleep.
that usually woke me from rest afraid of monsters
kept my father awake that night, too,
and I lay in the quiet noticing him listen, learning
that he might not be able always to protect us
from everything and the creatures besides;
perhaps not even from the fury suddenly loud
through my body about his trip from Texas
to settle us home before he would go away
to a place no place in the world
he named Viet Nam. A boy needs a father
with him, I kept thinking, fixed against noise
from the dark.
Barely a twelvemonth after
The seven days war that put the world to sleep,
Late in the evening the strange horses came.
By then we had made our covenant with silence,
But in the first few days it was so still
We listened to our breathing and were afraid.
On the second day
The radios failed; we turned the knobs; no answer.
On the third day a warship passed us, heading north,
Dead bodies piled on the deck. On the sixth day
A plane plunged over us into the sea. Thereafter
Nothing. The radios dumb;
And still they stand in corners of our kitchens,
And stand, perhaps, turned on, in a million rooms
All over the world. But now if they should speak,
If on a sudden they should speak again,
If on the stroke of noon a voice should speak,
We would not listen, we would not let it bring
That old bad world that swallowed its children quick
At one great gulp. We would not have it again.
Sometimes we think of the nations lying asleep,
Curled blindly in impenetrable sorrow,
And then the thought confounds us with its strangeness.
The tractors lie about our fields; at evening
They look like dank sea-monsters couched and waiting.
We leave them where they are and let them rust:
‘They’ll molder away and be like other loam.’
We make our oxen drag our rusty plows,
Long laid aside. We have gone back
Far past our fathers’ land.
And then, that evening
Late in the summer the strange horses came.
We heard a distant tapping on the road,
A deepening drumming; it stopped, went on again
And at the corner changed to hollow thunder.
We saw the heads
Like a wild wave charging and were afraid.
We had sold our horses in our fathers’ time
To buy new tractors. Now they were strange to us
As fabulous steeds set on an ancient shield.
Or illustrations in a book of knights.
We did not dare go near them. Yet they waited,
Stubborn and shy, as if they had been sent
By an old command to find our whereabouts
And that long-lost archaic companionship.
In the first moment we had never a thought
That they were creatures to be owned and used.
Among them were some half a dozen colts
Dropped in some wilderness of the broken world,
Yet new as if they had come from their own Eden.
Since then they have pulled our plows and borne our loads
But that free servitude still can pierce our hearts.
Our life is changed; their coming our beginning.
they found him walking along the freeway
all red in
he had taken a rusty tin can
and cut off his sexual
as if to say —
see what you’ve done to
me? you might as well have the
and he put part of him
in one pocket and
part of him in
and that’s how they found him,
they gave him over to the
who tried to sew the parts
but the parts were
the way they
I think sometimes of all of the good
turned over to the
monsters of the
maybe it was his protest against
a one man
that never squeezed in
the concert reviews and the
God, or somebody,
Upon this Primrose hill,
Where, if Heav’n would distil
A shower of rain, each several drop might go
To his own primrose, and grow manna so;
And where their form and their infinity
Make a terrestrial Galaxy,
As the small stars do in the sky:
I walk to find a true Love; and I see
That ’tis not a mere woman that is she,
But must or more or less than woman be.
Yet know I not which flower
I wish; a six, or four;
For should my true-Love less than woman be
She were scarce any thing; and then, should she
Be more than woman she would get above
All thought of sex, and think to move
My heart to study her, and not to love;
Both these were monsters; since there must reside
Falsehood in woman, I could more abide
She were by art than Nature falsified.
Live primrose then, and thrive
With thy true number five;
And woman, whom this flower doth represent,
With this mysterious number be content;
Ten is the farthest number; if half ten
Belong unto each woman, then
Each woman may take half us men;
Or if this will not serve their turn, since all
Numbers are odd or even, and they fall
First into this, five, woman may take us all.
Barbarism In Pink City Again!
