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In suggesting gifts: Money is appropriate, and one size fits all.

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Patrick White

When Imagination And Reality Are One

When imagination and reality are one
and there's no recourse for civilization
to distinguish between them by usage and consensus,
and the light of the stars isn't condemned
to a life of hard labour as a torch in a coal mine
looking for diamonds you can drink by the grailful
until you're as satiate as oblivion, there's no doubt
the mind is an artist riffing on the new strings of the rain
or painting it in picture-music like a poet or a scientist
who look deranged to those who've averaged out
the crucials of the mindscape like the odds of a lottery,
convinced as they are like pilgrims walking
from one end of their sacred asphalt driveways
to the other, that one size fits all, and that these
enlightened journeys without destinations
are just circles that haven't been squared yet.

But if you're off on your own,
making roads with your walking you're the first
to set foot on like the moon of a spaced-out planet
you're trying to turn into something habitable,
remember it's an act of compassion not to lock the door
to the available dimensions of the future when you leave.
Remember that all six of your senses
live in the world you creatively visualize
like the aura of the life that surrounds you
like an ongoing masterpiece of incompletion.
Without them you might be a master of making trees,
but, hey, man, where are the birds?
I don't hear anything singing.
There's nothing to taste or touch or listen to.
No appearances to deceive your consciousness with.

When your eye's got an idea of the kind of star
it wants to be, before it's learned to see, it never shines.
Wondering what flora to root where in the expanding abyss
of the night before you, scatter the stars across the firmament
as if you were sowing the unknown seeds of the wildflowers
that scuttled themselves like arks
in the cracked creekbeds of your neocortical starmud
and waited patiently like hibernating frogs
for the conditioned chaos of the rain
to come like a flashflood of life-nourishing insight.

And when you're annihilated
by the mystic terror of your own freedom
jimmying with the G-spot on your prison locks
to get them to open up like a coven of doves
that want to release their omens like feathers on the wind
that can scry and fly where they want,
don't linger in the doorway of your liberation.
Hesitation is the flypaper of light.
Stare straight into the eyes of the Medusa
until she's the one that blinks first in the savage snake pit
and the stone bird of your heart thaws like a volcano
potting islands in the draconian heat of its bloodstream
and the Gorgons start dancing to the music of their classical hair-dos
as if they could hear the wavelengths
of a pan flute lapping nearby like water.

Kiss the serpent fire on the head
if you want to honour the shapeshifter
that sets your dark energy free to assume the form
of the world that moults the chrysalis of your imagination
that reassembles the rubble of the last gasp
into a house of transformation that fits you
like a bubble of supple skin where you alone
are the myth and physics of its origination.
And whatever world provides you with the mindscape
of your exploration, you recognize by the style
it's painted in as everywhere a work of your own
signed by the wind in the left hand bottom corner of the sky.

Hard to tell the wells from the fountains
in the mingling mindstream that flows like life lines
into the frayed deltas of your palm. And what madness
hasn't always alloyed its backbone to the swords of the sane
defending their indigenous traditions of soft metal?
Don't stare into your cauldron as if you were trying
to read the future by the lint in your belly-button.
Actualize your magic and stir the womb a bit like a master of departures
with an intuitive genius for unitive metaphors.
Mix the paint on the palette into necromantic shades
of new underworlds weeping jewels on the roots
of the fireflowers bearing forbidden fruits
they'll carry by the armful with them out of the garden
like refugees running from an abandoned embassy
that used to give them shelter from themselves with impunity.

No limit. You can live in as many worlds as there are
grains of dust and pollen, where you're not allergic
to the stars, and the constellations come like the empty baggage
of a book that hasn't written a word to anyone,
nor appointed an alpha like the book end of a beginning
to balance the long vowel of omega at the other extreme
to let you know when it's all been said, and it's time
to lay the cornerstone of a myth of origin of your own,
a pebble in the random tide of providential events,
that doesn't need more than one leg to stand on
like a heron hunting fish in the bestiaries of the moon
that's finally given up its dead like a graveyard of Orphic skulls.

Imagine your way like smoke through the eye of a keyhole
into spaces you create by your very being there
to summon them from the abyss, a carillon of dragons
on a holy day of reptiles when the lowest are blessed with wings,
or wall yourself into an aesthetically sealed garden
where the rain perennially washes the blood of the children
who finger-painted the flowers on your thin skin off,
and luxuriate in your fastidious appetite for insignificant details.
Mind is an artist. Able to paint the worlds as a sin of omission,
a sum of destructions, or the negative space of a hand
breaching stone with a spiritual tattoo on its palm,
indelibly invisible as nothing for whom nothing is out of reach.
Make heaven. Make hell. Who you are is where you live.
Nest in a bell like a bird under the roof of your mouth
or root like lightning in a cloud you left unweeded.

Out of the random ignitions and annihilations of dark matter
bombarding your senses like anti-photonic fireflies
emerges a world of shadows into the light
of your imagination like the rising of a new moon
engendered out of you restoring yourself to it
like a lost atmosphere that got carried away by wings.
You can say things into existence word by word
or you can talk them to death in the silence
that follows the ghost of ideas like darkness follows us.
Or you can let the night bird deep
in the solitude of your heart sing
your fervent yearning for a companionable world
into being sweeter than the immensity of your creative freedom
to long for it as if what were missing
would always seem somehow more real than what was not.

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Message From Eid 3id

What is Eid 3id
Its about Forgeting your greed!
Get up off your feet

What is Eid 3id
give up your feast
Share your sweets with those crying begging in the streets
Go, wipe the tears of those children in need

What is Eid.3id
Take a walk visit the sick, poor and the old
Pray for the sick, feed the poor, keep the old warm
away from the cold

Im EID 3id, i'll be with you soon
The children, the sick, poor and the old
Every day they spend without a smile, is a lost day
If you have money, give to the poor
If you don't have money, go visit the sick give them hope
If you don't have money, with one touch you can take away the loneliness from the old and show them that you care
Let them Wear a smile as you know one size fits all
If you do this, Everyone will smile in the same language

Im Eid 3id
how beautiful to see a mother's face light up with a smile because her child is having something to eat, it shouldn't be like this we all diserve to smile in the same language

This Eid.3id
i will share with them what i have, and if they don't have a smile, I'll give them one of mine

Only then i can feel complete

On the day of EID 3id

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Patrick White

Why Do Children Of The Poor

Why do children of the poor die so readily?
By the age of five
they're already disarmed for life.
Is money a gene they're missing?
Or is their suffering
just a diminished immunity to the rest of us?
The gluttons of knowledge
discuss James Joyce in a loud voice
in well-lit universities.
With great nuance and finesse
they enumerate the seven kinds of ambiguity
and the mean diameter of the vowel O
in the context of neo-Chicago Aristotelianism
in the latter plays of Shakespeare
where the commas fall like worms
out of every page of his art
as if he couldn't punctuate
the death-rage in his heart
with the subtler points
of the neo-critical literati.
I think Shakespeare would have seen
the sterling irony
of debating proto-Nostratic linguistics
while living children all around him
can't read their names in their own mother-tongue.
If the same word for oak
was the word we used for door
when we all learned to speak the same language
milennia ago
it's not hard to imagine
given modern advances in communication
that the word for child
that we used way back then
is the root of the word we use for atrocity today.
Why do the children of the poor die so readily?
Nature or nurture?
Is it because the children of the rich
are taught that wealth is longevity
and the children of the poor
who can't read the fine print
bleed to death like expired medical plans?
Why do the rich think that the poor
are the reason their children suffer
and the best thing to do is make orphans of them
by sending the poor of one nation
to war against another
to keep the economy growing
and cut back on the unemployed
like deer culled from a budget in hunting season?
If you're a child born from this womb
and you grow up fat and cuddly
you've still got
a back-up heart transplant in the bank
but if you're a child born from this one
to thrive on nothing
you look for lifeboats
and see nothing but rocks.
You reach out to the watching world
like a camera
with big questions
in your unaccusing eyes
about what is happening to you
in the arms of your helpless mother
and the world looks back at your tiny corpse
swollen with hunger
like the uninhabitable planet
of your empty stomach
as if it were all just part of your bad luck
that you were born at the mercy of flies
clustering like first world pharmaceuticals
on the black market
of your third world eyelids.
Why are the children of the rich
born into health and favour
and the children of the poor
are slaves to sex and labour?
Have you ever thought about
how many children had to die
to make your running shoes?
Like all those who died
giving birth to the blues
so you could put your suffering
to their music
like the lyrics of the squeamish rich
to the heart-sick voices of the poor?
Why do the children of the poor
die so readily in bad neighbourhoods
where the streets are named for strangers
who all live somewhere else like slumlords?
Insane waste of light and love.
Desecration of heart and mind
Of genius and compassion.
Of cures for cancer
and violins that can play
like willows by a river in the wind.
There's nothing unfinished about a child
as if the green apple
were any less than a ripe one.
Growing up among the living means
that at every moment of your life
you've reached your full potential
and you realize that nothing's ever missing.
Everything is whole and beyond perfect just as it is.
That's innocence from the inside out.
And then someone steps in
and teaches the child
how much it must suffer like the rest of us
just to be itself.
That's the beginning of a rich man's religion
from the outside in.
This child's afraid of losing face
and this child's not allowed to have one.
Why do the children of the poor die so readily?
Why do some children go to summer camp
the way others go to prison
to earn their tats like scout badges?
Why are the children of the poor
turned into baby rattlesnakes
like seven year olds with AK-47s
that are as poisonous as the adult ones?
Why do the children of the poor go to war
while the children of the rich go to college?
There's nothing in the world
a poor child can take for granted.
Life is a wound
that deadens the mind in time
if you're alive enough to endure it.
There are young girls in Afghanistan
who are risking their lives every day
just to learn to read.
Omar Khayyam says
The moving finger writes
and having writ moves on
nor all thy piety nor wit
can lure it back to cancel half a line
nor all thy tears wash out a word of it.
So the Taliban are resorting
to splashing acid in the eyes
of their sisters and daughters
to see if that works better than water.
And the National Rifle Association
inside the classroom
and outside the hospital
is defending the right
by force of the second amendment
as it's written in the Constitution
for every child to pack a lunch
the way their teachers pack guns to school
in pursuit of American happiness
and higher learning
with a competitive edge.
Why do the lean children of the poor die so readily
like one of the seven plagues of Egypt
in back alleys and abandoned buildings
with needles stuck in their arms
while the obese children of the rich
are having the fat of the land removed surgically?
Why do the rich spend twenty million dollars
on a painting of a child
with impressionist skin by Renoir
while a real child lies torn at their feet
in a surrealistic abattoir
signed in its own blood
like the masterpiece of an unknown genius?
Why is so much squandered on the rarity of things
than on their commonality
like children and green oxygen?
Why are movie-stars and football players
paid more on a yearly basis
to live out our fantasies of sex and violence
than it would take
to keep all the children in the Sudan
healthy and alive for a year?
Is it better in this world
to be born a corrupt politician
with a command of words like maggots
than it is to be born innocent
and have nothing to say for yourself
because you're too young
to speak for anyone else
even when you're murdered?
Why do the children of the poor die so readily?
How does it come about
that the United States Supreme Court
accords an oil corporation
all the rights and privileges
of a genuine bigger-than-life individual
backed up by a birth certificate
from a lapwing government
though it's a succubus among humans
and twenty-five million children a year
die anonymously in misery
right at the peak of their suffering
like the fame of the nameless logos
on a generic death
where one size fits all?
Why do the children of the poor die so readily?
Is it because the poor are waiting for lung transplants
that have been inflated into footballs
to score political points
for a ghoul in a governor's office
to balance the budget like death
in favour of the rich
who are waiting for yachts?
Is it because the road we were on
just suddenly got up one day
like human evolution
and walked away from us in disgust
to go look for the lost children
we left like the wings on our heels in the dust?
Is it because as Basho says in a haiku
for those who say
they have no time for children
there are no flowers
and we're so blind to the peach blossoms
we can't see the depth of the curse in this
that we give so little mind
to what we have uprooted from the garden
as if the children of agrarian Adam
scratching for a living in the dirt
weren't as legitimate as those
that were sired
by an industrial
Johnny Appleseed?
Is it because the children of the poor
are born first
to be thrown into the mouths
of corporate Moloch and Wall Street Baal
like a blood sacrifice to a cosmic monstrosity
just so Carthage doesn't fall again
to the venture capital
of down-to-earth Romans
like the price of salt on a sterile market
or the soil of the Love Canal?
Is it because the children of the poor
are the expression of a death-wish
to raise our own assassins
as the only way of finding forgiveness
for what we did to them
before during and after they were born?
Why do the children of the poor die so readily?
Is it because we think of the children of the profligate poor
as the repeating decimals
of a future that goes on forever incommensurately
like one generation after another
or a clepshydra of blood
or a tiny thread of a mindstream
trickling down from the top of the world mountain
like a loose thread of life
that we think we can sever their lives anywhere
or pull down the pillars of pi
by cutting their legs out from under them
like the fundamentals of life
without drawing the knife across our own jugular
like the intestate balls of a castrated ram
or the throat of a wedding bell without a womb?
Why do the children of the poor die so readily?
Is it because...

