The heroic stars spending themselves,
Coining their very flesh into bullets for the lost battle,
They must burn out at length like used candles;
And Mother Night will weep in her triumph, taking home her heroes.
There is the stuff for an epic poem--
This magnificent raid at the heart of darkness, this lost battle--
We don't know enough, we'll never know.
Oh happy Homer, taking the stars and the Gods for granted.
To make America the greatest is my goal,
So I beat the Russians, and I beat the Pole,
and for the USA won the medal of gold.
Italians said: "You're Greater than the Cassius of old´´.
We like your name, we like your game,
So make Rome your home if you will.
I said I appreciate your kind hospitality,
But the USA is my country still,
'Cause they're waiting to welcome me in Louisville.
They who feel death close as a breath
Speak loudly in unlighted rooms
Lounge upright in articulate gesture
Before the herd of jealous Gods
Fate finds them receiving
Grim the warrior forest who present
Casual silence with casual battle cries
Or stand unflinchingly lodged
In common sand
When cats run home and light is come,
And dew is cold upon the ground,
And the far-off stream is dumb,
And the whirring sail goes round,
And the whirring sail goes round;
Alone and warming his five wits,
The white owl in the belfry sits.
When merry milkmaids click the latch,
And rarely smells the new-mown hay,
And the cock hath sung beneath the thatch
Twice or thrice his roundelay,
Twice or thrice his roundelay;
Alone and warming his five wits,
The white owl in the belfry sits.
When I taught you
at eight to ride
a bicycle, loping along
as you wobbled away
on two round wheels,
my own mouth rounding
in surprise when you pulled
ahead down the curved
path of the park,
I kept waiting
for the thud
of your crash as I
sprinted to catch up,
while you grew
smaller, more breakable
for your life, screaming
the hair flapping
behind you like a
As I drive my parents home through the snow
their frailty hesitates on the edge of a mountainside.
I call over the cliff
only snow answers.
They talk quietly
of hauling water of eating an orange
of a grandchild's photograph left behind last night.
When they open the door of their house they disappear.
And the oak when it falls in the forest who hears it through miles and miles of silence?
They sit so close to each other¡as if pressed together by the snow.
So they bought you
And kept you in a
Very good home
A deep freeze
A very good home-
No one to take you
For that lovely long run-
'A very good home'
They fed you Pal and Chun
But not that lovely long run,
Until, mad with energy and boredom
You escaped- and ran and ran and ran
Under a car.
Today they will cry for you-
Tomorrow they will but another dog.
Edgar Allan Poe
Helen thy beauty is to me
Like those Nicean barks of yore
That gently o'er a perfumed sea
The weary wayworn wanderer bore
To his own native shore.
On desperate seas long wont to roam
Thy hyacinth hair thy classic face
Thy Naiad airs have brought me home
To the glory that was Greece
And the grandeur that was Rome.
Lo! in yon brilliant window-niche
How statue-like I see thee stand
The agate lamp within thy hand!
Ah Psyche from the regions which
Are Holy Land!
It was a Grave, yet bore no Stone
Enclosed 'twas not of Rail
A Consciousness its Acre, and
It held a Human Soul.
Entombed by whom, for what offence
If Home or Foreign born --
Had I the curiosity
'Twere not appeased of men
Till Resurrection, I must guess
Denied the small desire
A Rose upon its Ridge to sow
Or take away a Briar.
A Dimple in the Tomb
Makes that ferocious Room
A Home --
Unaware of my crime
they stood me in the dock.
I was sentenced to life.
I wonder who my visitors will be.
The Butterfly upon the Sky,
That doesn't know its Name
And hasn't any tax to pay
And hasn't any Home
Is just as high as you and I,
And higher, I believe,
So soar away and never sigh
And that's the way to grieve --
Now mind is clear
as a cloudless sky.
Time then to make a
home in wilderness.
What have I done but
wander with my eyes
in the trees? So I
will build: wife,
family, and seek
perish of lonesomeness
or want of food or
lightning or the bear
(must tame the hart
and wear the bear).
And maybe make an image
of my wandering, a little
image—shrine by the
roadside to signify
to traveler that I live
here in the wilderness
awake and at home.
