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Look Out My Window

Look out my window
See what I see
Watching the birds fly
Believing in me,
As here comes my music
Then here comes my soul
Just like the wind is
And towards me she will blow,
For I hear the music
That's playing in my mind
And I hear the voices
Singing in rhyme
For they will sing to me
While watching the trees
Listen my music
Please listen to me.
Outside my window
I again hear your song
You sing what I wrote you
As I wrote you no wrong,
As you are the beauty
Beauty, in the air
You are my music
You’ve always been there.
Outside my window
And outside my life
That is where my music is
Outside our lives.

Randy L. McClave

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Look Out Broadway

(words & music by wise - starr)
We never got discouraged, we never had a doubt
cos sooner or later talent must win out
Look out broadway, were comin fast
Now were gonna see our names in lights at last
No more hot dogs at sloppy joes
Were gonna dine on steak and wine at del monacos
Rich or poor its great to have dough
Thats one thing we know
Lots of fun, lots of laughs
Signing cheques and contracts and autographs
Were up for n-e-w y-o-r-k
Look out, look out broadway
I wanna see all the hustle and bustle
Maybe I can get a date with lilian russell
I want to go out with diamond jim
Yeh, if he gives you a diamond what will you give to him
Blow the trumpets and beat on the drum
Big time here we come
No more cheap hotels and one night stands
Well knock tin pan alley flat on its pans
Theyll see that weve got class with a capital k
Look out, look out broadway
Look out!

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In Our Lives

Written by John Mellencamp
Well I'm a middle-aged teenager
I'm a man of angst and leisure
Doin' the best that I can do
My problems are incorrect
I've always got it around my neck
Hey I'm just like you
Yeah I've done some good and I've done some bad
But the most fun that I ever had
Was singing my songs for you
And if I should go astray
I'd get down on my knees and pray
Say God forgive me for what I do
Oh in our lives
There's no right way for us to live it
You know in our lives
There's a time to cry and a time to forget it
Well I'm a broke down humble man
Baby that's just who I am
And that's from me to you
Well I feel good here
Got about a million more years
To do what it is I gotta do
And if some day you happen to be passin' my way
Say hi, hello, how are you
Well, I'll return the gesture in kind
And hope that things are fine
And you all just do what you gotta do
Oh in our lives
There's no right way for us to live it
Oh in our lives
There's a time to cry and a time to get with it
You know in our lives there's no right way for us to live it.
Well I'm a broke down humble man
That's just who I am
And that's from me to you
Yeah I'm a broke down humble man
Yeah that's just who I am
And that's from me to you
Oh in our lives
You know in our lives
Yeah in our lives there's no right way for us to live it

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Perfect Lie/ You Are Loved The Way You Are

Stand in front of the mirror
Either boys or girls, some got depression
Try to find yourself underneath the reflection
Dissect each point, seek for perfection
Dreaming of perfection, adore some corrections

Never know the word of satisfy
Already beautiful but admire to modify
Don't you know who really you are?
You are loved by the way you are

Most of us rather see what appeared outside
always forgot to evaluate what lies inside
Most of us deceived by the open eyesight
always fooled because blinded heart-sight

Perfection makes everyone affected
Perfect one is what you wanted
Perfect lie is what you invented
Perfect word only a word that human created
A real you, that what you have neglected

Dear,
Don't feel down,
if u are blessed as jasmine flower
Why must you envy of that sunflower
I know, it is big, sweet yellow, catchy for eyes to look
But, don't you know sunflower adore the way you look?
Hypnotize fragrance by cute in white, posses its own hook
So unfair to compare the different beauty you both look

Jasmine, u never be sunflower even u dressed in yellow
The fake pigment will fade away soon
Sunflower, perfumed never make u placed in jasmine row
The artificial scent will gone before noon

No need to hear anyone to drag you down
Yet thou be like a rose, beauty guarded by thorns
Thankful to have what u have now
You always loved by who you are now
It is always good to be yourself
Better than lost yourself in your own lie

In fantasy, to taste perfection, perfect lie u got
In reality, perfection is only belong to God
And...you are always loved the way you are

*Note: U are beautiful, no matter what people say...
This is for everyone that think they are not good enough
in many aspects not limited to beauty perception

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Debris

(ronnie lane)
I left you on the debris
At the sunday morning market
You were sorting through the odds and ends
You was looking for a bargin
I heard your footsteps at the front door
And that old familiar love song
Cause you knew youd find me waiting there
At the top of the stairs
I wouldnt of went back
Just to see how far it was
And you looked shocked to tell me
But I had to love her myself
Theres more trouble at the depot
With the general workers union
And they said theyll never change a thing
Well they wont fight and their not working
Oh you was my hero
Hell you are my good friend
(Ive been there and back)
And I know how far it is
But I left you on the debris
Now we both know you got no money
And I wonder what you would have done
Without me hanging around

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Pleasure & Pain

You always said you loved me
Though my minds right now not sure
Youve always been there for me
Though my heart never feels secure
Why cant you take a further step
To let me know you really care
Cuz now Im feeling driven
Into a love thats not right there
[chorus:]
Why do you make me feel this way
Feeling betrayed, feeling pushed away
Why do you make me feel so bad
Feeling so hurt, feeling so sad
What have I done to make you turn
Im feeling so lost, Im feeling so burned
If you really cared youd make a change
So I could feel the pleasure and not the pain
After all Ive said
You still have it set in your head
That you dont really care about me
Why cant you seem to believe
That Im the only one for you
I gave all my love to you
And after all Ive done for you
You never say that you love me
The way that I love you
[chorus]
I feel all the pain, hurt so bad, feel so sad
It hurts so bad, it hurts so bad
I just cant take no more baby
Girl make a change
So I can feel the pleasure and not the pain
[chorus]

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Gloomy Clouds

As the clouds course through the sky, you sit below and wonder why,
Why we have such clouds in life, filling our days with darkened strife.
Just why it is that dark days come, filling one’s joyful heart with glum.
When darkness overcomes the light, nothing seems to be going right.

Filing your heart with undue care; pushing the heart towards despair,
From the heaviness upon your heart, that seems like it will not depart.
You may not know the how or whys, but know Christ is eternally wise.
For Christ suffered just like us; and in Christ you can place your trust.

When in a gloomy cloud of rain, let not your suffering heart complain.
God is sovereign over all affairs, and is one you know who truly cares.
He cared enough to die for you, and knows all you are going through.
Whatever, He’s been there friend, knowing the beginning and the end.

Christ suffered just like you and me, but He was nailed upon a tree,
Where He was mocked and left to die, a wicked death for you and I.
Friend in His suffering as God’s Son, He for us was the rejected one.
And by His Father, be not mistaken, for our sin, Christ was forsaken.

It was a dark time for Christ indeed, He was left on a cross to bleed.
Abandoned by those close to Him; and this because He bore our sin.
A dark time of such I will never see, as on that day Christ died for me.
Dark times that may fall on me, can never compare to that of Calvary.

(Copyright ©11/2005)

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My Apocryphal Song of Songs

Song of Songs: Chapter one

When my darling is still slumbering
the blanket drawn up to her chin,
lying peaceful
I am without words

when the day brake red across the mountain’s comb
she is still stretched out
while the sun lovingly
stirs its first fingers

and when she moves
her big golden bracelet shines
pearls around her neck glitter
like the dewdrops

outside on the grass and trees,
like the golden colour of the sun
that now hangs high above the horizon
and I can catch the first white gleaming

of her smile
the morning wind swirls
singing over the glory
that she brings to my life

her eyes glitters brighter than the heaven
with their own rays and meaning
that is caught in her glance,
she looks lovely and fresh

and I know that God is blessing me
with her presence,
where He binds us together
in moments of time.

Song of Songs: Chapter two

I want to feel the rays of sun in your eyes
being lost over my body,
bending over your body
I want to take the core out of your soul,

I want to feel the pulse beat of your heart
in your naked breast,
through the pleasure and pain of this life
I want to long day after day for you

and abate all my passion, all my joy in you,
carrying you along through the times of my life,
catching moments in the glory of bliss,
making you to my most honourable aspiration

and tonight I want to come to you,
to make you mine.


Song of Songs: Chapter three

When I saw you
words curled up in my mouth,
my voice suddenly became hoarse

and I were wondering how your smile looks
while you were looking in my direction
and suddenly my thoughts were blunted off

when I saw passion in your eyes,
in my thoughts I had undressed you already,
removing your garments one by one,

but when your lips were burning beneath mine,
our conversation had dried up altogether
and we melted into each other: eye into eye.


Song of Songs: Chapter four

Your first kisses caught me,
with your bright eyes
later your lips were against my cheek
after which you and I

wanted more intimacy
with intensity hanging in every moment,
the sound of your voice was like the singing of birds
and closer contact we could not avoid

we french kissed
like mature people do
this kind of thing
with joy and scouting
and your eyes were full of intense wishes
with moments of passion and tenderness.


Song of Songs: Chapter five

When I stood below your window,
the light in you room went on suddenly
but it was no love-song,
but poems that I was presenting to you

of my love that I held out to you,
like a bush of red roses
and I believed

that you could hear them
right through your sleep.


Song of Songs: Chapter six

Early in the morning, when the fog was concealing the world,
your breath was caught against my cheek,
when the sun’s first rays were teasing with long fingers.
Early in the morning when the fog was concealing the world,
your breath was like the wind over mountains and valleys
while mist hanged like the breath of the world in the basins,
early in the morning when the fog was concealing the world,
when the sun’s first rays were teasing with long fingers.

Song of Songs: Chapter seven

Early morning with the call of guinea fowl in the field
the morning is already preparing,
the rays of the sun break through the nightly cloak,
the sun breaks through the nightly wall

with the day spreading to everywhere
like the gleaming of your eyes she smiles broadly.
Early morning with the call of guinea fowl in the field
the morning is already preparing,

and between you and me theres an invisible band
that binds the essence of love with an oath,
you are with me through all happiness and sorrow,
I feel you nearness, even you small soft hand
early morning, with the call of guinea fowl in the field.


