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Author: BAKER, DAVID
Matches Found: 302


Baker, David    Poet's Biography
302 poems available by this author


1962       
First Line: 1962 or 1963 - but unmistakable among the tepid and long


8-BALL AT THE TWILITE    Poem Text    
First Line: The team of budweiser horses
Subject(s): Bars & Bartenders; Popular Culture - United States; Pubs; Taverns; Saloons


8-BALL AT THE TWILITE       
First Line: The team of budweiser horses
Last Line: Running hard for the far green corners
Subject(s): Bars And Bartenders; Popular Culture - United States


ABANDONED BARN    Poem Text    
First Line: Someone's left the heavy door ajar
Subject(s): Barns


ABANDONED BARN: 1       
First Line: Someone's left the heavy door ajar
Last Line: The floor's aged boards


ABANDONED BARN: 2       
First Line: Maybe someone's come to chase the fox
Last Line: As it happens, the barn


ABANDONED BARN: 3       
First Line: Has grown weary of its kind, so much
Last Line: His dark, slow tune?


ABANDONED DEPOT, CANADA GEESE       
First Line: 2:02. We had seldom been so alone
Last Line: The sound through our loss--counting as memory moves %those who pause, from two backwards toward one


ACCIDENT       
First Line: He had come to tell us everything, come
Last Line: All any of us could do was stand there, %while the locusts rocked the trees in response


AFFAIR       
First Line: Then the long fencerow, that years ago had
Last Line: It was not even cold. It was only cool


AFTER RAIN       
First Line: You have to turn your back to the animals
Last Line: Break into flight, hoofprints filling with rain


AFTER THE REUNION       
First Line: To finish by picking up pieces of cake and small clutter
Last Line: Pressed her kiss into--delicate red, already %powdered, doomed as a rose


AFTERWARDS    Poem Text    
First Line: A short ride in the van, then the eight of us
Subject(s): Funerals; Burials


AFTERWARDS       
First Line: A short ride in the van, then the eight of us
Last Line: And whether from heat or sadness, waving


ALONG THE STORM FRONT       
First Line: I didn't tell you. In the night's deep heart
Last Line: Only the usual calm-- %then the plane going down in the storm


AMONG MEN       
First Line: Some chore had taken me down the gravel and dust
Last Line: It was as I always knew it would be in the end - %a narrow road, a boy behind each tree


ANNIVERSARY OF SILENCE       
First Line: Every night for weeks, from the lilac's deep heart


ANTIOCH CHURCH AND CEMETRY, 1840-1972 - 1.       
First Line: I have to tell you this. I saw a jay fly straight
Last Line: Of the church before those men tore it down for scrap. %it was lovely, grown wild. It was where you


ANTIOCH CHURCH AND CEMETRY, 1840-1972 - 2.       
First Line: Though I pulled right up to one wall, though I could just
Last Line: Difference between this place and a barn. 'over there %was the altar, yes. There, in that corner, ou


ANTIOCH CHURCH AND CEMETRY, 1840-1972 - 3.       
First Line: Then we were outside, the cemetary. Old stones
Last Line: High and full against the sky, trees older than us %both. But we didn't speak of that then, or need


ANTONYMS: MORNING AND AFTERNOON NEAR THE OSAGE RIVER: 1. ...       
First Line: The wind blows. Men are running softly through the grass
Last Line: Day is warming. And the sun has passed through %willows to the waiting sky, like a seed, a true song


ANTONYMS: MORNING AND AFTERNOON NEAR THE OSAGE RIVER: 2. ...       
First Line: In 1934 the bridge was built. That's what the sign says
Last Line: But, even this far, I can see a line of dust %rising above the road and brush, pointing the way


BAD BLOOD       
First Line: All evening our cigarettes have lent a single cloud
Last Line: Like the neighborhood tough, who tenses each time %the red lights flare at the door, yet always pass


BELL       
First Line: Each day was a day like every other one
Last Line: In that region, was still delivered by hand


