Climbing

- 1874-1925
          High up in the apple tree climbing I go,
          With the sky above me, the earth below.
          Each branch is the step of a wonderful stair
          Which leads to the town I see shining up there.

          Climbing, climbing, higher and higher,
          The branches blow and I see a spire,
          The gleam of a turret, the glint of a dome,
          All sparkling and bright, like white sea foam.

          On and on, from bough to bough,
          The leaves are thick, but I push my way through;
          Before, I have always had to stop,
          But to-day I am sure I shall reach the top.

          Today to the end of the marvelous stair,
          Where those glittering pinacles flash in the air!
          Climbing, climbing, higher I go,
          With the sky close above me, the earth far below.

Opal

You are ice and fire,
The touch of you burns my hands like snow.
You are cold and flame.
You are the crimson of amaryllis,
The silver of moon-touched magnolias.
When I am with you,
My heart is a frozen pond
Gleaming with agitated torches.

The Taxi

When I go away from you
The world beats dead 
Like a slackened drum.
I call out for you against the jutted stars
And shout into the ridges of the wind.
Streets coming fast,
One after the other,
Wedge you away from me,
And the lamps of the city prick my eyes
So that I can no longer see your face.
Why should I leave you,
To wound myself upon the sharp edges of the night?

The Letter

Little cramped words scrawling all over the paper
Like draggled fly's legs,
What can you tell of the flaring moon
Through the oak leaves?
Or of my uncertain window and the bare floor
Spattered with moonlight?
Your silly quirks and twists have nothing in them
Of blossoming hawthorns,
And this paper is dull, crisp, smooth, virgin of loveliness
Beneath my hand.

I am tired, Beloved, of chafing my heart against
The want of you;
Of squeezing it into little inkdrops,
And posting it.
And I scald alone, here, under the fire
Of the great moon.