Song of Songs: Chapter eight

To sing of your beauty, I want to catch nature,
causing the sun’s rays to splash brightly on your cheek,
with my feelings at times caught in a labyrinth
we are bonded in the dark night to each other
with kisses hanging over our entire bodies.

Your eyes are bluer than the sky, your hair threaded out by the wind
and when you sleep I am already longing,
but in the mornings I too blinded by your smile
to sing of your beauty.

Sometimes you twist beneath me like a pretty snake,
the knowledge that we are mortal scares me,
I see the autumn tinted into your hair,
while you smile in a noble and innocent way like a child,
I try to catch that which is between us in words
to sing of your beauty.


Song of Songs: Chapter nine

In the pool of the fountain
the sky reflects cobalt blue
and shadows fall over the inner court

and there is images sprouting whirling in my mind
of me and of you
in the pool of the fountain

and you are like an angel surrounded by sunshine
where we cling to each other dripping wet
and shadows fall over the inner court

and even the wind blows with a song, a refrain
and there are pure white lilies that I look at
in the pool of the fountain

and the time spent with you is noble and pure
while we try to stretch moments to preserve them
and shadows fall over the inner court

drawing the two of us, line fall upon line
the sky reflects cobalt blue
in the pool of the fountain
and shadows fall over the inner court


Song of Songs: Chapter ten

With your lovely face
and bright blue eyes
you can at any time disrupt my life,

a single word causes me to believe in your love,
your soft lips, the blush on your cheek
and bright blue eyes

holds me captured,
the sound of your voice,
your soft lips, the blush on your cheek

clenches around my heart,
with your soft hand folding around mine,
the sound of your voice

is that of a beautiful woman
and with knowledge of how perfect you are to me
with your soft hand folding around mine,

you surprise me time and again.
With your lovely face
and with knowledge of how perfect you are to me
you can at any time disrupt my life.

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Names disappear

You are your own master
As thoughts flow faster
You should worry for none
As you have to go it alone

Let words flow from you mind
They may exactly suit and find
The place where they must affect
Crate the impression and act

They all come from inner strength
As you have picked the length
It may wait for no theme
As they have natural rhythm

You are destined to be bird
So your voice is likely to be heard
Not when you are live and prominently read
But there after when you are gone and dead

Flowers fade and lay scattered
Your poems are remembered and uttered
With all that messages you had planned
Read and reread as they were beautifully penned

Names disappear but not the poems
As they are all meant for them
Someone may adopt it as model
The message will be clear to tell

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Just To Hear Your Story Being Told

Stay up all night,
If you are the type...
That can not seem to sleep right.
And bear on shoulders,
Those burdens you can't control.
The ones you hold in overload.

Fight with clinched teeth and be uptight...
About common situations that incite,
And corrode that need you have to be bold.
Just to hear your story being told.
Just to hear your story!

Go fly a kite!
If that is the attitude you choose and like.
But put some movement to it.
And don't criticize...
Those you know who recommend,
You should get a life.

Don't close off to sit inside.
To peep out from a keyhole...
Just to hear your story being told.

Go fly a kite!
Just to hear your story being told!

Stay up all night.
Fight with clinched teeth and be uptight
But...
Don't sit inside.
Just to hear your story being told.
Just to hear your story...

Stay up all night,
If you are the type...
That can not seem to sleep right.
And bear on shoulders,
Those burdens you can't control.
The ones you hold in overload.
To peep on the outside,
From a keyhole...
Just to hear your story being told.

Go fly a kite...
If you need your story to be told.
Just to hear your story.
And,
Go fly a kite...
If you need your story to be told.
Just to hear your story.
And...
Go fly a kite!
Just to hear your story being told!

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Letter To My Mother

Edwin McCain
Letter To My Mother
But theres a woman that we dont even know
She gave me life, then you gave me a home
I love you, Mama
But I want to tell her too
Is that her little boy still loves you
I close my eyes, does she look like me
Does she need my help, is she cold on the street
Am I forgotten like a bad childhood dream
A B-movie actor on the black and white screen
I love you, Mama
But I want to tell her too
Is that her little boy still loves you
Is that her little boy still loves you
Could I have seen her, Ill never know
Maybe shes always been there watching me grow
I wanted to tell her how grateful I am
For giving me life, Ive done the best that I can
I love you, Mama
But I want to tell her too
Is that her little boy still loves you
Her little boy still loves you

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Dream In Colour

You wake up to tell me (that youre numb inside, that the feelings all have died)
Youre praying and youre saying (that you do believe, but I dont believe thats true)
Everything has always been there
Nothing goes away that wont come back
Youre living in a house of cards
And youre blowing down the stack
She sleeps under a rainbow
She wont dream in colour
She thinks that her soul is painted
Grey or black or white
Sleeping under a rainbow
She could dream in colour
Dream in colour tonight
Glass mirror, look in (I know its hard to see, when the one you free is you)
Sleep walking, high talking (but the colours arent real and the things you feel dont last)
You sit there looking at the sunrise
Not knowing if the day has come or gone
Wondering why it turns you off
When it never turns you on
She sleeps under a rainbow
She wont dream in colour
She thinks that her soul is painted
Grey or black or white
Sleeping under a rainbow
She could dream in colour
Dream in colour tonight
Picking at the lock on the front door
Pulling at the shutters on the windows
But youre living in a house of shadows
Even though youre lonely you think its you
Sitting at that table set for one
Youre waiting for the guest that never comes
She sleeps under a rainbow
She wont dream in colour
She thinks that her soul is painted
Grey or black or white
Sleeping under a rainbow
She could dream in colour
Dream in colour tonight

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Hollywood

Ive got a picture in my head
In my head
Its me and you we are in bed
We are in bed
Youve always been there when I called
When I called
Youve always been there most of all, all, all, all
(chorus)
This is not hollywood
Like I understood
Is not hollywood
Like, like, like
Get away, get away,
Is there anybody there?
Get away, get away,
Is there anybody there?
Get away, get away, get away, away....
Ive got a picture in my room
In my room
I will return there I presume
It will be soon
The greatest irony of all
Should do all
Its not so glamourous at all, all, all
(repeat chorus)

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The Rest Of Our Lives

Girl I wanna be your all
Baby please stay together
You know we won't need a thing
Girl I wanna take you home and make you my wife
I said please be with me for the rest of our lives......
For the rest of our lives.....
[1st Verse:]
I'm talking about me and you some old school lovin'
That's the way it should be not trying to get freaky
I want to share my life with you
Cause I some kids and a house girl a life with you
I want a fairy tale love the kind of thing
That you read in a magazine
A perfect loves what I need cause I just want to be your one and only
[Chorus:]
Girl I wanna be your all
Baby please stay together you know we won't need a thing
Girl I wanna take you home and make you my wife
I said please be with me for the rest of our lives for the rest of our lives
[2nd Verse:]
Girl you are everything in this whole world to me
And I wouldn't trade your love for nothing
Nothing compares to you where I go
I need you right here with me, with me, with me
Don't matter where just as long as you're near
God sent your love to me and I know that you will fulfill my every need
You the only one for me I just want to be your one and only
[Chorus:(Repeat)]
[Hook:] HOld me hold me......Baby just hold me
Learn to know me try me and see
I'll mean everything
[Repeat until fade]

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The Mazes Of My Life, Of Our Lives

we are mazes,
and some people who take us as
important, follow us in that maze, every turn, every
quizzical path, scheming mind, and at those corners where
there are celebrations, they scrutinize, the reasons,
and in the loopholes of our disappointments, they begin to smile,
embrace the comfort that they are not alone in all these
miseries, that we are all one race, one experience
of leaps and bounds, of manholes and mounds, of hills and trenches,

sometimes, i look at this maze, and i say with all confidence,
i have mastered these secret passages, i have no fear,
i always arrive at what i desire

i don't jump for pains, neither joys,
this is just a path that i have to walk on
and go through, and finish, and when i arrive there,
another maze opens itself, like some kind of doors
which lock and close themselves the moment i enter

for what life is exactly? it is personal, it is i who must
wade through its water flow to its river fall from its cliffs,
rise to its skies, explode to its jubilation,
rain to its drought, fill in the cracks, conceal its cancers,
survive its hurdles, drink its poisons, and
then die with all my colors

flowers on my sides, sunset at my back, their tears on my palms
their whispers passing through my ears
end to end like a wind gushing through
my windows......

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The 'Look-At-Me-And-What-I've-Got-Type

I've met a few snooty people in my days.
The ones who perceived themselves,
Better than others...
Because of a higher mortgage the had to pay.
Or the ones who bragged about their good credit.
And would announce the number of their credit cards,
To anyone for a quick display.

And those who were comfortable being who they are,
Always attracted my attention with admiration.
Those who were comfortable being who they are...
Were honest with themselves.
And to me this was a priceless possession.

People who talk about their stocks and bonds,
And investments they live on...
I don't fault them for what they believe is security.
People have their values and I respect that.
It is the ones self obsessed who appear to thrive best,
On masquerading their unhappiness....
With a projecting of pretentions the try to hide,
In a shallowness of emptiness.

The 'look-at-me-and-what-I've-got-type'.
You know...
The ones climbing down from their high horses,
Hoping not to be seen at night.
Since today the economy,
Has their mouths and lips shut firmly tight!

I've met a few snooty people in my days.
The ones who perceived themselves,
Better than others...
Because of a higher mortgage the had to pay.
Or the ones who bragged about their good credit.
And would announce the number of their credit cards,
To anyone for a quick display.

Well...
Those who were and 'still' comfortable being who they are,
Always attracted my attention with admiration.

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The Barn at Willoughby's Farm - II

Jacinth's Tale

He was always there on the fringes
Of my world, when just a child,
There wasn't a time he wasn't there
To guide, protect, to chide,
He'd follow me safely home from school,
He'd take me for a ride,
A cousin, so many times removed
From those on my mother's side.

