Thursday, September 20, 2012

Crumbling Edifice

The sea casts a look from its head to its shoulder
To the silent, dark face of the trembling boulder
Which hangs on a precipice, deep in the wind
Shivering, waiting to rollick and rend.
The sea presses onward---no need to recover
From a single black rock on the edge of a boulder;
Save that it holds, in the storm and its sorrow
A lighthouse which certainly tumbles tomorrow.
Oh, how many souls have been guided and gilded
By rays that the bulb from that lighthouse had weilded?
Shall futures of sailors be struck from their living
Since simply one cold, blackened boulder is giving?
The sea must be heartless, the skies must be granite
The Devil below must take pains just to plan it,
And what of the mothers, and sisters, and wives
Who knit on the coast while the lightning still drives?
Oh, God in your mercy, and justice, and grace
Be kind to the ships as they pass through this place
And grant a dear angel---the strongest you own--
To hold up the rock where your winds have been blown.
As the lighthouse stands straighter, and rains soon pass over
And the sheep on the moors run no longer for cover
The blessings of men both on land and on sea
Will come to your ears, as they'll echo in me;
For I am the one who when midnight came calling
Wept for the beacon of hope that was falling
And cried out, "Oh Guardian, grant us one for my lover!"
For my pleas were all selfish, as you would discover.
But what use is the dawn of a day like this coming
With the freshness of rain and the meadowlarks humming,
Unless in the hope borne from dire despair
It is shared by a man with salt spray in his hair.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Thin White Wind

There is a thin wind blowing over the sea;
Its heartache reminds one of something that's free.
You cannot catch it, you cannot find
The unsearchable portions within its mind.
It is neither the sky, bound by traveling stars
Nor the dust breaking over a hot East bazaar.
It is unknown---what makes it the sea
Is the thin white wind blowing wild and free.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Searching for Love

How little I have noticed the true notes of Love.
It is not merely romance's motion of a pretty passageway through the rain,
Wreathed in roses or made white with sun.
It is the rushing blue light moving through a winter grain,
The tearful look, after death has run
And left her sad and dismal lips against a withered cheek.
It is the hand upon a crying child
When all desertion seems to fill the starving ribs,
The coinage added to the measly pile
Where some old man in rag-clothes lives.
It is the coat offered to a shivering stranger,
And the lips kissed in a darkening night,
As if every cold disaster's danger
Has turned into a crucifix of delight.
Sweet Savior forbid me if I kneel at eve to pray
With a woe in my heart that the world has bent to hell;
If ever I was to search for heaven's way,
I would find it in the love of humans still.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Free Thing

How can you bind me? I am free
As the wind washes over a new-blown sea,
As the light of a cloud on a single eye,
Or reflections that rove in a pool's dye.
I am the summer, I am the spring,
A wild, unsearchable, wandering thing,
Sweet as a petal born in dusk,
Soft as the warmth of a rose's musk.
How can you bind me? Cuffed or chained
I am the length of a pouring rain,
The autumn of doubt or the lands of pain
Can never grow weeds on my budding plain.