Best Famous Funny Love Poems

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12
Written by David Berman | Create an image from this poem

Self-Portrait At 28

 I know it's a bad title
but I'm giving it to myself as a gift
on a day nearly canceled by sunlight
when the entire hill is approaching
the ideal of Virginia
brochured with goldenrod and loblolly
and I think "at least I have not woken up
with a bloody knife in my hand"
by then having absently wandered
one hundred yards from the house
while still seated in this chair
with my eyes closed.
It is a certain hill the one I imagine when I hear the word "hill" and if the apocalypse turns out to be a world-wide nervous breakdown if our five billion minds collapse at once well I'd call that a surprise ending and this hill would still be beautiful a place I wouldn't mind dying alone or with you.
I am trying to get at something and I want to talk very plainly to you so that we are both comforted by the honesty.
You see there is a window by my desk I stare out when I am stuck though the outdoors has rarely inspired me to write and I don't know why I keep staring at it.
My childhood hasn't made good material either mostly being a mulch of white minutes with a few stand out moments, popping tar bubbles on the driveway in the summer a certain amount of pride at school everytime they called it "our sun" and playing football when the only play was "go out long" are what stand out now.
If squeezed for more information I can remember old clock radios with flipping metal numbers and an entree called Surf and Turf.
As a way of getting in touch with my origins every night I set the alarm clock for the time I was born so that waking up becomes a historical reenactment and the first thing I do is take a reading of the day and try to flow with it like when you're riding a mechanical bull and you strain to learn the pattern quickly so you don't inadverantly resist it.
II two I can't remember being born and no one else can remember it either even the doctor who I met years later at a cocktail party.
It's one of the little disappointments that makes you think about getting away going to Holly Springs or Coral Gables and taking a room on the square with a landlady whose hands are scored by disinfectant, telling the people you meet that you are from Alaska, and listen to what they have to say about Alaska until you have learned much more about Alaska than you ever will about Holly Springs or Coral Gables.
Sometimes I am buying a newspaper in a strange city and think "I am about to learn what it's like to live here.
" Oftentimes there is a news item about the complaints of homeowners who live beside the airport and I realize that I read an article on this subject nearly once a year and always receive the same image.
I am in bed late at night in my house near the airport listening to the jets fly overhead a strange wife sleeping beside me.
In my mind, the bedroom is an amalgamation of various cold medicine commercial sets (there is always a box of tissue on the nightstand).
I know these recurring news articles are clues, flaws in the design though I haven't figured out how to string them together yet, but I've begun to notice that the same people are dying over and over again, for instance Minnie Pearl who died this year for the fourth time in four years.
III three Today is the first day of Lent and once again I'm not really sure what it is.
How many more years will I let pass before I take the trouble to ask someone? It reminds of this morning when you were getting ready for work.
I was sitting by the space heater numbly watching you dress and when you asked why I never wear a robe I had so many good reasons I didn't know where to begin.
If you were cool in high school you didn't ask too many questions.
You could tell who'd been to last night's big metal concert by the new t-shirts in the hallway.
You didn't have to ask and that's what cool was: the ability to deduct to know without asking.
And the pressure to simulate coolness means not asking when you don't know, which is why kids grow ever more stupid.
A yearbook's endpages, filled with promises to stay in touch, stand as proof of the uselessness of a teenager's promise.
Not like I'm dying for a letter from the class stoner ten years on but.
.
.
Do you remember the way the girls would call out "love you!" conveniently leaving out the "I" as if they didn't want to commit to their own declarations.
I agree that the "I" is a pretty heavy concept and hope you won't get uncomfortable if I should go into some deeper stuff here.
IV four There are things I've given up on like recording funny answering machine messages.
It's part of growing older and the human race as a group has matured along the same lines.
It seems our comedy dates the quickest.
If you laugh out loud at Shakespeare's jokes I hope you won't be insulted if I say you're trying too hard.
Even sketches from the original Saturday Night Live seem slow-witted and obvious now.
It's just that our advances are irrepressible.
Nowadays little kids can't even set up lemonade stands.
It makes people too self-conscious about the past, though try explaining that to a kid.
I'm not saying it should be this way.
All this new technology will eventually give us new feelings that will never completely displace the old ones leaving everyone feeling quite nervous and split in two.
We will travel to Mars even as folks on Earth are still ripping open potato chip bags with their teeth.
Why? I don't have the time or intelligence to make all the connections like my friend Gordon (this is a true story) who grew up in Braintree Massachusetts and had never pictured a brain snagged in a tree until I brought it up.
He'd never broken the name down to its parts.
By then it was too late.
He had moved to Coral Gables.
V five The hill out my window is still looking beautiful suffused in a kind of gold national park light and it seems to say, I'm sorry the world could not possibly use another poem about Orpheus but I'm available if you're not working on a self-portrait or anything.
I'm watching my dog have nightmares, twitching and whining on the office floor and I try to imagine what beast has cornered him in the meadow where his dreams are set.
I'm just letting the day be what it is: a place for a large number of things to gather and interact -- not even a place but an occasion a reality for real things.
Friends warned me not to get too psychedelic or religious with this piece: "They won't accept it if it's too psychedelic or religious," but these are valid topics and I'm the one with the dog twitching on the floor possibly dreaming of me that part of me that would beat a dog for no good reason no reason that a dog could see.
I am trying to get at something so simple that I have to talk plainly so the words don't disfigure it and if it turns out that what I say is untrue then at least let it be harmless like a leaky boat in the reeds that is bothering no one.
VI six I can't trust the accuracy of my own memories, many of them having blended with sentimental telephone and margarine commercials plainly ruined by Madison Avenue though no one seems to call the advertising world "Madison Avenue" anymore.
Have they moved? Let's get an update on this.
But first I have some business to take care of.
I walked out to the hill behind our house which looks positively Alaskan today and it would be easier to explain this if I had a picture to show you but I was with our young dog and he was running through the tall grass like running through the tall grass is all of life together until a bird calls or he finds a beer can and that thing fills all the space in his head.
You see, his mind can only hold one thought at a time and when he finally hears me call his name he looks up and cocks his head and for a single moment my voice is everything: Self-portrait at 28.
Written by David Lehman | Create an image from this poem

