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Best Famous Shut Up Poems

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Written by Richard Aldington | Create an image from this poem

Childhood

 I 

The bitterness.
the misery, the wretchedness of childhood Put me out of love with God.
I can't believe in God's goodness; I can believe In many avenging gods.
Most of all I believe In gods of bitter dullness, Cruel local gods Who scared my childhood.
II I've seen people put A chrysalis in a match-box, "To see," they told me, "what sort of moth would come.
" But when it broke its shell It slipped and stumbled and fell about its prison And tried to climb to the light For space to dry its wings.
That's how I was.
Somebody found my chrysalis And shut it in a match-box.
My shrivelled wings were beaten, Shed their colours in dusty scales Before the box was opened For the moth to fly.
III I hate that town; I hate the town I lived in when I was little; I hate to think of it.
There wre always clouds, smoke, rain In that dingly little valley.
It rained; it always rained.
I think I never saw the sun until I was nine -- And then it was too late; Everything's too late after the first seven years.
The long street we lived in Was duller than a drain And nearly as dingy.
There were the big College And the pseudo-Gothic town-hall.
There were the sordid provincial shops -- The grocer's, and the shops for women, The shop where I bought transfers, And the piano and gramaphone shop Where I used to stand Staring at the huge shiny pianos and at the pictures Of a white dog looking into a gramaphone.
How dull and greasy and grey and sordid it was! On wet days -- it was always wet -- I used to kneel on a chair And look at it from the window.
The dirty yellow trams Dragged noisily along With a clatter of wheels and bells And a humming of wires overhead.
They threw up the filthy rain-water from the hollow lines And then the water ran back Full of brownish foam bubbles.
There was nothing else to see -- It was all so dull -- Except a few grey legs under shiny black umbrellas Running along the grey shiny pavements; Sometimes there was a waggon Whose horses made a strange loud hollow sound With their hoofs Through the silent rain.
And there was a grey museum Full of dead birds and dead insects and dead animals And a few relics of the Romans -- dead also.
There was a sea-front, A long asphalt walk with a bleak road beside it, Three piers, a row of houses, And a salt dirty smell from the little harbour.
I was like a moth -- Like one of those grey Emperor moths Which flutter through the vines at Capri.
And that damned little town was my match-box, Against whose sides I beat and beat Until my wings were torn and faded, and dingy As that damned little town.
IV At school it was just as dull as that dull High Street.
The front was dull; The High Street and the other street were dull -- And there was a public park, I remember, And that was damned dull, too, With its beds of geraniums no one was allowed to pick, And its clipped lawns you weren't allowed to walk on, And the gold-fish pond you mustn't paddle in, And the gate made out of a whale's jaw-bones, And the swings, which were for "Board-School children," And its gravel paths.
And on Sundays they rang the bells, From Baptist and Evangelical and Catholic churches.
They had a Salvation Army.
I was taken to a High Church; The parson's name was Mowbray, "Which is a good name but he thinks too much of it --" That's what I heard people say.
I took a little black book To that cold, grey, damp, smelling church, And I had to sit on a hard bench, Wriggle off it to kneel down when they sang psalms And wriggle off it to kneel down when they prayed, And then there was nothing to do Except to play trains with the hymn-books.
There was nothing to see, Nothing to do, Nothing to play with, Except that in an empty room upstairs There was a large tin box Containing reproductions of the Magna Charta, Of the Declaration of Independence And of a letter from Raleigh after the Armada.
There were also several packets of stamps, Yellow and blue Guatemala parrots, Blue stags and red baboons and birds from Sarawak, Indians and Men-of-war From the United States, And the green and red portraits Of King Francobello Of Italy.
V I don't believe in God.
I do believe in avenging gods Who plague us for sins we never sinned But who avenge us.
That's why I'll never have a child, Never shut up a chrysalis in a match-box For the moth to spoil and crush its brght colours, Beating its wings against the dingy prison-wall.


