Time says “Let there be”
every moment and instantly
there is space and the radiance
of each bright galaxy.
And eyes beholding radiance.
And the gnats’ flickering dance.
And the seas’ expanse.
And death, and chance.
Time makes room
for going and coming home
and in time’s womb
begins all ending.
Time is being and being
time, it is all one thing,
the shining, the seeing,
the dark abounding.
From Late in the Day: Poems 2010-2014 (PM Press, 2015). Copyright © 2015 by Ursula K. Le Guin. Used with the permission of PM Press.
This bed I thought was my past
Is really a monk in a garden
He’s dressed in white
Holding a gourd of water
Because I have forgotten Tangle Eye
And Dylan Thomas
The swarthy goose
And the moon in the pennyroyal
With its gut full of shiners
And the skeleton keys to my room
And the snapshots of my land
It seems like dusk
The voice and curls
Left in the strange clothes
Roaming the forty acres of my closet
In the bow wood mountains some boats
Stray as dogs go down in the fields
Shadows yet in the land of the living
When the shade clean leaves you
To your rewards
Bad luck and trouble
Come breaking the laws and trysts
Of love and gravity
So have respect for the dead my dear
And watch your heart like a jukebox
Death coming low with its cold set of tools
But you can’t jimmy love
From What About This: Collected Poems of Frank Stanford. Copyright © 2015 by Ginny Crouch Stanford and C. D. Wright, Estate of Frank Stanford. Reprinted with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.
A zombie is a head
with a hole in it.
Layers of plastic,
putty, and crust.
must be sated.
Mottled men who will
You rise already
harmed and follow
my sad circle
as if dancing
on shattered legs.
such tender absences.
You come to me
in linens and reds,
with rust and wonder.
My servant, sublimate
and I am yours
(the hot death
we would give each other).
My dark ardor,
my dark augur.
Love to the very open-
We are made of
so much hunger.
Copyright © 2017 by Hadara Bar-Nadav. “Zombie” was published in The New Nudity (Saturnalia Books, 2017). Used with permission of the author.
All houses wherein men have lived and died
Are haunted houses. Through the open doors
The harmless phantoms on their errands glide,
With feet that make no sound upon the floors.
We meet them at the door-way, on the stair,
Along the passages they come and go,
Impalpable impressions on the air,
A sense of something moving to and fro.
There are more guests at table than the hosts
Invited; the illuminated hall
Is thronged with quiet, inoffensive ghosts,
As silent as the pictures on the wall.
The stranger at my fireside cannot see
The forms I see, nor hear the sounds I hear;
He but perceives what is; while unto me
All that has been is visible and clear.
We have no title-deeds to house or lands;
Owners and occupants of earlier dates
From graves forgotten stretch their dusty hands,
And hold in mortmain still their old estates.
The spirit-world around this world of sense
Floats like an atmosphere, and everywhere
Wafts through these earthly mists and vapours dense
A vital breath of more ethereal air.
Our little lives are kept in equipoise
By opposite attractions and desires;
The struggle of the instinct that enjoys,
And the more noble instinct that aspires.
These perturbations, this perpetual jar
Of earthly wants and aspirations high,
Come from the influence of an unseen star
An undiscovered planet in our sky.
And as the moon from some dark gate of cloud
Throws o’er the sea a floating bridge of light,
Across whose trembling planks our fancies crowd
Into the realm of mystery and night,—
So from the world of spirits there descends
A bridge of light, connecting it with this,
O'er whose unsteady floor, that sways and bends,
Wander our thoughts above the dark abyss.
This poem is in the public domain.