A Little History

 Some people find out they are Jews.
They can't believe it.
Thy had always hated Jews.
As children they had roamed in gangs on winter nights in the old neighborhood, looking for Jews.
They were not Jewish, they were Irish.
They brandished broken bottles, tough guys with blood on their lips, looking for Jews.
They intercepted Jewish boys walking alone and beat them up.
Sometimes they were content to chase a Jew and he could elude them by running away.
They were happy just to see him run away.
The coward! All Jews were yellow.
They spelled Jew with a small j jew.
And now they find out they are Jews themselves.
It happened at the time of the Spanish Inquisition.
To escape persecution, they pretended to convert to Christianity.
They came to this country and settled in the Southwest.
At some point oral tradition failed the family, and their secret faith died.
No one would ever have known if not for the bones that turned up on the dig.
A disaster.
How could it have happened to them? They are in a state of panic--at first.
Then they realize that it is the answer to their prayers.
They hasten to the synagogue or build new ones.
They are Jews at last! They are free to marry other Jews, and divorce them, and intermarry with Gentiles, God forbid.
They are model citizens, clever and thrifty.
They debate the issues.
They fire off earnest letters to the editor.
They vote.
They are resented for being clever and thrifty.
They buy houses in the suburbs and agree not to talk so loud.
They look like everyone else, drive the same cars as everyone else, yet in their hearts they know they're different.
In every minyan there are always two or three, hated by the others, who give life to one ugly stereotype or another: The grasping Jew with the hooked nose or the Ivy League Bolshevik who thinks he is the agent of world history.
But most of them are neither ostentatiously pious nor excessively avaricious.
How I envy them! They believe.
How I envy them their annual family reunion on Passover, anniversary of the Exodus, when all the uncles and aunts and cousins get together.
They wonder about the heritage of Judaism they are passing along to their children.
Have they done as much as they could to keep the old embers burning? Others lead more dramatic lives.
A few go to Israel.
One of them calls Israel "the ultimate concentration camp.
" He tells Jewish jokes.
On the plane he gets tipsy, tries to seduce the stewardess.
People in the Midwest keep telling him reminds them of Woody Allen.
He wonders what that means.
I'm funny? A sort of nervous intellectual type from New York? A Jew? Around this time somebody accuses him of not being Jewish enough.
It is said by resentful colleagues that his parents changed their name from something that sounded more Jewish.
Everything he publishes is scrutinized with reference to "the Jewish question.
" It is no longer clear what is meant by that phrase.
He has already forgotten all the Yiddish he used to know, and the people of that era are dying out one after another.
The number of witnesses keeps diminishing.
Soon there will be no one left to remind the others and their children.
That is why he came to this dry place where the bones have come to life.
To live in a state of perpetual war puts a tremendous burden on the population.
As a visitor he felt he had to share that burden.
With his gift for codes and ciphers, he joined the counter- terrorism unit of army intelligence.
Contrary to what the spook novels say, he found it possible to avoid betraying either his country or his lover.
This was the life: strange bedrooms, the perfume of other men's wives.
As a spy he has a unique mission: to get his name on the front page of the nation's newspaper of record.
Only by doing that would he get the message through to his immediate superior.
If he goes to jail, he will do so proudly; if they're going to hang him anyway, he'll do something worth hanging for.
In time he may get used to being the center of attention, but this was incredible: To talk his way into being the chief suspect in the most flamboyant murder case in years! And he was innocent! He could prove it! And what a book he would write when they free him from this prison: A novel, obliquely autobiographical, set in Vienna in the twilight of the Hapsburg Empire, in the year that his mother was born.
Written by Allen Ginsberg | Create an image from this poem

