Whose magic could explore
    Ways others might not guess or see,
Now am barred behind a door
    That has no "Open Sesame."

This poem is in the public domain.

translated by Tess O’Dwyer

I have been a fortune-teller. Ages ago, I told the fortune of buffoons and
madmen. You remember. I had a small voice like a grain of sand and
enormous hands. Madmen walked over my hands. I told them the truth. I
could never lie to them. And now I am sorry. Ages ago, a drunkard filled
with dreams asked me to dance. I used my cards to tell his fortune when
his drinks became blows. My banging on the door killed the sea. Memories
finished us. Madmen and buffoons count the grains of sand and have never
destroyed night’s dreams. They draw up the night and rise filled with
middays. Magicians were and always will be my companions. Without
guessing their tricks I started fire in their throats. But none explode. Maybe
one. And with the fish another chimera rises.

Giannina Braschi, Libro de payasos y bufones, El imperio de los sueños, 1988. Translation Tess O’Dwyer, Empire of Dreams, 1994.

    Thou art weary, weary, weary,
        Thou art weary and far away,
    Hear me, gentle spirit, hear me,
        Come before the dawn of day.

I hear a small voice from the hill,
The vapour is deadly, pale, and still—
A murmuring sough is on the wood,
And the witching star is red as blood.

And in the cleft of heaven I scan
The giant form of a naked man,
His eye is like the burning brand,
And he holds a sword in his right hand.

All is not well. By dint of spell,
Somewhere between the heaven and hell
There is this night a wild deray,
The spirits have wander’d from their way.

The purple drops shall tinge the moon
As she wanders through the midnight noon;
And the dawning heaven shall all be red
With blood by guilty angels shed.

Be as it will, I have the skill
To work by good or work by ill;
Then here’s for pain, and here’s for thrall,
And here’s for conscience, worst of all.

Another chant, and then, and then,
Spirits shall come or Christian men—
Come from the earth, the air, or the sea,
Great Gil-Moules, I cry to thee!

Sleep’st thou, wakest thou, lord of the wind,
Mount thy steeds and gallop them blind;
And the long-tailed fiery dragon outfly
The rocket of heaven, the bomb of the sky.

Over the dog-star, over the wain,
Over the cloud, and the rainbow’s mane,
Over the mountain, and over the sea,
    Haste—haste—haste to me!

Then here’s for trouble, and here’s for smart,
And here’s for the pang that seeks the heart;
Here’s for madness, and here’s for thrall,
And here’s for conscience, the worst of all!

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on October 31, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.