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deserted winter –
the wind leaves the paths
in the howl of wolves

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The Lone White Wolf: The Hunt

As the first day of the new moon creeps into the trees, no wolf among the pack gathers to see the light overcome the darkness to bring in the new day except the lone white wolf. This peculiar wolf is almost solid white except for the black along the length of his nose. It watches over the pack as they peacefully sleep, unaware of his eyes that could protect everything that was soon to come.

Today was the first day of the long hunt for the white wolf. He must bring down an animal that could feed the whole pack for several days, so he could become an official member of the pack, but more importantly, he must prove himself to be one with the pack instead of running alone.

The leader of the wolf pack slowly raises his head like a turtle to look around to see who’s awake. He sees all the wolves are still asleep in a tight circle except the outcast. The leader doesn’t understand why this wolf sleeps alone nor does he understand why the wolf was born white instead of gray. The white wolf stirs from his wakeful sleep. The eyes of the self-proclaimed leader stay on him before moving off to look into the distance searching for all the answers to his questions among the countless trees.

The leader of the wolf pack slowly gets up and walks to the lone wolf and nudges him to sound the morning howl. It was customary for the leader of the wolf pack to do this, but for reasons unknown to any wolf besides the leader, the wolf chose the outcast to sound the howl. The white wolf understands and gives a howl to stir the remaining wolves out of their deep slumber.

Once all the wolves are fully awake and able to comprehend what today is and what it means for the outcast, they realize it is the first day of the new moon. It is the first day of the long hunt. All of the wolves first look to the leader, then to the outcast, then back to the leader wondering who is going to give the special howl to begin the long hunt. No wolf willingly howled the beginning of the long hunt because if the howl was bad, the hunt would go badly, but if the howl was good, the hunt would go smoothly and the hunt would be short. The answer is soon apparent when the eyes of the leader look over the pack to see whose eyes would meet his. None but one pair kept his gaze.

The leader gave a sign, and the wolf began to prepare to give the special howl that would determine the outcome of the hunt. A wolf could not open its muzzle and give an ordinary howl since the hunt would also go badly. To give the special howl the wolf must pull back its hind legs and brace itself to make sure all legs are securely anchored to the ground so that the wolf, while giving the special howl would not slide backwards during the middle of it.

The lone wolf was ready mentally and physically to give the special howl. Once his feet were securely on the ground, the wolf began the howl. The lone white wolf put everything in his howl: the pain of being an outcast his entire life, the anger at his individuality, everything was put into that howl. Wolves stepped back with their fur standing on end; birds flew away squawking bloody murder. The others started yipping and snapping at nothing in particular remembering everything they’d ever felt. After the lone wolf was done, he realized the effect his special howl had on the wolves and he noticed the disarray and confusion that he had caused.

The leader is satisfied and gets the pack into order; it was time to begin the hunt. The wolves began running, their muscles rippling beneath their skin. Nothing could stop them. Their destination was a mile and a half down the road where the large game was located. Running freely among the wolf pack, the lone wolf didn’t feel like an outcast, but whenever he began to get too close, a shallow snip on the shoulder would shove him away to a safer distance.

The game was just ahead; it was time for the lone wolf to prove himself to the pack. The lone wolf went ahead of the pack and picked one of the biggest caribou he could find and slowly approached while the pack followed. The wolves lurched like a bullet from a gun onto the caribou with the white wolf clinging to the exposed flesh of the neck bringing it to the ground but not before it got one last kick in. The kill was successful; the caribou was dead. It was then that the white wolf noticed the bloody mess of the leader of the pack. The last kick of the now dead caribou landed on the skull of the leader, and he was dead instantly. The sight was a grizzly one with his skull caved in and blood gushing out of the wound.

The self-proclaimed leader was dead with no next-in-line to follow. Every wolf looked to the now dead leader, then to the outcast, then back to the dead leader, and then back to the outcast. The white wolf met the eyes of each wolf and got an unspoken request from each one. It was unanimous; the previous outcast of the pack became the leader. For the first time in history, a white wolf was chosen to lead and will lead the wolves to a prosperity the wolves have never known.