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Put too many one-size-fits-all jackets on Americans and the place explodes.

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Patrick White

A Little Thought In A Big Space

A little thought in a big space, I'm falling
through my own immensities here at my desk,
one of my Icarian propensities for plunging into things.
My voice intimidated by the violence of the silence within.
I'm on the dark side of my eyes.
No one's ever been here before.
No window, no wall, no door,
I'm on the threshold of my homelessness again.
I'm looking at stars, but I feel like rain.
I'm talking to ghosts that I don't remember.
Might be the wrong medium, but it's the right seance.
I don't even know what I'm doing here myself
but it seems I'm free to go or stay as I wish.
I'm wearing my shadow like a candling parachute
that didn't step back from the edge in time.
No point in pretending you're an airborne dandelion
when you feel like a rock with a message
someone just threw like the moon through a mirror
disguised as a sky the night birds keep flying into blind.

No one asks your name here on this pyre of a sky burial
if your birth certificate says you were born in fire.
Desire anything you like. It was all written in smoke
before you came. And these words that are saying me here
have been out of the aviary of the lantern for light years.
Who knows where the light goes or what if falls upon?
Trying to shine in a dark time without taking anything away
from the lunar eclipses that aren't in need of enlightenment.
Don't know if I'm a solar flare, a firefly, a matchbook,
or a lightning bolt that keeps stressing my starmud out
by sneaking up on it from behind and overdoing things a bit.

If you find yourself trying to pry the flowers open
with a crowbar or a koan, and it's nightfall, it's
time to turn your hourglass in for a waterclock
and see how the stars emerge out of nothing
as soon as you deepen the dark with a more acute sense of timing
that let's everything happen spontaneously by itself.
Even if you're the lighthouse of your dreams
that doesn't mean you're the nightwatchman
keeping his third eye on you in the shadows
like a theft of fire you can get away with
this second time around with only a warning.

If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.
And if you did, whining about it in your sleep
isn't going to help and who's Spartan enough these days
to stash the fox under their tunic to keep
from being caught while it eats them alive?
If you want to be a dragon you've got to learn
to swallow people's hearts like hot coals as if they were chocolates,
without wincing. The stars don't come out
like emergency candles you've been saving
for exactly this kind of situation. And if
you really want to know the truth about illumination,
try and blow one out. Quick, now, look
and see immediately into the clear light of the void
what it's like to shine without a metaphoric reflection.

The stars here don't hide their nakedness under a cloak
of black holes and dwarfs that take it all in
but give nothing back like the second hand clothes
of serpents shedding their skin. One size fits all
like a bubble in a watershed of dark worlds
dazzled by how much a single eye can contain
whether it's hanging from the lip of a flower in the fall
or going down the drain in spring. I know
you hit it like a snowflake on a furnace
and do your damnedest not to cry. Thing is
as unique among billions as you think you are,
there's not a star in the sky that isn't a rite of passage.

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Patrick White

No Shelter For The Heart

No shelter for the heart, the wind
is a wound of torn birds.
Too long in the dark
the star blooms without eyes.

I break a vow of silence with my solitude
and poems materialize
like lifeboats on the moon
in a sea of shadows.

I light my last candle
and the darkness in the room
holds a black mass for what I've lost.

Sensitive as a window
the sky changes like a mood ring
and my muse is an albino chameleon in eclipse.

I keep an abacus of skulls
to remind me what year it is
but the hours go by
like pilgrims to their death
and I can't relate to this eternal view of things.

The ghosts are used to me by now.
I keep the spiderwebs at bay in the corners.
I teach those who died young the names of the stars.
I remain undiverted by death
as the lesser of two differences.

And what do I know of love
I wish I didn't when the longing returns
to come down like a hard rock from the mountain
into the valley like a rogue foundation stone?

My memories are all the first drafts
of lives I've scrapped like bad addictions.
I made a bad play
out of my encyclopedic sorrows
and closed it on opening night as a farce
and everyone on stage applauded for an encore.

Leave a gate open and I'll walk through it.
Otherwise I'm the stranger at the fence.
I'm passing by. I'm where the road
runs out into the wilderness
and I won't stop until I'm irrevocably lost.
I've decultified myself from my identity.
Even my own mind doesn't recognize me.
But I'm one of the sacred clowns of words.
I jest with the sublimities of the absurd
to outwit the pain of going mad without a loss of face
or losing my voice to the echo of a death mask.

I sit in the dark like a fire that's tired of dancing.
I've forsaken mystics to hang on to my senses
and I can see colours through my fingertips
that only the boney keyboards of the blind can imagine.

I'm a high-browed home-spun lunatic in a looping universe.
Profound as play, I hone my hunting skills
by painting magical trances on my skull wall
where the slayers lie among the slain
as if an explanation belittled the mystery
of lovers flint knapping the moon into spearheads
to sanctify the rose of blood they both live by.

What's madness but a diversified neglect of sanity
in the name of counter-intuitive inanities
that break open like Zen fortune-cookies sometimes
or the koans of cosmic eggs giddy with the bliss
of kensha, satori, enlightenment, moksa, the blaze,
for turning your mind over at last like a white stone
to see what lived under it, with lives of their own.

Who says you can take your freedom too far
for the chains to reach? I've dragged the whole prison
along with me at times when I had to,
happy to die like an alarm of futile compassion
in an air raid of pre-emptive meteor strikes
trying to chip a diamond in the rough away
from its own image of shining. I was
choosey at the beginning of my entrance,
but the exit's one size fits all like your next of kin.

I like being astronomical about my intimacy
with the women who cherish the boyish charms
of my effortless buoyancy in avoiding black holes
by never sinking into them like a cue ball,
though there's no need to mention this
like an old planetismal theory I abandoned
for the more random action of aberrant orbits.

Not very acquisitive, I haven't accumulated
the brittle polyps of a lunar barrier reef
to keel haul the moon when she's riding low
over the extinct lava beds of her last rapture
for the cost of an atmosphere and the loss of an ocean.
I'm dog paddling in space without a life jacket on.

People look for words to express their feelings.
I've had to transmute a whole new grammar
out of the stem cells of my voice just to
hear myself think without anyone else talking for me.
So you fussed with language over a lifetime?
And you reek of poetry like a cheap cologne
you synthetically distilled from your garden of transplants
not wholly adapted to the soil they grow in
though you've uprooted all the weeds to the letter.
But what's that compared to speaking in tongues
people haven't been born to speak yet?

You can only write about so much life
as has mastered you at first sight
and if none of your emotions is crazed with hunger
the winners don't get to plead for a second chance.
The garden is torched by dandelions.
The hydra-headed hollyhocks are toppled by the wind.

I exalt in the liberty of an unattainable excellence.
I fail greatly at everything I achieve.
I believe in what makes the night bird sing
as if its longing weren't a secret the aspens
didn't keep to themselves. I can see
no purpose to autumn, no clear reason for spring.
Whenever I forgo my intention, I accomplish
so much more than I could assess in a lifetime.