Written by Charlotte Bronte | Create an image from this poem

Mementos

 ARRANGING long-locked drawers and shelves 
Of cabinets, shut up for years, 
What a strange task we've set ourselves ! 
How still the lonely room appears ! 
How strange this mass of ancient treasures, 
Mementos of past pains and pleasures; 
These volumes, clasped with costly stone, 
With print all faded, gilding gone; 

These fans of leaves, from Indian trees­ 
These crimson shells, from Indian seas­ 
These tiny portraits, set in rings­ 
Once, doubtless, deemed such precious things; 
Keepsakes bestowed by Love on Faith, 
And worn till the receiver's death, 
Now stored with cameos, china, shells, 
In this old closet's dusty cells.
I scarcely think, for ten long years, A hand has touched these relics old; And, coating each, slow-formed, appears, The growth of green and antique mould.
All in this house is mossing over; All is unused, and dim, and damp; Nor light, nor warmth, the rooms discover­ Bereft for years of fire and lamp.
The sun, sometimes in summer, enters The casements, with reviving ray; But the long rains of many winters Moulder the very walls away.
And outside all is ivy, clinging To chimney, lattice, gable grey; Scarcely one little red rose springing Through the green moss can force its way.
Unscared, the daw, and starling nestle, Where the tall turret rises high, And winds alone come near to rustle The thick leaves where their cradles lie.
I sometimes think, when late at even I climb the stair reluctantly, Some shape that should be well in heaven, Or ill elsewhere, will pass by me.
I fear to see the very faces, Familiar thirty years ago, Even in the old accustomed places Which look so cold and gloomy now.
I've come, to close the window, hither, At twilight, when the sun was down, And Fear, my very soul would wither, Lest something should be dimly shown.
Too much the buried form resembling, Of her who once was mistress here; Lest doubtful shade, or moonbeam trembling, Might take her aspect, once so dear.
Hers was this chamber; in her time It seemed to me a pleasant room, For then no cloud of grief or crime Had cursed it with a settled gloom; I had not seen death's image laid In shroud and sheet, on yonder bed.
Before she married, she was blest­ Blest in her youth, blest in her worth; Her mind was calm, its sunny rest Shone in her eyes more clear than mirth.
And when attired in rich array, Light, lustrous hair about her brow, She yonder sat­a kind of day Lit up­what seems so gloomy now.
These grim oak walls, even then were grim; That old carved chair, was then antique; But what around looked dusk and dim Served as a foil to her fresh cheek; Her neck, and arms, of hue so fair, Eyes of unclouded, smiling, light; Her soft, and curled, and floating hair, Gems and attire, as rainbow bright.
Reclined in yonder deep recess, Ofttimes she would, at evening, lie Watching the sun; she seemed to bless With happy glance the glorious sky.
She loved such scenes, and as she gazed, Her face evinced her spirit's mood; Beauty or grandeur ever raised In her, a deep-felt gratitude.
But of all lovely things, she loved A cloudless moon, on summer night; Full oft have I impatience proved To see how long, her still delight Would find a theme in reverie.
Out on the lawn, or where the trees Let in the lustre fitfully, As their boughs parted momently, To the soft, languid, summer breeze.
Alas ! that she should e'er have flung Those pure, though lonely joys away­ Deceived by false and guileful tongue, She gave her hand, then suffered wrong; Oppressed, ill-used, she faded young, And died of grief by slow decay.
Open that casket­look how bright Those jewels flash upon the sight; The brilliants have not lost a ray Of lustre, since her wedding day.
But see­upon that pearly chain­ How dim lies time's discolouring stain ! I've seen that by her daughter worn: For, e'er she died, a child was born; A child that ne'er its mother knew, That lone, and almost friendless grew; For, ever, when its step drew nigh, Averted was the father's eye; And then, a life impure and wild Made him a stranger to his child; Absorbed in vice, he little cared On what she did, or how she fared.
The love withheld, she never sought, She grew uncherished­learnt untaught; To her the inward life of thought Full soon was open laid.
I know not if her friendlessness Did sometimes on her spirit press, But plaint she never made.
The book-shelves were her darling treasure, She rarely seemed the time to measure While she could read alone.
And she too loved the twilight wood, And often, in her mother's mood, Away to yonder hill would hie, Like her, to watch the setting sun, Or see the stars born, one by one, Out of the darkening sky.