Death and Fame

 When I die
I don't care what happens to my body
throw ashes in the air, scatter 'em in East River
bury an urn in Elizabeth New Jersey, B'nai Israel Cemetery
But l want a big funeral
St.
Patrick's Cathedral, St.
Mark's Church, the largest synagogue in Manhattan First, there's family, brother, nephews, spry aged Edith stepmother 96, Aunt Honey from old Newark, Doctor Joel, cousin Mindy, brother Gene one eyed one ear'd, sister- in-law blonde Connie, five nephews, stepbrothers & sisters their grandchildren, companion Peter Orlovsky, caretakers Rosenthal & Hale, Bill Morgan-- Next, teacher Trungpa Vajracharya's ghost mind, Gelek Rinpoche, there Sakyong Mipham, Dalai Lama alert, chance visiting America, Satchitananda Swami Shivananda, Dehorahava Baba, Karmapa XVI, Dudjom Rinpoche, Katagiri & Suzuki Roshi's phantoms Baker, Whalen, Daido Loorie, Qwong, Frail White-haired Kapleau Roshis, Lama Tarchen -- Then, most important, lovers over half-century Dozens, a hundred, more, older fellows bald & rich young boys met naked recently in bed, crowds surprised to see each other, innumerable, intimate, exchanging memories "He taught me to meditate, now I'm an old veteran of the thousand day retreat --" "I played music on subway platforms, I'm straight but loved him he loved me" "I felt more love from him at 19 than ever from anyone" "We'd lie under covers gossip, read my poetry, hug & kiss belly to belly arms round each other" "I'd always get into his bed with underwear on & by morning my skivvies would be on the floor" "Japanese, always wanted take it up my bum with a master" "We'd talk all night about Kerouac & Cassady sit Buddhalike then sleep in his captain's bed.
" "He seemed to need so much affection, a shame not to make him happy" "I was lonely never in bed nude with anyone before, he was so gentle my stomach shuddered when he traced his finger along my abdomen nipple to hips-- " "All I did was lay back eyes closed, he'd bring me to come with mouth & fingers along my waist" "He gave great head" So there be gossip from loves of 1948, ghost of Neal Cassady commin- gling with flesh and youthful blood of 1997 and surprise -- "You too? But I thought you were straight!" "I am but Ginsberg an exception, for some reason he pleased me.
" "I forgot whether I was straight gay queer or funny, was myself, tender and affectionate to be kissed on the top of my head, my forehead throat heart & solar plexus, mid-belly.
on my prick, tickled with his tongue my behind" "I loved the way he'd recite 'But at my back allways hear/ time's winged chariot hurrying near,' heads together, eye to eye, on a pillow --" Among lovers one handsome youth straggling the rear "I studied his poetry class, 17 year-old kid, ran some errands to his walk-up flat, seduced me didn't want to, made me come, went home, never saw him again never wanted to.
.
.
" "He couldn't get it up but loved me," "A clean old man.
" "He made sure I came first" This the crowd most surprised proud at ceremonial place of honor-- Then poets & musicians -- college boys' grunge bands -- age-old rock star Beatles, faithful guitar accompanists, gay classical con- ductors, unknown high Jazz music composers, funky trum- peters, bowed bass & french horn black geniuses, folksinger fiddlers with dobro tamborine harmonica mandolin auto- harp pennywhistles & kazoos Next, artist Italian romantic realists schooled in mystic 60's India, Late fauve Tuscan painter-poets, Classic draftsman Massa- chusets surreal jackanapes with continental wives, poverty sketchbook gesso oil watercolor masters from American provinces Then highschool teachers, lonely Irish librarians, delicate biblio- philes, sex liberation troops nay armies, ladies of either sex "I met him dozens of times he never remembered my name I loved him anyway, true artist" "Nervous breakdown after menopause, his poetry humor saved me from suicide hospitals" "Charmant, genius with modest manners, washed sink, dishes my studio guest a week in Budapest" Thousands of readers, "Howl changed my life in Libertyville Illinois" "I saw him read Montclair State Teachers College decided be a poet-- " "He turned me on, I started with garage rock sang my songs in Kansas City" "Kaddish made me weep for myself & father alive in Nevada City" "Father Death comforted me when my sister died Boston l982" "I read what he said in a newsmagazine, blew my mind, realized others like me out there" Deaf & Dumb bards with hand signing quick brilliant gestures Then Journalists, editors's secretaries, agents, portraitists & photo- graphy aficionados, rock critics, cultured laborors, cultural historians come to witness the historic funeral Super-fans, poetasters, aging Beatnicks & Deadheads, autograph- hunters, distinguished paparazzi, intelligent gawkers Everyone knew they were part of 'History" except the deceased who never knew exactly what was happening even when I was alive February 22, 1997
Written by Richard Brautigan | Create an image from this poem