Never had a thought that wasn't shadowed by a feeling
but I've never resorted to espionage
given my awareness is intelligent space
and the clouds of unknowing soon dissipate into stars.
I don't look for periodicity in the clock of the rain.
The puncture wounds of childhood outgrow their scars
like expanding universes hype the Big Bang.
I build telescopes out of broken windowpanes
unaligned with the axis of the earth.
I made a quantum leap of faith into the unexplained.
I've got a unified field theory I call my mind.
I'm the remaining eye of a delusion that illuminates reality.
Just like a star. By the time you see it, it's left you behind.

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Patrick White

The Moon A Blade Of Stillness

The moon a blade of stillness honed on the heart
of a cold, dark night
without lunacy, love, or forgiveness.
Indian tobacco and milkweed pods
like the fossils of shucked clam shells
in the middens of the Neanderthals
or the twisted wombs of fortune cookies
that were long ago cracked open
to spill their good fortune on the wind.
The morning dove of the loveletter flown
they’re left with nothing but the envelope.
The wind gathers and swirls gusts of snow
across the ice-glazed fields
as if someone were about to rail coke on a mirror
like the Milky Way
and blew it big time into a gust of stars.
Venus and the moon,
perfume on a wrist
with a wound and a scar.
The cold air slashes my nostrils.
Only mad dogs and Englishmen
go out in the midday sun.
This is the light-deprived Canadian version
of the same thing
at midnight when everything
is frozen in space and time
like the numb desolation
on the face of a lost Arctic exploration
as if we were all wearing the same death mask
because whether you’re a nationalist,
a naturalist, or just winging it on your own,
when it’s this cold and birds
are dropping from the sky
like words and notes from the lyrics
somebody forgot to mime,
one size fits all.
Lethal the burning clarity of the cold
when it rimes your mouth
with your own breath
with the salt of the earth
and the lime of the moon
as if it were just one big celestial grave pit,
the cold stone of the crone
that buries people in her heart
like a locket she can’t open from the inside.
Life in these brutal windswept fields
desolate as a used calender
or a losing ticket in the lottery
of predictable apocalypses
that didn’t even remotely come true
like Mayans in igloos at the top of the temple stairs
one for each day of the year
that went on living without them.
Or the astronomical catastrophe
of nuclear winter in Puerta Vallarta,
according to a pyramidal sun dial
that got it wrong
from the late Triassic and beyond.
Fire and ice pulled like a blade
that wouldn’t be bound to a heart of stone.
Light pours out like gold and honey
from the dark ore of a new moon
opening its eyelids for the first time
since it went into a coma
like a temporary eclipse of its sanity.
Everybody obsessed with death in the end-times,
forgetting from the universe’s point of view,
there’s thirteen ways of looking a blackbird
and fourteen in reverse
and they’re all as true
as whole numbers on a clock
doing a sword dance with time.
Life lines unravel like the frayed ends
at the delta of a river about to enter the sea.
But what could be so terminal
about returning to the source
of where everything begins
like the universe with a Big Bang
that has continued
like an executioner’s drum roll
ever since the moon rose up
like a two-bladed ax in the east
and learned to cut both ways
by the time it fell in the west
on the white napes of the birch-groves
swanning with their arms outstretched
like a constellation who’s time has come
to kiss the crucifix like a vow of silence
and have done with trying to maintain the peace
like a truce with the truth of severance
as if it were their last best hope for deliverance.
And if not deliverance, then at the very least,
to let their branches pile up at their feet
and let the infallible stars set fire to them
like self-immolating heretics
or Joan of Arc in the inferno
of her martyrdom
among treacherous friends
and Burgundian enemies alike
as history neglects to write
into the hagiography of trees
the black stake she was burnt at
and suffered as much as she
for things it never meant to stand for
like the backbone of a saint
when her heart and her legs
gave out under her
like the rungs of a burning ladder
propped against the windowsills of heaven,
her feet grounded in the snake pit
that bound her to the earth.
But enough said, or too much,
or too little, or nothing at all.
Jupiter returns retrograde to Pisces
at its stationary point in the west
for thirty-five nights
and then returns to the Ram
to disappear behind the sun in Taurus.
Castor and Pollux in the Twins
and Capella and Nath and the kids
in Auriga the Charioteer.
Orion holding its club up like the glyph
of the mythically inflated victory truce
of Ramses the II’s battle with the Hittites
at Kardesh, his figure
ten times more imposing than the rest
as he puts his foot on the chest of his enemies
and hopes like stars, snow,
blood and flesh, fire and ice,
his few sparks of life will last.
I’ve always seen it that way somehow.
What hunter would go out with a club
to beat a wild animal to death
unless his prey were human
with a skull that was easy to hit?
Ergo. Kardesh. Forensic mythology
on the few bones
of the original fireflies that are left to us
like the prehistoric vertebrae
of great whales that died in a bay of the desert,
or the skeletons of humming birds
as delicate as the stalks of wild oats
encrypted into the snow
like a hieroglyph for help
frozen into a bottle of ice
that took thousands of light years to get here
only to discover
that we’re as helpless as they are.
That imagination and wonder
are the mind’s way of making sure
in the desolate immensities
of these starfields overhead
and this glacial acre
of hard ground beneath our feet
impervious to the coffins
and roots of our solitude,
we’re not estranged
by what we’re looking at.
That the emptiness of the mystery
is the source of all our metaphors.
The dark mother. The muse.
Our last recourse.
Our only hope of rescue from ourselves.
Interactive similitudes in a void with no likeness.

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Patrick White

Trying To Express

Trying to express a more immediate intimacy
with the life of the mind
without attributing a form to madness
might just be another way
of looking for comic relief
from the actual facts
of the tragic folly that confronts us
like a world that won't tolerate any mask
you want to put on it for long
to lie about the atrocity of your irrelevance
and pretend you don't know
what you're looking at.
I dream I suffer the same
corpuscular purpose as a paramecium.
I wake up from these desert mirages
and it's true.
OK it's true.
Because nothing in life is an endgame.
And despite the full stop like an empty cup
at the end of a thought
with the lifespan of a punctuation mark
my cup runneth over like the new moon
and everything is drunk on the lunacy of its light.
It's not the content of life that matters
as much as the way space bends
to accommodate it.
It's not the wine
it's the emptiness of the cup
that shapes the forms of our knowing
so that they can be grasped
by our eyes and hands
as separate things in the world.
Mind is a poet a potter a painter a parent a prophet
that will not be bound by its own works
or the laws of the defenceless who expound them.
Look out into space
and the furthest you will ever see
is a face in the mirror that's older than matter.
Space is a vehicle of transformation
that doesn't go anywhere
because anywhere it goes
its wheels are centered
in the still points of themselves
as we are to our navels.
And all lifelines
straight or otherwise
are emanations of its radiance.
Order and logic and reason
are the dry wishbones of the fearful
looking for predictability in a world
that can't be contained
by a unified field theory
or an elaborated straitjacket
on the fashion ramps of science.
Physics says one size fits all
but by the time the spiders
are finished weaving it
the sleeves are always too short
to keep up with a universe
that's growing at the speed of light
and I'd rather walk naked
in the skin of my own clarity
than be clothed
in someone else's hand-me-downs.
I'm not out hunting birds and butterflies
with a dreamcatcher.
I'm not looking for peace and healing
by abstaining from myself
like a promise I broke to my ancestors.
Everyone was born a lifeboat
in an abysmal sea of awareness
or they wouldn't be here to know it.
So who needs to be saved?
Or is there some kind of holy war going on
between the lifeboats and the waves?
And where does Jerusalem go
to free itself of infidels
when it goes on crusade?
All waves are waterbells
that never stop tolling
and the mindstream
they're raised upon
is in everyone
the sum of what's holy about life.
Learn to transcend your certainties
if you want to get over your doubts.
Don't hoard the effects of your efforts
in the name of a good cause
that's so blinded by its own light
that it can't see
that there's as much randomness in the wonder
as there is in the horror.
That what's most terrifying about life
is that it's free
of anything you can say or feel or think about it.
That every part in every moment
is not the sum
but the consummation of the whole
that roots and flowers in everyone
as if it were a secret
that bloomed for them alone.
To know the names of things
like the names of stars and flowers
is to look at them from the outside.
Who called you Eve?
Who called you Adam?
If you know your name
you're already in exile.
But it was not us
who were driven out of the garden.
Knowledge drives the garden out of us.
It turns our eyes around
so we can't see Eden from the inside
where our beginnings are always now
and we are no more dispossessed
of our innocence
than the passion expressed by a flower
in a loveletter to the light
can be disenchanted
of the insight that inspired it.
What's truly tragic about life when it seems so
is not that it's evil
but that it's innocent
and its innocence is older than compassion.
The moon sheds its phases.
The flower its petals.
They're always coming and going
from the same abyss they're heading into.
The emptiness engenders this abundance
out of its own potential for growth
and even death is not culpable.
This is space.
That is space.
But the two
can no more be separated
than a wave can be from water.
You don't need a unified field theory
to understand unity.
You don't need to hold a mirror up
to your face
to see your own reflection
when you can see yourself in everything.
What does space look like to space?
Mind to mind?
Light to light?
The dreamer to the dream?
What could God possibly say to herself
that she didn't already know?
There's nothing hidden.
There's nothing secret.
There's nothing that escapes detection.
There's no simulacrum for the void
that elaborates everyone's likeness.
There's no dead metaphor in the word
waiting to be resurrected.
The absolutes may be in denial
about the way things seem
but even when their eyes
burn through glass like stars
lost in their own immensities
they can't impress the darkness
with a theory of cosmic shadows.
They don't need to look
any further into space
than the ends of their noses
to see the constellations
casting them
across the universe
like the shadows of the stars
that aren't there anymore
trying to throw a light on black matter
by noting its absence.
Gravitational eyes devoid of light.
Black holes without keys
in the doors of perception.
Dry wishing wells on the moon
that have never plumbed the depths
of their bottomless longing
to hear something irrevocably truer
than the echoes of their own voices
coming back to them
like crows and doves to an ark.
By the time you know it
any event is over.
By the time you see the dawn
the sun has already set.
In the seed of every insight
you can read your own gravestone.
You can see there's as much death in it
as there is life.
You can feel the spring coming on
as if you were already buried
under the savage tiger-lilies.
And you can ask
until you're as blue in the face as a hyacinth
what it all meant
after you're dead
out in the incredible open
that's closed to the living
just past the end of their fingertips.
Or if it ever meant anything at all.
You can see and be it this way.
You can go on a long journey
to a prison or a shrine or a hospital
and return home
with no more insight
than you had when you left.
And still wonder if it was all worth it.
Because no experience of life
is truer than another
reality is not separated
from our awareness of it
nor subject to reform.
There is no norm
that isn't a prevailing illusion by consensus.
But the desert isn't looking for water
and only the one-eyed fools
mistake their eye-patchs
for an eclipse of the moon
and their own mirages
for a new way of thinking
when it's thinking's best virtue not to have one.
People and things are ok as they are
but they don't realize it.
They keep trying to live up
to their own reflections.
They keep trying to sweep
the stars and the deserts
off their front stairs
looking for a stairway to heaven
where the dust of the world
can't find a place to rest.
But time is a pulse of the heart
not the heavy pendulum
of a grandfather clock
and as Pablo Neruda once wisely said
the poetry is under your fingernails
and I would less wisely add
as is heaven.
No one's on the wrong path
once they open both their eyes
to what's underfoot
whether you're walking
on water stars or fireflies
or riding dolphins.
Whether your road
is a shoelace or smoke
or the lifeline of an umbilical cord
measured in wavelengths and lightyears
or your journey's still
an astronaut in the womb.
Mirrors holding mirrors up
to judgement for their spots.
Narcissus doesn't like what he's looking at.
So what?
The roads don't suddenly
turn back on themselves
because they lack floors
and a place of their own.
Heaven uses the same return address as hell.
But when death comes knocking in Aleppo
and you're out walking your own mile
in your own shoes
to nowhere in particular
free of arrivals and departures
no one's ever home
and every threshold you cross
is not hindered by an exit or an entrance.
Some walk.
Some run.
Some swim.
Some fly.
Some crawl.
Some ride.
Some dance.
And some sit still by the window
growing younger by the moment
the longer they look into the distance.

