Remix with a Few Lines from Keats

My throat is dry [   ] a drowsy numbness pains [   ] my sense as though [   ] obscured by smoke [   ] I drive on roads dividing patchwork farmland, fences [   ] wide-eyed lamas [   ] perpetual surprise [   ] after a dream, I sip water in the dark [   ] I don’t want to sleep [   ] my husband breathing deeply [   ] my children twisting in their beds [   ] smoke rising from the fields [   ] end of harvest razing [   ] I lift the rock, find a family of woodlice [   ] curled away from me [   ] sleeping or pretending to sleep [   ] hemlock lacing the road’s shoulders [   ] my too-dry eyes [   ] the tender babies are paler [   ] than their parents, little ghosts [   ] rolled in on themselves, my children are sleeping [   ] when I lift the blanket [   ] when, after a dream, I smoke in the dark [   ] no bird singing [   ] nothing to ode [   ] the sharp scent of pine, wet soil, beast musk, rain [   ] the dull opiate of things [   ] what will outlive us [   ] I turn on the screen [   ] a panel of men in a void, screaming [   ] cornflowers curling into rust [   ] I breathe in smoke [   ] fists curled shut [   ] the green of marijuana fields [   ] the pungent scent of [   ] bodies curled in sleep [   ] as if sleep were a cure [   ] one minute past, and Lethe-wards [   ] hear that crackling? [   ] pine cones dropping like heavy flames [   ] glaciers splitting [   ] howling ghosts [   ] what earth will be left for [   ] my children cry out in their sleep [   ] dark room filling with the smoke I exhale [   ] hills roiling [   ] the screaming stays while the screen goes dark [   ] I can’t see it disappearing [   ] to thy high requiem [   ] my throat is dry [   ] do I wake or sleep? [   ] I don’t want to wake

Related Poems

Ode to a Nightingale

1.

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
  My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
  One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
  But being too happy in thine happiness,—
    That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees,
          In some melodious plot
  Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
    Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

2.

O, for a draught of vintage! that hath been
  Cool'd a long age in the deep-delved earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country green,
  Dance, and Provencal song, and sunburnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South,
  Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
    With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
          And purple-stained mouth;
  That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
    And with thee fade away into the forest dim:

3.

Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
  What thou among the leaves hast never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret
  Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,
  Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
    Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
          And leaden-eyed despairs,
  Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
    Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.

4.

Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
  Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
  Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with thee! tender is the night,
  And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
    Cluster'd around by all her starry Fays;
          But here there is no light,
  Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
    Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.

5.

I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
  Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet
  Wherewith the seasonable month endows
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;
  White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;
    Fast fading violets cover'd up in leaves;
          And mid-May's eldest child,
  The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
    The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.

6.

Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
  I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call'd him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
  To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
  To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
    While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
          In such an ecstasy!
  Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain—
    To thy high requiem become a sod.

7.

Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
  No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
  In ancient days by emperor and clown:
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
  Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
    She stood in tears amid the alien corn;
          The same that oft-times hath
  Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam
    Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.

8.

Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
  To toil me back from thee to my sole self!
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
  As she is fam'd to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
  Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
    Up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried deep
          In the next valley-glades:
  Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
    Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep?

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Glacier (after Wallace Stevens)

I
Among starving polar bears, 
The only moving thing 
Was the edge of a glacier.
 
II
We are of one ecology
Like a planet
In which there are 200,000 glaciers.
 
III
The glacier absorbed greenhouse gases. 
We are a large part of the biosphere.
 
IV
Humans and animals 
Are kin. 
Humans and animals and glaciers 
Are kin.
 
V
We do not know which to fear more,
The terror of change
Or the terror of uncertainty, 
The glacier calving
Or just after.
 
VI
Icebergs fill the vast Ocean
With titanic wrecks. 
The mass of the glacier 
Disappears, to and fro. 
The threat
Hidden in the crevasse
An unavoidable cause.
 
VII
O vulnerable humans,
Why do you engineer sea walls?
Do you not see how the glacier
Already floods the streets
Of the cities around you?
 
VIII
I know king tides, 
And lurid, inescapable storms; 
But I know, too, 
That the glacier is involved 
In what I know.
 
IX
When the glacial terminus broke, 
It marked the beginning 
Of one of many waves.
 
X
At the rumble of a glacier
Losing its equilibrium, 
Every tourist in the new Arctic
chased ice quickly.
 
XI
They explored the poles 
for offshore drilling. 
Once, we blocked them, 
In that we understood 
The risk of an oil spill
For a glacier.
 
XII
The sea is rising.
The glacier must be retreating.
 
XIII
It was summer all winter. 
It was melting 
And it was going to melt.
The glacier fits
In our warm-hands.
 

Characteristics of Life

A fifth of animals without backbones could be at risk of extinction, say scientists.
—BBC Nature News

Ask me if I speak for the snail and I will tell you
I speak for the snail.
                          speak of underneathedness
and the welcome of mosses,
                                        of life that springs up,
little lives that pull back and wait for a moment.

I speak for the damselfly, water skeet, mollusk,
the caterpillar, the beetle, the spider, the ant.
                                                        I speak
from the time before spinelessness was frowned upon.

Ask me if I speak for the moon jelly. I will tell you
                        one thing today and another tomorrow
        and I will be as consistent as anything alive
on this earth.

                        I move as the currents move, with the breezes.
What part of your nature drives you? You, in your cubicle
ought to understand me. I filter and filter and filter all day.

Ask me if I speak for the nautilus and I will be silent
as the nautilus shell on a shelf. I can be beautiful
and useless if that's all you know to ask of me.

Ask me what I know of longing and I will speak of distances
        between meadows of night-blooming flowers.
                                                        I will speak
                        the impossible hope of the firefly.

                                                You with the candle
burning and only one chair at your table must understand
        such wordless desire.

                                To say it is mindless is missing the point.