Again my fancy takes its flight,
And soars away on thoughtful wing,
Again my soul thrills with delight,
And this the fancied theme, I sing,
From Earthly scenes awhile, I find release,
And dwell upon the restful Plains of Peace.

The Plains of Peace are passing fair,
Where naught disturbs and naught can harm,
I find no sorrow, woe or care,
These all are lost in perfect calm,
Bright are the joys, and pleasures never cease,
For those who dwell on the Plains of Peace.

No scorching sun or blighting storm,
No burning sand or desert drear,
No fell disease or wasting form,
To mar the glowing beauty here.
Decay and ruin ever must decrease,
Here on the fertile, healthful Plains of Peace.

What rare companionship I find,
What hours of social joy I spend,
What restfulness pervades my mind,
Communing with congenial friend.
True happiness seems ever to increase,
While dwelling here upon the Plains of Peace.

Ambitions too, are realized,
And that which I have sought on earth,
I find at last idealized,
My longings ripen into worth,
My fondest hopes no longer fear decease,
But bloom forth brightly on the Plains of Peace.

'Tis by my fancy, yet 'tis true,
That somewhere having done with Earth,
We shall another course pursue,
According to our aim or worth,
Our souls from mortal things must find release,
And dwell immortal on the Plains of Peace.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on August 30, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.

Sometimes the ancestors call





                                                                            tongue to mouth
                                                                            an auburn molt of daguerreotypes stained

Sometimes the ancestors call





                                                                            an earwig gracefully arranged
                                                                            a pebble between pincers caught
                                                                            is the scene’s composition

Sometimes the ancestors call


                                                                           shovel heeled curt wedge of earth,
                                                                           a convent of daisies assaulted
                                                                           a lunar moth poised at dung end
                                                                           oak leaf suddenly caught at mid-fall




Sometimes the ancestors call

                                                                           dark sip sickle scythe curve
                                                                           a wagon’s tracks from coffins weighed
                                                                           Wind to forecast their arrival
                                                                           Wind to dictate the shuffle
                                                                           and strut of steps
                                                                           to the rust of gates.


Sometimes the ancestors call




                                                                  Not in the great cinema graphic arias
                                                                  Of gun firing bandits at a locomotive’s gray smoke
                                                                  But in rage of gray starlings
                                                                  Circling over head 







Not in the paranoia of walks down bug house corridors
Nor to bed pans brimmed do they call.
Not in the paranormal cadences
                                                                        of cathedral spiked with sepulcher and crucifix


I could be anything
other than what I propose here
                                                                                 I could be song
                                                                                                        I could be dance
                                                                                                                            I could be slab of sky



How many generations still left to measure?
At what cost this cadence?
At what price the grave’s granite thumb?


From Devonte Travels the Sorry Route (Omnidawn, 2019). Copyright © 2019 by T. J. Anderson III. Used with the permission of Omnidawn.

Still are there wonders of the dark and day:
   The muted shrilling of shy things at night,
      So small beneath the stars and moon;
   The peace, dream-frail, but perfect while the light
      Lies softly on the leaves at noon.
         These are, and these will be
             Until eternity;
But she who loved them well has gone away.

Each dawn, while yet the east is veiléd grey,
   The birds about her window wake and sing;
      And far away, each day, some lark
   I know is singing where the grasses swing;
      Some robin calls and calls at dark.
         These are, and these will be
             Until eternity;
But she who loved them well has gone away.

The wild flowers that she loved down green ways stray;
   Her roses lift their wistful buds at dawn,
      But not for eyes that loved them best;
   Only her little pansies are all gone,
      Some lying softly on her breast.
         And flowers will bud and be
             Until eternity;
But she who loved them well has gone away.

Where has she gone? And who is there to say?
   But this we know: her gentle spirit moves
      And is where beauty never wanes,
   Perchance by other streams, mid other groves;
      And to us there, ah! she remains
         A lovely memory
             Until eternity;
She came, she loved, and then she went away.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on August 24, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.