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Patrick White

Everybody Says I'm Too Intense

Everybody says I'm too intense and I say
you sure as hell aren't.
And since I was sixteen in highschool
and before that in the local neighbourhood
in the bosom of my family
people have always thought I was mad.

My highschool graduation yearbook says
most likely to become
a mad teacher mad scientist mad poet mad.
An oracular assessment of my peers
that has haunted me for years.

But I say crazy is the only antidote
to the extreme chaos of conditioned consciousness.
Look at the world.
Lies lies lies.
A coalition of lies
that calls itself
the history of civilization.
Crazy wisdom.
The tantric insight
into the fact
there is no nature to things.
You're not a very wise human
if you don't understand ignorance
is the clearest expression of enlightenment.

You see what I mean?
It's hard to speak of unity
in the split tongue of a snake
without making an oxymoron of it
at the fork in the roads
it mistakes for a direction.

Regard the dead parachutes of Babylon
no one can understand you
I said to myself one day dying with a sneer.

It's the moral obligation of a writer to make things clear.
I forget who said it.
But he was a nitwit.
One of the lice of literature
that makes your mind want to scratch itself raw
for the next half century.

It's that word moral that bothers me.
Not his preconception of clarity
though when it gets down to that
you smear the mirror
when you try to be clear about clarity.
I said that.
It takes an amateur madman
to be a good shrink
and make reality
try to correspond
to what you think.

But what an impoverished way to live your life.
What a distortion of humanity.
If you're mad enough
there's plenty of room in the asylum
to embrace sanity with decorum.
When in Rome do as the Romans do
and try not to make a spectacle of yourself in the Colosseum.

It's been my experience
that so much of what the world calls mad
is only freedom
with the courage to open its eyes.
Most people look into the eyes
of spontaneous freedom
and it terrifies them.
They don't want to know
what's not there.
The world ends at the back of their eyelids.
Things just get too deep
and they drown in their sleep
like pearl divers on the moon.

At every moment of your life
life is more certain than death.
It's all you can say about
where you expect to be tomorrow
and where this is now.
Everybody always wants things
to look the way they seem.
They want to live the dream awake.
They don't go along with their own mindstream.

They're shore-huggers.
They live at the edge
of the great sea of mysterious being
in sandcastles with blowholes
that burp like tiny volcanoes in the receding tide.
Herculaneum and Pompey
are mummified in the flow
down their pygmy mountainsides
but it's easy to see where they hide
thinking they're out of reach.

But who am I to preach
quicksand to cornerstones such as these?
Everybody always tells me I'm too intense
but they've never been through a nightstorm
far out on the Pacific
where the moon's your only lifeboat
and it's just gone down
like a bright penny in a wishing well
like a last longshot in the slots
of an odds-making hell.
And it's seven to five you survive.

They've never fallen in love with a hurricane rose
that's built like a fortune-cookie
and paints her eyelids
with the blood of ex-lovers
who were sacrificial enough to propose.

If you go looking for the meaning of life sincerely
sooner or latter it will find you
like one fact final enough to delude all the others
into thinking it's ultimately true.

Complete one act well
and you've accomplished everything
because one act begets another
until everything is done of its own accord.
Because your birth isn't terminal,
your death is ongoing.
And the same is true in reverse.
How do I know this is so?
I let go.
I blossom like the memories of a dead branch
in the apple orchards of the Hesperides,
everyone of them
a full moon.

I see how innocent my doubt is.
So even my darkness
is a singing bird on a green bough.

I've looked at drops of water
at the tips of the blades of the stargrass
like the thin-skinned tears of the sky in childbirth
and everyone of them
was the seed of a new world.
Worlds within worlds
whose only conventions
are the creative dimensions of the perceivers.

Not one size fits all.
I don't put my finger to my lips
like an ego-I
to eclipse the great silence.
I let it say me with its eyes.

And we both come as a great surprise to each other
when we're standing
on the same side of the mirror
on the far shore of the mindstream
like two eyes of the same seeing
astonished we're here at all
without lying to the miracle
about our reasons for being.

Have you ever considered the enormous distances
in the body of a small bird?
Or how strangely intimate a star can be
from thousands of lightyears away?
A whisper of lucidity in an oceanic ear.
Something you've heard for a long time
but never listened to before.
Never this near.
This clear.

Have you ever wondered which of two sisters
is the older of the elements.
Fire or water?
Or why spring lies about her age
when she's as old as autumn
and then claims
to be the daughter of the grain
when in fact she's the womb of summer?

Is it insane to wonder?
Is it too intense to fear
living my whole life
as if I were never here
to take a good look?
Is it deranged to feel
the enlargement of my seeing
is not the diminishment of my being
because I opened my eyes
and saw they were both
two ends of the same telescope?

It's one thing to let the light in through the gates of your eyes.
It's wholly another to let it get this far
into the palace of your imagination
without being announced
or scrutinized.

Life's a breeze
when you don't look at it
like a disease you're afraid to get over.
If I'm inspired by the vastness of my ignorance
to turn a leaf over now and again
like a new page in an old book
to avoid being obvious
am I looking for a happy ending
or am I just delighting in my indolence
when I read it like a map of my own lifelines
by running my finger over it as if I were blind
and it were the one who could see?

If I don't believe we appear briefly
to disappear forever
because everything here
is a vast collaboration
with creative emptiness
and it isn't going anywhere
what do I care
if you're confused by my endeavours?
What's it to you
if I'm a mirage on a grailquest in a desert of stars?
Or if I practise compassion spontaneously
toward myself and others
as if we were all the same wound
under many scars
and if my lies heal,
are they not the fruit of insight?

If I'm the dark genius
deeply intrigued
by my own misdirection
that you say I am
though that doesn't change a thing
about the way I can't help being
and not being myself,
what makes you think
there's only one star
you can point out
like the needle
in the impoverished compass
of your last course correction
as if there were only one way to go
and the truth were always
somewhere north of you
instead of under your feet
in all directions at once
like the radiance of stars
before the arising of signs?

Today Jesus and the Buddha walk on water.
Tomorrow Lucifer and Kamamara will walk on fire.
But when the opposites
get their baggage together
and realize they can't lift it
and abandon it by the side of the road
like an outhouse on a trailer hitch
or a hubcap in a country ditch
that's stopped spinning around
and come to rest in an oxymoron
posing as the full moon
that's come to liberate
an empty asylum
they both walk on earth
bewildered by their innocence
when they discover
they've never had anything to do
with the course of events
that made them who they are.

Wasn't the Buddha enlightened
by watching Venus in the dawn
lead the sun up
like the morning star
that once was Lucifer
before he took the fall like a ripe apple,
before he stole fire from the gods like Prometheus
the thief of inspiration,
knowing the moment of his perfection
in all realms of knowledge
infernal or divine
was the best time to jump?

And the darkness will always seem like a liar
to those who don't know the truth.

If I don't see life as just a bag of water
with nine holes in it
leaking out of itself
as I once used to
eras and eras ago
and you still do
when I look at what remains
of the desicated parachute of a jellyfish
you've made of your brains
clinging to shore
next to the sewage drains
that poured you out
and washed you up
and wiped their mouths of the taste of a dead ocean
what's it to you
if I run so far out to sea
from so high up
on the down side of the world mountain
I'm swimming with dolphins on the moon?

I'm teaching blind starfish how to shine
like dark matter with a mind of its own
and no sign of a constellation
with feet of clay
afraid to leave home.

Say what you want to say.
Be what you want to be.
Enlighten your ignorance
and then ignore your enlightenment.
Don't drive the darkness out of your lucidity
like a scapegoat into a spiritual desert
you're afraid to enter
because you're not bright enough to see
that under every threshold
between the inside and the out
certainty and doubt
insanity and the sane
the trivial and profound
the homeless and a habitable planet
there's a sphere
spinning on a tilted axis
in the immensity of space
that's so far out it's in.