I am really shocked to behold the pink city
Blood when flows near by the green field
From the ill fatted souls of their mother’s womb
Tear when turns red eyes yet steeped in sorrows
Serial blasts brutals as act against humanity
in this maddened world across the mankind
fire when burns the love in men innocent
blood when pierced into tearful sorrows
peace and care when waned by evil insane
should we still call them homosapiens, perhaps no
unwanted rogues resourced by their own ill design
society still seems wild by the doings of paranoia
yet we call upon justice knocking the door of divine
barbarism still plays by the laughter of wickedness
slanting across the door of terrorism when befuddled
as when wrought by the minds of ill born dunderheads
can we not classify them in between man and killer giant
still they seem to be more severe and wild by the death
even more dangerous than wild and insane of the jungles
the crown when worn by the heinous world of terrorism
the cruelty has already infiltrated to our blood
yet not the last massacre of trade centre or else where
that has not yet been blotted out from our mind,
still we remember that horrific moments by the death
the process of annihilation when starts
sun may disappear from east or west
man when counts his age by the void in darkness
heart still bleats and blurs by the hope against hope
and we condemns this domestic terrorism by monsters
God might be feeling pity for those Frankenstein
who never think of their own grave.hanging on their heads
I sill remember the inch cape rock against the storm
Ralf the Rover when embraced the deadly death
I still pray God never allows these heartless worms
to be here again or to grow some where
lest the tears may not fall again on this earth
in the furrows of remorse and sorrows as entwinned
Dr subhendu kar
The Dark, Blue Sea
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the universe, and feel
What I can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal.-
Roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean-roll!
Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain;
Man marks the earth with ruin-his control
Stops with the shore;-upon the watery plain
The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth remain
A shadow of man’s ravage, save his own,
When for a moment, like a drop of rain,
He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan,
Without a grave, unknell’d, uncoffin’d, and unknown.
His steps are not upon thy paths-thy fields
Are not a spoil for him-thou dost arise
And shake him from thee; the vile strength he wields
For earth’s destruction thou dost all despise,
Spurning him from thy bosom to the skies,
And send’st him, shivering in thy playful spray,
And howling, to his gods, where haply lies
His petty hope in some near port or bay,
And dashest him again to earth: there let him lay.
The armaments which thunderstrike the walls
Of rock-built cities, bidding nations quake,
And monarchs tremble in their capitals,
The oak leviathans, whose huge ribs make
Their clay creator the vain title take
Of lord of thee, and arbiter of war;
These are thy toys, and, as the snowy flake,
They melt into thy yeast of waves, which mar
Alike the armada’s pride, or spoils of Trafalgar.
Thy shores are empires, changed in all save thee-
Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, what are they?
Thy waters washed them power while they were free,
And many a tyrant since: their shores obey
The stranger, slave or savage; their decay
Has dried up realms to deserts:-not so thou,
Unchangeable, save to thy wild waves’ play-
Time writes no wrinkle on thine azure brow-
Such as creation’s dawn beheld, thou rollest now.
Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty’s form
Glasses itself in tempests; in all time
Calm or convulsed-in breeze, or gale, or storm,
Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime
Dark-heaving; boundless, endless and sublime-
The image of eternity-the throne
Of the invisible; even from out thy slime
The monsters of the deep are made; each zone
Obeys thee; thou goest forth, dread, fathomless, alone.
And I have loved thee, ocean! And my joy
Of youthful sports was on thy breast to be
Borne, like thy bubbles, onward: from a boy
I wanton’d with thy breakers-they to me
Were a delight; and if the freshening sea
Made them a terror-’twas a pleasing fear,
For I was as it were a child of thee,
And trusted to thy billows far and near,
And laid my hand upon thy mane – as I do here.
George Gordon Byron
A Descriptive Ode
Supposed to have been written under the Ruins of
Rufus’s Castle, among the remains of the ancient
Church on the Isle of Portland.
CHAOTIC pile of barren stone,
That Nature’s hurrying hand has thrown,
Half finish’d, from the troubled waves;
On whose rude brow the rifted tower
Has frown’d, through many a stormy hour,
On this drear site of tempest-beaten graves.
Sure Desolation loves to shroud
His giant form within the cloud
That hovers round thy rugged head;
And as through broken vaults beneath,
The future storms low-muttering breathe,
Hears the complaining voices of the dead.
Here marks the fiend with eager eyes,
Far out at sea the fogs arise
That dimly shade the beacon’d strand,
And listens the portentous roar
Of sullen waves, as on the shore,
Monotonous, they burst and tell the storm at hand.