Nor would she leave that hill till night Trembled from pole to pole with light; Even then, upon her homeward way, Long­long her wandering steps delayed To quit the sombre forest shade, Through which her eerie pathway lay.
You ask if she had beauty's grace ? I know not­but a nobler face My eyes have seldom seen; A keen and fine intelligence, And, better still, the truest sense Were in her speaking mien.
But bloom or lustre was there none, Only at moments, fitful shone An ardour in her eye, That kindled on her cheek a flush, Warm as a red sky's passing blush And quick with energy.
Her speech, too, was not common speech, No wish to shine, or aim to teach, Was in her words displayed: She still began with quiet sense, But oft the force of eloquence Came to her lips in aid; Language and voice unconscious changed, And thoughts, in other words arranged, Her fervid soul transfused Into the hearts of those who heard, And transient strength and ardour stirred, In minds to strength unused.
Yet in gay crowd or festal glare, Grave and retiring was her air; 'Twas seldom, save with me alone, That fire of feeling freely shone; She loved not awe's nor wonder's gaze, Nor even exaggerated praise, Nor even notice, if too keen The curious gazer searched her mien.
Nature's own green expanse revealed The world, the pleasures, she could prize; On free hill-side, in sunny field, In quiet spots by woods concealed, Grew wild and fresh her chosen joys, Yet Nature's feelings deeply lay In that endowed and youthful frame; Shrined in her heart and hid from day, They burned unseen with silent flame; In youth's first search for mental light, She lived but to reflect and learn, But soon her mind's maturer might For stronger task did pant and yearn; And stronger task did fate assign, Task that a giant's strength might strain; To suffer long and ne'er repine, Be calm in frenzy, smile at pain.
Pale with the secret war of feeling, Sustained with courage, mute, yet high; The wounds at which she bled, revealing Only by altered cheek and eye; She bore in silence­but when passion Surged in her soul with ceaseless foam, The storm at last brought desolation, And drove her exiled from her home.
And silent still, she straight assembled The wrecks of strength her soul retained; For though the wasted body trembled, The unconquered mind, to quail, disdained.
She crossed the sea­now lone she wanders By Seine's, or Rhine's, or Arno's flow; Fain would I know if distance renders Relief or comfort to her woe.
Fain would I know if, henceforth, ever, These eyes shall read in hers again, That light of love which faded never, Though dimmed so long with secret pain.
She will return, but cold and altered, Like all whose hopes too soon depart; Like all on whom have beat, unsheltered, The bitter blasts that blight the heart.
No more shall I behold her lying Calm on a pillow, smoothed by me; No more that spirit, worn with sighing, Will know the rest of infancy.
If still the paths of lore she follow, 'Twill be with tired and goaded will; She'll only toil, the aching hollow, The joyless blank of life to fill.
And oh ! full oft, quite spent and weary, Her hand will pause, her head decline; That labour seems so hard and dreary, On which no ray of hope may shine.
Thus the pale blight of time and sorrow Will shade with grey her soft, dark hair Then comes the day that knows no morrow, And death succeeds to long despair.
So speaks experience, sage and hoary; I see it plainly, know it well, Like one who, having read a story, Each incident therein can tell.
Touch not that ring, 'twas his, the sire Of that forsaken child; And nought his relics can inspire Save memories, sin-defiled.
I, who sat by his wife's death-bed, I, who his daughter loved, Could almost curse the guilty dead, For woes, the guiltless proved.
And heaven did curse­they found him laid, When crime for wrath was rife, Cold­with the suicidal blade Clutched in his desperate gripe.
'Twas near that long deserted hut, Which in the wood decays, Death's axe, self-wielded, struck his root, And lopped his desperate days.
You know the spot, where three black trees, Lift up their branches fell, And moaning, ceaseless as the seas, Still seem, in every passing breeze, The deed of blood to tell.
They named him mad, and laid his bones Where holier ashes lie; Yet doubt not that his spirit groans, In hell's eternity.
But, lo ! night, closing o'er the earth, Infects our thoughts with gloom; Come, let us strive to rally mirth, Where glows a clear and tranquil hearth In some more cheerful room.
Written by Anne Sexton | Create an image from this poem