BENTON'S CLOUDS       
First Line: The background is clouds and clouds above those
Last Line: But is already part of the story


BLUE JESUS: SANCTUARY OF STARS, SALT LAKE CITY       
First Line: So we went uo in the near-hush of whispers
Last Line: Time, neither rising into it, %nor falling from anyplace above


BREAKDOWN       
First Line: Ansted, west virginia, may be almost heaven


BREATHING IN    Poem Text    
First Line: A man under water
Subject(s): Drowning


BREATHING IN       
First Line: A man under water %will breathe water
Last Line: Memory, breathing in


CALL ACROSS THE YEARS       
First Line: Those summers, sundowns came late but never late enough
Last Line: And find us all here singing in the spreading sun


CALLED BACK       
First Line: How it is so
Last Line: Into beautiful bolts of cloth


CAR WASH AT THE MALL    Poem Text    
First Line: Even mud makes a halo of a steaning, still body
Last Line: With a thirst so profound it brings joy
Subject(s): Automobiles Service Stations


CARDINALS IN SPRING: 1       
First Line: Tens of thousands on the wing, perennial in april
Last Line: Our rightful seats, st. Louis, busch stadium, 1968, the same%as '67, as '66, and the season's first


CARDINALS IN SPRING: 2       
First Line: I don't deny this whole thing
Last Line: We're all here, never more perfect than now


CARDINALS IN SPRING: 3       
First Line: Brock of the basepath, never more perfect than now
Last Line: It arched through an upstairs window...Never more perfect than %now


CARDINALS IN SPRING: 4.       
First Line: What is it? I wonder, and buster brings his arm up to me
Last Line: And I am jumping; and now I think it must be %the icy chiseled heart of winter melting in his outhel


CARDINALS IN SPRING: 5       
First Line: It is the incredible; and now I think
Last Line: In particular, always already, is happening with sensational urgency %...And now he's giving it to m


CARDINALS IN SPRING: 6       
First Line: But how can I know that? How can I say all that?
Last Line: Whoever they are, my own affections having blurred, %for a moment, all the individual images


CARDINALS IN SPRING: 7       
First Line: When we stand, as we must, when the silence
Last Line: Over athletes and umps, the fireworks blossom %into smoke-puffs and thunder like the storms of creat


CARDINALS IN SPRING: 8       
First Line: The moment before its beak breaks through the tender shell
Last Line: Between breath and breath, suspended in the nether-sphere %of original joy, aren't we, in each other


CARDINALS IN SPRING: 9       
First Line: O thousands of us, tens of thousands with our souvenirs
Last Line: For this moment, this beginning, where we see it still, %allof us, o! Never more perfect than now


CARDIOGNOSIS: 1. BY HEART       
First Line: In galen's anatomical study, %the heart is not perfectly spherical
Last Line: It was more than one heart could stand, %all of us there


CARDIOGNOSIS: 2. CARDIOGNOSIS       
First Line: No less than aristotle rendered first
Last Line: On yours inside mine %joined halves of a larger love


CARDIOGNOSIS: 3. CIRCULATION MAN       
First Line: When he fell at the rehab gym, they said
Last Line: Speak, do we speak, %and what %for?


CARDIOGNOSIS: 4. THE BOOK OF THE HEART       
First Line: It's hard to overstate the relevance
Last Line: And knowing this-my love-makes me sing more


CARRIAGE HOUSE       
First Line: At eighteen hands he's big as a bridge
Last Line: He's earned this life. It's lighter than a plow


CATFISH       
First Line: Its head whacked against a flat rock


CAVES       
First Line: Deep in these ozark hills, dark-limbed
Last Line: Blunt as hammers stumbling, %falling, no less, yet surely nomore, than I


CHARMING    Poem Text    
First Line: The remnant industry of a dying town's itself
Subject(s): City & Town Life


COLD WATER       
First Line: Look at yourself his soliloquy
Last Line: He takes a drink and everyone swallows