I wasn't the only sibling, but
It was me he called his pet,
The others would get quite jealous
And they'd not let me forget,
‘He carries a torch for you, Jacinth,
And never will let you be! '
But when I was just a teenager
He made me feel like a queen.

He was into his later twenties, then
But he didn't seem to care,
He'd let me dress for a party, then
He'd sit and he'd brush my hair,
There wasn't a friend as good as him
I told my party crowd,
The cuz that lived in the basement
Of our flat, my Tom O'Dowd.

But once I grew as a woman, then
His manner became intense,
He started to irritate me, and
Took issue with all my friends,
That fellow isn't the one for you,
He'll only drag you down! '
Or - ‘What in the world are you coming to?
That guy, he's simply a clown! '

He tried to snuggle up closer on
The couch, when I was home,
Started to stroke my hand and knee
When we were quite alone,
I told him I wasn't interested,
That he was merely a friend,
His eyes would follow me round the room,
You'll love me, in the end! '

I got upset, and told him straight:
I hate it when you cling!
Just leave me be, or Tom, you'll see
You'll just spoil everything! '
He pinned me against the bedroom wall
And stared with his wild, black eyes,
I didn't stick all these years, for you
To end up another man's prize! '

I'd started seeing a bikie, with
A Harley - God, it could move,
But never let on to cousin Tom,
I knew he wouldn't approve,
But Joe was really a softie, or
I thought so at the time,
I must have been quite naïve back then,
He'd dabbled in petty crime.

Then Joe suggested we go away,
Get shot of my cousin, Tom,
So I came up with a scheme, to make
It seem there was nothing wrong,
I said I'd a job as a Jillaroo,
And I boarded the bus one night,
Mentioned the name of Willoughby's Farm
So the driver would get it right.

I got off the bus at Lyndhurst, went
To wait by the old hotel,
When Joe rolled up on his Harley, and
We hit the road for a spell,
I kept in touch with my sister so
I'd know what was going down,
And then in the month of June I heard
That Tom was leaving town.

We headed out to the old bush track
I scrawled on that ancient tyre,
I wrote, ‘Five miles to Willoughby's Farm'
And hoped that he'd see it there,
We travelled out to the farm and hid,
For Joe had been there before,
Then buried an old sheep's carcass there
And left my bag by the door.

When Tom came into the barn that morn
We lay, deep hid in the hay,
And watched him dropp to his knees and sob,
Cry out in his pure dismay,
He seized the shovel, began to dig
Then Joe jumped out in a rage,
And suddenly there was blood and a scream
I will hear ‘til my dying day!

Joe lay there in a pool of blood
Where the shovel had sliced his throat,
And Tom reeled back when he heard me scream,
In a long and a high pitched note,
I rode away on the Harley, leaving
Tom back out on the track,
Sunk in that nightmare dream of his,
He'll never be coming back!

16 August,2012

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Patrick White

Seeking The Shadows Of What You Are

Seeking the shadows of what you are
you miss who's standing in the light.
Eternity with its tail in its mouth
can't taste much else in life but itself.
Where did these words come from
just a moment ago out of nowhere,
and if it were to rain, would that be
shallow or deep? And maybe a labyrinth
is just a snake that's swallowed its own head
and is wandering aimlessly in despair
through its own digestive track
like a salmon leaping upstream
through a waterclock with self-similarity
on its mind, oviparous replication,
the material immortality of genetic time.

Nothing's irrelevant or inelegant
if there's nothing to choose from
so everything shines in every mystic detail
as if it had never come unglued in its solitude
and bifurcated its unity into the subject
and the object of its awareness just to have
someone to talk to, an intimate familiar
it could rave at or serenade in a manic love affair
it was having with its own creation
like an artist talking to his masterpiece
with the caress of every sable-haired brush stroke.

Insignificant for the long haul, or famous
for fifteen minutes, either way,
you wouldn't know it by looking
at the fossils we didn't bring back from the moon
or sifting the grain from the chaff
from the ashes of the wheat
the wind scorched like a dragon
on its way to bring rain. Why
drive a nail through your third eye
and delude yourself into believing
you've been crucified, the king
of the waxing year sacrificing
your body parts to ensure a good harvest?

You want the virtues of your noble enemy?
Slay yourself and eat your own heart.
This is your nagual, your tulpa, your mirage,
your nightmare, your doppelganger,
your reflective familiar, your shadow
holographically projected in 3D by the pineal gland
of your third eye tattooed on the skin of a black hole
that is neither an ignominious exit through the grave
or the celebrated entrance into a secret garden,
and it can't be any more empowered than you are,
and there are no walls to walk through
if it wasn't you that built them to keep the poor
from vaulting them to steal your apricots
like the hungry ghosts that haunt
the orchards of your abandoned thoughts.

Savage homeopathy, perhaps, a holy war
of starmaps torn out like pages of sacred text
against the leaves who think they're responsible
for keeping the whole tree they both spring from intact.
The autumn burns like an heretical apostate
that's fallen away like faith in itself.
What nonsense, when they'll both end up
doing a ghost dance on each other's graves
where neither the dead nor the living
can be reunited in peace at the same seance
because the flame of life is duelling with its own candle
like the branch of a spear with the flint-knapped blossom
of the point it's trying to drive home through its own heart.

A lethal waste of energies for echoes
to seek the destruction of their original voice.
When the waves of the light, the sea, the mind
bare their necks and swan
for the double-bladed axe of the moon
that separates things like conceptual consciousness
as if it were cleaving water, and heads come off
like the leading rose-buds of multi-cephalic hydras
that bloom the more they're pruned like zinnias,
even death considers the slaughter an abuse of time.

If you want to live in the house of life as a martyr,
a bodhisattva, a spiritual mujahedin who
blows himself up in the temple of the money-lenders
and discount dove merchants, or even a poet
who enlisted in the ghettos of the Chilean art brigades
like Victor Jara, or Archibald Lampman's
warrior minstrel of the forlorn hope
dying of a heart attack in Ottawa at thirty-six,
or Emily Dickinson listening to a fly buzz when she expired,
the only blood on the blade you fall upon
you should ever taste is your own if you
want to speak to a big-hearted bell of enlightenment
without the forked tongue of a perjured witching wand
or the self-defeating absurdity
of seeking clean water with dirty hands
or trying to reach out to touch the stars
when they're pouring through your fingers
like the sands of an hourglass remembering
all its past lives gathered around the village wells
like telescopes looking through the wrong end of themselves.

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The House Of Dust: Complete

I.

The sun goes down in a cold pale flare of light.
The trees grow dark: the shadows lean to the east:
And lights wink out through the windows, one by one.
A clamor of frosty sirens mourns at the night.
Pale slate-grey clouds whirl up from the sunken sun.

And the wandering one, the inquisitive dreamer of dreams,
The eternal asker of answers, stands in the street,
And lifts his palms for the first cold ghost of rain.
The purple lights leap down the hill before him.
The gorgeous night has begun again.

'I will ask them all, I will ask them all their dreams,
I will hold my light above them and seek their faces.
I will hear them whisper, invisible in their veins . . .'
The eternal asker of answers becomes as the darkness,
Or as a wind blown over a myriad forest,
Or as the numberless voices of long-drawn rains.

We hear him and take him among us, like a wind of music,
Like the ghost of a music we have somewhere heard;
We crowd through the streets in a dazzle of pallid lamplight,
We pour in a sinister wave, ascend a stair,
With laughter and cry, and word upon murmured word;
We flow, we descend, we turn . . . and the eternal dreamer
Moves among us like light, like evening air . . .

Good-night! Good-night! Good-night! We go our ways,
The rain runs over the pavement before our feet,
The cold rain falls, the rain sings.
We walk, we run, we ride. We turn our faces
To what the eternal evening brings.

Our hands are hot and raw with the stones we have laid,
We have built a tower of stone high into the sky,
We have built a city of towers.

Our hands are light, they are singing with emptiness.
Our souls are light; they have shaken a burden of hours . . .
What did we build it for? Was it all a dream? . . .
Ghostly above us in lamplight the towers gleam . . .
And after a while they will fall to dust and rain;
Or else we will tear them down with impatient hands;
And hew rock out of the earth, and build them again.


II.

One, from his high bright window in a tower,
Leans out, as evening falls,
And sees the advancing curtain of the shower
Splashing its silver on roofs and walls:
Sees how, swift as a shadow, it crosses the city,
And murmurs beyond far walls to the sea,
Leaving a glimmer of water in the dark canyons,
And silver falling from eave and tree.

One, from his high bright window, looking down,
Peers like a dreamer over the rain-bright town,
And thinks its towers are like a dream.
The western windows flame in the sun's last flare,
Pale roofs begin to gleam.

Looking down from a window high in a wall
He sees us all;
Lifting our pallid faces towards the rain,
Searching the sky, and going our ways again,
Standing in doorways, waiting under the trees . . .
There, in the high bright window he dreams, and sees
What we are blind to,—we who mass and crowd
From wall to wall in the darkening of a cloud.

The gulls drift slowly above the city of towers,
Over the roofs to the darkening sea they fly;
Night falls swiftly on an evening of rain.
The yellow lamps wink one by one again.
The towers reach higher and blacker against the sky.


III.

One, where the pale sea foamed at the yellow sand,
With wave upon slowly shattering wave,
Turned to the city of towers as evening fell;
And slowly walked by the darkening road toward it;
And saw how the towers darkened against the sky;
And across the distance heard the toll of a bell.

Along the darkening road he hurried alone,
With his eyes cast down,
And thought how the streets were hoarse with a tide of people,
With clamor of voices, and numberless faces . . .
And it seemed to him, of a sudden, that he would drown
Here in the quiet of evening air,
These empty and voiceless places . . .
And he hurried towards the city, to enter there.

