Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SUMMER'S JOE, by PATRICK JOHN MCALISTER ANDERSON



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SUMMER'S JOE, by            
First Line: He unlocked an apple first, then lifted the latch
Last Line: With no again, a feast of no.
Subject(s): Love; Love - Nature Of; Man-woman Relationships; Male-female Relations


He unlocked an apple first, then lifted the latch
of the ancestral tree,
whistled amongst the tall corn gaily
like a scythe of birds:
on the shore the lion waves lay down on their paws
and above the trodden sand
a storm of gulls made sadness as white
as April does;
he climbed the stalled peak above the hush
of the slimmed sea,
the lark went up on his stalk and the gorse
had a fry of bees—
O sign me into your water, he cried,
to the cool annul,
write me into your smooth bible
he called to the lake,
unwind me on your reel, he said
to the road of go,
slow me into a grey rock!
but the answer was No, Joe.
He called to the hunting morning then
to shoot his blood,
he asked the seamstress of the woods
to stitch his manhood,
he stripped to show his flesh, his flesh
was white as snow—
give me ecstasy of total love!
but the answer was No, Joe.

Then dropped by wind at the starting-point
he was damned by stone,
he was left with the grocer's salt of love
in the place of boards;
swallows passed him and sparrows shot
above his head,
light left in a sail for the farthest south,
eyes fell from a kite;
while the natural lechers in their pool
pulled down the shades,
fireflies with their pouting milk
perplexed the roads—
when night's a journey land's in doubt,
flesh is a traveller,
ho for the lantern of yourself,
ho for the clock!
In the always-easy bed he found
the lazy chart,
in the uncharted land he saw
the heart's riot,
wrestling weak angels then he climbed
gristle and bone
until on top of himself he saw
that he was still alone:
O God from my Italian pride
deliver me now,
and from my terrible steepness!
but the answer was No Joe
the answer was No.

Then sudden in the scope of sea
with the delight of found
he saw his treasure island,
he saw his milkwhite fathom.
To every spar and nerve he set
his orchard sails
and in the fleet of love his eyes
were sea-blue admirals,
while at his telescope of brass
she lulled her palms,
lay level to his pride, lay still
to his rocked rigging. ...
O secret in that heart of a place
a bird looks out,
pivots the forest on its nest, its eye
the germ of light—
no join was seen between flesh and flesh,
between hair and grass,
loving themselves the world they loved
with a mirror's process;
leaving their fear in another place,
their clock in a pool,
it seemed that the earth had made of them
its capital
for the deputies of leaves and waves
the motes of wit,
a parliament of the water-jet
and a sun-up senate.
He turned towards his love and said,
Love, tell me now
is not our love perpetual?
but she said No Joe.
Is not our ecstasy for life
with a hey-nonny-no?
and she replied from a long way off
and her answer was No.
I call you by our bed of love
couple, roll and hairy-ho!
she answered: While we loved these died,
with no again, a feast of No.





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