COME CLEAN       
First Line: Yellow as paint
Last Line: Now we are trying %not to try not to try
Subject(s): Cleanliness


CONCURRENT MEMORIES: THE AFTERNOON THE LAST BARGE LEFT - 1.       
First Line: Somewhere on a broken dock step, dock no longer there
Last Line: See through it, its few veins and dark organs. %it wants back in the water. It wants back where it b


CONCURRENT MEMORIES: THE AFTERNOON THE LAST BARGE LEFT - 2.       
First Line: The last time I came here was my father to fish
Last Line: Barge leaving and never come back. I want to watch him %standing inthe slow rain. I want to remember


CONCURRENT MEMORIES: THE AFTERNOON THE LAST BARGE LEFT - 3.       
First Line: The old barge aches at its moorings. I ache to see it
Last Line: Where I lean. My face darkening. Something here %touches the brown water, raindrop or minnow, and is


CONTRACT       
First Line: It's the singular grace of gravity holding things up
Last Line: Tighten deep into the dim, thrilling regions of art. %it's the singular gift of the present binding


COUPLE       
First Line: Day after day their deep love softly decays
Last Line: Weeping. Song. They are so much alike, after all


CREEK IN TOWN       
First Line: Cottonwoods, willows, and scatters of wild
Last Line: But so elegant we smile to see them at all


DARK EARTH, 1963       
First Line: We go down into that sour dark, the cellar


DEATH OF GOD       
First Line: The brackish smoke %of pond surface
Last Line: Edge - and who %will not witness, %even now, the new %thought sinking in?


DEBUT DE SIECLE       
First Line: No one on, no one off, no one around
Last Line: By your head, two dots of semen on the glass


DEER       
First Line: How long did we watch? How long did those
Last Line: Until our will to love was also our power to kill
Subject(s): Nature


DEJECTION    Poem Text    
First Line: The sun is warm, the sky is clear
Subject(s): Shelley, Percy Bysshe (1792-1822)


DEJECTION       
First Line: The sun is warm, the sky is clear
Last Line: That pave the unequal bottom of the water


DEMOLITION NIGHT AT THE SPEEDWAY       
First Line: Reamed as our county may be
Last Line: We know these self-same wrecks and shrieks %can't keep this up for long


DETERMINISM: 1.       
First Line: I came there to be happy, for a while, and dumb
Last Line: And liking it


DETERMINISM: 2.       
First Line: Such a season is summer, when every leaf
Last Line: And everything else blooms, hangs, wavers, or bobs %in the wind, and lives


DETERMINISM: 3.       
First Line: Shagged bark peeling, a pile of rotted-off limbs
Last Line: Rooting down, and also %shining in the sunlight we were happy to share


DETERMINISM: 4.       
First Line: Some things you can't help keeping
Last Line: And began to write %something else


DETERMINISM: 5.       
First Line: Then this. %you've got to love that brittle, old elm
Last Line: Not me


DIXIE       
First Line: I had no idea
Last Line: And wish the same old wish, that we were %anywhere but here
Subject(s): Loss; Moving And Movers; Refugees; Southern States; U.s. - Immigration And Emigration


DOGWOOD MIST       
First Line: Sometimes I just want to sing long and alone
Last Line: Enough %to be here singing with the frogs, waiting for you to %sing back


DOOR       
First Line: All I could do was lie down
Last Line: She said she was leaving once and for all %and she did. That's when I ran to the door


DUST TO DUST    Poem Text    
First Line: Footfalls on the brickwork road many fathers laid
Subject(s): Labor & Laborers; Work; Workers


DUST TO DUST       
First Line: Footfalls on the brickwork road many fathers
Last Line: Flowers line every sidewalk down the breathing road


ECHO FOR AN ANNIVERSARY       
First Line: When you touched me
Last Line: Like a star through the empty %cosmos--one bell %sounding across momentous dread, again


ENVOI: WAKING AFTER SNOW       
First Line: When did we drift into each other's arms?
Last Line: As soon as he's settled, the redbird puffs up %his whole heart to the cold. Don't move