Live

 Live or die, but don't poison everything.
.
.
Well, death's been here for a long time -- it has a hell of a lot to do with hell and suspicion of the eye and the religious objects and how I mourned them when they were made obscene by my dwarf-heart's doodle.
The chief ingredient is mutilation.
And mud, day after day, mud like a ritual, and the baby on the platter, cooked but still human, cooked also with little maggots, sewn onto it maybe by somebody's mother, the damn *****! Even so, I kept right on going on, a sort of human statement, lugging myself as if I were a sawed-off body in the trunk, the steamer trunk.
This became perjury of the soul.
It became an outright lie and even though I dressed the body it was still naked, still killed.
It was caught in the first place at birth, like a fish.
But I play it, dressed it up, dressed it up like somebody's doll.
Is life something you play? And all the time wanting to get rid of it? And further, everyone yelling at you to shut up.
And no wonder! People don't like to be told that you're sick and then be forced to watch you come down with the hammer.
Today life opened inside me like an egg and there inside after considerable digging I found the answer.
What a bargain! There was the sun, her yolk moving feverishly, tumbling her prize -- and you realize she does this daily! I'd known she was a purifier but I hadn't thought she was solid, hadn't known she was an answer.
God! It's a dream, lovers sprouting in the yard like celery stalks and better, a husband straight as a redwood, two daughters, two sea urchings, picking roses off my hackles.
If I'm on fire they dance around it and cook marshmallows.
And if I'm ice they simply skate on me in little ballet costumes.
Here, all along, thinking I was a killer, anointing myself daily with my little poisons.
But no.
I'm an empress.
I wear an apron.
My typewriter writes.
It didn't break the way it warned.
Even crazy, I'm as nice as a chocolate bar.
Even with the witches' gymnastics they trust my incalculable city, my corruptible bed.
O dearest three, I make a soft reply.
The witch comes on and you paint her pink.
I come with kisses in my hood and the sun, the smart one, rolling in my arms.
So I say Live and turn my shadow three times round to feed our puppies as they come, the eight Dalmatians we didn't drown, despite the warnings: The abort! The destroy! Despite the pails of water that waited, to drown them, to pull them down like stones, they came, each one headfirst, blowing bubbles the color of cataract-blue and fumbling for the tiny ****.
Just last week, eight Dalmatians, 3/4 of a lb.
, lined up like cord wood each like a birch tree.
I promise to love more if they come, because in spite of cruelty and the stuffed railroad cars for the ovens, I am not what I expected.
Not an Eichmann.
The poison just didn't take.
So I won't hang around in my hospital shift, repeating The Black Mass and all of it.
I say Live, Live because of the sun, the dream, the excitable gift.
Written by Allen Ginsberg | Create an image from this poem

Crossing Nation

 Under silver wing
 San Francisco's towers sprouting
 thru thin gas clouds,
 Tamalpais black-breasted above Pacific azure
 Berkeley hills pine-covered below--
Dr Leary in his brown house scribing Independence
 Declaration
 typewriter at window
 silver panorama in natural eyeball--

Sacramento valley rivercourse's Chinese 
 dragonflames licking green flats north-hazed
 State Capitol metallic rubble, dry checkered fields
 to Sierras- past Reno, Pyramid Lake's 
 blue Altar, pure water in Nevada sands' 
 brown wasteland scratched by tires

 Jerry Rubin arrested! Beaten, jailed,
 coccyx broken--
Leary out of action--"a public menace.
.
.
persons of tender years.
.
.
immature judgement.
.
.
pyschiatric examination.
.
.
" i.
e.
Shut up or Else Loonybin or Slam Leroi on bum gun rap, $7,000 lawyer fees, years' negotiations-- SPOCK GUILTY headlined temporary, Joan Baez' paramour husband Dave Harris to Gaol Dylan silent on politics, & safe-- having a baby, a man-- Cleaver shot at, jail'd, maddened, parole revoked, Vietnam War flesh-heap grows higher, blood splashing down the mountains of bodies on to Cholon's sidewalks-- Blond boys in airplane seats fed technicolor Murderers advance w/ Death-chords Earplugs in, steak on plastic served--Eyes up to the Image-- What do I have to lose if America falls? my body? my neck? my personality? June 19, 1968
Written by Aleister Crowley | Create an image from this poem

