All poetry Collection

Believing in Iron

The hills my brothers & I created
Never balanced, & it took years
To discover how the world worked.
We could look at a tree of blackbirds
& tell you how many were there,
But with the scrap dealer
Our math was always off.
Weeks of lifting & grunting
Never added up to much,
But we couldn’t stop
Believing in

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To Mrs Reynolds’ Cat

Cat! who hast pass’d thy grand climacteric,
How many mice and rats hast in thy days
Destroy’d? How many tit bits stolen? Gaze
With those bright languid segments green, and prick
Those velvet ears – but pr’ythee do not stick
Thy latent talons in me – and upraise
Thy gentle mew – and tell me all thy frays,
Of fish

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We were riding through frozen fields in a wagon at dawn.
A red wing rose in the darkness.

And suddenly a hare ran across the road.
One of us pointed to it with his hand.

That was long ago. Today neither of them is alive,
Not the hare, nor the man who made the gesture.

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Love’s Growth

I scarce believe my love to be so pure
As I had thought it was,
Because it doth endure
Vicissitude, and season, as the grass ;
Methinks I lied all winter, when I swore
My love was infinite, if spring make it more.

But if this medicine, love, which cures all sorrow
With more, not only be no quintessence,
But mix’d

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The Sundjata Epic

I Sundjata’s Conception

After it had happened
That Sundjata’s mother had become pregnant,
When she had been pregnant for one year,
Susu Sumanguru Baamangana’s diviners by stones said to him,
‘The child who will destroy your kingship
Has been conceived within Manding.’
Sumanguru gathered together all the women of the town of Manding
And for seven years
He kept them within

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Angels of Hell: Canto I, Part I

A City in Sin Burns
Las Vegas, bastion of lust; A-Day
Cars cruise down the glowing strip,
Bells, pings and whistles fill the air.
False idols croon ballads of luck and love
A facade to mask loneliness and despair.
The desert breeze wafts the drunken stench
Of those defeated; those full of greed.
Impetuous souls lacking will, nor

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The Haunted Palace

In the greenest of our valleys
By good angels tenanted,
Once a fair and stately palace—
Radiant palace—reared its head.
In the monarch Thought’s dominion,
It stood there!
Never seraph spread a pinion
Over fabric half so fair!

Banners yellow, glorious, golden,
On its roof did float and flow
(This—all this—was in the olden
Time long ago)

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A Valentine

For her this rhyme is penned, whose luminous eyes,
Brightly expressive as the twins of Leda,
Shall find her own sweet name, that, nestling lies
Upon the page, enwrapped from every reader.
Search narrowly the lines! — they hold a treasure
Divine — a talisman — an amulet
That must be worn at heart. Search well the measure —

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Old Doc Hare

An old Hare lived in a house on a hill,
One hundred years old and never was ill;
His ears so long and his eyes so big,
And is leg so spry that he knew everything
About the beasts that walk and the bird’s that sing–
This old Doc Hare,
Who lived up there
In a mighty fine house on

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Upside-down cake

I am going to make
An upside-down cake.
I know I’ll need some flour,
But I’m going to wait
At least half an hour
Before I begin to bake.

I’ll need some fat
And eggs, and water,
Sugar in an upside-down bowl
And mix all of that.

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Lament of a Mother for the Death of Her Child


 A dew-drop on a wither’d leaf,
 As bright, as lovely, and as brief,
 Thy being was—thou camest from heaven,
 Like dew-drops on the car of even;
 Where blush’d the morning’s early ray,
 Thou, beauteous one, wert pass’d away!
 If thou hadst liv’d, thou fragile flower,
  To soothe me in mine hour

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To Henry, Written To A Russian Air

How I hail this morn’s appearing!
It will thee, my love, restore:
Safety danger past endearing,
Sure we meet to part no more!

Fame is thine, lo! crowds aver it,
And her smile is dear to thee;
But I charge thee, don’t prefer it
E’er again to home and me.

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You Say You Love

You say you love ; but with a voice
Chaster than a nun’s, who singeth
The soft Vespers to herself
While the chime-bell ringeth-
O love me truly!

You say you love; but with a smile
Cold as sunrise in September,
As you were Saint Cupid ‘s nun,
And kept his weeks of Ember.
O love me truly!

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Your hand is heavy, Night, upon my brow.
I bear no heart mercuric like the clouds,
to dare.
Exacerbation from your subtle plough.
Woman as a clam, on the sea’s cresent.
I saw your jealous eye quench the sea’s
Flouorescence, dance on the pulse incessant
Of the waves. And I stood, drained
Submitting like the sands, blood and brine

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A Child’s Hymn

Hear my prayer, O heavenly Father,
Ere I lay me down to sleep;
Bid Thy angels, pure and holy,
Round my bed their vigil keep.

My sins are heavy, but Thy mercy
Far outweighs them, every one;
Down before Thy cross I cast them,
Trusting in Thy help alone.

Keep me through this night of peril
Underneath its boundless shade;

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The Leopard

She feels the shape of another animal
three trees ahead & raises her left front paw.
Dew trembles on each blade of grass
as a snake uncoils among the leaves.
She’s a goddess in a world mastered
by repetition & unearthly cadence,
pacing off light hidden in darkness.
She eases down her right paw,
slow as coming to an answer<br

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Address of the Deserted Maiden to Her Lover


Go! go! thou hast forgotten all
Thine early vows, so false, so vain!
Thy faithless love I’d not recall,
Could one word make thee mine again!

I lov’d thee with the fondest zeal
That ever warm’d a youthful heart;
And still my prayer is for thy weal,
Although so chang’d, so cold thou art.


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Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

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Snow Falling on China’s Land

Snow falling on China’s land,
Cold is blocking China…

Like a wailing old woman,
Closely following
The claws stretching with cold,
To clasp the clothes of passengers,
Endlessly prattling
In words as old as the land…

You, China’s farmhand
Emerging from forest,
Driving a cart,

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To Lothario

Think not, Lothario, while I view
The bright expression of thy face,
And on thy cheek of crimson hue
Emotion’s varying beauties trace,

That in my heart one feeling dwells,
But what the coldest must approve,
Nor think my conscious bosom swells
With aught resembling secret love.

No….still these eyes can fix on thine,
Nor fear their keenest glance to meet;

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