Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE FOREIGNERS: 2, by CARLOS BULOSAN

Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE FOREIGNERS: 2, by                    
First Line: Builder of skyscrapers
Last Line: This is the hour for perfect waking.
Subject(s): Immigrants; Emigrant; Emigration; Immigration

Builder of skyscrapers,
Maker of words, Man,
You have found the farthest star --
Stars are numberless, you say --
You say: These are chained to the Sun.
This is your home, the world;
This is your body, the earth;
Nothing is foreign to you here;
Here is your beginning and end.
Why stare at the skies with wandering eyes?
Why not touch your hands, while the blood is coursing,
And say:
Nothing is more beautiful than the earth,
Nothing is more beautiful than myself upon the earth.


Above empty landscapes the impalpable flight
Of hawks is scattering the bones of the undreaming
Over the impermanent shapes of the night,
Beyond the wordless note of their screaming.
I breathe your name, pitilessly
Surrendering my faith and strength to the winds;
And to your unwhispering voice I call, tearing
Asunder the cords of the years and their mysteries.
But I cannot rouse you from your sleep,
No matter how I clutch the unchanging air ...
I stand above empty landscapes calling your name,
Wherever you are, in November rain or the dateless deep.


Inviolate hours now shake the autumn fields,
The feathering wrens flock to the linden trees
Recalling the music of flowers and shadows creeping by;
Awake, awake.
O forgotten and desolate, this is the moment for waking.
Hear the rhythm of beating wings above your sleep,
And in your midnight dream stealing in; listen to the underdrone
Of the seabeach drumming in your blood; and remember song,
Like seeds breaking through the earth at dawn, whoring
The air; O remember all these, and thousands more like these,
And now awake.

Winter ends. Poppies cropped the river bends,
No matter how the water regurgitates, no matter
How the flowering winds scream over the undreaming --
Awake, awake.
This is the hour for perfect waking.

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