Along the darkening road, between tall trees
That made a sinister whisper, loudly he walked.
Behind him, sea-gulls dipped over long grey seas.
Before him, numberless lovers smiled and talked.
And death was observed with sudden cries,
And birth with laughter and pain.
And the trees grew taller and blacker against the skies
And night came down again.


IV.

Up high black walls, up sombre terraces,
Clinging like luminous birds to the sides of cliffs,
The yellow lights went climbing towards the sky.
From high black walls, gleaming vaguely with rain,
Each yellow light looked down like a golden eye.

They trembled from coign to coign, and tower to tower,
Along high terraces quicker than dream they flew.
And some of them steadily glowed, and some soon vanished,
And some strange shadows threw.

And behind them all the ghosts of thoughts went moving,
Restlessly moving in each lamplit room,
From chair to mirror, from mirror to fire;
From some, the light was scarcely more than a gloom:
From some, a dazzling desire.

And there was one, beneath black eaves, who thought,
Combing with lifted arms her golden hair,
Of the lover who hurried towards her through the night;
And there was one who dreamed of a sudden death
As she blew out her light.

And there was one who turned from clamoring streets,
And walked in lamplit gardens among black trees,
And looked at the windy sky,
And thought with terror how stones and roots would freeze
And birds in the dead boughs cry . . .

And she hurried back, as snow fell, mixed with rain,
To mingle among the crowds again,
To jostle beneath blue lamps along the street;
And lost herself in the warm bright coiling dream,
With a sound of murmuring voices and shuffling feet.

And one, from his high bright window looking down
On luminous chasms that cleft the basalt town,
Hearing a sea-like murmur rise,
Desired to leave his dream, descend from the tower,
And drown in waves of shouts and laughter and cries.


V.

The snow floats down upon us, mingled with rain . . .
It eddies around pale lilac lamps, and falls
Down golden-windowed walls.
We were all born of flesh, in a flare of pain,
We do not remember the red roots whence we rose,
But we know that we rose and walked, that after a while
We shall lie down again.

The snow floats down upon us, we turn, we turn,
Through gorges filled with light we sound and flow . . .
One is struck down and hurt, we crowd about him,
We bear him away, gaze after his listless body;
But whether he lives or dies we do not know.

One of us sings in the street, and we listen to him;
The words ring over us like vague bells of sorrow.
He sings of a house he lived in long ago.
It is strange; this house of dust was the house I lived in;
The house you lived in, the house that all of us know.
And coiling slowly about him, and laughing at him,
And throwing him pennies, we bear away
A mournful echo of other times and places,
And follow a dream . . . a dream that will not stay.

Down long broad flights of lamplit stairs we flow;
Noisy, in scattered waves, crowding and shouting;
In broken slow cascades.
The gardens extend before us . . . We spread out swiftly;
Trees are above us, and darkness. The canyon fades . . .

And we recall, with a gleaming stab of sadness,
Vaguely and incoherently, some dream
Of a world we came from, a world of sun-blue hills . . .
A black wood whispers around us, green eyes gleam;
Someone cries in the forest, and someone kills.

We flow to the east, to the white-lined shivering sea;
We reach to the west, where the whirling sun went down;
We close our eyes to music in bright cafees.
We diverge from clamorous streets to streets that are silent.
We loaf where the wind-spilled fountain plays.

And, growing tired, we turn aside at last,
Remember our secret selves, seek out our towers,
Lay weary hands on the banisters, and climb;
Climbing, each, to his little four-square dream
Of love or lust or beauty or death or crime.


VI.

Over the darkened city, the city of towers,
The city of a thousand gates,
Over the gleaming terraced roofs, the huddled towers,
Over a somnolent whisper of loves and hates,
The slow wind flows, drearily streams and falls,
With a mournful sound down rain-dark walls.
On one side purples the lustrous dusk of the sea,
And dreams in white at the city's feet;
On one side sleep the plains, with heaped-up hills.
Oaks and beeches whisper in rings about it.
Above the trees are towers where dread bells beat.

The fisherman draws his streaming net from the sea
And sails toward the far-off city, that seems
Like one vague tower.
The dark bow plunges to foam on blue-black waves,
And shrill rain seethes like a ghostly music about him
In a quiet shower.

Rain with a shrill sings on the lapsing waves;
Rain thrills over the roofs again;
Like a shadow of shifting silver it crosses the city;
The lamps in the streets are streamed with rain;
And sparrows complain beneath deep eaves,
And among whirled leaves
The sea-gulls, blowing from tower to lower tower,
From wall to remoter wall,
Skim with the driven rain to the rising sea-sound
And close grey wings and fall . . .

. . . Hearing great rain above me, I now remember
A girl who stood by the door and shut her eyes:
Her pale cheeks glistened with rain, she stood and shivered.
Into a forest of silver she vanished slowly . . .
Voices about me rise . . .

Voices clear and silvery, voices of raindrops,—
'We struck with silver claws, we struck her down.
We are the ghosts of the singing furies . . . '
A chorus of elfin voices blowing about me
Weaves to a babel of sound. Each cries a secret.
I run among them, reach out vain hands, and drown.

'I am the one who stood beside you and smiled,
Thinking your face so strangely young . . . '
'I am the one who loved you but did not dare.'
'I am the one you followed through crowded streets,
The one who escaped you, the one with red-gleamed hair.'

'I am the one you saw to-day, who fell
Senseless before you, hearing a certain bell:
A bell that broke great memories in my brain.'
'I am the one who passed unnoticed before you,
Invisible, in a cloud of secret pain.'

'I am the one who suddenly cried, beholding
The face of a certain man on the dazzling screen.
They wrote me that he was dead. It was long ago.
I walked in the streets for a long while, hearing nothing,
And returned to see it again. And it was so.'


Weave, weave, weave, you streaks of rain!
I am dissolved and woven again . . .
Thousands of faces rise and vanish before me.
Thousands of voices weave in the rain.

'I am the one who rode beside you, blinking
At a dazzle of golden lights.
Tempests of music swept me: I was thinking
Of the gorgeous promise of certain nights:
Of the woman who suddenly smiled at me this day,
Smiled in a certain delicious sidelong way,
And turned, as she reached the door,
To smile once more . . .
Her hands are whiter than snow on midnight water.
Her throat is golden and full of golden laughter,
Her eyes are strange as the stealth of the moon
On a night in June . . .
She runs among whistling leaves; I hurry after;
She dances in dreams over white-waved water;
Her body is white and fragrant and cool,
Magnolia petals that float on a white-starred pool . . .
I have dreamed of her, dreaming for many nights
Of a broken music and golden lights,
Of broken webs of silver, heavily falling
Between my hands and their white desire:
And dark-leaved boughs, edged with a golden radiance,
Dipping to screen a fire . . .
I dream that I walk with her beneath high trees,
But as I lean to kiss her face,
She is blown aloft on wind, I catch at leaves,
And run in a moonless place;
And I hear a crashing of terrible rocks flung down,
And shattering trees and cracking walls,
And a net of intense white flame roars over the town,
And someone cries; and darkness falls . . .
But now she has leaned and smiled at me,
My veins are afire with music,
Her eyes have kissed me, my body is turned to light;
I shall dream to her secret heart tonight . . . '

He rises and moves away, he says no word,
He folds his evening paper and turns away;
I rush through the dark with rows of lamplit faces;
Fire bells peal, and some of us turn to listen,
And some sit motionless in their accustomed places.

Cold rain lashes the car-roof, scurries in gusts,
Streams down the windows in waves and ripples of lustre;
The lamps in the streets are distorted and strange.
Someone takes his watch from his pocket and yawns.
One peers out in the night for the place to change.

Rain . . . rain . . . rain . . . we are buried in rain,
It will rain forever, the swift wheels hiss through water,
Pale sheets of water gleam in the windy street.
The pealing of bells is lost in a drive of rain-drops.
Remote and hurried the great bells beat.

'I am the one whom life so shrewdly betrayed,
Misfortune dogs me, it always hunted me down.
And to-day the woman I love lies dead.
I gave her roses, a ring with opals;
These hands have touched her head.

'I bound her to me in all soft ways,
I bound her to me in a net of days,
Yet now she has gone in silence and said no word.
How can we face these dazzling things, I ask you?
There is no use: we cry: and are not heard.

'They cover a body with roses . . . I shall not see it . . .
Must one return to the lifeless walls of a city
Whose soul is charred by fire? . . . '
His eyes are closed, his lips press tightly together.
Wheels hiss beneath us. He yields us our desire.

'No, do not stare so—he is weak with grief,
He cannot face you, he turns his eyes aside;
He is confused with pain.
I suffered this. I know. It was long ago . . .
He closes his eyes and drowns in death again.'

The wind hurls blows at the rain-starred glistening windows,
The wind shrills down from the half-seen walls.
We flow on the mournful wind in a dream of dying;
And at last a silence falls.


VII.

Midnight; bells toll, and along the cloud-high towers
The golden lights go out . . .
The yellow windows darken, the shades are drawn,
In thousands of rooms we sleep, we await the dawn,
We lie face down, we dream,
We cry aloud with terror, half rise, or seem
To stare at the ceiling or walls . . .
Midnight . . . the last of shattering bell-notes falls.
A rush of silence whirls over the cloud-high towers,
A vortex of soundless hours.

'The bells have just struck twelve: I should be sleeping.
But I cannot delay any longer to write and tell you.
The woman is dead.
She died—you know the way. Just as we planned.
Smiling, with open sunlit eyes.
Smiling upon the outstretched fatal hand . . .'

He folds his letter, steps softly down the stairs.
The doors are closed and silent. A gas-jet flares.
His shadow disturbs a shadow of balustrades.
The door swings shut behind. Night roars above him.
Into the night he fades.

Wind; wind; wind; carving the walls;
Blowing the water that gleams in the street;
Blowing the rain, the sleet.
In the dark alley, an old tree cracks and falls,
Oak-boughs moan in the haunted air;
Lamps blow down with a crash and tinkle of glass . . .
Darkness whistles . . . Wild hours pass . . .