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Life Size

Life is a gift from God
Where one size fits all
For there are no fitting rooms
Or return policys

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Common sense tells us that the government's attempts to solve large problems more often create new ones. Common sense also tells us that a top-down, one-size-fits-all plan will not improve the workings of a nationwide health-care system that accounts for one-sixth of our economy.

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Quatrain #267 - Money can't buy one love because.......

Money can't buy one love because love is greater than money
yet money can help one find love which is sweeter than honey.
Money isn't everything but, in this world we find, it sure goes a long way;
love of money is wrong and, unless used to help others, doesn't really pay.

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On Substance And One's Perception

When people deluded,
Have also been fed validation...
That supports their beliefs,
Everything they fantasize...
Has a long lasting affect,
On substance and one's perception.

That which conflicts with it,
Has no influence at all.
No matter how long...
Truth has been in existence.
And the evidence of it most effective.

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Socially Appropriate And Required Correct Etiquette

I often amaze myself,
How unphased I can become...
By those things done,
That today are acceptable.
When those exact same procedures,
Had been once scrutinized,
As unethical.

And now that the 'unethicalness',
Of what yesterday was not politically correct...
Is in place.
And more of what 'then' was initiated,
Has been updated to be regarded...
As socially appropriate,
And required correct etiquette.

And yes...
B.S. still retains its full implied meaning,
As it applies.
With a bunch of it.

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One sun and one moon

One sun and one moon
Bright sun with hot noon
One moon with dark light
Cool and peaceful silent night

Stars many with vast horizon
Too many secrets under belly not made known
High above ground exist mysterious world
Below the surface too many secrets many fold

On the earth surface exists human race?
Life is to be pursued with lots of chase
Tremendous fight for domination and control
Animals too fight back for loosing battle

Who knows about the real outcome?
Whatever be the case can be only welcome!
Life is everywhere but must be liked
Whoa are we to say” like or disliked”

Accept it as it is ought to be
All are born with liberty and free
It belongs to all and may stay as ever
Make best use of it and think it over

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A Thousand And One

What can i say?
I've told you it all
From the very first line
To the moment we fall

I've poured out my heart
And cried you a well
Where will we get babe?
I never can tell

To reconstruct us
Is gonna be tough
But i've thrown my last lifeline
And it's never enough

Your heart wont diminish
To a thousand and one
Cos every last ounze of wonder
Has finally gone

I'll pour it all out to you
And dwelled on the past
From the very first day
To the very, very last

I'm not in the public
I'm here on my own
And through all our troubles
We've finally grown

I've consoled through the heartache
An fought past the pain
We just need to make it
Through the rain

And on this last note
I've got to understand
If you hate me so much
Why take my hand?

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Fifteen Years Going Up (And One Night Coming Down)

15 years together
We climbed by work and will
From a simple two room cottage
To a mansion on the hill
Now theres rose in the garden
But its the coldest place in town
It took 15 years, goin up
And one night coming down
15 years of heaven
For one short night of sin
From blue skies forever
To an end
From out on a mountain
To both knees on the ground
15 years, goin up
And one night coming down
Her dreams have all been shattered
Her faith in my is gone
My tears tell her Im sorry
But they cant write my wrong
One night wrote my story
How a man can lose it all
After 15 years goin up
Its hard to take a fall
15 years of heaven
For one short night of sin
From blue skies forever
To an end
From out on a mountain
To both knees on the ground
15 years, goin up
And one night coming down
Ive been, 15 years goin up
And one night comin down

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Enoch Arden

Long lines of cliff breaking have left a chasm;
And in the chasm are foam and yellow sands;
Beyond, red roofs about a narrow wharf
In cluster; then a moulder'd church; and higher
A long street climbs to one tall-tower'd mill;
And high in heaven behind it a gray down
With Danish barrows; and a hazelwood,
By autumn nutters haunted, flourishes
Green in a cuplike hollow of the down.

Here on this beach a hundred years ago,
Three children of three houses, Annie Lee,
The prettiest little damsel in the port,
And Philip Ray the miller's only son,
And Enoch Arden, a rough sailor's lad
Made orphan by a winter shipwreck, play'd
Among the waste and lumber of the shore,
Hard coils of cordage, swarthy fishing-nets,
Anchors of rusty fluke, and boats updrawn,
And built their castles of dissolving sand
To watch them overflow'd, or following up
And flying the white breaker, daily left
The little footprint daily wash'd away.

A narrow cave ran in beneath the cliff:
In this the children play'd at keeping house.
Enoch was host one day, Philip the next,
While Annie still was mistress; but at times
Enoch would hold possession for a week:
`This is my house and this my little wife.'
`Mine too' said Philip `turn and turn about:'
When, if they quarrell'd, Enoch stronger-made
Was master: then would Philip, his blue eyes
All flooded with the helpless wrath of tears,
Shriek out `I hate you, Enoch,' and at this
The little wife would weep for company,
And pray them not to quarrel for her sake,
And say she would be little wife to both.

But when the dawn of rosy childhood past,
And the new warmth of life's ascending sun
Was felt by either, either fixt his heart
On that one girl; and Enoch spoke his love,
But Philip loved in silence; and the girl
Seem'd kinder unto Philip than to him;
But she loved Enoch; tho' she knew it not,
And would if ask'd deny it. Enoch set
A purpose evermore before his eyes,
To hoard all savings to the uttermost,
To purchase his own boat, and make a home
For Annie: and so prosper'd that at last
A luckier or a bolder fisherman,
A carefuller in peril, did not breathe
For leagues along that breaker-beaten coast
Than Enoch. Likewise had he served a year
On board a merchantman, and made himself
Full sailor; and he thrice had pluck'd a life
From the dread sweep of the down-streaming seas:
And all me look'd upon him favorably:
And ere he touch'd his one-and-twentieth May
He purchased his own boat, and made a home
For Annie, neat and nestlike, halfway up
The narrow street that clamber'd toward the mill.

Then, on a golden autumn eventide,
The younger people making holiday,
With bag and sack and basket, great and small,
Went nutting to the hazels. Philip stay'd
(His father lying sick and needing him)
An hour behind; but as he climb'd the hill,
Just where the prone edge of the wood began
To feather toward the hollow, saw the pair,
Enoch and Annie, sitting hand-in-hand,
His large gray eyes and weather-beaten face
All-kindled by a still and sacred fire,
That burn'd as on an altar. Philip look'd,
And in their eyes and faces read his doom;
Then, as their faces drew together, groan'd,
And slipt aside, and like a wounded life
Crept down into the hollows of the wood;
There, while the rest were loud in merrymaking,
Had his dark hour unseen, and rose and past
Bearing a lifelong hunger in his heart.

So these were wed, and merrily rang the bells,
And merrily ran the years, seven happy years,
Seven happy years of health and competence,
And mutual love and honorable toil;
With children; first a daughter. In him woke,
With his first babe's first cry, the noble wish
To save all earnings to the uttermost,
And give his child a better bringing-up
Than his had been, or hers; a wish renew'd,
When two years after came a boy to be
The rosy idol of her solitudes,
While Enoch was abroad on wrathful seas,
Or often journeying landward; for in truth
Enoch's white horse, and Enoch's ocean-spoil
In ocean-smelling osier, and his face,
Rough-redden'd with a thousand winter gales,
Not only to the market-cross were known,
But in the leafy lanes behind the down,
Far as the portal-warding lion-whelp,
And peacock-yewtree of the lonely Hall,
Whose Friday fare was Enoch's ministering.

Then came a change, as all things human change.
Ten miles to northward of the narrow port
Open'd a larger haven: thither used
Enoch at times to go by land or sea;
And once when there, and clambering on a mast
In harbor, by mischance he slipt and fell:
A limb was broken when they lifted him;
And while he lay recovering there, his wife
Bore him another son, a sickly one:
Another hand crept too across his trade
Taking her bread and theirs: and on him fell,
Altho' a grave and staid God-fearing man,
Yet lying thus inactive, doubt and gloom.
He seem'd, as in a nightmare of the night,
To see his children leading evermore
Low miserable lives of hand-to-mouth,
And her, he loved, a beggar: then he pray'd
`Save them from this, whatever comes to me.'
And while he pray'd, the master of that ship
Enoch had served in, hearing his mischance,
Came, for he knew the man and valued him,
Reporting of his vessel China-bound,
And wanting yet a boatswain. Would he go?
There yet were many weeks before she sail'd,
Sail'd from this port. Would Enoch have the place?
And Enoch all at once assented to it,
Rejoicing at that answer to his prayer.

So now that the shadow of mischance appear'd
No graver than as when some little cloud
Cuts off the fiery highway of the sun,
And isles a light in the offing: yet the wife--
When he was gone--the children--what to do?
Then Enoch lay long-pondering on his plans;
To sell the boat--and yet he loved her well--
How many a rough sea had he weather'd in her!
He knew her, as a horseman knows his horse--
And yet to sell her--then with what she brought
Buy goods and stores--set Annie forth in trade
With all that seamen needed or their wives--
So might she keep the house while he was gone.
Should he not trade himself out yonder? go
This voyage more than once? yea twice or thrice--
As oft as needed--last, returning rich,
Become the master of a larger craft,
With fuller profits lead an easier life,
Have all his pretty young ones educated,
And pass his days in peace among his own.

Thus Enoch in his heart determined all:
Then moving homeward came on Annie pale,
Nursing the sickly babe, her latest-born.
Forward she started with a happy cry,
And laid the feeble infant in his arms;
Whom Enoch took, and handled all his limbs,
Appraised his weight and fondled fatherlike,
But had no heart to break his purposes
To Annie, till the morrow, when he spoke.

Then first since Enoch's golden ring had girt
Her finger, Annie fought against his will:
Yet not with brawling opposition she,
But manifold entreaties, many a tear,
Many a sad kiss by day and night renew'd
(Sure that all evil would come out of it)
Besought him, supplicating, if he cared
For here or his dear children, not to go.
He not for his own self caring but her,
Her and her children, let her plead in vain;
So grieving held his will, and bore it thro'.