2009 October

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Throw Them Back To The Wolves

Throw them back to the wolves.
The ones released from cellblock envy.
Throw them back to the wolves.
Those who love their crime defined.
Throw them back to the wolves.
Those who break laws all the time.
With nothing but 'bling' on their minds.
Throw them back to the wolves.
Trouble makers showing butt.
Groom to believe they should give it up.
Throw them back to the wolves.
Victims of their own disguises.
Throw them back to the wolves.
Raised on 'rap' and packing 'heat'.
Dimmed with wit is their destiny...
This was how they were raised to be.

Detoxed and recovered.
From baubles, beads and bangles hanging.
Some don't want to have another...
Victimizing chain of gold,
To prove to anyone they're bold.

Leaving streets to the others.
Those who choose to do their 'thing'
From swagger punted schoolyard swings...
And learning from demented idols.
Who could care less who is destressed.

Throw them back to the wolves.
The ones released from cellblock envy.
Throw them back to the wolves.
Those who love their crime defined.
Throw them back to the wolves.
Those who break laws all the time.
With nothing but 'bling' on their minds.
Throw them back to the wolves.
Trouble makers showing butt.
Groom to believe they should give it up.
Throw them back to the wolves.
Victims of their own disguises.
Throw them back to the wolves.
Raised on 'rap' and packing 'heat'.
Dimmed with wit is their destiny...
This was how they were raised to be.

Throw them back to the wolves.
Boo doo doo boo doo boo boo doo.
Throw them back to the wolves.
Boo doo boo doo boo do boo do!

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Seasonable Retour-Knell

SEASONABLE RETOUR KNELL
Variations on a theme...
SEASONABLE ROUND ROBIN ROLE REVERSALS

Author notes

A mirrored Retourne may not only be read either from first line to last or from last to first as seen in the mirrors, but also by inverting the first and second phrase of each line, either rhyming AAAA or ABAB for each verse. thus the number of variations could be multiplied several times.- two variations on the theme have been included here but could have been extended as in SEASONABLE ROUND ROBIN ROLE REVERSALS robi03_0069_robi03_0000

In respect of SEASONABLE ROUND ROBIN ROLE REVERSALS
This composition has sought to explore linguistic potential. Notes and the initial version are placed before rather than after the poem.
Six variations on a theme have been selected out of a significant number of mathematical possibilities using THE SAME TEXT and a reverse mirror for each version. Mirrors repeat the seasons with the lines in reverse order.

For the second roll the first four syllables of each line are reversed, and sense is retained both in the normal order of seasons and the reversed order as well... The 3rd and 4th variations offer ABAB rhyme schemes retaining the original text. The 5th and 6th variations modify the text into rhyming couplets.

Given the linguistical structure of this symphonic composition the score could be read in inversing each and every line and each and every hemistitch. There are minor punctuation differences between versions.

One could probably attain sonnet status for each of the four seasons and through partioning in 3 groups of 4 syllables extend the possibilites ad vitam.

Seasonable Round Robin Roll Reversals
robi03_0069_robi03_0000 QXX_DNZ
Seasonable Retour-Knell
robi03_0070_robi03_0069 QXX_NXX
26 March 1975 rewritten 20070123
lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll lllllllllllllllllll
For previous version see below
_______________________________________
SPRING SUMMER


Life is at ease Young lovers long
Land under plough; To hold their dear;
Whispering trees, Dewdrops among,
Answering cow. Bold, know no fear.

Blossom, the bees, Life full of song,
Burgeoning bough; Cloudless and clear;
Soft-scented breeze, Days fair and long,
Spring warms life now. Summer sends cheer.


AUTUMN WINTER


Each leaf decays, Harvested sheaves
Each life must bow; And honeyed hives;
Our salad days Trees stripped of leaves,
Are ending now. Jack Frost has knives.