And those whom sleep eludes lie wide-eyed, hearing
Above their heads a goblin night go by;
Children are waked, and cry,
The young girl hears the roar in her sleep, and dreams
That her lover is caught in a burning tower,
She clutches the pillow, she gasps for breath, she screams . . .
And then by degrees her breath grows quiet and slow,
She dreams of an evening, long ago:
Of colored lanterns balancing under trees,
Some of them softly catching afire;
And beneath the lanterns a motionless face she sees,
Golden with lamplight, smiling, serene . . .
The leaves are a pale and glittering green,
The sound of horns blows over the trampled grass,
Shadows of dancers pass . . .
The face smiles closer to hers, she tries to lean
Backward, away, the eyes burn close and strange,
The face is beginning to change,—
It is her lover, she no longer desires to resist,
She is held and kissed.
She closes her eyes, and melts in a seethe of flame . . .
With a smoking ghost of shame . . .

Wind, wind, wind . . . Wind in an enormous brain
Blowing dark thoughts like fallen leaves . . .
The wind shrieks, the wind grieves;
It dashes the leaves on walls, it whirls then again;
And the enormous sleeper vaguely and stupidly dreams
And desires to stir, to resist a ghost of pain.

One, whom the city imprisoned because of his cunning,
Who dreamed for years in a tower,
Seizes this hour
Of tumult and wind. He files through the rusted bar,
Leans his face to the rain, laughs up at the night,
Slides down the knotted sheet, swings over the wall,
To fall to the street with a cat-like fall,
Slinks round a quavering rim of windy light,
And at last is gone,
Leaving his empty cell for the pallor of dawn . . .

The mother whose child was buried to-day
Turns her face to the window; her face is grey;
And all her body is cold with the coldness of rain.
He would have grown as easily as a tree,
He would have spread a pleasure of shade above her,
He would have been his father again . . .
His growth was ended by a freezing invisible shadow.
She lies, and does not move, and is stabbed by the rain.

Wind, wind, wind; we toss and dream;
We dream we are clouds and stars, blown in a stream:
Windows rattle above our beds;
We reach vague-gesturing hands, we lift our heads,
Hear sounds far off,—and dream, with quivering breath,
Our curious separate ways through life and death.


VIII.

The white fog creeps from the cold sea over the city,
Over the pale grey tumbled towers,—
And settles among the roofs, the pale grey walls.
Along damp sinuous streets it crawls,
Curls like a dream among the motionless trees
And seems to freeze.

The fog slips ghostlike into a thousand rooms,
Whirls over sleeping faces,
Spins in an atomy dance round misty street lamps;
And blows in cloudy waves over open spaces . . .

And one from his high window, looking down,
Peers at the cloud-white town,
And thinks its island towers are like a dream . . .
It seems an enormous sleeper, within whose brain
Laborious shadows revolve and break and gleam.

PART II.


I.

The round red sun heaves darkly out of the sea.
The walls and towers are warmed and gleam.
Sounds go drowsily up from streets and wharves.
The city stirs like one that is half in dream.

And the mist flows up by dazzling walls and windows,
Where one by one we wake and rise.
We gaze at the pale grey lustrous sea a moment,
We rub the darkness from our eyes,

And face our thousand devious secret mornings . . .
And do not see how the pale mist, slowly ascending,
Shaped by the sun, shines like a white-robed dreamer
Compassionate over our towers bending.

There, like one who gazes into a crystal,
He broods upon our city with sombre eyes;
He sees our secret fears vaguely unfolding,
Sees cloudy symbols shape to rise.

Each gleaming point of light is like a seed
Dilating swiftly to coiling fires.
Each cloud becomes a rapidly dimming face,
Each hurrying face records its strange desires.

We descend our separate stairs toward the day,
Merge in the somnolent mass that fills the street,
Lift our eyes to the soft blue space of sky,
And walk by the well-known walls with accustomed feet.


II. THE FULFILLED DREAM

More towers must yet be built—more towers destroyed—
Great rocks hoisted in air;
And he must seek his bread in high pale sunlight
With gulls about him, and clouds just over his eyes . . .
And so he did not mention his dream of falling
But drank his coffee in silence, and heard in his ears
That horrible whistle of wind, and felt his breath
Sucked out of him, and saw the tower flash by
And the small tree swell beneath him . . .
He patted his boy on the head, and kissed his wife,
Looked quickly around the room, to remember it,—
And so went out . . . For once, he forgot his pail.

Something had changed—but it was not the street—
The street was just the same—it was himself.
Puddles flashed in the sun. In the pawn-shop door
The same old black cat winked green amber eyes;
The butcher stood by his window tying his apron;
The same men walked beside him, smoking pipes,
Reading the morning paper . . .

He would not yield, he thought, and walk more slowly,
As if he knew for certain he walked to death:
But with his usual pace,—deliberate, firm,
Looking about him calmly, watching the world,
Taking his ease . . . Yet, when he thought again
Of the same dream, now dreamed three separate times,
Always the same, and heard that whistling wind,
And saw the windows flashing upward past him,—
He slowed his pace a little, and thought with horror
How monstrously that small tree thrust to meet him! . . .
He slowed his pace a little and remembered his wife.

Was forty, then, too old for work like this?
Why should it be? He'd never been afraid—
His eye was sure, his hand was steady . . .
But dreams had meanings.
He walked more slowly, and looked along the roofs,
All built by men, and saw the pale blue sky;
And suddenly he was dizzy with looking at it,
It seemed to whirl and swim,
It seemed the color of terror, of speed, of death . . .
He lowered his eyes to the stones, he walked more slowly;
His thoughts were blown and scattered like leaves;
He thought of the pail . . . Why, then, was it forgotten?
Because he would not need it?

Then, just as he was grouping his thoughts again
About that drug-store corner, under an arc-lamp,
Where first he met the girl whom he would marry,—
That blue-eyed innocent girl, in a soft blouse,—
He waved his hand for signal, and up he went
In the dusty chute that hugged the wall;
Above the tree; from girdered floor to floor;
Above the flattening roofs, until the sea
Lay wide and waved before him . . . And then he stepped
Giddily out, from that security,
To the red rib of iron against the sky,
And walked along it, feeling it sing and tremble;
And looking down one instant, saw the tree
Just as he dreamed it was; and looked away,
And up again, feeling his blood go wild.

He gave the signal; the long girder swung
Closer to him, dropped clanging into place,
Almost pushing him off. Pneumatic hammers
Began their madhouse clatter, the white-hot rivets
Were tossed from below and deftly caught in pails;
He signalled again, and wiped his mouth, and thought
A place so high in the air should be more quiet.
The tree, far down below, teased at his eyes,
Teased at the corners of them, until he looked,
And felt his body go suddenly small and light;
Felt his brain float off like a dwindling vapor;
And heard a whistle of wind, and saw a tree
Come plunging up to him, and thought to himself,
'By God—I'm done for now, the dream was right . . .'


III. INTERLUDE

The warm sun dreams in the dust, the warm sun falls
On bright red roofs and walls;
The trees in the park exhale a ghost of rain;
We go from door to door in the streets again,
Talking, laughing, dreaming, turning our faces,
Recalling other times and places . . .
We crowd, not knowing why, around a gate,
We crowd together and wait,
A stretcher is carried out, voices are stilled,
The ambulance drives away.
We watch its roof flash by, hear someone say
'A man fell off the building and was killed—
Fell right into a barrel . . .' We turn again
Among the frightened eyes of white-faced men,
And go our separate ways, each bearing with him
A thing he tries, but vainly, to forget,—
A sickened crowd, a stretcher red and wet.

A hurdy-gurdy sings in the crowded street,
The golden notes skip over the sunlit stones,
Wings are upon our feet.
The sun seems warmer, the winding street more bright,
Sparrows come whirring down in a cloud of light.
We bear our dreams among us, bear them all,
Like hurdy-gurdy music they rise and fall,
Climb to beauty and die.
The wandering lover dreams of his lover's mouth,
And smiles at the hostile sky.
The broker smokes his pipe, and sees a fortune.
The murderer hears a cry.


IV. NIGHTMARE

'Draw three cards, and I will tell your future . . .
Draw three cards, and lay them down,
Rest your palms upon them, stare at the crystal,
And think of time . . . My father was a clown,
My mother was a gypsy out of Egypt;
And she was gotten with child in a strange way;
And I was born in a cold eclipse of the moon,
With the future in my eyes as clear as day.'

I sit before the gold-embroidered curtain
And think her face is like a wrinkled desert.
The crystal burns in lamplight beneath my eyes.
A dragon slowly coils on the scaly curtain.
Upon a scarlet cloth a white skull lies.

'Your hand is on the hand that holds three lilies.
You will live long, love many times.
I see a dark girl here who once betrayed you.
I see a shadow of secret crimes.

'There was a man who came intent to kill you,
And hid behind a door and waited for you;
There was a woman who smiled at you and lied.
There was a golden girl who loved you, begged you,
Crawled after you, and died.

'There is a ghost of murder in your blood—
Coming or past, I know not which.
And here is danger—a woman with sea-green eyes,
And white-skinned as a witch . . .'

The words hiss into me, like raindrops falling
On sleepy fire . . . She smiles a meaning smile.
Suspicion eats my brain; I ask a question;
Something is creeping at me, something vile;

And suddenly on the wall behind her head
I see a monstrous shadow strike and spread,
The lamp puffs out, a great blow crashes down.
I plunge through the curtain, run through dark to the street,
And hear swift steps retreat . . .

The shades are drawn, the door is locked behind me.
Behind the door I hear a hammer sounding.
I walk in a cloud of wonder; I am glad.
I mingle among the crowds; my heart is pounding;
You do not guess the adventure I have had! . . .

Yet you, too, all have had your dark adventures,
Your sudden adventures, or strange, or sweet . . .
My peril goes out from me, is blown among you.
We loiter, dreaming together, along the street.