For Enoch parted with his old sea-friend,
Bought Annie goods and stores, and set his hand
To fit their little streetward sitting-room
With shelf and corner for the goods and stores.
So all day long till Enoch's last at home,
Shaking their pretty cabin, hammer and axe,
Auger and saw, while Annie seem'd to hear
Her own death-scaffold raising, shrill'd and rang,
Till this was ended, and his careful hand,--
The space was narrow,--having order'd all
Almost as neat and close as Nature packs
Her blossom or her seedling, paused; and he,
Who needs would work for Annie to the last,
Ascending tired, heavily slept till morn.

And Enoch faced this morning of farewell
Brightly and boldly. All his Annie's fears,
Save, as his Annie's, were a laughter to him.
Yet Enoch as a brave God-fearing man
Bow'd himself down, and in that mystery
Where God-in-man is one with man-in-God,
Pray'd for a blessing on his wife and babes
Whatever came to him: and then he said
`Annie, this voyage by the grace of God
Will bring fair weather yet to all of us.
Keep a clean hearth and a clear fire for me,
For I'll be back, my girl, before you know it.'
Then lightly rocking baby's cradle `and he,
This pretty, puny, weakly little one,--
Nay--for I love him all the better for it--
God bless him, he shall sit upon my knees
And I will tell him tales of foreign parts,
And make him merry, when I come home again.
Come Annie, come, cheer up before I go.'

Him running on thus hopefully she heard,
And almost hoped herself; but when he turn'd
The current of his talk to graver things
In sailor fashion roughly sermonizing
On providence and trust in Heaven, she heard,
Heard and not heard him; as the village girl,
Who sets her pitcher underneath the spring,
Musing on him that used to fill it for her,
Hears and not hears, and lets it overflow.

At length she spoke `O Enoch, you are wise;
And yet for all your wisdom well know I
That I shall look upon your face no more.'

`Well then,' said Enoch, `I shall look on yours.
Annie, the ship I sail in passes here
(He named the day) get you a seaman's glass,
Spy out my face, and laugh at all your fears.'

But when the last of those last moments came,
`Annie my girl, cheer up, be comforted,
Look to the babes, and till I come again,
Keep everything shipshape, for I must go.
And fear no more for me; or if you fear
Cast all your cares on God; that anchor holds.
Is He not yonder in those uttermost
Parts of the morning? if I flee to these
Can I go from Him? and the sea is His,
The sea is His: He made it.'

Enoch rose,
Cast his strong arms about his drooping wife,
And kiss'd his wonder-stricken little ones;
But for the third, sickly one, who slept
After a night of feverous wakefulness,
When Annie would have raised him Enoch said
`Wake him not; let him sleep; how should this child
Remember this?' and kiss'ed him in his cot.
But Annie from her baby's forehead clipt
A tiny curl, and gave it: this he kept
Thro' all his future; but now hastily caught
His bundle, waved his hand, and went his way.

She when the day, that Enoch mention'd, came,
Borrow'd a glass, but all in vain: perhaps
She could not fix the glass to suit her eye;
Perhaps her eye was dim, hand tremulous;
She saw him not: and while he stood on deck
Waving, the moment and the vessel past.

Ev'n to the last dip of the vanishing sail
She watch'd it, and departed weeping for him;
Then, tho' she mourn'd his absence as his grave,
Set her sad will no less to chime with his,
But throve not in her trade, not being bred
To barter, nor compensating the want
By shrewdness, neither capable of lies,
Nor asking overmuch and taking less,
And still foreboding `what would Enoch say?'
For more than once, in days of difficulty
And pressure, had she sold her wares for less
Than what she gave in buying what she sold:
She fail'd and sadden'd knowing it; and thus,
Expectant of that news that never came,
Gain'd for here own a scanty sustenance,
And lived a life of silent melancholy.

Now the third child was sickly-born and grew
Yet sicklier, tho' the mother cared for it
With all a mother's care: nevertheless,
Whether her business often call'd her from it,
Or thro' the want of what it needed most,
Or means to pay the voice who best could tell
What most it needed--howsoe'er it was,
After a lingering,--ere she was aware,--
Like the caged bird escaping suddenly,
The little innocent soul flitted away.

In that same week when Annie buried it,
Philip's true heart, which hunger'd for her peace
(Since Enoch left he had not look'd upon her),
Smote him, as having kept aloof so long.
`Surely' said Philip `I may see her now,
May be some little comfort;' therefore went,
Past thro' the solitary room in front,
Paused for a moment at an inner door,
Then struck it thrice, and, no one opening,
Enter'd; but Annie, seated with her grief,
Fresh from the burial of her little one,
Cared not to look on any human face,
But turn'd her own toward the wall and wept.
Then Philip standing up said falteringly
`Annie, I came to ask a favor of you.'

He spoke; the passion in her moan'd reply
`Favor from one so sad and so forlorn
As I am!' half abash'd him; yet unask'd,
His bashfulness and tenderness at war,
He set himself beside her, saying to her:

`I came to speak to you of what he wish'd,
Enoch, your husband: I have ever said
You chose the best among us--a strong man:
For where he fixt his heart he set his hand
To do the thing he will'd, and bore it thro'.
And wherefore did he go this weary way,
And leave you lonely? not to see the world--
For pleasure?--nay, but for the wherewithal
To give his babes a better bringing-up
Than his had been, or yours: that was his wish.
And if he come again, vext will he be
To find the precious morning hours were lost.
And it would vex him even in his grave,
If he could know his babes were running wild
Like colts about the waste. So Annie, now--
Have we not known each other all our lives?
I do beseech you by the love you bear
Him and his children not to say me nay--
For, if you will, when Enoch comes again
Why then he shall repay me--if you will,
Annie--for I am rich and well-to-do.
Now let me put the boy and girl to school:
This is the favor that I came to ask.'

Then Annie with her brows against the wall
Answer'd `I cannot look you in the face;
I seem so foolish and so broken down.
When you came in my sorrow broke me down;
And now I think your kindness breaks me down;
But Enoch lives; that is borne in on me:
He will repay you: money can be repaid;
Not kindness such as yours.'

And Philip ask'd
`Then you will let me, Annie?'

There she turn'd,
She rose, and fixt her swimming eyes upon him,
And dwelt a moment on his kindly face,
Then calling down a blessing on his head
Caught at his hand and wrung it passionately,
And past into the little garth beyond.
So lifted up in spirit he moved away.

Then Philip put the boy and girl to school,
And bought them needful books, and everyway,
Like one who does his duty by his own,
Made himself theirs; and tho' for Annie's sake,
Fearing the lazy gossip of the port,
He oft denied his heart his dearest wish,
And seldom crost her threshold, yet he sent
Gifts by the children, garden-herbs and fruit,
The late and early roses from his wall,
Or conies from the down, and now and then,
With some pretext of fineness in the meal
To save the offence of charitable, flour
From his tall mill that whistled on the waste.

But Philip did not fathom Annie's mind:
Scarce could the woman when he came upon her,
Out of full heart and boundless gratitude
Light on a broken word to thank him with.
But Philip was her children's all-in-all;
From distant corners of the street they ran
To greet his hearty welcome heartily;
Lords of his house and of his mill were they;
Worried his passive ear with petty wrongs
Or pleasures, hung upon him, play'd with him
And call'd him Father Philip. Philip gain'd
As Enoch lost; for Enoch seem'd to them
Uncertain as a vision or a dream,
Faint as a figure seen in early dawn
Down at the far end of an avenue,
Going we know not where: and so ten years,
Since Enoch left his hearth and native land,
Fled forward, and no news of Enoch came.

It chanced one evening Annie's children long'd
To go with others, nutting to the wood,
And Annie would go with them; then they begg'd
For Father Philip (as they call'd him) too:
Him, like the working bee in blossom-dust,
Blanch'd with his mill, they found; and saying to him
`Come with us Father Philip' he denied;
But when the children pluck'd at him to go,
He laugh'd, and yielding readily to their wish,
For was not Annie with them? and they went.

But after scaling half the weary down,
Just where the prone edge of the wood began
To feather toward the hollow, all her force
Fail'd her; and sighing `let me rest' she said.
So Philip rested with her well-content;
While all the younger ones with jubilant cries
Broke from their elders, and tumultuously
Down thro' the whitening hazels made a plunge
To the bottom, and dispersed, and beat or broke
The lithe reluctant boughs to tear away
Their tawny clusters, crying to each other
And calling, here and there, about the wood.

But Philip sitting at her side forgot
Her presence, and remember'd one dark hour
Here in this wood, when like a wounded life
He crept into the shadow: at last he said
Lifting his honest forehead `Listen, Annie,
How merry they are down yonder in the wood.'
`Tired, Annie?' for she did not speak a word.
`Tired?' but her face had fall'n upon her hands;
At which, as with a kind anger in him,
`The ship was lost' he said `the ship was lost!
No more of that! why should you kill yourself
And make them orphans quite?' And Annie said
`I thought not of it: but--I known not why--
Their voices make me feel so solitary.'

Then Philip coming somewhat closer spoke.
`Annie, there is a thing upon my mind,
And it has been upon my mind so long,
That tho' I know not when it first came there,
I know that it will out at last. O Annie,
It is beyond all hope, against all chance,
That he who left you ten long years ago
Should still be living; well then--let me speak:
I grieve to see you poor and wanting help:
I cannot help you as I wish to do
Unless--they say that women are so quick--
Perhaps you know what I would have you know--
I wish you for my wife. I fain would prove
A father to your children: I do think
They love me as a father: I am sure
That I love them as if they were mine own;
And I believe, if you were fast my wife,
That after all these sad uncertain years,
We might be still as happy as God grants
To any of His creatures. Think upon it:
For I am well-to-do--no kin, no care,
No burthen, save my care for you and yours:
And we have known each other all our lives,
And I have loved you longer than you know.'

Then answer'd Annie; tenderly she spoke:
`You have been as God's good angel in our house.
God bless you for it, God reward you for it,
Philip, with something happier than myself.
Can one live twice? can you be ever loved
As Enoch was? what is it that you ask?'
`I am content' he answer'd `to be loved
A little after Enoch.' `O' she cried
Scared as it were `dear Philip, wait a while:
If Enoch comes--but Enoch will not come--
Yet wait a year, a year is not so long:
Surely I shall be wiser in a year:
O wait a little!' Philip sadly said
`Annie, as I have waited all my life
I well may wait a little.' `Nay' she cried
`I am bound: you have my promise--in a year:
Will you not bide your year as I bide mine?'
And Philip answer'd `I will bide my year.'

