Higher than a house, higher than a tree.
Oh! whatever can that be?
The low yellow
moon above the
Quiet lamplit house
Heaven is what I cannot reach!
The apple on the tree,
Provided it do hopeless hang,
That "heaven" is, to me.
The color on the cruising cloud,
The interdicted ground
Behind the hill, the house behind, --
There Paradise is found!
Little maidens, when you look
On this little story-book,
Reading with attentive eye
Its enticing history,
Never think that hours of play
Are your only HOLIDAY,
And that in a HOUSE of joy
Lessons serve but to annoy:
If in any HOUSE you find
Children of a gentle mind,
Each the others pleasing ever--
Each the others vexing never--
Daily work and pastime daily
In their order taking gaily--
Then be very sure that they
Have a life of HOLIDAY.
called at his house,
he was digging potatoes.
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.
I worked for a woman,
She wasn't mean--
But she had a twelve-room
House to clean.
Had to get breakfast,
Dinner, and supper, too--
Then take care of her children
When I got through.
Wash, iron, and scrub,
Walk the dog around--
It was too much,
Nearly broke me down.
I said, Madam,
Can it be
You trying to make a
Pack-horse out of me?
She opened her mouth.
She cried, Oh, no!
You know, Alberta,
I love you so!
I said, Madam,
That may be true--
But I'll be dogged
If I love you!
Marriage is not
a house or even a tent
it is before that, and colder:
The edge of the forest, the edge
of the desert
the unpainted stairs
at the back where we squat
outside, eating popcorn
where painfully and with wonder
at having survived even
we are learning to make fire
I have wished a bird would fly away,
And not sing by my house all day;
Have clapped my hands at him from the door
When it seemed as if I could bear no more.
The fault must partly have been in me.
The bird was not to blame for his key.
And of course there must be something wrong
In wanting to silence any song.
Around the house the flakes fly faster,
And all the berries now are gone
From holly and cotoneaster
Around the house.
The flakes fly!--faster
Shutting indoors that crumb-outcaster
We used to see upon the lawn
Around the house.
The flakes fly faster,
And all the berries now are gone!
David Herbert Lawrence
Outside the house an ash-tree hung its terrible whips,
And at night when the wind arose, the lash of the tree
Shrieked and slashed the wind, as a ship’s
Weird rigging in a storm shrieks hideously.
Within the house two voices arose in anger, a slender lash
Whistling delirious rage, and the dreadful sound
Of a thick lash booming and bruising, until it drowned
The other voice in a silence of blood, ’neath the noise of the ash.
Woke up suddenly thinking I heard crying.
Rushed through the dark house.
out at bright moonlight on concrete.
A few grains of dust more or less
On ancient shoulders
Locks of weakness on weary foreheads
This theatre of honey and faded roses
Where incalcuable flies
Reply to the black signs that misery makes to them
Despairing girders of a bridge
Thrown across space
Thrown across every street and every house
Heavy wandering madnesses
That we shall end by knowing by heart
Mechanical appetites and uncontrolled dances
That lead to the regret of hatred
Nostalgia of justice
The sky is torn across
This ragged anniversary of two
Who moved for three years in tune
Down the long walks of their vows.
Now their love lies a loss
And Love and his patients roar on a chain;
From every tune or crater
Carrying cloud, Death strikes their house.
Too late in the wrong rain
They come together whom their love parted:
The windows pour into their heart
And the doors burn in their brain.
Don't worry, spiders,
I keep house
Now at last I have come to see what life is,
Nothing is ever ended, everything only begun,
And the brave victories that seem so splendid
Are never really won.
Even love that I built my spirit's house for,
Comes like a brooding and a baffled guest,
And music and men's praise and even laughter
Are not so good as rest.
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!
I'm a riddle in nine syllables,
An elephant, a ponderous house,
A melon strolling on two tendrils.
O red fruit, ivory, fine timbers!
This loaf's big with its yeasty rising.
Money's new-minted in this fat purse.
I'm a means, a stage, a cow in calf.
I've eaten a bag of green apples,
Boarded the train there's no getting off.
A House upon the Height --
That Wagon never reached --
No Dead, were ever carried down --
No Peddler's Cart -- approached --
Whose Chimney never smoked --
Whose Windows -- Night and Morn --
Caught Sunrise first -- and Sunset -- last --
Then -- held an Empty Pane --
Whose fate -- Conjecture knew --
No other neighbor -- did --
And what it was -- we never lisped --
Because He -- never told --
I dwell in Possibility --
A fairer House than Prose --
More numerous of Windows --
Superior -- for Doors --
Of Chambers as the Cedars --
Impregnable of Eye --
And for an Everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky --
Of Visitors -- the fairest --
For Occupation -- This --
The spreading wide of narrow Hands
To gather Paradise --
My soul lives in my body's house,
And you have both the house and her—
But sometimes she is less your own
Than a wild, gay adventurer;
A restless and an eager wraith,
How can I tell what she will do—
Oh, I am sure of my body's faith,
But what if my soul broke faith with you?
A first Mute Coming --
In the Stranger's House --
A first fair Going --
When the Bells rejoice --
A first Exchange -- of
What hath mingled -- been --
For Lot -- exhibited to
Faith -- alone --
When night stirred at sea,
An the fire brought a crowd in
They say that her beauty
Was music in mouth
And few in the candlelight
Thought her too proud,
For the house of the planter
Is known by the trees.
Men that had seen her
Drank deep and were silent,
The women were speaking
Wherever she went --
As a bell that is rung
Or a wonder told shyly
And O she was the Sunday
In every week.
Go not too near a House of Rose --
The depredation of a Breeze --
Or inundation of a Dew
Alarms its walls away --
Nor try to tie the Butterfly,
Nor climb the Bars of Ecstasy,
In insecurity to lie
Is Joy's insuring quality.
~for Jackson C.
It seems almost too far fetched really,
too difficult to believe.
This unassuming moon shining like a copper plate.
These milkcrate blues.
This soft trellis of sound
wobbling through the wind
as if pouring out from the window
of some lonely house on the hill.
How beautiful it is,
the ghost of your voice,
haunting this empty valley.
Originally published in 2River View 10.
Copyright © Lisa Zaran, 2005