Coffee

 Sometimes life is merely a matter of coffee and whatever intimacy a cup of coffee
affords.
I once read something about coffee.
The thing said that coffee is good for you; it stimulates all the organs.
I thought at first this was a strange way to put it, and not altogether pleasant, but as time goes by I have found out that it makes sense in its own limited way.
I'll tell you what I mean.
Yesterday morning I went over to see a girl.
I like her.
Whatever we had going for us is gone now.
She does not care for me.
I blew it and wish I hadn't.
I rang the door bell and waited on the stairs.
I could hear her moving around upstairs.
The way she moved I could tell that she was getting up.
I had awakened her.
Then she came down the stairs.
I could feel her approach in my stomach.
Every step she took stirred my feelings and lead indirectly to her opening the door.
She saw me and it did not please her.
Once upon a time it pleased her very much, last week.
I wonder where it went, pretending to be naive.
"I feel strange now," she said.
"I don't want to talk.
" "I want a cup of coffee," I said, because it was the last thing in the world that I wanted.
I said it in such a way that it sounded as if I were reading her a telegram from somebody else, a person who really wanted a cup of coffee, who cared about nothing else.
"All right," she said.
I followed her up the stairs.
It was ridiculous.
She had just put some clothes on.
They had not quite adjusted themselves to her body.
I could tell you about her ass.
We went into the kitchen.
She took a jar of instant coffee off the shelf and put it on the table.
She placed a cup next to it, and a spoon.
I looked at them.
She put a pan full of water on the stove and turned the gas on under it.
All this time she did not say a word.
Her clothes adjusted themselves to her body.
I won't.
She left the kitchen.
Then she went down the stairs and outside to see if she had any mail.
I didn't remember seeing any.
She came back up the stairs and went into another room.
She closed the door after her.
I looked at the pan full of water on the stove.
I knew that it would take a year before the water started to boil.
It was now October and there was too much water in the pan.
That was the problem.
I threw half of the water into the sink.
The water would boil faster now.
It would take only six months.
The house was quiet.
I looked out the back porch.
There were sacks of garbage there.
I stared at the garbage and tried to figure out what she had been eating lately by studying the containers and peelings and stuff.
I couldn't tell a thing.
It was now March.
The water started to boil.
I was pleased by this.
I looked at the table.
There was the jar of instant coffee, the empty cup and the spoon all laid out like a funeral service.
These are the things that you need to make a cup of coffee.
When I left the house ten minutes later, the cup of coffee safely inside me like a grave, I said, "Thank you for the cup of coffee.
" "You're welcome," she said.
Her voice came from behind a closed door.
Her voice sounded like another telegram.
It was really time for me to leave.
I spent the rest of the day not making coffee.
It was a comfort.
And evening came, I had dinner in a restaurant and went to a bar.
I had some drinks and talked to some people.
We were bar people and said bar things.
None of them remembered, and the bar closed.
It was two o'clock in the morning.
I had to go outside.
It was foggy and cold in San Francisco.
I wondered about the fog and felt very human and exposed.
I decided to go visit another girl.
We had not been friends for over a year.
Once we were very close.
I wondered what she was thinking about now.
I went to her house.
She didn't have a door bell.
That was a small victory.
One must keep track of all the small victories.
I do, anyway.
She answered the door.
She was holding a robe in front of her.
She didn't believe that she was seeing me.
"What do you want?" she said, believing now that she was seeing me.
I walked right into the house.
She turned and closed the door in such a way that I could see her profile.
She had not bothered to wrap the robe completely around herself.
She was just holding the robe in front of herself.
I could see an unbroken line of body running from her head to her feet.
It looked kind of strange.
Perhaps because it was so late at night.
"What do you want?" she said.
"I want a cup of coffee," I said.
What a funny thing to say, to say again for a cup of coffee was not what I really wanted.
She looked at me and wheeled slightly on the profile.
She was not pleased to see me.
Let the AMA tell us that time heals.
I looked at the unbroken line of her body.
"Why don't you have a cup of coffee with me?" I said.
"I feel like talking to you.
We haven't talked for a long time.
" She looked at me and wheeled slightly on the profile.
I stared at the unbroken line of her body.
This was not good.
"It's too late," she said.
"I have to get up in the morning.
If you want a cup of coffee, there's instant in the kitchen.
I have to go to bed.
" The kitchen light was on.
I looked down the hall into the kitchen.
I didn't feel like going into the kitchen and having another cup of coffee by myself.
I didn't feel like going to anybody else's house and asking them for a cup of coffee.
I realized that the day had been committed to a very strange pilgrimage, and I had not planned it that way.
At least the jar of instant coffee was not on the table, beside an empty white cup and a spoon.
They say in the spring a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of love.
Perhaps if he has enough time left over, his fancy can even make room for a cup of coffee.
-from Revenge of the Lawn
Written by Siegfried Sassoon | Create an image from this poem