The gathering family
throws shadows around us,
it is the late afternoon
Of the family.
There is still enough light
to see all the way back,
but at the windows
that light is wasting away.
Soon we will be nothing
but silhouettes: the sons'
as the fathers'.
Soon the daughters
will take off their aprons
as trees take off their leaves
Let us eat quickly--
let us fill ourselves up.
the covers of the album are closing
W S Merwin
For Galway Kinnell
The rust a little pile of western color lies
At the end of its travels
Our instrument no longer.
Those who believe
In death have their worship cut out for them.
As for myself we
Scar of light our trumpet
Pilgrims with thorns
To the eye of the cold
Under flags made by the blind
In one fist
Their letter that vanishes
If the hand opens:
Charity come home
A Deed knocks first at Thought
And then -- it knocks at Will --
That is the manufacturing spot
And Will at Home and well
It then goes out an Act
Or is entombed so still
That only to the ear of God
Its Doom is audible --
William Henry Davies
Now shall I walk
Or shall I ride?
"Ride", Pleasure said;
"Walk", Joy replied.
Now what shall I --
Stay home or roam?
"Roam", Pleasure said;
And Joy -- "stay home.
Now shall I dance,
Or sit for dreams?
"Sit," answers Joy;
"Dance," Pleasure screams.
Which of ye two
Will kindest be?
Pleasure laughed sweet,
But Joy kissed me.
Volcanoes be in Sicily
And South America
I judge from my Geography --
Volcanos nearer here
A Lava step at any time
Am I inclined to climb --
A Crater I may contemplate
Vesuvius at Home.
In the slant of the sun on the country-side,
Cattle and sheep trail home along the lane;
And a rugged old man in a thatch door
Leans on a staff and thinks of his son, the herdboy.
There are whirring pheasants? full wheat-ears,
Silk-worms asleep, pared mulberry-leaves.
And the farmers, returning with hoes on their shoulders,
Hail one another familiarly.
No wonder I long for the simple life
And am sighing the old song, Oh, to go Back Again!
G K Chesterton
The men that worked for England
They have their graves at home:
And bees and birds of England
About the cross can roam.
But they that fought for England,
Following a falling star,
Alas, alas for England
They have their graves afar.
And they that rule in England,
In stately conclave met,
Alas, alas for England,
They have no graves as yet.
Julie Hill Alger
All the babies born that Tuesday,
full of grace, went home by Thursday
except for one, my tiny girl
who rushed toward light too soon.
All the Tuesday mothers wheeled
down the corridor in glory,
their arms replete with warm baby;
I carried a potted plant.
I came back the next day and the next,
a visitor with heavy breasts,
to sit and rock the little pilgrim,
nourish her, nourish me.
My feelings are too loud for words
And too shy for the world.
Read the light and have a dream
In your hidden garden.
No need for words.
The words are but shadows
Of stories never said,
Shining from distant kingdoms,
Reminding you of a forgotten home.
Light rays will tell you the story.
There is another alphabet
Whispering from every leaf,
Singing from every river,
Shimmering from every sky.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
My neighbour's curtain, well I see,
Is moving to and fin.
No doubt she's list'ning eagerly,
If I'm at home or no.
And if the jealous grudge I bore
And openly confess'd,
Is nourish'd by me as before,
Within my inmost breast.
Alas! no fancies such as these
E'er cross'd the dear child's thoughts.
I see 'tis but the ev'ning breeze
That with the curtain sports.
In the Shreve High football stadium,
I think of Polacks nursing long beers in Tiltonsville,
And gray faces of Negroes in the blast furnace at Benwood,
And the ruptured night watchman of Wheeling Steel,
Dreaming of heroes.
All the proud fathers are ashamed to go home.
Their women cluck like starved pullets,
Dying for love.
Their sons grow suicidally beautiful
At the beginning of October,
And gallop terribly against each other's bodies.
For this my mother wrapped me warm,
And called me home against the storm,
And coaxed my infant nights to quiet,
And gave me roughage in my diet,
And tucked me in my bed at eight,
And clipped my hair, and marked my weight,
And watched me as I sat and stood:
That I might grow to womanhood
To hear a whistle and drop my wits
And break my heart to clattering bits.