Verses composed on particular occasions:
None remain to see, under pouring skies, the first strawberry ripen Long after petting the armies of black insects march across the floor as my cat wages fierce war for hours on clumps of fur With a sudden swear lifting my tea mug; for there - even more cat hair! The sun will rise, yes, but the mayflies live today; cold comfort is it that the storm flies tomorrow and the sun will rise again fireflies flashing fulgently in furrowed fields an old vet shivers the scars of love, life, and death soon laved & lifted by death Blossoms are not new to the world of men, it's true; but now and again, they ought to be reminded (again, again, and again...)
Down on the grasses, I gaze at the summer sun - And it gazes back! "It is not injust to take that which none complains"; so I tell myself behind the abandoned house where ripens the green apple The party over beer bottles and fireflies duet in twilight Our revels over, gleaming bottles remain; and beneath full moons, the summer fireflies dance - flaring, sparkling, redoubled Cooling and ceaseless, some rejoice in summer rains - earth worms' worlds' ending This full August moon Is the only they will know So go on, cry on, You cicadas in the trees! I will wait for the next moon.
After passing through a tiny Midwestern town, out where the Signal too fades:
Rustling wind tosses Tow-headed corn this way, that; Then still the tresses.
“Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge”:
Ivory arcing Over river scales shining - The Caroboros! Sudden squeal and stop - Was the sky always so blue? Laying back, thinking. Fearful fireflies Twinkle in the distant dark, But driving at night At sixty miles per hour I meet none along the way Bright lights ahead swerve; seeing nothing, I too turn. Thus it is for men, through the ages - the leader blind, the follower blinded.
On a sudden shower in the gloaming:
Looking up from work, we see dark clouds of the rain, a summer storm starts. We stop, free, guilt-less, sin-less; cares drop like the rain. All is silent, all is cool - we can't work in wet. No blame descends but the rain and shining sunlight and green leaves in the bright-dark. Dust, go with the rain: let no one think or worry but have calm clear minds sitting, waiting on the rain, content, for once, in a life of clouded choices hidden by the rain. Somewhere someone is slaying, dying, or crying - none are bitter in the rain - a worm eats an eye, a blood vessel bursts a brain - here under the rain, but here it is green, and kind, and time does not pass until work returns to mind and we leave the rain for the dust of desires. Only drops remain, And the world, us defiled, Us, the world defiling; each of us working to bring that last rainstorm without end.
Autumn leaves floating on the white-crested waters slowly, the trees send year-end letters home to their mother, the sea Water raising moon into the sky as of old... And they felt this too? - all symbols are reflections, they wept for it and for them. With the autumn sun my birthday comes, and it goes; and the leftover presents' discarded wrappings remind me of my own fate. Death poems are all just falling blossoms and nonsense: dying is dying
What zeal! the wild nights spent burning candles, running up mountains, churning through paper
With such zeal and joy did I burn those wild nights in the candle light, bounding up paper piles and scaling mountains of thought
Now decade the third, and what do I have to show? A pile of words whose value I do not know - and the cold autumn winds blow "Where has the time gone?" I wonder in my study, rain on the windows; and the years drip down on me as yellowed papers
Keener sorrow than the cherry blossoms of spring is today's snowfall - weeping to the ground, leaving not even a flake behind. With the melting frost, this winter my dog departs. Only snow returns again and again; and we too must vanish like the dew. Our lives are rivers that endlessly flow into quiet seas of death
Less bitter by far is tea steeped overnight than sudden betrayal, and a life filled only with the dregs of disappointment. Cold as the ashes of the fire now gone out is a man's shadow staring at nothing at all with nothing left he can do. Sharper than snake fangs and shards of stone on the floor is a son leaving a suddenly silent room - never to be seen again.