The Old Huntsman

 I’ve never ceased to curse the day I signed 
A seven years’ bargain for the Golden Fleece.
’Twas a bad deal all round; and dear enough It cost me, what with my daft management, And the mean folk as owed and never paid me, And backing losers; and the local bucks Egging me on with whiskys while I bragged The man I was when huntsman to the Squire.
I’d have been prosperous if I’d took a farm Of fifty acres, drove my gig and haggled At Monday markets; now I’ve squandered all My savings; nigh three hundred pound I got As testimonial when I’d grown too stiff And slow to press a beaten fox.
The Fleece! ’Twas the damned Fleece that wore my Emily out, The wife of thirty years who served me well; (Not like this beldam clattering in the kitchen, That never trims a lamp nor sweeps the floor, And brings me greasy soup in a foul crock.
) Blast the old harridan! What’s fetched her now, Leaving me in the dark, and short of fire? And where’s my pipe? ’Tis lucky I’ve a turn For thinking, and remembering all that’s past.
And now’s my hour, before I hobble to bed, To set the works a-wheezing, wind the clock That keeps the time of life with feeble tick Behind my bleared old face that stares and wonders.
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It’s queer how, in the dark, comes back to mind Some morning of September.
We’ve been digging In a steep sandy warren, riddled with holes, And I’ve just pulled the terrier out and left A sharp-nosed cub-face blinking there and snapping, Then in a moment seen him mobbed and torn To strips in the baying hurly of the pack.
I picture it so clear: the dusty sunshine On bracken, and the men with spades, that wipe Red faces: one tilts up a mug of ale.
And, having stopped to clean my gory hands, I whistle the jostling beauties out of the wood.
I’m but a daft old fool! I often wish The Squire were back again—ah! he was a man! They don’t breed men like him these days; he’d come For sure, and sit and talk and suck his briar Till the old wife brings up a dish of tea.
Ay, those were days, when I was serving Squire! I never knowed such sport as ’85, The winter afore the one that snowed us silly.
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Once in a way the parson will drop in And read a bit o’ the Bible, if I’m bad, And pray the Lord to make my spirit whole In faith: he leaves some ’baccy on the shelf, And wonders I don’t keep a dog to cheer me Because he knows I’m mortal fond of dogs! I ask you, what’s a gent like that to me As wouldn’t know Elijah if I saw him, Nor have the wit to keep him on the talk? ’Tis kind of parson to be troubling still With such as me; but he’s a town-bred chap, Full of his college notions and Christmas hymns.
Religion beats me.
I’m amazed at folk Drinking the gospels in and never scratching Their heads for questions.
When I was a lad I learned a bit from mother, and never thought To educate myself for prayers and psalms.
But now I’m old and bald and serious-minded, With days to sit and ponder.
I’d no chance When young and gay to get the hang of all This Hell and Heaven: and when the clergy hoick And holloa from their pulpits, I’m asleep, However hard I listen; and when they pray It seems we’re all like children sucking sweets In school, and wondering whether master sees.
I used to dream of Hell when I was first Promoted to a huntsman’s job, and scent Was rotten, and all the foxes disappeared, And hounds were short of blood; and officers From barracks over-rode ’em all day long On weedy, whistling nags that knocked a hole In every fence; good sportsmen to a man And brigadiers by now, but dreadful hard On a young huntsman keen to show some sport.
Ay, Hell was thick with captains, and I rode The lumbering brute that’s beat in half a mile, And blunders into every blind old ditch.
Hell was the coldest scenting land I’ve known, And both my whips were always lost, and hounds Would never get their heads down; and a man On a great yawing chestnut trying to cast ’em While I was in a corner pounded by The ugliest hog-backed stile you’ve clapped your eyes on.
There was an iron-spiked fence round all the coverts, And civil-spoken keepers I couldn’t trust, And the main earth unstopp’d.
The fox I found Was always a three-legged ’un from a bag, Who reeked of aniseed and wouldn’t run.
The farmers were all ploughing their old pasture And bellowing at me when I rode their beans To cast for beaten fox, or galloped on With hounds to a lucky view.
I’d lost my voice Although I shouted fit to burst my guts, And couldn’t blow my horn.
And when I woke, Emily snored, and barn-cocks started crowing, And morn was at the window; and I was glad To be alive because I heard the cry Of hounds like church-bells chiming on a Sunday.
Ay, that’s the song I’d wish to hear in Heaven! The cry of hounds was Heaven for me: I know Parson would call me crazed and wrong to say it, But where’s the use of life and being glad If God’s not in your gladness? I’ve no brains For book-learned studies; but I’ve heard men say There’s much in print that clergy have to wink at: Though many I’ve met were jolly chaps, and rode To hounds, and walked me puppies; and could pick Good legs and loins and necks and shoulders, ay, And feet—’twas necks and feet I looked at first.
