Park Going to Sleep

The shadows under the trees
And in the vines by the boat-house
Grow dark,
And the lamps gleam softly.

On the street, far off,
The sound of the cars, rumbling,
Moves drowsily.
The rocks grow dim on the edges of the shore.

The boats with tired prows against the landing
Have fallen asleep heavily:
The monuments sleep
And the trees
And the smooth slow-winding empty paths sleep.

More by Helen Hoyt

Action Poem

A Song to Wake Your Dear in the Morning

I kiss the locks of your hair:
Do you feel me there,
Sleepy one?

I will put a kiss on your brow:
Are you waking now?
Won't you wake, sleepy one?

A kiss on your left eye; on your right—
Closed tight, closed tight!
Oh, you are a hard one to wake!

A kiss on your nose
Where your deep breath goes,
Sleepy one!

Now a kiss for each ear:
Do you hear, do you hear?
Wake, sleepy one!

A kiss for this cheek; a kiss for this:
How many kisses you will miss!
Won't you wake?    Won't you wake?

Now I come to your lips that I love:
Oh, you are waking!    You wake and move!
Sleepy one!

Sleepy one,
My kisses are done.
Oh, you are a hard one to wake!

The Garden

Do not fear.
The garden is yours
And it is yours to gather the fruits
And every flower of every kind,
And to set the high wall about it
And the closed gates.
The gates of your wall no hand shall open,
Not feet shall pass,
Through all the days until your return.
Do not fear.

But soon,
Soon let it be, your coming!
For the pathways will grow desolate waiting,
The flowers say, “Our loveliness has no eyes to behold it!”
The leaves murmur all day with longing,
All night the boughs of the trees sway themselves with longing…

O Master of the Garden,
O my sun and rain and dew,
Come quickly. 

In the Next Yard

O yes, you are very cunning,
I can see that:
Out there in the snow with your red cart
And your wooly grey coat
And those ridiculous
Little grey leggings!
Like a rabbit,
A demure brownie.
O yes, you are cunning;
But do not think you will escape your father and mother
And what your brothers are!
I know the pattern.
It will surely have you—
For all these elfish times in the snow—
As commonplace as the others,
Little grey rabbit.

 

Related Poems

Snowy Owl Goddess

Loudell, in a loose cotton dress
            the color of delphiniums,
                        her hair, owl-feathered and quiet
as her naked toes in their pale sandals
             is a friend from this harvest part
                         of our lives,
a Minerva woman
             of herbs and salsas, hellebore, trumpet vines
                        and heirloom tomatoes. She glides
among us all,
             carefully,
                          as if we too might be
live plants.

            Almost in a trance from the heady
                        August evening, and perhaps from the corner
of my indolent eye, more absorbing the murmur
            than watching, I registered
                          this Snowy Owl of a woman
as she stripped an olive through her raptor’s mouth,
             then delicately flung the pit
                           into the narrow garden verge next
to her deck chair.

             Usually fastidious as a pharmacist
                         weighing crystals,
she surprised me in this seeming-act
           of littering, until I realized “oh, the pit might take root,
                         grow!” It was her planter’s instinct/
give every seed a place.

            Sipping her chardonnay and, with one hand cracking
                          some pistachios to neatly deposit
their shells in a bowl with pits from olives
             the rest of us had eaten,
                          she reminds me that even
with abundance
            there need not be waste.

                         Every day the image, planted in the hull of
twilight conversation, visits me: A Snowy Owl
                suddenly spreading her 10-foot wingspan
                              to cover this sacred earth,
its arcing motion, her arm unfolding into air
          with the olive pit
                     bowling earthward.