Fruit heavy lays Time, Prince of thieves,
Bending the bough, - Onward he drives,

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The Georgics

GEORGIC I

What makes the cornfield smile; beneath what star
Maecenas, it is meet to turn the sod
Or marry elm with vine; how tend the steer;
What pains for cattle-keeping, or what proof
Of patient trial serves for thrifty bees;-
Such are my themes.
O universal lights
Most glorious! ye that lead the gliding year
Along the sky, Liber and Ceres mild,
If by your bounty holpen earth once changed
Chaonian acorn for the plump wheat-ear,
And mingled with the grape, your new-found gift,
The draughts of Achelous; and ye Fauns
To rustics ever kind, come foot it, Fauns
And Dryad-maids together; your gifts I sing.
And thou, for whose delight the war-horse first
Sprang from earth's womb at thy great trident's stroke,
Neptune; and haunter of the groves, for whom
Three hundred snow-white heifers browse the brakes,
The fertile brakes of Ceos; and clothed in power,
Thy native forest and Lycean lawns,
Pan, shepherd-god, forsaking, as the love
Of thine own Maenalus constrains thee, hear
And help, O lord of Tegea! And thou, too,
Minerva, from whose hand the olive sprung;
And boy-discoverer of the curved plough;
And, bearing a young cypress root-uptorn,
Silvanus, and Gods all and Goddesses,
Who make the fields your care, both ye who nurse
The tender unsown increase, and from heaven
Shed on man's sowing the riches of your rain:
And thou, even thou, of whom we know not yet
What mansion of the skies shall hold thee soon,
Whether to watch o'er cities be thy will,
Great Caesar, and to take the earth in charge,
That so the mighty world may welcome thee
Lord of her increase, master of her times,
Binding thy mother's myrtle round thy brow,
Or as the boundless ocean's God thou come,
Sole dread of seamen, till far Thule bow
Before thee, and Tethys win thee to her son
With all her waves for dower; or as a star
Lend thy fresh beams our lagging months to cheer,
Where 'twixt the Maid and those pursuing Claws
A space is opening; see! red Scorpio's self
His arms draws in, yea, and hath left thee more
Than thy full meed of heaven: be what thou wilt-
For neither Tartarus hopes to call thee king,

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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.

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A New Footnote To Howl

Howl for the dollar suckers, the shake amarni makers
Howl for the rolex souls with their calls to Frankfurt
Howl for the poets who quote in Italian who don`t know how to laugh
Howl for the ice children waiting for buses
Howl for the mobiles with cheap words full of soap
Howl for sons who drive to funerals in cabrios
Howl for the droners who giggle when killing
Howl for moons falling into beer-sodden parks
Howl for kid angels sorting junk in the morning
Howl for gods who wear pictures on their arms
Howl for bombers chasing whores in the sky
Howl for the motherless kissing tins in supermarkets
Howl for the acid faced brides of a lost country

Howl for the pissers, the quick fixers and the holy drinkers
praying on pavements.

Holy occupy holy resistance holy lennon holy allen holy
ernesto and all the prophets who know that
everybody is truth, let them be blessed for
the hard days to come. moving.

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Pedestrian Wolves

Raised by pedestrian wolves, out in the forest
Raised by pedestrian wolves, out in the forest
I was left to fend for myself
I was left in a basket, just like baby moses
To float down that muddy river
Protected by the stupid little fairies
I floated for nine days and nights
I floated for nine days and nights
till I came to the city
Bright lights and all the fine ladies
Come on out all you bright fine ladies
I like you just like you are,
And I love you, kind of,
Just like you are, and I love you
Like a sticky piece of cotton candy
In this bright red cotton candy, candy world
(chorus)
Im so excited , about the prospects of meeting with a
Stranger in an alley, Im so excited. I hope theyre rough, I hope their
Skin is tough like spanish leather
Cant wait until their dull, dead eyes meet mine
I cant wait until their dull, dead eyes meet mine
Raised by pedestrian wolves, out in the forest
Raised by suburban lions, out in the jungle
We really like to run in packs- and I like that
When we hunt, we all function with one mind
Our collective predications are as sharp as the
Razor in my pocket, and as dull as the ice
Melting slowly in my glass
My only love is the love of oblivion, in a dark room
With as couple of pedestrian wolves
So artfully backlit by a solitary candle
I take my pleasure in soft red clouds of desire
So funky in this unwashed bed for one with the soft red dreams of oblivion
(chorus)
Im so excited cause soon Ill hit the streets
I am the crown prince of pavement, Im so excited
Under the sheltering skin
Stretched out so pale and thin
There is an ocean of bright red liquid love
And that, my friend, is my favorite color
Raised by pedestrian wolves out in the forest
And I take my pleasure on a soft red cloud
And I take my pleasure in the monkeys bed
And the wolves still howl and the light still glowing red
And I take my pleasure in a blue steel cage
And I take my pleasure through the monkeys eye
And the wolves all howl while the world around me dies
(chorus)
Im so excited , about the prospects of meeting with a stranger

[...] Read more

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The Winter Wolves Are Coming

The Winter Wolves are coming
They are drawing ever near
The Winter Wolves are coming
They smell our blood, our fear

The Winter Wolves are coming
In packs of hundreds and more
The Winter Wolves are coming
They are knocking at our door

The Winter Wolves are coming
With teeth as sharp as knives
The Winter Wolves are coming
They mean to take our lives

The Winter wolves are coming
The smell our blood, our fear
The Winter Wolves are coming
The Cold of Death is here.