V. RETROSPECT

Round white clouds roll slowly above the housetops,
Over the clear red roofs they flow and pass.
A flock of pigeons rises with blue wings flashing,
Rises with whistle of wings, hovers an instant,
And settles slowly again on the tarnished grass.

And one old man looks down from a dusty window
And sees the pigeons circling about the fountain
And desires once more to walk among those trees.
Lovers walk in the noontime by that fountain.
Pigeons dip their beaks to drink from the water.
And soon the pond must freeze.

The light wind blows to his ears a sound of laughter,
Young men shuffle their feet, loaf in the sunlight;
A girl's laugh rings like a silver bell.
But clearer than all these sounds is a sound he hears
More in his secret heart than in his ears,—
A hammer's steady crescendo, like a knell.
He hears the snarl of pineboards under the plane,
The rhythmic saw, and then the hammer again,—
Playing with delicate strokes that sombre scale . . .
And the fountain dwindles, the sunlight seems to pale.

Time is a dream, he thinks, a destroying dream;
It lays great cities in dust, it fills the seas;
It covers the face of beauty, and tumbles walls.
Where was the woman he loved? Where was his youth?
Where was the dream that burned his brain like fire?
Even a dream grows grey at last and falls.

He opened his book once more, beside the window,
And read the printed words upon that page.
The sunlight touched his hand; his eyes moved slowly,
The quiet words enchanted time and age.

'Death is never an ending, death is a change;
Death is beautiful, for death is strange;
Death is one dream out of another flowing;
Death is a chorded music, softly going
By sweet transition from key to richer key.
Death is a meeting place of sea and sea.'


VI. ADELE AND DAVIS

She turned her head on the pillow, and cried once more.
And drawing a shaken breath, and closing her eyes,
To shut out, if she could, this dingy room,
The wigs and costumes scattered around the floor,—
Yellows and greens in the dark,—she walked again
Those nightmare streets which she had walked so often . . .
Here, at a certain corner, under an arc-lamp,
Blown by a bitter wind, she stopped and looked
In through the brilliant windows of a drug-store,
And wondered if she dared to ask for poison:
But it was late, few customers were there,
The eyes of all the clerks would freeze upon her,
And she would wilt, and cry . . . Here, by the river,
She listened to the water slapping the wall,
And felt queer fascination in its blackness:
But it was cold, the little waves looked cruel,
The stars were keen, and a windy dash of spray
Struck her cheek, and withered her veins . . . And so
She dragged herself once more to home, and bed.

Paul hadn't guessed it yet—though twice, already,
She'd fainted—once, the first time, on the stage.
So she must tell him soon—or else—get out . . .
How could she say it? That was the hideous thing.
She'd rather die than say it! . . . and all the trouble,
Months when she couldn't earn a cent, and then,
If he refused to marry her . . . well, what?
She saw him laughing, making a foolish joke,
His grey eyes turning quickly; and the words
Fled from her tongue . . . She saw him sitting silent,
Brooding over his morning coffee, maybe,
And tried again . . . she bit her lips, and trembled,
And looked away, and said . . . 'Say Paul, boy,—listen
There's something I must tell you . . . ' There she stopped,
Wondering what he'd say . . . What would he say?
'Spring it, kid! Don't look so serious!'
'But what I've got to say—IS—serious!'
Then she could see how, suddenly, he would sober,
His eyes would darken, he'd look so terrifying—
He always did—and what could she do but cry?
Perhaps, then, he would guess—perhaps he wouldn't.
And if he didn't, but asked her 'What's the matter?'—
She knew she'd never tell—just say she was sick . . .
And after that, when would she dare again?
And what would he do—even suppose she told him?

If it were Felix! If it were only Felix!—
She wouldn't mind so much. But as it was,
Bitterness choked her, she had half a mind
To pay out Felix for never having liked her,
By making people think that it was he . . .
She'd write a letter to someone, before she died,—
Just saying 'Felix did it—and wouldn't marry.'
And then she'd die . . . But that was hard on Paul . . .
Paul would never forgive her—he'd never forgive her!
Sometimes she almost thought Paul really loved her . . .
She saw him look reproachfully at her coffin.

And then she closed her eyes and walked again
Those nightmare streets that she had walked so often:
Under an arc-lamp swinging in the wind
She stood, and stared in through a drug-store window,
Watching a clerk wrap up a little pill-box.
But it was late. No customers were there,—
Pitiless eyes would freeze her secret in her!
And thenwhat poison would she dare to ask for?
And if they asked her why, what would she say?


VII. TWO LOVERS: OVERTONES

Two lovers, here at the corner, by the steeple,
Two lovers blow together like music blowing:
And the crowd dissolves about them like a sea.
Recurring waves of sound break vaguely about them,
They drift from wall to wall, from tree to tree.
'Well, am I late?' Upward they look and laugh,
They look at the great clock's golden hands,
They laugh and talk, not knowing what they say:
Only, their words like music seem to play;
And seeming to walk, they tread strange sarabands.

'I brought you this . . . ' the soft words float like stars
Down the smooth heaven of her memory.
She stands again by a garden wall,
The peach tree is in bloom, pink blossoms fall,
Water sings from an opened tap, the bees
Glisten and murmur among the trees.
Someone calls from the house. She does not answer.
Backward she leans her head,
And dreamily smiles at the peach-tree leaves, wherethrough
She sees an infinite May sky spread
A vault profoundly blue.
The voice from the house fades far away,
The glistening leaves more vaguely ripple and sway . .
The tap is closed, the water ceases to hiss . . .
Silence . . . blue sky . . . and then, 'I brought you this . . . '
She turns again, and smiles . . . He does not know
She smiles from long ago . . .

She turns to him and smiles . . . Sunlight above him
Roars like a vast invisible sea,
Gold is beaten before him, shrill bells of silver;
He is released of weight, his body is free,
He lifts his arms to swim,
Dark years like sinister tides coil under him . . .
The lazy sea-waves crumble along the beach
With a whirring sound like wind in bells,
He lies outstretched on the yellow wind-worn sands
Reaching his lazy hands
Among the golden grains and sea-white shells . . .

'One white rose . . . or is it pink, to-day?'
They pause and smile, not caring what they say,
If only they may talk.
The crowd flows past them like dividing waters.
Dreaming they stand, dreaming they walk.

'Pink,—to-day!'—Face turns to dream-bright face,
Green leaves rise round them, sunshine settles upon them,
Water, in drops of silver, falls from the rose.
She smiles at a face that smiles through leaves from the mirror.
She breathes the fragrance; her dark eyes close . . .

Time is dissolved, it blows like a little dust:
Time, like a flurry of rain,
Patters and passes, starring the window-pane.
Once, long ago, one night,
She saw the lightning, with long blue quiver of light,
Ripping the darkness . . . and as she turned in terror
A soft face leaned above her, leaned softly down,
Softly around her a breath of roses was blown,
She sank in waves of quiet, she seemed to float
In a sea of silence . . . and soft steps grew remote . .

'Well, let us walk in the park . . . The sun is warm,
We'll sit on a bench and talk . . .' They turn and glide,
The crowd of faces wavers and breaks and flows.
'Look how the oak-tops turn to gold in the sunlight!
Look how the tower is changed and glows!'

Two lovers move in the crowd like a link of music,
We press upon them, we hold them, and let them pass;
A chord of music strikes us and straight we tremble;
We tremble like wind-blown grass.

What was this dream we had, a dream of music,
Music that rose from the opening earth like magic
And shook its beauty upon us and died away?
The long cold streets extend once more before us.
The red sun drops, the walls grow grey.


VIII. THE BOX WITH SILVER HANDLES

Well,—it was two days after my husband died—
Two days! And the earth still raw above him.
And I was sweeping the carpet in their hall.
In number four—the room with the red wall-paper—
Some chorus girls and men were singing that song
'They'll soon be lighting candles
Round a box with silver handles'—and hearing them sing it
I started to cry. Just then he came along
And stopped on the stairs and turned and looked at me,
And took the cigar from his mouth and sort of smiled
And said, 'Say, what's the matter?' and then came down
Where I was leaning against the wall,
And touched my shoulder, and put his arm around me . . .
And I was so sad, thinking about it,—
Thinking that it was raining, and a cold night,
With Jim so unaccustomed to being dead,—
That I was happy to have him sympathize,
To feel his arm, and leaned against him and cried.
And before I knew it, he got me into a room
Where a table was set, and no one there,
And sat me down on a sofa, and held me close,
And talked to me, telling me not to cry,
That it was all right, he'd look after me,—
But not to cry, my eyes were getting red,
Which didn't make me pretty. And he was so nice,
That when he turned my face between his hands,
And looked at me, with those blue eyes of his,
And smiled, and leaned, and kissed me
Somehow I couldn't tell him not to do it,
Somehow I didn't mind, I let him kiss me,
And closed my eyes! . . . Well, that was how it started.
For when my heart was eased with crying, and grief
Had passed and left me quiet, somehow it seemed
As if it wasn't honest to change my mind,
To send him away, or say I hadn't meant it—
And, anyway, it seemed so hard to explain!
And so we sat and talked, not talking much,
But meaning as much in silence as in words,
There in that empty room with palms about us,
That private dining-room . . . And as we sat there
I felt my future changing, day by day,
With unknown streets opening left and right,
New streets with farther lights, new taller houses,
Doors swinging into hallways filled with light,
Half-opened luminous windows, with white curtains
Streaming out in the night, and sudden music,—
And thinking of this, and through it half remembering
A quick and horrible death, my husband's eyes,
The broken-plastered walls, my boy asleep,—
It seemed as if my brain would break in two.
My voice began to tremble . . . and when I stood,
And told him I must go, and said good-night—
I couldn't see the end. How would it end?
Would he return to-morrow? Or would he not?
And did I want him to—or would I rather
Look for another job?—He took my shoulders
Between his hands, and looked down into my eyes,
And smiled, and said good-night. If he had kissed me,
That would have—well, I don't know; but he didn't . .
And so I went downstairs, then, half elated,
Hoping to close the door before that party
In number four should sing that song again
'They'll soon be lighting candles round a box with silver handles'—
And sure enough, I did. I faced the darkness.
And my eyes were filled with tears. And I was happy.


