Stylishly, in the white season,
we come here wearing awkward logs
on our feet, to skate on icebergs,
to ride pulleys into the sky
and ride the sky down.
We ride the sky down,
our voices falling back behind us,
unraveling like smooth threads.
Say, I am the air I break; or say,
I am a spool unwinding.
I am the spool that unwound
while riding the sky down, that waits
now to ride the pulley back into the sky,
that comes here, stylishly,
each weekend, for the same trick
in the white season.
From The Christian Science Monitor, February 12, 1959. Copyright © 1959 Christian Science Monitor. All rights reserved. Used by permission and protected by the Copyright Laws of the United States. The printing, copying, redistribution, or retransmission of this Content without express written permission is prohibited.
Never, never may the fruit be plucked from the bough And gathered into barrels. He that would eat of love must eat it where it hangs. Though the branches bend like reeds, Though the ripe fruit splash in the grass or wrinkle on the tree, He that would eat of love may bear away with him Only what his belly can hold, Nothing in the apron, Nothing in the pockets. Never, never may the fruit be gathered from the bough And harvested in barrels. The winter of love is a cellar of empty bins, In an orchard soft with rot.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on February 23, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.