Where is the Poet

- 1875-1947

The inky-garmented, truth-dead Cloud—woven by dumb ghost alone in the darkness of
         phantasmal mountain-mouth—kidnapped the maiden Moon, silence-faced,
         love-mannered, mirroring her golden breast in silvery rivulets:
The Wind, her lover, grey-haired in one moment, crazes around the Universe, hunting
         her dewy love-letters, strewn secretly upon the oat-carpets of the open field.
O, drama! never performed, never gossiped, never rhymed!
         Behold—to the blind beast, ever tearless, iron-hearted, the Heaven has no mouth to interpret these tidings!
Ah, where is the man who lives out of himself?—the poet inspired often to chronicle these
         things?

At Night

At night the Universe grows lean, sober-
faced, of intoxication,
The shadow of the half-sphere curtains
down closely against my world, like a 
doorless cage, and the stillness chained by
wrinkled darkness strains throughout the Uni-
verse to be free. 
Listen, frogs in the pond, (the world is a pond itself)
     cry out for the light, for the truth!
The curtains rattle ghostlily along, bloodily biting
     my soul, the winds knocking on my cabin door
     with their shadowy hands.

To an Unknown Poet

When I am lost in the deep body of the
mist on the hill, 
The world seems built with me as its
pillar!
Am I the god upon the face of the deep, deepless
deepness in the Beginning?

I Hear You Call, Pine Tree

       I hear you call, pine tree, I hear you upon the hill, by the silent                 pond
where the lotus flowers bloom, I hear you call, pine tree.
       What is it you call, pine tree, when the rain falls, when the                       winds
blow, and when the stars appear, what is it you call, pine tree?
       I hear you call, pine tree, but I am blind, and do not know                         how to
reach you, pine tree. Who will take me to you, pine tree?

Related Poems

Drifting Flowers of the Sea

Across the dunes, in the waning light,
The rising moon pours her amber rays,
Through the slumbrous air of the dim, brown night
The pungent smell of the seaweed strays—
     From vast and trackless spaces
       Where wind and water meet,
         White flowers, that rise from the sleepless deep,
             Come drifting to my feet.
     They flutter the shore in a drowsy tune,
       Unfurl their bloom to the lightlorn sky,
         Allow a caress to the rising moon,
             Then fall to slumber, and fade, and die.

White flowers, a-bloom on the vagrant deep,
Like dreams of love, rising out of sleep,
You are the songs, I dreamt but never sung,
Pale hopes my thoughts alone have known,
Vain words ne’er uttered, though on the tongue,
That winds to the sibilant seas have blown.
      In you, I see the everlasting drift of years
        That will endure all sorrows, smiles and tears;
          For when the bell of time will ring the doom
            To all the follies of the human race,
               You still will rise in fugitive bloom
                  And garland the shores of ruined space.

October Hills

I look upon the purple hills
     That rise in steps to yonder peaks,
And all my soul their silence thrills
     And to my heart their beauty speaks.

What now to me the jars of life,
     Its petty cares, its harder throes?
The hills are free from toil and strife,
     And clasp me in their deep repose.

They soothe the pain within my breast
     No power but theirs could ever reach,
They emblem that eternal rest
      We cannot compass in our speech.

From far I feel their secret charm—
     From far they shed their healing balm,
And lost to sense of grief or harm
     I plunge within their pulseless calm.

How full of peace and strength they stand,
     Self-poised and conscious of their weight!
We rise with them, that silent band,
     Above the wrecks of Time or Fate;

For, mounting from their depths unseen,
     Their spirit pierces upward, far,
A soaring pyramid serene,
     And lifts us where the angels are.

I would not lose this scene of rest,
     Nor shall its dreamy joy depart;
Upon my soul it is imprest,
     And pictured in my inmost heart.

Engines Within the Throne

We once worked as clerks

        scanning moth-balled pages

into the clouds, all memories

outsourced except the fuzzy

        childhood bits when


I was an undersized girl with a tic,

they numbed me with botox

        I was a skinsuit

of dumb expression, just fingerprints

over my shamed


        all I wanted was snow

to snuff the sun blades to shadow spokes,

muffle the drum of freeways, erase

        the old realism


but this smart snow erases

        nothing, seeps everywhere,

the search engine is inside us,

the world is our display


        and now every industry

has dumped whole cubicles, desktops,

fax machines into developing

        worlds where they stack

them as walls against


what disputed territory

        we asked the old spy who drank

with Russians to gather information

the old-fashioned way,


now we have snow sensors,

        so you can go spelunking

in anyone's mind,

let me borrow your child


thoughts, it's benign surveillance,

        I can burrow inside, find a cave

pool with rock-colored flounder,

and find you, half-transparent

with depression.