Mac Hammond |
The butcher knife goes in, first, at the top
And carves out the round stemmed lid,
The hole of which allows the hand to go
In to pull the gooey mess inside, out -
The walls scooped clean with a spoon.
A grim design decided on, that afternoon,
The eyes are the first to go,
Isosceles or trapezoid, the square nose,
The down-turned mouth with three
Hideous teeth and, sometimes,
At dusk it's
Lighted, the room behind it dark.
Outside, looking in, it looks like a
Pumpkin, it looks like ripeness
Kids come, beckoned by
Fingers of shadows on leaf-strewn lawns
To trick or treat.
Standing at the open
Door, the sculptor, a warlock, drops
Penny candies into their bags, knowing
The message of winter: only the children,
Pretending to be ghosts, are real.
Galway Kinnell |
He climbed to the top
of one of those million white pines
set out across the emptying pastures
of the fifties - some program to enrich the rich
and rebuke the forefathers
who cleared it all at once with ox and axe -
climbed to the top, probably to get out
of the shadow
not of those forefathers but of this father
and saw for the first time
down in its valley, Bruce Pond, giving off
its little steam in the afternoon,
pond where Clarence Akley came on Sunday mornings to cut
the cedars around the shore, I'd sometimes hear the slow
of his work, he's gone,
where Milton Norway came up behind me while I was
stood awhile before I knew he was there, he's the one who
cedar shingles on the house, some have curled or split, a
blown off, he's gone,
where Gus Newland logged in the cold snap of '58, the only
ing to go into those woods that never got warmer than ten
pond where two wards of the state wandered on Halloween,
tional Guard searched for them in November, in vain, the
next fall a
hunter found their skeletons huddled together, in vain,
pond where an old fisherman in a rowboat sits, drowning
worms, when he goes he's replaced and is never gone,
and when Fergus
saw the pond for the first time
in the clear evening, saw its oldness down there
in its old place in the valley, he became heavier suddenly
in his bones
the way fledglings do just before they fly,
and the soft pine cracked .
I would not have heard his cry
if my electric saw had been working,
its carbide teeth speeding through the bland spruce of our
black arcs into some scavenged hemlock plank,
like dark circles under eyes
when the brain thinks too close to the skin,
but I was sawing by hand and I heard that cry
as though he were attacked; we ran out,
when we bent over him he said, "Galway, In¨¦s, I saw a
His face went gray, his eyes fluttered close a frightening
Yes - a pond
that lets off its mist
on clear afternoons of August, in that valley
to which many have come, for their reasons,
from which many have gone, a few for their reasons, most
where even now and old fisherman only the pinetops can see
sits in the dry gray wood of his rowboat, waiting for pickerel.
Robert Burns |
MY heart is a-breaking, dear Tittie,
Some counsel unto me come len’,
To anger them a’ is a pity,
But what will I do wi’ Tam Glen?
I’m thinking, wi’ sic a braw fellow,
In poortith I might mak a fen;
What care I in riches to wallow,
If I maunna marry Tam Glen!
There’s Lowrie the Laird o’ Dumeller—
“Gude day to you, brute!” he comes ben:
He brags and he blaws o’ his siller,
But when will he dance like Tam Glen!
My minnie does constantly deave me,
And bids me beware o’ young men;
They flatter, she says, to deceive me,
But wha can think sae o’ Tam Glen!
My daddie says, gin I’ll forsake him,
He’d gie me gude hunder marks ten;
But, if it’s ordain’d I maun take him,
O wha will I get but Tam Glen!
Yestreen at the Valentine’s dealing,
My heart to my mou’ gied a sten’;
For thrice I drew ane without failing,
And thrice it was written “Tam Glen”!
The last Halloween I was waukin
My droukit sark-sleeve, as ye ken,
His likeness came up the house staukin,
And the very grey breeks o’ Tam Glen!
Come, counsel, dear Tittie, don’t tarry;
I’ll gie ye my bonie black hen,
Gif ye will advise me to marry
The lad I lo’e dearly, Tam Glen.