I dream of you walking at night along the streams
of the country of my birth, warm blooms and the nightsongs
of birds opening around you as you walk.
You are holding in your body the dark seed of my sleep.
This comes after silence. Was it something I said
I took a contract to bury the body of blasphemous Bill MacKie,
Whenever, wherever or whatsoever the manner of death he die--
Whether he die in the light o' day or under the peak-faced moon;
In cabin or dance-hall, camp or dive, mucklucks or patent shoon;
On velvet tundra or virgin peak, by glacier, drift or draw;
In muskeg hollow or canyon gloom, by avalanche, fang or claw;
By battle, murder or sudden wealth, by pestilence, hooch or lead--
I swore on the Book I would follow and look till I found my tombless dead.
For Bill was a dainty kind of cuss, and his mind was mighty sot
January brings the snow,
makes our feet and fingers glow.
February brings the rain,
Thaws the frozen lake again.
March brings breezes loud and shrill,
stirs the dancing daffodil.
April brings the primrose sweet,
Lyric night of the lingering Indian summer,
Shadowy fields that are scentless but full of singing,
Never a bird, but the passionless chant of insects,
The grasshopper's horn, and far off, high in the maples
The wheel of a locust slowly grinding the silence,
Under a moon waning and warn and broken,
Tired with summer.
STOP LOOK LISTEN
as gate stripes swing down
count the cars hauling distance
upgrade through town:
warning whistle, bellclang,
engine eating steam,
a fast-freight dream:
Christmas is a long song sung in winter,
An epic poem written with white quill feather pen and
Gold ink, and on clouds of paper,
Beginning from a sneezing December to a
Dizzying twelfth-calendar month,
When snow drizzles gently into the souls of
Those who hearken to the tinkling sound of
The church bell which rings gently with the weight of
The slow-passing season.
I recall the yelling but silent voice of winter
that broken December when the lights from
lanterns shot up from their wicks with the
fading strength of departing glows abroad.
Twilights hastened through the spine of
receding days, halting the approach of a
The wilderness around us yielded froths from a
Peaceful is the dusk
When snow is softly falling
And ruby sun's just faded
Snowy hills beckon
to eager ones, sledding soon
in the gladsome days of youth!
deep snows have fallen
and the firs are weighted down ~
beneath blue sky sun
I was talking to my solitary self again, grumbling how life held no adventure,
And my parrot, Cherry, often echoed me, as moon echoes golden splendors.
She'd ruffle her feathers and preen, as she perched redly upon my shoulder,
As the sun perches redly in the mahogany west, in its hour of dusky smolder.
Cherry was used to my frequent griping, like flowers are accustomed to rain,
Bringing chaos along with sweet relief, like wisdom that can come from pain.
I lived in a small town in southern Alabama, and it was the place I was born,