Here both were mute, till Philip glancing up
Beheld the dead flame of the fallen day
Pass from the Danish barrow overhead;
Then fearing night and chill for Annie rose,
And sent his voice beneath him thro' the wood.
Up came the children laden with their spoil;
Then all descended to the port, and there
At Annie's door he paused and gave his hand,
Saying gently `Annie, when I spoke to you,
That was your hour of weakness. I was wrong.
I am always bound to you, but you are free.'
Then Annie weeping answer'd `I am bound.'

She spoke; and in one moment as it were,
While yet she went about her household ways,
Ev'n as she dwelt upon his latest words,
That he had loved her longer than she knew,
That autumn into autumn flash'd again,
And there he stood once more before her face,
Claiming her promise. `Is it a year?' she ask'd.
`Yes, if the nuts' he said `be ripe again:
Come out and see.' But she--she put him off--
So much to look to--such a change--a month--
Give her a month--she knew that she was bound--
A month--no more. Then Philip with his eyes
Full of that lifelong hunger, and his voice
Shaking a little like a drunkard's hand,
`Take your own time, Annie, take your own time.'
And Annie could have wept for pity of him;
And yet she held him on delayingly
With many a scarce-believable excuse,
Trying his truth and his long-sufferance,
Till half-another year had slipt away.

By this the lazy gossips of the port,
Abhorrent of a calculation crost,
Began to chafe as at a personal wrong.
Some thought that Philip did but trifle with her;
Some that she but held off to draw him on;
And others laugh'd at her and Philip too,
As simple folks that knew not their own minds;
And one, in whom all evil fancies clung
Like serpent eggs together, laughingly
Would hint a worse in either. Her own son
Was silent, tho' he often look'd his wish;
But evermore the daughter prest upon her
To wed the man so dear to all of them
And lift the household out of poverty;
And Philip's rosy face contracting grew
Careworn and wan; and all these things fell on her
Sharp as reproach.

At last one night it chanced
That Annie could not sleep, but earnestly
Pray'd for a sign `my Enoch is he gone?'
Then compass'd round by the blind wall of night
Brook'd not the expectant terror of her heart,
Started from bed, and struck herself a light,
Then desperately seized the holy Book,
Suddenly set it wide to find a sign,
Suddenly put her finger on the text,
`Under a palmtree.' That was nothing to her:
No meaning there: she closed the book and slept:
When lo! her Enoch sitting on a height,
Under a palmtree, over him the Sun:
`He is gone' she thought `he is happy, he is singing
Hosanna in the highest: yonder shines
The Sun of Righteousness, and these be palms
Whereof the happy people strowing cried
"Hosanna in the highest!"' Here she woke,
Resolved, sent for him and said wildly to him
`There is no reason why we should not wed.'
`Then for God's sake,' he answer'd, `both our sakes,
So you will wed me, let it be at once.'

So these were wed and merrily rang the bells,
Merrily rang the bells and they were wed.
But never merrily beat Annie's heart.
A footstep seem'd to fall beside her path,
She knew not whence; a whisper in her ear,
She knew not what; nor loved she to be left
Alone at home, nor ventured out alone.
What ail'd her then, that ere she enter'd, often
Her hand dwelt lingeringly on the latch,
Fearing to enter: Philip thought he knew:
Such doubts and fears were common to her state,
Being with child: but when her child was born,
Then her new child was as herself renew'd,
Then the new mother came about her heart,
Then her good Philip was her all-in-all,
And that mysterious instinct wholly died.

And where was Enoch? prosperously sail'd
The ship `Good Fortune,' tho' at setting forth
The Biscay, roughly ridging eastward, shook
And almost overwhelm'd her, yet unvext
She slipt across the summer of the world,
Then after a long tumble about the Cape
And frequent interchange of foul and fair,
She passing thro' the summer world again,
The breath of heaven came continually
And sent her sweetly by the golden isles,
Till silent in her oriental haven.

There Enoch traded for himself, and bought
Quaint monsters for the market of those times,
A gilded dragon, also, for the babes.

Less lucky her home-voyage: at first indeed
Thro' many a fair sea-circle, day by day,
Scarce-rocking, her full-busted figure-head
Stared o'er the ripple feathering from her bows:
Then follow'd calms, and then winds variable,
Then baffling, a long course of them; and last
Storm, such as drove her under moonless heavens
Till hard upon the cry of `breakers' came
The crash of ruin, and the loss of all
But Enoch and two others. Half the night,
Buoy'd upon floating tackle and broken spars,
These drifted, stranding on an isle at morn
Rich, but loneliest in a lonely sea.

No want was there of human sustenance,
Soft fruitage, mighty nuts, and nourishing roots;
Nor save for pity was it hard to take
The helpless life so wild that it was tame.
There in a seaward-gazing mountain-gorge
They built, and thatch'd with leaves of palm, a hut,
Half hut, half native cavern. So the three,
Set in this Eden of all plenteousness,
Dwelt with eternal summer, ill-content.

For one, the youngest, hardly more than boy,
Hurt in that night of sudden ruin and wreck,
Lay lingering out a three-years' death-in-life.
They could not leave him. After he was gone,
The two remaining found a fallen stem;
And Enoch's comrade, careless of himself,
Fire-hollowing this in Indian fashion, fell
Sun-stricken, and that other lived alone.
In those two deaths he read God's warning `wait.'

The mountain wooded to the peak, the lawns
And winding glades high up like ways to Heaven,
The slender coco's drooping crown of plumes,
The lightning flash of insect and of bird,
The lustre of the long convolvuluses
That coil'd around the stately stems, and ran
Ev'n to the limit of the land, the glows
And glories of the broad belt of the world,
All these he saw; but what he fain had seen
He could not see, the kindly human face,
Nor ever hear a kindly voice, but heard
The myriad shriek of wheeling ocean-fowl,
The league-long roller thundering on the reef,
The moving whisper of huge trees that branch'd
And blossom'd in the zenith, or the sweep
Of some precipitous rivulet to the wave,
As down the shore he ranged, or all day long
Sat often in the seaward-gazing gorge,
A shipwreck'd sailor, waiting for a sail:
No sail from day to day, but every day
The sunrise broken into scarlet shafts
Among the palms and ferns and precipices;
The blaze upon the waters to the east;
The blaze upon his island overhead;
The blaze upon the waters to the west;
Then the great stars that globed themselves in Heaven,
The hollower-bellowing ocean, and again
The scarlet shafts of sunrise--but no sail.

There often as he watch'd or seem'd to watch,
So still, the golden lizard on him paused,
A phantom made of many phantoms moved
Before him haunting him, or he himself
Moved haunting people, things and places, known
Far in a darker isle beyond the line;
The babes, their babble, Annie, the small house,
The climbing street, the mill, the leafy lanes,
The peacock-yewtree and the lonely Hall,
The horse he drove, the boat he sold, the chill
November dawns and dewy-glooming downs,
The gentle shower, the smell of dying leaves,
And the low moan of leaden-color'd seas.

Once likewise, in the ringing of his ears,
Tho' faintly, merrily--far and far away--
He heard the pealing of his parish bells;
Then, tho' he knew not wherefore, started up
Shuddering, and when the beauteous hateful isle
Return'd upon him, had not his poor heart
Spoken with That, which being everywhere
Lets none, who speaks with Him, seem all alone,
Surely the man had died of solitude.

Thus over Enoch's early-silvering head
The sunny and rainy seasons came and went
Year after year. His hopes to see his own,
And pace the sacred old familiar fields,
Not yet had perish'd, when his lonely doom
Came suddenly to an end. Another ship
(She wanted water) blown by baffling winds,
Like the Good Fortune, from her destined course,
Stay'd by this isle, not knowing where she lay:
For since the mate had seen at early dawn
Across a break on the mist-wreathen isle
The silent water slipping from the hills,
They sent a crew that landing burst away
In search of stream or fount, and fill'd the shores
With clamor. Downward from his mountain gorge
Stept the long-hair'd long-bearded solitary,
Brown, looking hardly human, strangely clad,
Muttering and mumbling, idiotlike it seem'd,
With inarticulate rage, and making signs
They knew not what: and yet he led the way
To where the rivulets of sweet water ran;
And ever as he mingled with the crew,
And heard them talking, his long-bounden tongue
Was loosen'd, till he made them understand;
Whom, when their casks were fill'd they took aboard:
And there the tale he utter'd brokenly,
Scarce credited at first but more and more,
Amazed and melted all who listen'd to it:
And clothes they gave him and free passage home;
But oft he work'd among the rest and shook
His isolation from him. None of these
Came from his county, or could answer him,
If question'd, aught of what he cared to know.
And dull the voyage was with long delays,
The vessel scarce sea-worthy; but evermore
His fancy fled before the lazy wind
Returning, till beneath a clouded moon
He like a lover down thro' all his blood
Drew in the dewy meadowy morning-breath
Of England, blown across her ghostly wall:
And that same morning officers and men
Levied a kindly tax upon themselves,
Pitying the lonely man, and gave him it:
Then moving up the coast they landed him,
Ev'n in that harbor whence he sail'd before.

There Enoch spoke no word to anyone,
But homeward--home--what home? had he a home?
His home, he walk'd. Bright was that afternoon,
Sunny but chill; till drawn thro' either chasm,
Where either haven open'd on the deeps,
Roll'd a sea-haze and whelm'd the world in gray;
Cut off the length of highway on before,
And left but narrow breadth to left and right
Of wither'd holt or tilth or pasturage.
On the nigh-naked tree the Robin piped
Disconsolate, and thro' the dripping haze
The dead weight of the dead leaf bore it down.
Thicker the drizzle grew, deeper the gloom;
Last, as it seem'd, a great mist-blotted light
Flared on him, and he came upon the place.