IX. INTERLUDE

The days, the nights, flow one by one above us,
The hours go silently over our lifted faces,
We are like dreamers who walk beneath a sea.
Beneath high walls we flow in the sun together.
We sleep, we wake, we laugh, we pursue, we flee.

We sit at tables and sip our morning coffee,
We read the papers for tales of lust or crime.
The door swings shut behind the latest comer.
We set our watches, regard the time.

What have we done? I close my eyes, remember
The great machine whose sinister brain before me
Smote and smote with a rhythmic beat.
My hands have torn down walls, the stone and plaster.
I dropped great beams to the dusty street.

My eyes are worn with measuring cloths of purple,
And golden cloths, and wavering cloths, and pale.
I dream of a crowd of faces, white with menace.
Hands reach up to tear me. My brain will fail.

Here, where the walls go down beneath our picks,
These walls whose windows gap against the sky,
Atom by atom of flesh and brain and marble
Will build a glittering tower before we die . . .

The young boy whistles, hurrying down the street,
The young girl hums beneath her breath.
One goes out to beauty, and does not know it.
And one goes out to death.


X. SUDDEN DEATH

'Number four—the girl who died on the table—
The girl with golden hair—'
The purpling body lies on the polished marble.
We open the throat, and lay the thyroid bare . . .

One, who held the ether-cone, remembers
Her dark blue frightened eyes.
He heard the sharp breath quiver, and saw her breast
More hurriedly fall and rise.
Her hands made futile gestures, she turned her head
Fighting for breath; her cheeks were flushed to scarlet,—
And, suddenly, she lay dead.

And all the dreams that hurried along her veins
Came to the darkness of a sudden wall.
Confusion ran among them, they whirled and clamored,
They fell, they rose, they struck, they shouted,
Till at last a pallor of silence hushed them all.

What was her name? Where had she walked that morning?
Through what dark forest came her feet?
Along what sunlit walls, what peopled street?

Backward he dreamed along a chain of days,
He saw her go her strange and secret ways,
Waking and sleeping, noon and night.
She sat by a mirror, braiding her golden hair.
She read a story by candlelight.

Her shadow ran before her along the street,
She walked with rhythmic feet,
Turned a corner, descended a stair.
She bought a paper, held it to scan the headlines,
Smiled for a moment at sea-gulls high in sunlight,
And drew deep breaths of air.

Days passed, bright clouds of days. Nights passed. And music
Murmured within the walls of lighted windows.
She lifted her face to the light and danced.
The dancers wreathed and grouped in moving patterns,
Clustered, receded, streamed, advanced.

Her dress was purple, her slippers were golden,
Her eyes were blue; and a purple orchid
Opened its golden heart on her breast . . .
She leaned to the surly languor of lazy music,
Leaned on her partner's arm to rest.
The violins were weaving a weft of silver,
The horns were weaving a lustrous brede of gold,
And time was caught in a glistening pattern,
Time, too elusive to hold . . .

Shadows of leaves fell over her face,—and sunlight:
She turned her face away.
Nearer she moved to a crouching darkness
With every step and day.

Death, who at first had thought of her only an instant,
At a great distance, across the night,
Smiled from a window upon her, and followed her slowly
From purple light to light.

Once, in her dreams, he spoke out clearly, crying,
'I am the murderer, death.
I am the lover who keeps his appointment
At the doors of breath!'

She rose and stared at her own reflection,
Half dreading there to find
The dark-eyed ghost, waiting beside her,
Or reaching from behind
To lay pale hands upon her shoulders . . .
Or was this in her mind? . . .

She combed her hair. The sunlight glimmered
Along the tossing strands.
Was there a stillness in this hair,—
A quiet in these hands?

Death was a dream. It could not change these eyes,
Blow out their light, or turn this mouth to dust.
She combed her hair and sang. She would live forever.
Leaves flew past her window along a gust . . .
And graves were dug in the earth, and coffins passed,
And music ebbed with the ebbing hours.
And dreams went along her veins, and scattering clouds
Threw streaming shadows on walls and towers.


XI.

Snow falls. The sky is grey, and sullenly glares
With purple lights in the canyoned street.
The fiery sign on the dark tower wreathes and flares . . .
The trodden grass in the park is covered with white,
The streets grow silent beneath our feet . . .
The city dreams, it forgets its past to-night.

And one, from his high bright window looking down
Over the enchanted whiteness of the town,
Seeing through whirls of white the vague grey towers,
Desires like this to forget what will not pass,
The littered papers, the dust, the tarnished grass,
Grey death, stale ugliness, and sodden hours.
Deep in his heart old bells are beaten again,
Slurred bells of grief and pain,
Dull echoes of hideous times and poisonous places.
He desires to drown in a cold white peace of snow.
He desires to forget a million faces . . .

In one room breathes a woman who dies of hunger.
The clock ticks slowly and stops. And no one winds it.
In one room fade grey violets in a vase.
Snow flakes faintly hiss and melt on the window.
In one room, minute by minute, the flutist plays
The lamplit page of music, the tireless scales.
His hands are trembling, his short breath fails.

In one room, silently, lover looks upon lover,
And thinks the air is fire.
The drunkard swears and touches the harlot's heartstrings
With the sudden hand of desire.

And one goes late in the streets, and thinks of murder;
And one lies staring, and thinks of death.
And one, who has suffered, clenches her hands despairing,
And holds her breath . . .

Who are all these, who flow in the veins of the city,
Coil and revolve and dream,
Vanish or gleam?
Some mount up to the brain and flower in fire.
Some are destroyed; some die; some slowly stream.

And the new are born who desire to destroy the old;
And fires are kindled and quenched; and dreams are broken,
And walls flung down . . .
And the slow night whirls in snow over towers of dreamers,
And whiteness hushes the town.

PART III


I

As evening falls,
And the yellow lights leap one by one
Along high walls;
And along black streets that glisten as if with rain,
The muted city seems
Like one in a restless sleep, who lies and dreams
Of vague desires, and memories, and half-forgotten pain . . .
Along dark veins, like lights the quick dreams run,
Flash, are extinguished, flash again,
To mingle and glow at last in the enormous brain
And die away . . .
As evening falls,
A dream dissolves these insubstantial walls,—
A myriad secretly gliding lights lie bare . . .
The lovers rise, the harlot combs her hair,
The dead man's face grows blue in the dizzy lamplight,
The watchman climbs the stair . . .
The bank defaulter leers at a chaos of figures,
And runs among them, and is beaten down;
The sick man coughs and hears the chisels ringing;
The tired clown
Sees the enormous crowd, a million faces,
Motionless in their places,
Ready to laugh, and seize, and crush and tear . . .
The dancer smooths her hair,
Laces her golden slippers, and runs through the door
To dance once more,
Hearing swift music like an enchantment rise,
Feeling the praise of a thousand eyes.

As darkness falls
The walls grow luminous and warm, the walls
Tremble and glow with the lives within them moving,
Moving like music, secret and rich and warm.
How shall we live tonight? Where shall we turn?
To what new light or darkness yearn?
A thousand winding stairs lead down before us;
And one by one in myriads we descend
By lamplit flowered walls, long balustrades,
Through half-lit halls which reach no end.


II. THE SCREEN MAIDEN

You read—what is it, then that you are reading?
What music moves so silently in your mind?
Your bright hand turns the page.
I watch you from my window, unsuspected:
You move in an alien land, a silent age . . .

. . . The poet—what was his name—? Tokkei—Tokkei—
The poet walked alone in a cold late rain,
And thought his grief was like the crying of sea-birds;
For his lover was dead, he never would love again.

Rain in the dreams of the mind—rain forever—
Rain in the sky of the heart—rain in the willows—
But then he saw this face, this face like flame,
This quiet lady, this portrait by Hiroshigi;
And took it home with him; and with it came

What unexpected changes, subtle as weather!
The dark room, cold as rain,
Grew faintly fragrant, stirred with a stir of April,
Warmed its corners with light again,

And smoke of incense whirled about this portrait,
And the quiet lady there,
So young, so quietly smiling, with calm hands,
Seemed ready to loose her hair,

And smile, and lean from the picture, or say one word,
The word already clear,
Which seemed to rise like light between her eyelids . .
He held his breath to hear,

And smiled for shame, and drank a cup of wine,
And held a candle, and searched her face
Through all the little shadows, to see what secret
Might give so warm a grace . . .

Was it the quiet mouth, restrained a little?
The eyes, half-turned aside?
The jade ring on her wrist, still almost swinging? . . .
The secret was denied,

He chose his favorite pen and drew these verses,
And slept; and as he slept
A dream came into his heart, his lover entered,
And chided him, and wept.

And in the morning, waking, he remembered,
And thought the dream was strange.
Why did his darkened lover rise from the garden?
He turned, and felt a change,

As if a someone hidden smiled and watched him . . .
Yet there was only sunlight there.
Until he saw those young eyes, quietly smiling,
And held his breath to stare,

And could have sworn her cheek had turned—a little . . .
Had slightly turned away . . .
Sunlight dozed on the floor . . . He sat and wondered,
Nor left his room that day.

And that day, and for many days thereafter,
He sat alone, and thought
No lady had ever lived so beautiful
As Hiroshigi wrought . . .

Or if she lived, no matter in what country,
By what far river or hill or lonely sea,
He would look in every face until he found her . . .
There was no other as fair as she.

And before her quiet face he burned soft incense,
And brought her every day
Boughs of the peach, or almond, or snow-white cherry,
And somehow, she seemed to say,

That silent lady, young, and quietly smiling,
That she was happy there;
And sometimes, seeing this, he started to tremble,
And desired to touch her hair,

To lay his palm along her hand, touch faintly
With delicate finger-tips
The ghostly smile that seemed to hover and vanish
Upon her lips . . .