EPHEMERAE       
First Line: Down from the blue sage and the butte-sand
Last Line: A man, gagging now, the only animal %so sickened by death, its stench, its solitude


EVIDENCE       
First Line: In the first weeks, %they wanted
Last Line: Being what %green leaves repel


EXTINCTION OF THE DINOSAURS       
First Line: How much time? The old guys playing cribbage
Last Line: Around a pot of dried-out glads. It's like that. %nobody's going anywhere. Nothing's coming back


FACTS       
First Line: How far on one wing
Last Line: And the animal %blood spread. Who knows why


FADE-OUT : A LOVER'S DISCOURSE       
First Line: This photograph of fog %the small clearing gives up
Last Line: For me to hold. She is fog %given up to the trees


FAITH    Poem Text    
First Line: It was midday before we noticed it was morning
Subject(s): Faith; Belief; Creed


FIELD       
First Line: Where the colts paw the morning


FIRE WATCH: AFTER YOU HAVE GONE       
First Line: All afternoon we watched as smoke rose from beyond


FIREWORKS       
First Line: The newlyweds next door
Subject(s): Fireworks


FIRST AUCTION       
First Line: People come for miles to spend


FIRST PERSON       
First Line: What I wanted seemed little enough at the time
Last Line: While the old ones went pink to white to gray


FLOOD SERMON    Poem Text    
First Line: In the night, we got up, surely half the town
Last Line: That the world was leass good than it was bad
Subject(s): Floods; City & Town Life


FLOOD SERMON       
First Line: In the night, we got up, surely half the town
Last Line: The first sign most of the children ever had %that the world was less good than is was bad


FOR THE OTHERS       
First Line: It's almost nothing the way fireflies
Last Line: Take to their wings for the flight


FORCED BLOOM    Poem Text    
First Line: Such pleasure one needs to make for oneself
Last Line: You smellthe wild scent all day on your hand
Subject(s): Flowers; Love Erotic


FORCED BLOOM    Poem Text    
First Line: Such pleasure one needs to make for oneself.
Subject(s): Flowers


FORCED BLOOM       
First Line: Such pleasure one needs to make for yourself
Last Line: You smell the wild scent all day on your hand


FRONT PORCH       
First Line: Under these warped eaves, the planters floating
Last Line: I do not need to see them in the trees. %I know exactly where they are


FUTURE       
First Line: The casement stone gummed in bird-lime and moss
Last Line: The neighbors are singing. Their love is wrong. %when they make up, it will be the same song


GENERATION       
First Line: As if the wind warns shhh in the evening willows
Last Line: Just to see whose shape even now might strike, %blazing out of this fatherless, poetic dark


HACKING THE NEWLY-GROWN       
First Line: Shoots of hedge, that inch or two of lighter


HAUNTS       
First Line: In the bleached-bone white


HEAVENLY    Poem Text    
First Line: They are potted at night, pink, and packed with
Last Line: From michigan quarterly review
Subject(s): Flowers; Religion; Spirituality; Theology


HERMIT (1)       
First Line: Afternoon deepening now, a dark animal growing
Last Line: Here they lead, each one, into the woods beyond, %his own vast community of shadows


HERMIT (2)       
First Line: Now, I kneel to the ground, knowing that
Last Line: That I have begun to dig here with my own hands, %as if they too knew exactly what they sought


HIGH RIDERS       
First Line: One is asleep in the saddle and one is half-asleep
Last Line: West to the ocean or east, so far, so slow, to the sea


HISTORY AS PLACE - 1. THE APPROACH       
First Line: Even from a distance, past a blurred rise of redbuds
Last Line: Weeds, heady and blue with seed, snap under my step. %a loonlifts, like a memory, from the trees


HISTORY AS PLACE - 2. THE PASSAGE       
First Line: Up close, the house is smaller. Set back in hill
Last Line: From my ownface as the house sways in a breeze. %I remember a child, crawling among these timbers