Northward the demon’s eyes are cast
O’er yonder bare and sterile waste,
Where, born to hew and heave the block,
Man, lost in ignorance and toil,
Becomes associate to the soil,
And his heart hardens like his native rock.
On the bleak hills, with flint o’erspread,
No blossoms rear the purple head;
No shrub perfumes the zephyrs’ breath,
But o’er the cold and cheerless down
Grim desolation seems to frown,
Blasting the ungrateful soil with partial death.
Here the scathed trees with leaves half-dress’d,
Shade no soft songster’s secret nest,
Whose spring-notes soothe the pensive ear;
But high the croaking cormorant flies,
And mews and hawks with clamorous cries
Tire the lone echoes of these caverns drear.
Perchance among the ruins grey
Some widow’d mourner loves to stray,
Marking the melancholy main
Where once, afar she could discern
O’er the white waves his sail return
Who never, never now, returns again!
On these lone tombs, by storms up-torn,
The hopeless wretch may lingering mourn,
Till from the ocean, rising red,
The misty moon with lurid ray
Lights her, reluctant, on her way,
To steep in tears her solitary bed.
Hence the dire spirit oft surveys
The ship, that to the western bays
With favouring gales pursues its course;
Then calls the vapour dark that blinds
The pilot,–calls the felon winds
That heave the billows with resistless force.
Commixing with the blotted skies,
High and more high the wild waves rise,
Till, as impetuous torrents urge,
Driven on yon fatal bank accursed
The vessel’s massy timbers burst,
And the crew sinks beneath the infuriate surge.
There find the weak an early grave,
While youthful strength the whelming wave
Repels; and labouring for the land,
With shorten’d breath and upturn’d eyes,
Sees the rough shore above him rise,
Nor dreams that rapine meets him on the strand.
And are there then in human form
Monsters more savage than the storm,
Who from the gasping sufferer tear
The dripping weed?–who dare to reap
The inhuman harvest of the deep,
From half-drown’d victims whom the tempests spare?
Ah, yes! by avarice once possess’d,
No pity moves the rustic breast;
Callous he proves–as those who haply wait
Till I (a pilgrim weary worn)
To my own native land return,
With legal toils to drag me to my fate!
On Lolham Brigs in wild and lonely mood
I’ve seen the winter floods their gambols play
Through each old arch that trembled while I stood
Bent o’er its wall to watch the dashing spray
As their old stations would be washed away
Crash came the ice against the jambs and then
A shudder jarred the arches – yet once more
It breasted raving waves and stood agen
To wait the shock as stubborn as before
– White foam brown crested with the russet soil
As washed from new plough lands would dart beneath
Then round and round a thousand eddies boil
On tother side – then pause as if for breath
One minute – and engulphed – like life in death
Whose wrecky stains dart on the floods away
More swift than shadows in a stormy day
Straws trail and turn and steady – all in vain
The engulfing arches shoot them quickly through
The feather dances flutters and again
Darts through the deepest dangers still afloat
Seeming as faireys whisked it from the view
And danced it o’er the waves as pleasures boat
Light hearted as a thought in May –
Trays – uptorn bushes – fence demolished rails
Loaded with weeds in sluggish motions stray
Like water monsters lost each winds and trails
Till near the arches – then as in affright
It plunges – reels – and shudders out of sight
Waves trough – rebound – and fury boil again
Like plunging monsters rising underneath
Who at the top curl up a shaggy main
A moment catching at a surer breath
Then plunging headlong down and down – and on
Each following boil the shadow of the last
And other monsters rise when those are gone
Crest their fringed waves – plunge onward and are past
– The chill air comes around me ocean blea
From bank to bank the waterstrife is spread
Strange birds like snow spots o’er the huzzing sea
Hang where the wild duck hurried past and fled
On roars the flood – all restless to be free
Like trouble wandering to eternity
Our Biggest Fish
When in the halcyon days of old, I was a little tyke,
I used to fish in pickerel ponds for minnows and the like;
And oh, the bitter sadness with which my soul was fraught
When I rambled home at nightfall with the puny string I’d caught!
