Dark spring – Yvor Winters

My mother
Foresaw deaths
And walked among
Withe red rose,
The earthy blossoms.

My very breath
In nights of study,
And page by page
I came on spring.

The rats run on the roof,
These words come hard—
Sadder than cockcrow
In a dreamless, earthen sleep.
The Christ, eternal
In the scented cold; my love,
Her hand on the sill
White, as if out of earth;
And spring, the sleep of the dead.


The sword unseen is not a sword until the stroke.

Anticipation cutting long before the blade.

Bleeding dry the will,

Casting shadows at noon.


I would reclaim the day while I might have it.


Every clearing has a purpose,

said the hammer to the saw.

You’ve done well in your undoing

and I can’t detect a flaw.


From these stands you’ve set asunder

such a structure we will build

that the eyes of man will face us

and away from what we’ve killed.

Exhortation –Louise Bogan

Give over seeking bastard joy
Nor cast for fortune’s side-long look.
Indifference can be your toy;
The bitter heart can be your book.
(Its lesson torment never shook.)

In the cold heart, as on a page,
Spell out the gentle syllable
That puts short limit to your rage
And curdles the straight fire of hell,
Compassing all, so all is well.

Read how, though passion sets in storm
And grief’s a comfort, and the young
Touch at the flint when it is warm,
It is the dead we live among,
The dead given motion, and a tongue.

The dead, long trained to cruel sport
And the crude gossip of the grave;
The dead, who pass in motley sort,
Whom sun nor sufferance can save.
Face them. They sneer. Do not be brave.

Know once for all: their snare is set
Even now; be sure their trap is laid;
And you will see your lifetime yet
Come to their terms, your plans unmade,
And be belied, and be betrayed.

Old Ghosts

Ghosts walk on words
no mere echoes beckon;
theses are the real,
unaltered by time.
On solid pages beyond revision
they pass through the walls
of style and of age.

Sing songs, Old Ghosts
beyond carnal corruption.
Speak now the the remnant left
here in the realm
of the fluid and living
who clay-footed trample
on the ground
where once like them you tread.


(tweeted 01/29/2014)

The right hand attacks his brother
while the head lends watchful eye
who questioned by the heart
say’s simply everything must die