HISTORY AS PLACE - 3. THE RELEASE       
First Line: Hours later, limb-shadow long on the rotting leaves
Last Line: By the shape of its dead. I too have been walking %all day, and have yet to turn back for home


HOLDING KATHERINE    Poem Text    
First Line: Let us look up tonight where the white trees surround us
Subject(s): Togetherness


HOLDING KATHERINE       
First Line: Let us look up tonight where the white trees surround us
Last Line: I will go quiet as this night when I go, as the light %of dead stars streams to your sky from a life


HOLIDAY BUNTING    Poem Text    
First Line: He has handled the new piece like a stone
Last Line: And all gone by morning, banner, noise, bird
Subject(s): Labor & Laborers; Wood; Work; Workers


HOLIDAY BUNTING       
First Line: He has handled the new piece like a stone
Last Line: And all gone by morning, banner, noise, bird
Subject(s): Labor And Laborers; Wood


HOME    Poem Text    
First Line: Again the time has come to take our morning walk
Last Line: In time we'll let it lead us home again
Subject(s): Home


HOME       
First Line: Again the time has come to take our morning walk
Last Line: In time we'll let it lead us home again


HOMELAND       
First Line: The fields and low hills, bales scattered like stumps
Last Line: When the wind rises, the tall grasses lean away %and the thecows' tails limp as rags


HOW OLD I HAVE BECOME       
First Line: Rain has been falling heavy for two days now


HUMBLE HOUSE    Poem Text    
First Line: Even the lawn is cramped with hydrangeas
Last Line: Worm and mole, creeper and clod, humus, loam
Subject(s): Houses


HUMBLE HOUSE       
First Line: Even the lawn is cramped with hydrangeas
Last Line: Worm and mole, creeper and clod, humus, loam
Subject(s): Houses


HUNTERS: THE PLANTING       
First Line: It was only a short walk to the walnut grove. Even


HUNTERS: THE RETURN       
First Line: I took her to the grove every day those weeks, in love


HYPER-    Poem Text    
First Line: Then a stillness descended the blue hills.
Subject(s): Sickness; Teenagers; Illness


HYPER-       
First Line: Then a stillness descended the blue hills
Last Line: She says. She doesn't look up. That one's you


ICE RIVER       
First Line: Only after a couple of months of hard
Last Line: Wind pulling in the heavy trees, the faint %light of snow, the blood stopped cold in my feet


INFERTILITY       
First Line: My love and I
Last Line: Are the stringent eyes %of the children %driven by our hunger back into earth


IVY ON THE FIELD LOCUST       
First Line: Some nights we lay on our bedsheets
Last Line: One for a leaf, like a healer's hand, and the rain


KEEPING THE WALK CLEAN       
First Line: The snow %shakes down from the ice sleeves
Last Line: It's too much to clean %anyway, so wait


KISS       
First Line: Now someone's coming through the high, hard brush
Last Line: Through high, hard brush to kiss me once to sleep


LABOR       
First Line: Have you heard the catbird working this morning?
Last Line: Everything in her toil says we must rise once again %to spend our own day among hungers and want


LAMB'S CANYON, FALL: WASATCH FOREST       
First Line: High up, sharp as a sawtooth, the upper snow
Last Line: Those heights, into the hard wind that seems %to soothe just when the skin has turned so cold


LATE PASTORAL       
First Line: At first only fog lifting off
Last Line: -wouldn't you say it's still so?- %to float


LATE-BLOOMING ROSES       
First Line: The sun cracks through %the bracken sky- %week of
Last Line: That everybody %watched, though no %one won


LATE: COUNTY ROAD BB       
First Line: Forty's fast. Fifty, even fifty-five, especially where the road


LATE: LONG CLIMB       
First Line: White wisp the wind raised, transparent as milk
Last Line: Its dark palms. Its thick applause, water and rock, %and know what's heard is touched. I'm close eno