And, oh, the indignation and the valor I’d display
When I claimed that all the biggest fish I’d caught had got away!
Sometimes it was the rusty hooks, sometimes the fragile lines,
And many times the treacherous reeds would foil my just designs;
But whether hooks or lines or reeds were actually to blame,
I kept right on at losing all the monsters just the same–
I never lost a little fish–yes, I am free to say
It always was the biggest fish I caught that got away.
And so it was, when later on, I felt ambition pass
From callow minnow joys to nobler greed for pike and bass;
I found it quite convenient, when the beauties wouldn’t bite
And I returned all bootless from the watery chase at night,
To feign a cheery aspect and recount in accents gay
How the biggest fish that I had caught had somehow got away.
And really, fish look bigger than they are before they are before they’re
When the pole is bent into a bow and the slender line is taut,
When a fellow feels his heart rise up like a doughnut in his throat
And he lunges in a frenzy up and down the leaky boat!
Oh, you who’ve been a-fishing will indorse me when I say
That it always is the biggest fish you catch that gets away!
‘T ‘is even so in other things–yes, in our greedy eyes
The biggest boon is some elusive, never-captured prize;
We angle for the honors and the sweets of human life–
Like fishermen we brave the seas that roll in endless strife;
And then at last, when all is done and we are spent and gray,
We own the biggest fish we’ve caught are those that got away.
I would not have it otherwise; ‘t is better there should be
Much bigger fish than I have caught a-swimming in the sea;
For now some worthier one than I may angle for that game–
May by his arts entice, entrap, and comprehend the same;
Which, having done, perchance he’ll bless the man who’s proud to say
That the biggest fish he ever caught were those that got away.
The Glass Jar
To Vivian Smith
A child one summer’s evening soaked
a glass jar in the reeling sun
hoping to keep, when day was done
and all the sun’s disciples cloaked
in dream and darkness from his passion fled,
this host, this pulse of light beside his bed.
Wrapped in a scarf his monstrance stood
ready to bless, to exorcize
monsters that whispering would rise
nightly from the intricate wood
that ringed his bed, to light with total power
the holy commonplace of field and flower.
He slept. His sidelong violence summoned
fiends whose mosaic vision saw
his heart entire. Pincer and claw,
trident and vampire fang, envenomed
with his most secret hate, reached and came near
to pierce him in the thicket of his fear.
He woke, recalled his jar of light,
and trembling reached one hand to grope
the mantling scarf away. Then hope
fell headlong from its eagle height.
Through the dark house he ran, sobbing his loss,
to the last clearing that he dared not cross:
the bedroom where his comforter
lay in his rival’s fast embrace
and faithless would not turn her face
from the gross violence done to her.
Love’s proud executants played from a score
no child could read or realize. Once more
to bed, and to worse dreams he went.
A ring of skeletons compelled
his steps with theirs. His father held
fiddle and bow, and scraped assent
to the malignant ballet. The child dreamed
this dance perpetual, and waking screamed
fresh morning to his window-sill.
As ravening birds began their song
the resurrected sun, whose long
triumph through flower-brushed fields would fill
night’s gulfs and hungers, came to wink and laugh
in a glass jar beside a crumpled scarf.
So the loved other is held
for mortal comfort, and taken,
and the spirit’s light dispelled
as it falls from its dream to the deep
to harrow heart’s prison so heart may waken
to peace in the paradise of sleep.
Prelude To An Evening
Do not enforce the tired wolf
Dragging his infected wound homeward
To sit tonight with the warm children
Naming the pretty kings of France.
The images of the invaded mind
Being as the monsters in the dreams
Of your most brief enchanted headful,
Suppose a miracle of confusion:
That dreamed and undreamt become each other
And mix the night and day of your mind;
And it does not matter your twice crying
From mouth unbeautied against the pillow
To avert the gun of the same old soldier;
For cry, cock-crow, or the iron bell
Can crack the sleep-sense of outrage,
Annihilate phantoms who were nothing.
But now, by our perverse supposal,
There is a drift of fog on your mornings;
You in your peignoir, dainty at your orange cup,
Feel poising round the sunny room
Invisible evil, deprived and bold.