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Head Howl

Not everyone can get
the things running down on your little head
not every single person can see
the things twirling on your twisted head
the things you can pull out of your hectic fantasy

No one has the right
or the right instinct
to testify
the things that happened in your head last night

No one can explain the reason you said you had to fight
should we decry the candles for burning so bright and gloomy?
was it the burning light?
or the trembling grin of a shadow that stayed still?
of a shadow that got to obsess your rusty dark old mind?

Was it you fighting as a mighty knight?
or were you that poor crippler creeping and begging
for some candles to light on
for some hysteria to speak on
for some pain to go on
for some function to keep it on
for some twisted function your head protects
in order for you to not lose the way
in your reverted battle
and the reaper stands above your head

You are the only thing among the wronged
that is sentenced any way

But there are still things that you can gain
even if your mind after all that time, stays the same
I say, you can still find things in the loss
you can still gain time in the loss
or feelings you ignored
an instant howl that once consoled
your artificial mind

If you are still able to escape
throw behind you the little stones
that will lead you back, ‘cause it's you, you will return

On the side of the warms you crawl
on the side of the ravens you howl
on the side of the crocodiles you cry
on the side of the losers you still give up
and on the side of the winners, you put off the fight

For there is a big howl in your mind

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Grey Wolves Grey

The Russian march is soft and slow,
Through dust and heat, or slush and snow,
When the Russian skies hang grey and low
To the frontiers far where the Russians go;
And they march to-night and they march to-day
Like the grey wolves grey, like the grey wolves grey.
Nor song nor sound their track reveals,
Save the ceaseless “clock” of the waggon wheels;
But a rift in the mist shows a glint of sun
On the long, dark shape of a toiling gun;
And they strain by night and they drag by day
To a distant goal, like the grey wolves grey.

As the horses toil at the ends of trains,
And the ends of roads on the Blacksoil Plains.
And Ivan digs in the frozen clay,
And he rolls the logs a bed to lay
For a gun that’s five hundred miles away,
But as sure to come as the grey wolves grey.

He is marching on with a purpose grand,
For brother Slav in another land;
Whose tongue, perchance, he cannot understand.—
But he knows the cry from the far-away,
And he smells the blood like the grey wolves grey.

And Ivan’s wife in her den at home,
While hunger looms and his lean wolves come—
With her grey-black bread like the Darling mud,
And her tea-bricks bound with the bullock’s blood—
She shields her cubs by night and day
Like the crouching sluts of the grey wolves grey.

And I march with Ivan where’er he be,
With the foreign blood that is strong in me,
And the love and the hate that is fantasy,
Like the ghosts of a father’s memory.
With the blood that is strange to us to-day
As the strange wild blood of the grey wolves grey.
Grey wolves,
Grey wolves
The strange wild blood of the grey wolves grey.