The Garden of Janus

 I

The cloud my bed is tinged with blood and foam.
The vault yet blazes with the sun Writhing above the West, brave hippodrome Whose gladiators shock and shun As the blue night devours them, crested comb Of sleep's dead sea That eats the shores of life, rings round eternity! II So, he is gone whose giant sword shed flame Into my bowels; my blood's bewitched; My brain's afloat with ecstasy of shame.
That tearing pain is gone, enriched By his life-spasm; but he being gone, the same Myself is gone Sucked by the dragon down below death's horizon.
III I woke from this.
I lay upon the lawn; They had thrown roses on the moss With all their thorns; we came there at the dawn, My lord and I; God sailed across The sky in's galleon of amber, drawn By singing winds While we wove garlands of the flowers of our minds.
IV All day my lover deigned to murder me, Linking his kisses in a chain About my neck; demon-embroidery! Bruises like far-ff mountains stain The valley of my body of ivory! Then last came sleep.
I wake, and he is gone; what should I do but weep? V Nay, for I wept enough --- more sacred tears! --- When first he pinned me, gripped My flesh, and as a stallion that rears, Sprang, hero-thewed and satyr-lipped; Crushed, as a grape between his teeth, my fears; Sucked out my life And stamped me with the shame, the monstrous word of wife.
VI I will not weep; nay, I will follow him Perchance he is not far, Bathing his limbs in some delicious dim Depth, where the evening star May kiss his mouth, or by the black sky's rim He makes his prayer To the great serpent that is coiled in rapture there.
VII I rose to seek him.
First my footsteps faint Pressed the starred moss; but soon I wandered, like some sweet sequestered saint, Into the wood, my mind.
The moon Was staggered by the trees; with fierce constraint Hardly one ray Pierced to the ragged earth about their roots that lay.
VIII I wandered, crying on my Lord.
I wandered Eagerly seeking everywhere.
The stories of life that on my lips he squandered Grew into shrill cries of despair, Until the dryads frightened and dumfoundered Fled into space --- Like to a demon-king's was grown my maiden face! XI At last I came unto the well, my soul In that still glass, I saw no sign Of him, and yet --- what visions there uproll To cloud that mirror-soul of mine? Above my head there screams a flying scroll Whose word burnt through My being as when stars drop in black disastrous dew.
X For in that scroll was written how the globe Of space became; of how the light Broke in that space and wrapped it in a robe Of glory; of how One most white Withdrew that Whole, and hid it in the lobe Of his right Ear, So that the Universe one dewdrop did appear.
IX Yea! and the end revealed a word, a spell, An incantation, a device Whereby the Eye of the Most Terrible Wakes from its wilderness of ice To flame, whereby the very core of hell Bursts from its rind, Sweeping the world away into the blank of mind.
XII So then I saw my fault; I plunged within The well, and brake the images That I had made, as I must make - Men spin The webs that snare them - while the knee Bend to the tyrant God - or unto Sin The lecher sunder! Ah! came that undulant light from over or from under? XIII It matters not.
Come, change! come, Woe! Come, mask! Drive Light, Life, Love into the deep! In vain we labour at the loathsome task Not knowing if we wake or sleep; But in the end we lift the plumed casque Of the dead warrior; Find no chaste corpse therein, but a soft-smiling whore.
XIV Then I returned into myself, and took All in my arms, God's universe: Crushed its black juice out, while His anger shook His dumbness pregnant with a curse.
I made me ink, and in a little book I wrote one word That God himself, the adder of Thought, had never heard.
XV It detonated.
Nature, God, mankind Like sulphur, nitre, charcoal, once Blended, in one annihilation blind Were rent into a myriad of suns.
Yea! all the mighty fabric of a Mind Stood in the abyss, Belching a Law for "That" more awful than for "This.
" XVI Vain was the toil.
So then I left the wood And came unto the still black sea, That oily monster of beatitude! ('Hath "Thee" for "Me," and "Me" for "Thee!") There as I stood, a mask of solitude Hiding a face Wried as a satyr's, rolled that ocean into space.