Some hounds I’ve known were wise as half your saints, And better hunters.
That old dog of the Duke’s, Harlequin; what a dog he was to draw! And what a note he had, and what a nose When foxes ran down wind and scent was catchy! And that light lemon bitch of the Squire’s, old Dorcas— She were a marvellous hunter, were old Dorcas! Ay, oft I’ve thought, ‘If there were hounds in Heaven, With God as master, taking no subscription; And all His bless?d country farmed by tenants, And a straight-necked old fox in every gorse!’ But when I came to work it out, I found There’d be too many huntsmen wanting places, Though some I’ve known might get a job with Nick! .
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I’ve come to think of God as something like The figure of a man the old Duke was When I was turning hounds to Nimrod King, Before his Grace was took so bad with gout And had to quit the saddle.
Tall and spare, Clean-shaved and grey, with shrewd, kind eyes, that twinkled, And easy walk; who, when he gave good words, Gave them whole-hearted; and would never blame Without just cause.
Lord God might be like that, Sitting alone in a great room of books Some evening after hunting.
Now I’m tired With hearkening to the tick-tack on the shelf; And pondering makes me doubtful.
Riding home On a moonless night of cloud that feels like frost Though stars are hidden (hold your feet up, horse!) And thinking what a task I had to draw A pack with all those lame ’uns, and the lot Wanting a rest from all this open weather; That’s what I’m doing now.
And likely, too, The frost’ll be a long ’un, and the night One sleep.
The parsons say we’ll wake to find A country blinding-white with dazzle of snow.
The naked stars make men feel lonely, wheeling And glinting on the puddles in the road.
And then you listen to the wind, and wonder If folk are quite such bucks as they appear When dressed by London tailors, looking down Their boots at covert side, and thinking big.
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This world’s a funny place to live in.
Soon I’ll need to change my country; but I know ’Tis little enough I’ve understood my life, And a power of sights I’ve missed, and foreign marvels.
I used to feel it, riding on spring days In meadows pied with sun and chasing clouds, And half forget how I was there to catch The foxes; lose the angry, eager feeling A huntsman ought to have, that’s out for blood, And means his hounds to get it! Now I know It’s God that speaks to us when we’re bewitched, Smelling the hay in June and smiling quiet; Or when there’s been a spell of summer drought, Lying awake and listening to the rain.
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I’d like to be the simpleton I was In the old days when I was whipping-in To a little harrier-pack in Worcestershire, And loved a dairymaid, but never knew it Until she’d wed another.
So I’ve loved My life; and when the good years are gone down, Discover what I’ve lost.
I never broke Out of my blundering self into the world, But let it all go past me, like a man Half asleep in a land that’s full of wars.
What a grand thing ’twould be if I could go Back to the kennels now and take my hounds For summer exercise; be riding out With forty couple when the quiet skies Are streaked with sunrise, and the silly birds Grown hoarse with singing; cobwebs on the furze Up on the hill, and all the country strange, With no one stirring; and the horses fresh, Sniffing the air I’ll never breathe again.
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You’ve brought the lamp, then, Martha? I’ve no mind For newspaper to-night, nor bread and cheese.
Give me the candle, and I’ll get to bed.
Written by Jane Taylor | Create an image from this poem

The Holidays

 "Ah! don't you remember, 'tis almost December,
And soon will the holidays come;
Oh, 'twill be so funny, I've plenty of money,
I'll buy me a sword and a drum.
" Thus said little Harry, unwilling to tarry, Impatient from school to depart; But we shall discover, this holiday lover Knew little what was in his heart.
For when on returning, he gave up his learning, Away from his sums and his books, Though playthings surrounded, and sweetmeats abounded, Chagrin still appear'd in his looks.
Though first they delighted, his toys were now slighted, And thrown away out of his sight; He spent every morning in stretching and yawning, Yet went to bed weary at night.
He had not that treasure which really makes pleasure, (A secret discover'd by few).
You'll take it for granted, more playthings he wanted; Oh naught was something to do.
We must have employment to give us enjoyment And pass the time cheerfully away; And study and reading give pleasure, exceeding The pleasures of toys and of play.
To school now returning­to study and learning With eagerness Harry applied; He felt no aversion to books or exertion, Nor yet for the holidays sigh'd.
Written by Robert William Service | Create an image from this poem