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The Four Seasons : Winter

See, Winter comes, to rule the varied year,
Sullen and sad, with all his rising train;
Vapours, and clouds, and storms. Be these my theme,
These! that exalt the soul to solemn thought,
And heavenly musing. Welcome, kindred glooms,
Congenial horrors, hail! with frequent foot,
Pleased have I, in my cheerful morn of life,
When nursed by careless Solitude I lived,
And sung of Nature with unceasing joy,
Pleased have I wander'd through your rough domain;
Trod the pure virgin-snows, myself as pure;
Heard the winds roar, and the big torrent burst;
Or seen the deep-fermenting tempest brew'd,
In the grim evening sky. Thus pass'd the time,
Till through the lucid chambers of the south
Look'd out the joyous Spring, look'd out, and smiled.
To thee, the patron of her first essay,
The Muse, O Wilmington! renews her song.
Since has she rounded the revolving year:
Skimm'd the gay Spring; on eagle-pinions borne,
Attempted through the Summer-blaze to rise;
Then swept o'er Autumn with the shadowy gale;
And now among the wintry clouds again,
Roll'd in the doubling storm, she tries to soar;
To swell her note with all the rushing winds;
To suit her sounding cadence to the floods;
As is her theme, her numbers wildly great:
Thrice happy could she fill thy judging ear
With bold description, and with manly thought.
Nor art thou skill'd in awful schemes alone,
And how to make a mighty people thrive;
But equal goodness, sound integrity,
A firm, unshaken, uncorrupted soul,
Amid a sliding age, and burning strong,
Not vainly blazing for thy country's weal,
A steady spirit regularly free;
These, each exalting each, the statesman light
Into the patriot; these, the public hope
And eye to thee converting, bid the Muse
Record what envy dares not flattery call.
Now when the cheerless empire of the sky
To Capricorn the Centaur Archer yields,
And fierce Aquarius stains the inverted year;
Hung o'er the farthest verge of Heaven, the sun
Scarce spreads through ether the dejected day.
Faint are his gleams, and ineffectual shoot
His struggling rays, in horizontal lines,
Through the thick air; as clothed in cloudy storm,
Weak, wan, and broad, he skirts the southern sky;
And, soon-descending, to the long dark night,

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Pharsalia - Book VI: The Fight Near Dyrhachium. Scaeva's Exploits. The Witch Of Thessalia.

Now that the chiefs with minds intent on fight
Had drawn their armies near upon the hills
And all the gods beheld their chosen pair,
Caesar, the Grecian towns despising, scorned
To reap the glory of successful war
Save at his kinsman's cost. In all his prayers
He seeks that moment, fatal to the world,
When shall be cast the die, to win or lose,
And all his fortune hang upon the throw.
Thrice he drew out his troops, his eagles thrice,
Demanding battle; thus to increase the woe
Of Latium, prompt as ever: but his foes,
Proof against every art, refused to leave
The rampart of their camp. Then marching swift
By hidden path between the wooded fields
He seeks, and hopes to seize, Dyrrhachium's fort;
But Magnus, speeding by the ocean marge,
First camped on Petra's slopes, a rocky hill
Thus by the natives named. From thence he keeps
Watch o'er the fortress of Corinthian birth
Which by its towers alone without a guard
Was safe against a siege. No hand of man
In ancient days built up her lofty wall,
No hammer rang upon her massive stones:
Not all the works of war, nor Time himself
Shall undermine her. Nature's hand has raised
Her adamantine rocks and hedged her in
With bulwarks girded by the foamy main:
And but for one short bridge of narrow earth
Dyrrhachium were an island. Steep and fierce,
Dreaded of sailors, are the cliffs that bear
Her walls; and tempests, howling from the west,
Toss up the raging main upon the roofs;
And homes and temples tremble at the shock.

Thirsting for battle and with hopes inflamed
Here Caesar hastes, with distant rampart lines
Seeking unseen to coop his foe within,
Though spread in spacious camp upon the hills.
With eagle eye he measures out the land
Meet to be compassed, nor content with turf
Fit for a hasty mound, he bids his troops
Tear from the quarries many a giant rock:
And spoils the dwellings of the Greeks, and drags
Their walls asunder for his own. Thus rose
A mighty barrier which no ram could burst
Nor any ponderous machine of war.
Mountains are cleft, and level through the hills
The work of Caesar strides: wide yawns the moat,
Forts show their towers rising on the heights,

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The Source

the Source of ‘Crab Nebula'

'The greats molder in their graves
Their words collect as dust upon their spines
Their hearts do not beat in time with today
and yet, the Spirit calls & you answer
What more can a ‘writer' do'?

(poetic writers are compelled to write
& seldom know why)


Ninth Street

There is a cold water'd house
On a bleak winter'd street
With stale musty stink
Of unwashed sock and sheet
Dirty dishes left still
Standing there in the sink.
Memories drenched in scent
Of kerosene and coal
Christmases without trees
Colored paper or ribbon bows.
Yet ___ there was laughter, warm
and yes ___ love
Her making toast over-done
and coffee too thin for him.
Poverty of wage and things
Cannot suppress the hope
Of loves gentle kiss
As passions
Became a foggy mist
Of what could have been
Instead of what is.