XVII Then did I build an altar on the shore Of oyster-shells, and ringed it round With star-fish.
Thither a green flame I bore Of phosphor foam, and strewed the ground With dew-drops, children of my wand, whose core Was trembling steel Electric that made spin the universal Wheel.
XVIII With that a goat came running from the cave That lurked below the tall white cliff.
Thy name! cried I.
The answer that gave Was but one tempest-whisper - "If!" Ah, then! his tongue to his black palate clave; For on soul's curtain Is written this one certainty that naught is certain! XIX So then I caught that goat up in a kiss.
And cried Io Pan! Io Pan! Io Pan! Then all this body's wealth of ambergris, (Narcissus-scented flesh of man!) I burnt before him in the sacrifice; For he was sure - Being the Doubt of Things, the one thing to endure! XX Wherefore, when madness took him at the end, He, doubt-goat, slew the goat of doubt; And that which inward did for ever tend Came at the last to have come out; And I who had the World and God to friend Found all three foes! Drowned in that sea of changes, vacancies, and woes! XXI Yet all that Sea was swallowed up therein; So they were not, and it was not.
As who should sweat his soul out through the skin And find (sad fool!) he had begot All that without him that he had left in, And in himself All he had taken out thereof, a mocking elf! XXII But now that all was gone, great Pan appeared.
Him then I strove to woo, to win, Kissing his curled lips, playing with his beard, Setting his brain a-shake, a-spin, By that strong wand, and muttering of the weird That only I Knew of all souls alive or dead beneath the sky.
XXIII So still I conquered, and the vision passed.
Yet still was beaten, for I knew Myself was He, Himself, the first and last; And as an unicorn drinks dew From under oak-leaves, so my strength was cast Into the mire; For all I did was dream, and all I dreamt desire.
XXIV More; in this journey I had clean forgotten The quest, my lover.
But the tomb Of all these thoughts, the rancid and the rotten, Proved in the end to be my womb Wherein my Lord and lover had begotten A little child To drive me, laughing lion, into the wanton wild! XXV This child hath not one hair upon his head, But he hath wings instead of ears.
No eyes hath he, but all his light is shed Within him on the ordered sphere Of nature that he hideth; and in stead Of mouth he hath One minute point of jet; silence, the lightning path! XXVI Also his nostrils are shut up; for he Hath not the need of any breath; Nor can the curtain of eternity Cover that head with life or death.
So all his body, a slim almond-tree, Knoweth no bough Nor branch nor twig nor bud, from never until now.
XXVII This thought I bred within my bowels, I am.
I am in him, as he in me; And like a satyr ravishing a lamb So either seems, or as the sea Swallows the whale that swallows it, the ram Beats its own head Upon the city walls, that fall as it falls dead.
XXVIII Come, let me back unto the lilied lawn! Pile me the roses and the thorns, Upon this bed from which he hath withdrawn! He may return.
A million morns May follow that first dire daemonic dawn When he did split My spirit with his lightnings and enveloped it! XXIX So I am stretched out naked to the knife, My whole soul twitching with the stress Of the expected yet surprising strife, A martyrdom of blessedness.
Though Death came, I could kiss him into life; Though Life came, I Could kiss him into death, and yet nor live nor die! *** Yet I that am the babe, the sire, the dam, Am also none of these at all; For now that cosmic chaos of I AM Bursts like a bubble.
Mystical The night comes down, a soaring wedge of flame Woven therein To be a sign to them who yet have never been.
XXXI The universe I measured with my rod.
The blacks were balanced with the whites; Satan dropped down even as up soared God; Whores prayed and danced with anchorites.
So in my book the even matched the odd: No word I wrote Therein, but sealed it with the signet of the goat.
XXXII This also I seal up.
Read thou herein Whose eyes are blind! Thou may'st behold Within the wheel (that alway seems to spin All ways) a point of static gold.
Then may'st thou out therewith, and fit it in That extreme spher Whose boundless farness makes it infinitely near.
Written by Ogden Nash | Create an image from this poem