All day the clock will metronome
Your gallant fear; the needles clicking,
The heels detonating the stair’s cavern
Freshening the water in the blue bowls
For the buck berries, with not all your love,
You shall he listening for the low wind,
The warning sibilance of pines.
You like a waning moon, and I accusing
Our too banded Eumenides,
While you pronounce Noes wanderingly
And smooth the heads of the hungry children.
John Crowe Ransom
A big locomotive has pulled into town,
Heavy, humungus, with sweat rolling down,
A plump jumbo olive.
Huffing and puffing and panting and smelly,
Fire belches forth from her fat cast iron belly.
Poof, how she’s burning,
Oof, how she’s boiling,
Puff, how she’s churning,
Huff, how she’s toiling.
She’s fully exhausted and all out of breath,
Yet the coalman continues to stoke her to death.
Numerous wagons she tugs down the track:
Iron and steel monsters hitched up to her back,
All filled with people and other things too:
The first carries cattle, then horses not few;
The third car with corpulent people is filled,
Eating fat frankfurters all freshly grilled.
The fourth car is packed to the hilt with bananas,
The fifth has a cargo of six grand pi-an-as.
The sixth wagon carries a cannon of steel,
With heavy iron girders beneath every wheel.
The seventh has tables, oak cupboards with plates,
While an elephant, bear, two giraffes fill the eighth.
The ninth contains nothing but well-fattened swine,
In the tenth: bags and boxes, now isn’t that fine?
There must be at least forty cars in a row,
And what they all carry — I simply don’t know:
But if one thousand athletes, with muscles of steel,
Each ate one thousand cutlets in one giant meal,
And each one exerted as much as he could,
They’d never quite manage to lift such a load.
First a toot!
Then a hoot!
Steam is churning,
Wheels are turning!
More slowly – than turtles – with freight – on their – backs,
The drowsy – steam engine – sets off – down the tracks.
She chugs and she tugs at her wagons with strain,
As wheel after wheel slowly turns on the train.
She doubles her effort and quickens her pace,
And rambles and scrambles to keep up the race.
Oh whither, oh whither? go forward at will,
And chug along over the bridge, up the hill,
Through mountains and tunnels and meadows and woods,
Now hurry, now hurry, deliver your goods.
Keep up your tempo, now push along, push along,
Chug along, tug along, tug along, chug along
Lightly and sprightly she carries her freight
Like a ping-pong ball bouncing without any weight,
Not heavy equipment exhausted to death,
But a little tin toy, just a light puff of breath.
Oh whither, oh whither, you’ll tell me, I trust,
What is it, what is it that gives you your thrust?
What gives you momentum to roll down the track?
It’s hot steam that gives me my clickety-clack.
Hot steam from the boiler through tubes to the pistons,
The pistons then push at the wheels from short distance,
They drive and they push, and the train starts a-swooshin’
‘Cuz steam on the pistons keeps pushin’ and pushin’;
The wheels start a rattlin’, clatterin’, chatterin’
Chug along, tug along, chug along, tug along! . . . .
Welcome And Farewell
QUICK throbb’d my heart: to norse! haste, haste,
And lo! ’twas done with speed of light;
The evening soon the world embraced,
And o’er the mountains hung the night.
Soon stood, in robe of mist, the oak,
A tow’ring giant in his size,
Where darkness through the thicket broke,
And glared with hundred gloomy eyes.
From out a hill of clouds the moon
With mournful gaze began to peer:
The winds their soft wings flutter’d soon,
And murmur’d in mine awe-struck ear;
The night a thousand monsters made,
Yet fresh and joyous was my mind;
What fire within my veins then play’d!
What glow was in my bosom shrin’d!
I saw thee, and with tender pride
Felt thy sweet gaze pour joy on me;
While all my heart was at thy side.
And every breath I breath’d for thee.
The roseate hues that spring supplies
Were playing round thy features fair,
And love for me–ye Deities!
I hoped it, I deserved it ne’er!
But, when the morning sun return’d,
Departure filled with grief my heart:
Within thy kiss, what rapture burn’d!
But in thy look, what bitter smart!
I went–thy gaze to earth first roved
Thou follow’dst me with tearful eye:
And yet, what rapture to be loved!
And, Gods, to love–what ecstasy!
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