(Genetic Memory of Life before I was)

Curmudgeon

(I did not ask to be born)

Knowing why, doesn't make the search go away
Knowing how, doesn't mean you can stop
There are alternative ways, different days
No one gets to stay forever

There are traps
There are walls

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The Bridal of Pennacook

We had been wandering for many days
Through the rough northern country. We had seen
The sunset, with its bars of purple cloud,
Like a new heaven, shine upward from the lake
Of Winnepiseogee; and had felt
The sunrise breezes, midst the leafy isles
Which stoop their summer beauty to the lips
Of the bright waters. We had checked our steeds,
Silent with wonder, where the mountain wall
Is piled to heaven; and, through the narrow rift
Of the vast rocks, against whose rugged feet
Beats the mad torrent with perpetual roar,
Where noonday is as twilight, and the wind
Comes burdened with the everlasting moan
Of forests and of far-off waterfalls,
We had looked upward where the summer sky,
Tasselled with clouds light-woven by the sun,
Sprung its blue arch above the abutting crags
O'er-roofing the vast portal of the land
Beyond the wall of mountains. We had passed
The high source of the Saco; and bewildered
In the dwarf spruce-belts of the Crystal Hills,
Had heard above us, like a voice in the cloud,
The horn of Fabyan sounding; and atop
Of old Agioochook had seen the mountains'
Piled to the northward, shagged with wood, and thick
As meadow mole-hills,—the far sea of Casco,
A white gleam on the horizon of the east;
Fair lakes, embosomed in the woods and hills;
Moosehillock's mountain range, and Kearsarge
Lifting his granite forehead to the sun!

And we had rested underneath the oaks
Shadowing the bank, whose grassy spires are shaken
By the perpetual beating of the falls
Of the wild Ammonoosuc. We had tracked
The winding Pemigewasset, overhung
By beechen shadows, whitening down its rocks,
Or lazily gliding through its intervals,
From waving rye-fields sending up the gleam
Of sunlit waters. We had seen the moon
Rising behind Umbagog's eastern pines,
Like a great Indian camp-fire; and its beams
At midnight spanning with a bridge of silver
The Merrimac by Uncanoonuc's falls.

There were five souls of us whom travel's chance
Had thrown together in these wild north hills
A city lawyer, for a month escaping
From his dull office, where the weary eye

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Book VI - Part 02 - Great Meteorological Phenomena, Etc

And so in first place, then
With thunder are shaken the blue deeps of heaven,
Because the ethereal clouds, scudding aloft,
Together clash, what time 'gainst one another
The winds are battling. For never a sound there come
From out the serene regions of the sky;
But wheresoever in a host more dense
The clouds foregather, thence more often comes
A crash with mighty rumbling. And, again,
Clouds cannot be of so condensed a frame
As stones and timbers, nor again so fine
As mists and flying smoke; for then perforce
They'd either fall, borne down by their brute weight,
Like stones, or, like the smoke, they'd powerless be
To keep their mass, or to retain within
Frore snows and storms of hail. And they give forth
O'er skiey levels of the spreading world
A sound on high, as linen-awning, stretched
O'er mighty theatres, gives forth at times
A cracking roar, when much 'tis beaten about
Betwixt the poles and cross-beams. Sometimes, too,
Asunder rent by wanton gusts, it raves
And imitates the tearing sound of sheets
Of paper- even this kind of noise thou mayst
In thunder hear- or sound as when winds whirl
With lashings and do buffet about in air
A hanging cloth and flying paper-sheets.
For sometimes, too, it chances that the clouds
Cannot together crash head-on, but rather
Move side-wise and with motions contrary
Graze each the other's body without speed,
From whence that dry sound grateth on our ears,
So long drawn-out, until the clouds have passed
From out their close positions.
And, again,
In following wise all things seem oft to quake
At shock of heavy thunder, and mightiest walls
Of the wide reaches of the upper world
There on the instant to have sprung apart,
Riven asunder, what time a gathered blast
Of the fierce hurricane hath all at once
Twisted its way into a mass of clouds,
And, there enclosed, ever more and more
Compelleth by its spinning whirl the cloud
To grow all hollow with a thickened crust
Surrounding; for thereafter, when the force
And the keen onset of the wind have weakened
That crust, lo, then the cloud, to-split in twain,
Gives forth a hideous crash with bang and boom.
No marvel this; since oft a bladder small,

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A Winter Message

A flake of snow in flurry thro’ the air
Had landed as a kiss upon my cheek:
A secret message, just for me to share;
To take to heart but never dare to speak
About or presuppose to other eyes
Your open feelings – distant though they are.
And so, upon your lips, my OWN surprise:
A flake of snow returned from me afar.