The Choice

 Some inherit manly beauty,
Some come into worldly wealth;
Some have lofty sense of duty,
Others boast exultant health.
Though the pick may be confusing, Health, wealth, charm or character, If you had the chance of choosing Which would you prefer? I'm not sold on body beauty, Though health I appreciate; Character and sense of duty I resign to Men of State.
I don't need a heap of money; Oh I know I'm hard to please.
Though to you it may seem funny, I want none of these.
No, give me Imagination, And the gift of weaving words Into patterns of creation, With the lilt of singing birds; Passion and the power to show it, Sense of life with love expressed: Let my be a bloody poet,-- You can keep the rest.
Written by Charles Bukowski | Create an image from this poem

Here I Am ..

 drunk again at 3 a.
m.
at the end of my 2nd bottle of wine, I have typed from a dozen to 15 pages of poesy an old man maddened for the flesh of young girls in this dwindling twilight liver gone kidneys going pancrea pooped top-floor blood pressure while all the fear of the wasted years laughs between my toes no woman will live with me no Florence Nightingale to watch the Johnny Carson show with if I have a stroke I will lay here for six days, my three cats hungrily ripping the flesh from my elbows, wrists, head the radio playing classical music .
.
.
I promised myself never to write old man poems but this one's funny, you see, excusable, be- cause I've long gone past using myself and there's still more left here at 3 a.
m.
I am going to take this sheet from the typer pour another glass and insert make love to the fresh new whiteness maybe get lucky again first for me later for you.
from "All's Normal Here" - 1985
Written by Robert William Service | Create an image from this poem

Café Comedy

 She

I'm waiting for the man I hope to wed.
I've never seen him - that's the funny part.
I promised I would wear a rose of red, Pinned on my coat above my fluttered heart, So that he'd know me - a precaution wise, Because I wrote him I was twenty-three, And Oh such heaps and heaps of silly lies.
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So when we meet what will he think of me? It's funny, but it has its sorry side; I put an advert.
in the evening Press: "A lonely maiden fain would be a bride.
" Oh it was shameless of me, I confess.
But I am thirty-nine and in despair, Wanting a home and children ere too late, And I forget I'm no more young and fair - I'll hide my rose and run.
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No, no, I'll wait.
An hour has passed and I am waiting still.
I ought to feel relieved, but I'm so sad.
I would have liked to see him, just to thrill, And sigh and say: "There goes my lovely lad! My one romance!" Ah, Life's malign mishap! "Garcon, a cafè creme.
" I'll stay till nine.
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The cafè's empty, just an oldish chap Who's sitting at the table next to mine.
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He I'm waiting for the girl I mean to wed.
She was to come at eight and now it's nine.
She'd pin upon her coat a rose of red, And I would wear a marguerite in mine.
No sign of her I see.
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It's true my eyes Need stronger glasses than the ones I wear, But Oh I feel my heart would recognize Her face without the rose - she is so fair.
Ah! what deceivers are we aging men! What vanity keeps youthful hope aglow! Poor girl! I sent a photo taken when I was a student, twenty years ago.
(Hers is so Springlike, Oh so blossom sweet!) How she will shudder when she sees me now! I think I'd better hide that marguerite - How can I age and ugliness avow? She does not come.
It's after nine o'clock.
What fools we fogeys are! I'll try to laugh; (Garcon, you might bring me another bock) Falling in love, just from a photograph.
Well, that's the end.
I'll go home and forget, Then realizing I am over ripe I'll throw away this silly cigarette And philosophically light my pipe.
* * * * * The waiter brought the coffee and the beer, And there they sat, so woe-begone a pair, And seemed to think: "Why do we linger here?" When suddenly they turned, to start and stare.
She spied a marguerite, he glimpsed a rose; Their eyes were joined and in a flash they knew.
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.
The sleepy waiter saw, when time to close, The sweet romance of those deceiving two, Whose lips were joined, their hearts, their future too.
Written by Robert William Service | Create an image from this poem

