I rose from marsh mud

- 1903-1970
I rose from marsh mud,
algae, equisetum, willows,
sweet green, noisy
birds and frogs

to see her wed in the rich
rich silence of the church,
the little white slave-girl
in her diamond fronds.

In aisle and arch
the satin secret collects.
United for life to serve
silver. Possessed.

More by Lorine Niedecker

My Friend Tree

My friend tree
I sawed you down
but I must attend
an older friend
the sun

Poet's Work

Grandfather
   advised me:
      Learn a trade

I learned
   to sit at desk
      and condense

No layoffs
   from this
      condensery

When Ecstasy is Inconvenient

Feign a great calm;
all gay transport soon ends.
Chant: who knows—
flight's end or flight's beginning
for the resting gull?

Heart, be still.
Say there is money but it rusted;
say the time of moon is not right for escape.
It's the color in the lower sky 
too broadly suffused,
or the wind in my tie.

Know amazedly how
often one takes his madness
into his own hands
and keeps it.