Copyright © Mark R Slaughter 2010

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As Winter raged

Winter was at war.
Her subterfuge:
Crumble grey-white flakes upon the scene.

The air, dead;
Dead too, the sound –
Blunted by the whitewash.
Motion, dead –
Bluing chill saw to that.

Everything ground to a halt –
Like an empty train, crawling, seizing;
Eventually to die sprawled along a ghosted platform –
A lifeless plain of concrete.

I still had far to go –
Or so this brain computed
– Tried to –
Inside my own raging storm of white noise,
Howling in its desperation.

Now wild, blitz-wild,
I bore an irrepressible thought –
A goal, focus, idée fixe:

To clasp a frosted hand around
A radiant mug of sugar-laden
Calorie-heavy
Full-fat milk chocolate –
Steam wraiths writhing over
A freshly-spooned whirlpool,
Sultry in their invitation:
‘Come, sip, sip some more;
Soothe yourself in balmy richness.’

I still had far to go…

Copyright © Mark R Slaughter 2010

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Winter Born and Live

Some people enter the world
to indigo skies,
the sun beams
on their blessed souls
season after season.
Never a day of
storms or showers form,
in their world
there are no winters.
Their grin comes
without expense,
their soul
without pause flourishes.
Groundhog never appears
to see his shadow,
for spring is
constantly assured.
Nothing did they do
to improve or disparage
their springtime birth.
Their blessed eternal Eastertide
is a purely bestowed.
Any other season
but the consecrated
spring they do not know.

Others enter the world
from inception
blizzards never cease
Hardly a day of a sunny beam
before began sqa ually rage spurned
upon their countenance.
One storm flows
in timely order
after the other,
giving them forever winter,
hail and snow and gales.
Zeus did not curse them
for a deed or word,
but in good fortune
they are not superb.
Though if to see their spirits
you would not presume,
that spring does not show its face
oft to the winter born.
They have a frosty smile still,
upon the winter they do not grieve.

They beam with joy peculiarly
like a summer baby born,

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Senlin: His Futile Preoccupations

1

I am a house, says Senlin, locked and darkened,
Sealed from the sun with wall and door and blind.
Summon me loudly, and you'll hear slow footsteps
Ring far and faint in the galleries of my mind.
You'll hear soft steps on an old and dusty stairway;
Peer darkly through some corner of a pane,
You'll see me with a faint light coming slowly,
Pausing above some gallery of the brain . . .

I am a city . . . In the blue light of evening
Wind wanders among my streets and makes them fair;
I am a room of rock . . . a maiden dances
Lifting her hands, tossing her golden hair.
She combs her hair, the room of rock is darkened,
She extends herself in me, and I am sleep.
It is my pride that starlight is above me;
I dream amid waves of air, my walls are deep.

I am a door . . . before me roils the darkness,
Behind me ring clear waves of sound and light.
Stand in the shadowy street outside, and listen--
The crying of violins assails the night . . .
My walls are deep, but the cries of music pierce them;
They shake with the sound of drums . . . yet it is strange
That I should know so little what means this music,
Hearing it always within me change and change.

Knock on the door,--and you shall have an answer.
Open the heavy walls to set me free,
And blow a horn to call me into the sunlight,--
And startled, then, what a strange thing you will see!
Nuns, murderers, and drunkards, saints and sinners,
Lover and dancing girl and sage and clown
Will laugh upon you, and you will find me nowhere.
I am a room, a house, a street, a town.

2

It is morning, Senlin says, and in the morning
When the light drips through the shutters like the dew,
I arise, I face the sunrise,
And do the things my fathers learned to do.
Stars in the purple dusk above the rooftops
Pale in a saffron mist and seem to die,
And I myself on a swiftly tilting planet
Stand before a glass and tie my tie.

Vine leaves tap my window,

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Snow wolves

I can hear the wolves
Howl in the distance
The howl is suddenly
Dampened by the falling snow
In a clearing
I see the wolves howl
Perched on the slanted rock
They cry to the moon
The moon cries back
It cries with agony
It cries because of death
Death witnessed beneath it's glow
The wolves turn and howl
The snow doesn't let up
But blows harder
Through blind panic
i run
I hear the wolves howl
Only it isn't in the distance

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