Then down the long street having slowly stolen,
His heart foreshadowing all calamity,
His eyes upon the stones, he reach'd the home
Where Annie lived and loved him, and his babes
In those far-off seven happy years were born;
But finding neither light nor murmur there
(A bill of sale gleam'd thro' the drizzle) crept
Still downward thinking `dead or dead to me!'

Down to the pool and narrow wharf he went,
Seeking a tavern which of old he knew,
A front of timber-crost antiquity,
So propt, worm-eaten, ruinously old,
He thought it must have gone; but he was gone
Who kept it; and his widow, Miriam Lane,
With daily-dwindling profits held the house;
A haunt of brawling seamen once, but now
Stiller, with yet a bed for wandering men.
There Enoch rested silently many days.

But Miriam Lane was good and garrulous,
Nor let him be, but often breaking in,
Told him, with other annals of the port,
Not knowing--Enoch was so brown, so bow'd,
So broken--all the story of his house.
His baby's death, her growing poverty,
How Philip put her little ones to school,
And kept them in it, his long wooing her,
Her slow consent, and marriage, and the birth
Of Philip's child: and o'er his countenance
No shadow past, nor motion: anyone,
Regarding, well had deem'd he felt the tale
Less than the teller: only when she closed
`Enoch, poor man, was cast away and lost'
He, shaking his gray head pathetically,
Repeated muttering `cast away and lost;'
Again in deeper inward whispers `lost!'

But Enoch yearn'd to see her face again;
`If I might look on her sweet face gain
And know that she is happy.' So the thought
Haunted and harass'd him, and drove him forth,
At evening when the dull November day
Was growing duller twilight, to the hill.
There he sat down gazing on all below;
There did a thousand memories roll upon him,
Unspeakable for sadness. By and by
The ruddy square of comfortable light,
Far-blazing from the rear of Philip's house,
Allured him, as the beacon-blaze allures
The bird of passage, till he madly strikes
Against it, and beats out his weary life.

For Philip's dwelling fronted on the street,
The latest house to landward; but behind,
With one small gate that open'd on the waste,
Flourish'd a little garden square and wall'd:
And in it throve an ancient evergreen,
A yewtree, and all round it ran a walk
Of shingle, and a walk divided it:
But Enoch shunn'd the middle walk and stole
Up by the wall, behind the yew; and thence
That which he better might have shunn'd, if griefs
Like his have worse or better, Enoch saw.

For cups and silver on the burnish'd board
Sparkled and shone; so genial was the hearth:
And on the right hand of the hearth he saw
Philip, the slighted suitor of old times,
Stout, rosy, with his babe across his knees;
And o'er her second father stoopt a girl,
A later but a loftier Annie Lee,
Fair-hair'd and tall, and from her lifted hand
Dangled a length of ribbon and a ring
To tempt the babe, who rear'd his creasy arms,
Caught at and ever miss'd it, and they laugh'd:
And on the left hand of the hearth he saw
The mother glancing often toward her babe,
But turning now and then to speak with him,
Her son, who stood beside her tall and strong,
And saying that which pleased him, for he smiled.

Now when the dead man come to life beheld
His wife his wife no more, and saw the babe
Hers, yet not his, upon the father's knee,
And all the warmth, the peace, the happiness,
And his own children tall and beautiful,
And him, that other, reigning in his place,
Lord of his rights and of his children's love,--
Then he, tho' Miriam Lane had told him all,
Because things seen are mightier than things heard,
Stagger'd and shook, holding the branch, and fear'd
To send abroad a shrill and terrible cry,
Which in one moment, like the blast of doom,
Would shatter all the happiness of the hearth.

He therefore turning softly like a thief,
Lest the harsh shingle should grate underfoot,
And feeling all along the garden-wall,
Lest he should swoon and tumble and be found,
Crept to the gate, and open'd it, and closed,
As lightly as a sick man's chamber-door,
Behind him, and came out upon the waste.

And there he would have knelt, but that his knees
Were feeble, so that falling prone he dug
His fingers into the wet earth, and pray'd.

`Too hard to bear! why did they take me hence?
O God Almighty, blessed Saviour, Thou
That didst uphold me on my lonely isle,
Uphold me, Father, in my loneliness
A little longer! aid me, give me strength
Not to tell her, never to let her know.
Help me no to break in upon her peace.
My children too! must I not speak to these?
They know me not. I should betray myself.
Never: not father's kiss for me--the girl
So like her mother, and the boy, my son.'

There speech and thought and nature fail'd a little,
And he lay tranced; but when he rose and paced
Back toward his solitary home again,
All down the long and narrow street he went
Beating it in upon his weary brain,
As tho' it were the burthen of a song,
`Not to tell her, never to let her know.'

He was not all unhappy. His resolve
Upbore him, and firm faith, and evermore
Prayer from a living source within the will,
And beating up thro' all the bitter world,
Like fountains of sweet water in the sea,
Kept him a living soul. `This miller's wife'
He said to Miriam `that you told me of,
Has she no fear that her first husband lives?'
`Ay ay, poor soul' said Miriam, `fear enow!
If you could tell her you had seen him dead,
Why, that would be her comfort;' and he thought
`After the Lord has call'd me she shall know,
I wait His time' and Enoch set himself,
Scorning an alms, to work whereby to live.
Almost to all things could he turn his hand.
Cooper he was and carpenter, and wrought
To make the boatmen fishing-nets, or help'd
At lading and unlading the tall barks,
That brought the stinted commerce of those days;
Thus earn'd a scanty living for himself:
Yet since he did but labor for himself,
Work without hope, there was not life in it
Whereby the man could live; and as the year
Roll'd itself round again to meet the day
When Enoch had return'd, a languor came
Upon him, gentle sickness, gradually
Weakening the man, till he could do no more,
But kept the house, his chair, and last his bed.
And Enoch bore his weakness cheerfully.
For sure no gladlier does the stranded wreck
See thro' the gray skirts of a lifting squall
The boat that bears the hope of life approach
To save the life despair'd of, than he saw
Death dawning on him, and the close of all.

For thro' that dawning gleam'd a kindlier hope
On Enoch thinking `after I am gone,
Then may she learn I loved her to the last.'
He call'd aloud for Miriam Lane and said
`Woman, I have a secret--only swear,
Before I tell you--swear upon the book
Not to reveal it, till you see me dead.'
`Dead' clamor'd the good woman `hear him talk!
I warrant, man, that we shall bring you round.'
`Swear' add Enoch sternly `on the book.'
And on the book, half-frighted, Miriam swore.
Then Enoch rolling his gray eyes upon her,
`Did you know Enoch Arden of this town?'
`Know him?' she said `I knew him far away.
Ay, ay, I mind him coming down the street;
Held his head high, and cared for no man, he.'
Slowly and sadly Enoch answer'd her;
`His head is low, and no man cares for him.
I think I have not three days more to live;
I am the man.' At which the woman gave
A half-incredulous, half-hysterical cry.
`You Arden, you! nay,--sure he was a foot
Higher than you be.' Enoch said again
`My God has bow'd me down to what I am;
My grief and solitude have broken me;
Nevertheless, know that I am he
Who married--but that name has twice been changed--
I married her who married Philip Ray.
Sit, listen.' Then he told her of his voyage,
His wreck, his lonely life, his coming back,
His gazing in on Annie, his resolve,
And how he kept it. As the woman heard,
Fast flow'd the current of her easy tears,
While in her heart she yearn'd incessantly
To rush abroad all round the little haven,
Proclaiming Enoch Arden and his woes;
But awed and promise-bounded she forbore,
Saying only `See your bairns before you go!
Eh, let me fetch 'em, Arden,' and arose
Eager to bring them down, for Enoch hung
A moment on her words, but then replied.

`Woman, disturb me not now at the last,
But let me hold my purpose till I die.
Sit down again; mark me and understand,
While I have power to speak. I charge you now,
When you shall see her, tell her that I died
Blessing her, praying for her, loving her;
Save for the bar between us, loving her
As when she laid her head beside my own.
And tell my daughter Annie, whom I saw
So like her mother, that my latest breath
Was spent in blessing her and praying for her.
And tell my son that I died blessing him.
And say to Philip that I blest him too;
He never meant us any thing but good.
But if my children care to see me dead,
Who hardly saw me living, let them come,
I am their father; but she must not come,
For my dead face would vex her after-life.
And now there is but one of all my blood,
Who will embrace me in the world-to-be:
This hair is his: she cut it off and gave it,
And I have borne it with me all these years,
And thought to bear it with me to my grave;
But now my mind is changed, for I shall see him,
My babe in bliss: wherefore when I am gone,
Take, give her this, for it may comfort her:
It will moreover be a token to her,
That I am he.'

He ceased; and Miriam Lane
Made such a voluble answer promising all,
That once again he roll'd his eyes upon her
Repeating all he wish'd, and once again
She promised.

Then the third night after this,
While Enoch slumber'd motionless and pale,
And Miriam watch'd and dozed at intervals,
There came so loud a calling of the sea,
That all the houses in the haven rang.
He woke, he rose, he spread his arms abroad
Crying with a loud voice `a sail! a sail!
I am saved'; and so fell back and spoke no more.

So past the strong heroic soul away.
And when they buried him the little port
Had seldom seen a costlier funeral.

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Once shone and stood for us all

I like this poet?
But for his talk of eternity,
His dull wit:
A dauntless; unending, misery!

I like this poetess?
But for her executor gallows,
Barrel loaded, vinaigrettes
Skyrocket; highs and lows!

I like them all for their
Onomatopoeic, gifts
Tussock wide mouthed lisps
Their aromatic resin drifts...

I like them all...
Weather big or small...
Their suns insignia,
Once shone and stood for us all.

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Money, Money, Money

It must be great to have lots of cash
you can go anywhere you like
drive a top of the range sports car
instead of walking or riding a bike.
You wouldn't worry about bills
or struggling to pay the rent
and because your really loaded
it don't matter how much you've spent.
You'd live in a beautiful mansion
invite famous people round for tea
travel all around the world
and own a hotel by the sea.
But what if you became very ill
and you suffered with your health
would all your money save you
and who would inherit all your wealth?
So on second thoughts forget it
I think I'll stay the way I am
you carry on eating posh food
while I eat bread and Jam!

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