A Word to Husbands

 To keep your marriage brimming
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you’re wrong, admit it;
Whenever you’re right, shut up.
Written by G K Chesterton | Create an image from this poem

Lepanto

 White founts falling in the Courts of the sun, 
And the Soldan of Byzantium is smiling as they run; 
There is laughter like the fountains in that face of all men feared, 
It stirs the forest darkness, the darkness of his beard; 
It curls the blood-red crescent, the crescent of his lips; 
For the inmost sea of all the earth is shaken with his ships.
They have dared the white republics up the capes of Italy, They have dashed the Adriatic round the Lion of the Sea, And the Pope has cast his arms abroad for agony and loss, And called the kings of Christendom for swords about the Cross.
The cold queen of England is looking in the glass; The shadow of the Valois is yawning at the Mass; From evening isles fantastical rings faint the Spanish gun, And the Lord upon the Golden Horn is laughing in the sun.
Dim drums throbbing, in the hills half heard, Where only on a nameless throne a crownless prince has stirred, Where, risen from a doubtful seat and half attainted stall, The last knight of Europe takes weapons from the wall, The last and lingering troubadour to whom the bird has sung, That once went singing southward when all the world was young.
In that enormous silence, tiny and unafraid, Comes up along a winding road the noise of the Crusade.
Strong gongs groaning as the guns boom far, Don John of Austria is going to the war, Stiff flags straining in the night-blasts cold In the gloom black-purple, in the glint old-gold, Torchlight crimson on the copper kettle-drums, Then the tuckets, then the trumpets, then the cannon, and he comes.
Don John laughing in the brave beard curled, Spurning of his stirrups like the thrones of all the world, Holding his head up for a flag of all the free.
Love-light of Spain--hurrah! Death-light of Africa! Don John of Austria Is riding to the sea.
Mahound is in his paradise above the evening star, (Don John of Austria is going to the war.
) He moves a mighty turban on the timeless houri's knees, His turban that is woven of the sunsets and the seas.
He shakes the peacock gardens as he rises from his ease, And he strides among the tree-tops and is taller than the trees; And his voice through all the garden is a thunder sent to bring Black Azrael and Ariel and Ammon on the wing.
Giants and the Genii, Multiplex of wing and eye, Whose strong obedience broke the sky When Solomon was king.
They rush in red and purple from the red clouds of the morn, From the temples where the yellow gods shut up their eyes in scorn; They rise in green robes roaring from the green hells of the sea Where fallen skies and evil hues and eyeless creatures be, On them the sea-valves cluster and the grey sea-forests curl, Splashed with a splendid sickness, the sickness of the pearl; They swell in sapphire smoke out of the blue cracks of the ground,-- They gather and they wonder and give worship to Mahound.
And he saith, "Break up the mountains where the hermit-folk can hide, And sift the red and silver sands lest bone of saint abide, And chase the Giaours flying night and day, not giving rest, For that which was our trouble comes again out of the west.
We have set the seal of Solomon on all things under sun, Of knowledge and of sorrow and endurance of things done.
But a noise is in the mountains, in the mountains, and I know The voice that shook our palaces--four hundred years ago: It is he that saith not 'Kismet'; it is he that knows not Fate; It is Richard, it is Raymond, it is Godfrey at the gate! It is he whose loss is laughter when he counts the wager worth, Put down your feet upon him, that our peace be on the earth.
" For he heard drums groaning and he heard guns jar, (Don John of Austria is going to the war.
) Sudden and still--hurrah! Bolt from Iberia! Don John of Austria Is gone by Alcalar.
St.
Michaels on his Mountain in the sea-roads of the north (Don John of Austria is girt and going forth.
) Where the grey seas glitter and the sharp tides shift And the sea-folk labour and the red sails lift.
He shakes his lance of iron and he claps his wings of stone; The noise is gone through Normandy; the noise is gone alone; The North is full of tangled things and texts and aching eyes, And dead is all the innocence of anger and surprise, And Christian killeth Christian in a narrow dusty room, And Christian dreadeth Christ that hath a newer face of doom, And Christian hateth Mary that God kissed in Galilee,-- But Don John of Austria is riding to the sea.
Don John calling through the blast and the eclipse Crying with the trumpet, with the trumpet of his lips, Trumpet that sayeth ha! Domino gloria! Don John of Austria Is shouting to the ships.
King Philip's in his closet with the Fleece about his neck (Don John of Austria is armed upon the deck.
) The walls are hung with velvet that is black and soft as sin, And little dwarfs creep out of it and little dwarfs creep in.
He holds a crystal phial that has colours like the moon, He touches, and it tingles, and he trembles very soon, And his face is as a fungus of a leprous white and grey Like plants in the high houses that are shuttered from the day, And death is in the phial and the end of noble work, But Don John of Austria has fired upon the Turk.
Don John's hunting, and his hounds have bayed-- Booms away past Italy the rumour of his raid.
Gun upon gun, ha! ha! Gun upon gun, hurrah! Don John of Austria Has loosed the cannonade.
The Pope was in his chapel before day or battle broke, (Don John of Austria is hidden in the smoke.
) The hidden room in man's house where God sits all the year, The secret window whence the world looks small and very dear.
He sees as in a mirror on the monstrous twilight sea The crescent of his cruel ships whose name is mystery; They fling great shadows foe-wards, making Cross and Castle dark, They veil the plum?d lions on the galleys of St.
Mark; And above the ships are palaces of brown, black-bearded chiefs, And below the ships are prisons, where with multitudinous griefs, Christian captives sick and sunless, all a labouring race repines Like a race in sunken cities, like a nation in the mines.
They are lost like slaves that sweat, and in the skies of morning hung The stair-ways of the tallest gods when tyranny was young.
They are countless, voiceless, hopeless as those fallen or fleeing on Before the high Kings' horses in the granite of Babylon.
And many a one grows witless in his quiet room in hell Where a yellow face looks inward through the lattice of his cell, And he finds his God forgotten, and he seeks no more a sign-- (But Don John of Austria has burst the battle-line!) Don John pounding from the slaughter-painted poop, Purpling all the ocean like a bloody pirate's sloop, Scarlet running over on the silvers and the golds, Breaking of the hatches up and bursting of the holds, Thronging of the thousands up that labour under sea White for bliss and blind for sun and stunned for liberty.
Vivat Hispania! Domino Gloria! Don John of Austria Has set his people free! Cervantes on his galley sets the sword back in the sheath (Don John of Austria rides homeward with a wreath.
) And he sees across a weary land a straggling road in Spain, Up which a lean and foolish knight for ever rides in vain, And he smiles, but not as Sultans smile, and settles back the blade.
.
.
.
(But Don John of Austria rides home from the Crusade.
)