Until he knew he loved this quiet lady;
And night by night a dread
Leered at his dreams, for he knew that Hiroshigi
Was many centuries dead,—

And the lady, too, was dead, and all who knew her . .
Dead, and long turned to dust . . .
The thin moon waxed and waned, and left him paler,
The peach leaves flew in a gust,

And he would surely have died; but there one day
A wise man, white with age,
Stared at the portrait, and said, 'This Hiroshigi
Knew more than archimage,—

Cunningly drew the body, and called the spirit,
Till partly it entered there . . .
Sometimes, at death, it entered the portrait wholly . .
Do all I say with care,

And she you love may come to you when you call her . . . '
So then this ghost, Tokkei,
Ran in the sun, bought wine of a hundred merchants,
And alone at the end of day

Entered the darkening room, and faced the portrait,
And saw the quiet eyes
Gleaming and young in the dusk, and held the wine-cup,
And knelt, and did not rise,

And said, aloud, 'Lo-san, will you drink this wine?'
Said it three times aloud.
And at the third the faint blue smoke of incense
Rose to the walls in a cloud,

And the lips moved faintly, and the eyes, and the calm hands stirred;
And suddenly, with a sigh,
The quiet lady came slowly down from the portrait,
And stood, while worlds went by,

And lifted her young white hands and took the wine cup;
And the poet trembled, and said,
'Lo-san, will you stay forever?'—'Yes, I will stay.'—
'But what when I am dead?'

'When you are dead your spirit will find my spirit,
And then we shall die no more.'
Music came down upon them, and spring returning,
They remembered worlds before,

And years went over the earth, and over the sea,
And lovers were born and spoke and died,
But forever in sunlight went these two immortal,
Tokkei and the quiet bride . . .


III. HAUNTED CHAMBERS

The lamplit page is turned, the dream forgotten;
The music changes tone, you wake, remember
Deep worlds you lived before,—deep worlds hereafter
Of leaf on falling leaf, music on music,
Rain and sorrow and wind and dust and laughter.

Helen was late and Miriam came too soon.
Joseph was dead, his wife and children starving.
Elaine was married and soon to have a child.
You dreamed last night of fiddler-crabs with fiddles;
They played a buzzing melody, and you smiled.

To-morrow—what? And what of yesterday?
Through soundless labyrinths of dream you pass,
Through many doors to the one door of all.
Soon as it's opened we shall hear a music:
Or see a skeleton fall . . .

We walk with you. Where is it that you lead us?
We climb the muffled stairs beneath high lanterns.
We descend again. We grope through darkened cells.
You say: this darkness, here, will slowly kill me.
It creeps and weighs upon me . . . Is full of bells.

This is the thing remembered I would forget—
No matter where I go, how soft I tread,
This windy gesture menaces me with death.
Fatigue! it says, and points its finger at me;
Touches my throat and stops my breath.

My fans—my jewels—the portrait of my husband—
The torn certificate for my daughter's grave—
These are but mortal seconds in immortal time.
They brush me, fade away: like drops of water.
They signify no crime.

Let us retrace our steps: I have deceived you:
Nothing is here I could not frankly tell you:
No hint of guilt, or faithlessness, or threat.
Dreams—they are madness. Staring eyes—illusion.
Let us return, hear music, and forget . . .


IV. ILLICIT

Of what she said to me that night—no matter.
The strange thing came next day.
My brain was full of music—something she played me—;
I couldn't remember it all, but phrases of it
Wreathed and wreathed among faint memories,
Seeking for something, trying to tell me something,
Urging to restlessness: verging on grief.
I tried to play the tune, from memory,—
But memory failed: the chords and discords climbed
And found no resolution—only hung there,
And left me morbid . . . Where, then, had I heard it? . . .
What secret dusty chamber was it hinting?
'Dust', it said, 'dust . . . and dust . . . and sunlight . .
A cold clear April evening . . . snow, bedraggled,
Rain-worn snow, dappling the hideous grass . . .
And someone walking alone; and someone saying
That all must end, for the time had come to go . . . '
These were the phrases . . . but behind, beneath them
A greater shadow moved: and in this shadow
I stood and guessed . . . Was it the blue-eyed lady?
The one who always danced in golden slippers—
And had I danced with her,—upon this music?
Or was it further back—the unplumbed twilight
Of childhood?—No—much recenter than that.

You know, without my telling you, how sometimes
A word or name eludes you, and you seek it
Through running ghosts of shadow,—leaping at it,
Lying in wait for it to spring upon it,
Spreading faint snares for it of sense or sound:
Until, of a sudden, as if in a phantom forest,
You hear it, see it flash among the branches,
And scarcely knowing how, suddenly have it—
Well, it was so I followed down this music,
Glimpsing a face in darkness, hearing a cry,
Remembering days forgotten, moods exhausted,
Corners in sunlight, puddles reflecting stars—;
Until, of a sudden, and least of all suspected,
The thing resolved itself: and I remembered
An April afternoon, eight years ago—
Or was it nine?—no matter—call it nine—
A room in which the last of sunlight faded;
A vase of violets, fragrance in white curtains;
And, she who played the same thing later, playing.

She played this tune. And in the middle of it
Abruptly broke it off, letting her hands
Fall in her lap. She sat there so a moment,
With shoulders drooped, then lifted up a rose,
One great white rose, wide opened like a lotos,
And pressed it to her cheek, and closed her eyes.

'You know—we've got to end this—Miriam loves you . . .
If she should ever know, or even guess it,—
What would she do?—Listen!—I'm not absurd . . .
I'm sure of it. If you had eyes, for women—
To understand them—which you've never had—
You'd know it too . . . ' So went this colloquy,
Half humorous, with undertones of pathos,
Half grave, half flippant . . . while her fingers, softly,
Felt for this tune, played it and let it fall,
Now note by singing note, now chord by chord,
Repeating phrases with a kind of pleasure . . .
Was it symbolic of the woman's weakness
That she could neither break it—nor conclude?
It paused . . . and wandered . . . paused again; while she,
Perplexed and tired, half told me I must go,—
Half asked me if I thought I ought to go . . .

Well, April passed with many other evenings,
Evenings like this, with later suns and warmer,
With violets always there, and fragrant curtains . . .
And she was right: and Miriam found it out . . .
And after that, when eight deep years had passed—
Or nine—we met once more,—by accident . . .
But was it just by accident, I wonder,
She played this tune?—Or what, then, was intended? . . .


V. MELODY IN A RESTAURANT

The cigarette-smoke loops and slides above us,
Dipping and swirling as the waiter passes;
You strike a match and stare upon the flame.
The tiny fire leaps in your eyes a moment,
And dwindles away as silently as it came.

This melody, you say, has certain voices
They rise like nereids from a river, singing,
Lift white faces, and dive to darkness again.
Wherever you go you bear this river with you:
A leaf falls,—and it flows, and you have pain.

So says the tune to you—but what to me?
What to the waiter, as he pours your coffee,
The violinist who suavely draws his bow?
That man, who folds his paper, overhears it.
A thousand dreams revolve and fall and flow.

Some one there is who sees a virgin stepping
Down marble stairs to a deep tomb of roses:
At the last moment she lifts remembering eyes.
Green leaves blow down. The place is checked with shadows.
A long-drawn murmur of rain goes down the skies.
And oaks are stripped and bare, and smoke with lightning:
And clouds are blown and torn upon high forests,
And the great sea shakes its walls.
And then falls silence . . . And through long silence falls
This melody once more:
'Down endless stairs she goes, as once before.'

So says the tune to him—but what to me?
What are the worlds I see?
What shapes fantastic, terrible dreams? . . .
I go my secret way, down secret alleys;
My errand is not so simple as it seems.


VI. PORTRAIT OF ONE DEAD

This is the house. On one side there is darkness,
On one side there is light.
Into the darkness you may lift your lanterns—
O, any number—it will still be night.
And here are echoing stairs to lead you downward
To long sonorous halls.
And here is spring forever at these windows,
With roses on the walls.

This is her room. On one side there is music
On one side not a sound.
At one step she could move from love to silence,
Feel myriad darkness coiling round.
And here are balconies from which she heard you,
Your steady footsteps on the stair.
And here the glass in which she saw your shadow
As she unbound her hair.

Here is the room—with ghostly walls dissolving—
The twilight room in which she called you 'lover';
And the floorless room in which she called you 'friend.'
So many times, in doubt, she ran between them!—
Through windy corridors of darkening end.

Here she could stand with one dim light above her
And hear far music, like a sea in caverns,
Murmur away at hollowed walls of stone.
And here, in a roofless room where it was raining,
She bore the patient sorrow of rain alone.

Your words were walls which suddenly froze around her.
Your words were windows,—large enough for moonlight,
Too small to let her through.
Your letters—fragrant cloisters faint with music.
The music that assuaged her there was you.

How many times she heard your step ascending
Yet never saw your face!
She heard them turn again, ring slowly fainter,
Till silence swept the place.
Why had you gone? . . . The door, perhaps, mistaken . . .
You would go elsewhere. The deep walls were shaken.

A certain rose-leaf—sent without intention—
Became, with time, a

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The Meaning Of Our Lives

the meanings of our lives
are not laundry clothes waiting for the sun
waiting to become clean and dry

the meanings of our lives
are on the women with dirty hands
surveying the stains and putting bleaching agents
and taking care of everything

the go where the real action is
they're not lazybones
they make things done
they know what a nice finish is all about.

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The Prime Time Of Our Lives

It's the prime time of our lives
And I've never seen us more alive
Now that the night has finally arrived
I'm looking for some fun and to survive

Join hands with me
We'll slow down the time
We'll dance the last song
The prime time of our lives is here in this time for us now

When you reach a certain point in your life
You better push it to the extremes
And that's what we're doing
We're celebrating dreams
We're living dreams
We're creating new dreams
In the prime time of our lives

The time is now
In our choices
In what we thought
In what we bought
In what we've got
Thank god for now
It's the prime time of our lives

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