Lost

 "Black is the sky, but the land is white--
 (O the wind, the snow and the storm!)--
 Father, where is our boy to-night?
 Pray to God he is safe and warm.
" "Mother, mother, why should you fear? Safe is he, and the Arctic moon Over his cabin shines so clear-- Rest and sleep, 'twill be morning soon.
" "It's getting dark awful sudden.
Say, this is mighty queer! Where in the world have I got to? It's still and black as a tomb.
I reckoned the camp was yonder, I figured the trail was here-- Nothing! Just draw and valley packed with quiet and gloom; Snow that comes down like feathers, thick and gobby and gray; Night that looks spiteful ugly--seems that I've lost my way.
"The cold's got an edge like a jackknife--it must be forty below; Leastways that's what it seems like--it cuts so fierce to the bone.
The wind's getting real ferocious; it's heaving and whirling the snow; It shrieks with a howl of fury, it dies away to a moan; Its arms sweep round like a banshee's, swift and icily white, And buffet and blind and beat me.
Lord! it's a hell of a night.
"I'm all tangled up in a blizzard.
There's only one thing to do-- Keep on moving and moving; it's death, it's death if I rest.
Oh, God! if I see the morning, if only I struggle through, I'll say the prayers I've forgotten since I lay on my mother's breast.
I seem going round in a circle; maybe the camp is near.
Say! did somebody holler? Was it a light I saw? Or was it only a notion? I'll shout, and maybe they'll hear-- No! the wind only drowns me--shout till my throat is raw.
"The boys are all round the camp-fire wondering when I'll be back.
They'll soon be starting to seek me; they'll scarcely wait for the light.
What will they find, I wonder, when they come to the end of my track-- A hand stuck out of a snowdrift, frozen and stiff and white.
That's what they'll strike, I reckon; that's how they'll find their pard, A pie-faced corpse in a snowbank--curse you, don't be a fool! Play the game to the finish; bet on your very last card; Nerve yourself for the struggle.
Oh, you coward, keep cool! I'm going to lick this blizzard; I'm going to live the night.
It can't down me with its bluster--I'm not the kind to be beat.
On hands and knees will I buck it; with every breath will I fight; It's life, it's life that I fight for--never it seemed so sweet.
I know that my face is frozen; my hands are numblike and dead; But oh, my feet keep a-moving, heavy and hard and slow; They're trying to kill me, kill me, the night that's black overhead, The wind that cuts like a razor, the whipcord lash of the snow.
Keep a-moving, a-moving; don't, don't stumble, you fool! Curse this snow that's a-piling a-purpose to block my way.
It's heavy as gold in the rocker, it's white and fleecy as wool; It's soft as a bed of feathers, it's warm as a stack of hay.
Curse on my feet that slip so, my poor tired, stumbling feet; I guess they're a job for the surgeon, they feel so queerlike to lift-- I'll rest them just for a moment--oh, but to rest is sweet! The awful wind cannot get me, deep, deep down in the drift.
" "Father, a bitter cry I heard, Out of the night so dark and wild.
Why is my heart so strangely stirred? 'Twas like the voice of our erring child.
" "Mother, mother, you only heard A waterfowl in the locked lagoon-- Out of the night a wounded bird-- Rest and sleep, 'twill be morning soon.
" Who is it talks of sleeping? I'll swear that somebody shook Me hard by the arm for a moment, but how on earth could it be? See how my feet are moving--awfully funny they look-- Moving as if they belonged to a someone that wasn't me.
The wind down the night's long alley bowls me down like a pin; I stagger and fall and stagger, crawl arm-deep in the snow.
Beaten back to my corner, how can I hope to win? And there is the blizzard waiting to give me the knockout blow.
Oh, I'm so warm and sleepy! No more hunger and pain.
Just to rest for a moment; was ever rest such a joy? Ha! what was that? I'll swear it, somebody shook me again; Somebody seemed to whisper: "Fight to the last, my boy.
" Fight! That's right, I must struggle.
I know that to rest means death; Death, but then what does death mean? --ease from a world of strife.
Life has been none too pleasant; yet with my failing breath Still and still must I struggle, fight for the gift of life.
* * * * * Seems that I must be dreaming! Here is the old home trail; Yonder a light is gleaming; oh, I know it so well! The air is scented with clover; the cattle wait by the rail; Father is through with the milking; there goes the supper-bell.
* * * * * Mother, your boy is crying, out in the night and cold; Let me in and forgive me, I'll never be bad any more: I'm, oh, so sick and so sorry: please, dear mother, don't scold-- It's just your boy, and he wants you.
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Mother, open the door.
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"Father, father, I saw a face Pressed just now to the window-pane! Oh, it gazed for a moment's space, Wild and wan, and was gone again!" "Mother, mother, you saw the snow Drifted down from the maple tree (Oh, the wind that is sobbing so! Weary and worn and old are we)-- Only the snow and a wounded loon-- Rest and sleep, 'twill be morning soon.
"
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