Written by Carolyn Forche | Create an image from this poem

The Testimony Of Light

 Our life is a fire dampened, or a fire shut up in stone.
--Jacob Boehme, De Incarnatione Verbi Outside everything visible and invisible a blazing maple.
Daybreak: a seam at the curve of the world.
The trousered legs of the women shimmered.
They held their arms in front of them like ghosts.
The coal bones of the house clinked in a kimono of smoke.
An attention hovered over the dream where the world had been.
For if Hiroshima in the morning, after the bomb has fallen, is like a dream, one must ask whose dream it is.
{1} Must understand how not to speak would carry it with us.
With bones put into rice bowls.
While the baby crawled over its dead mother seeking milk.
Muga-muchu {2}: without self, without center.
Thrown up in the sky by a wind.
The way back is lost, the one obsession.
The worst is over.
The worst is yet to come.
1--.
.
.
is the question asked by Peter Schwenger in Letter Bomb.
Nuclear Holocaust and the Exploding Word.
2--.
.
.
is from Robert Jay Lifton's Death in Life: Survivors of Hiroshima.
Written by Rabindranath Tagore | Create an image from this poem

Beggarly Heart

 When the heart is hard and parched up, 
come upon me with a shower of mercy.
When grace is lost from life, come with a burst of song.
When tumultuous work raises its din on all sides shutting me out from beyond, come to me, my lord of silence, with thy peace and rest.
When my beggarly heart sits crouched, shut up in a corner, break open the door, my king, and come with the ceremony of a king.
When desire blinds the mind with delusion and dust, O thou holy one, thou wakeful, come with thy light and thy thunder
Written by Edward Taylor | Create an image from this poem

Shut Up And Eat Your Toad

 The disorganization to which I currently belong
has skipped several meetings in a row
which is a pattern I find almost fatally attractive.
Down at headquarters there's a secretary and a janitor who I shall call Suzie and boy can she ever shoot straight.
She'll shoot you straight in the eye if you ask her to.
I mow the grass every other Saturday and that's the day she polishes the trivets whether they need it or not, I don't know if there is a name for this kind of behavior, hers or mine, but somebody once said something or another.
That's why I joined up in the first place, so somebody could teach me a few useful phrases, such as, "Good afternoon, my dear ****-retentive Doctor," and "My, that is a lovely dictionary you have on, Mrs.
Smith.
" Still, I hardly feel like functioning even on a brute or loutish level.
My plants think I'm one of them, and they don't look so good themselves, or so I tell them.
I like to give them at least several reasons to be annoyed with me, it's how they exercise their skinny spectrum of emotions.
Because.
That and cribbage.
Often when I return from the club late at night, weary-laden, weary-winged, washed out, I can actually hear the nematodes working, sucking the juices from the living cells of my narcissus.
I have mentioned this to Suzie on several occasions.
Each time she has backed away from me, panic-stricken when really I was just making a stab at conversation.
It is not my intention to alarm anyone, but dear Lord if I find a dead man in the road and his eyes are crawling with maggots, I refuse to say have a nice day Suzie just because she's desperate and her life is a runaway carriage rushing toward a cliff now can I? Would you let her get away with that kind of crap? Who are you anyway? And what kind of disorganization is this? Baron of the Holy Grail? Well it's about time you got here.
I was worried, I was starting to fret.
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