LEGACY       
First Line: Three quarters of another year gone, another day's light
Last Line: Know what they really ought to do. Go ahead and fall %away from this entire earth %and just stay the


LIGHTNING AT NIGHT       
First Line: The white flash blows you back against me
Last Line: Echoes to %carry on, us split in two


LOW CLOUDS AT DAWN       
First Line: They are ground cover over the ground cover
Last Line: To touch the eyes closed, until you turn away


MACON CREEK, RESERVOIR - 1.       
First Line: Even for the smallest boat the creek was shallow
Last Line: Pointed deep into the night, there, our fire still lit, %theblue smoke rising through the lowest lim


MACON CREEK, RESERVOIR - 2.       
First Line: I don't know which is hotter, the sun on my back
Last Line: Line, in shallows, treetops sway in the gentle motion %of a lake that is as natural as our given liv


MAGPIES       
First Line: Lift, every few seconds, from the downward glide


MARRIAGE       
First Line: Cupped the floating sycamore bark - cupped or curled
Last Line: Night after night where we sleep, cupped in each other's breath. %sweet its song. Long the nights. F


MELANCHOLY MAN       
First Line: What makes robert burton's anatomy of melancholy
Last Line: He says, against the receiver, to see-are you still here?


MERCY    Poem Text    
First Line: Small flames afloat in a blue duskfall, beneath trees
Last Line: Death after death, around the far, awakening bend
Subject(s): Religion; Spirituality; Theology


MERCY       
First Line: Small flames afloat in a blue duskfall, beneath trees
Last Line: Death after death, around the far, awakening bend
Subject(s): Religion; Spirituality


MIDWEST: GEORGES       
First Line: The wind is the weather. The worst will blow
Last Line: The gods, who talk down to us on sheer air


MIDWEST: ODE; IN MEMORIAM WILLIAM MATTHEWS    Poem Text    
First Line: You could believe a life so plain it means
Last Line: Business end of a dollar in their hands
Subject(s): Ohio


MIDWEST: ODE; IN MEMORIAM WILLIAM MATTHEWS       
First Line: You could believe a life so plain it means
Last Line: Business end of a dollar in our hands
Subject(s): Ohio


MIMOSA       
First Line: Days and nights the dull metallic %hammer of welders' work
Last Line: The night is starting to burn and to bloom
Variant Title(s): The Mimosa
Subject(s): Summer; Trees; Water


MINING THE SECOND BAPTIST CHURCH, 1936: MY FATHER'S STORY       
First Line: Bellies down, our faces smeared with mud to match


MISSIONARY POSITION       
First Line: For as long as we can hold our breath
Last Line: In one step we see the whole world %from above--then we are gone


MISSOURI       
First Line: This is the living we make. This is our love and pain
Last Line: Saying this is the living we make. This is our love and pain


MONGREL HEART    Poem Text    
First Line: Up the dog bounds to the window, baying
Subject(s): Family Life; Dogs; Relatives


MORE RAIN       
First Line: This is all still something of a mystery
Last Line: You'll do just about anything %to kill it


MOSQUITOES       
First Line: At first the hum through sagging leaves
Subject(s): Nuclear War


MR. WHITMAN'S BOOK       
First Line: The trouble is drink, if like fate drink is
Last Line: But the hero will not touch his all night


MURDER    Poem Text    
First Line: Language must suffice
Subject(s): Love; Loss; Poetry & Poets


MURDER       
First Line: Language must suffice
Last Line: Which is to say %before we are %only language


MURDER: CROWS       
First Line: I can't help it. The brute dawn brings


MUSHROOMS    Poem Text    
First Line: Once again, the sun cool in the half-light of trees
Last Line: Even now as you step on one, a dozen more come into focus
Subject(s): Mushrooms; Morels


MUSHROOMS       
First Line: Once again, the sun cool in the half-light of trees
Last Line: Hidden near that hollowed cave of wood, and how, %even now as you step on one, a dozen more come int
Subject(s): Mushrooms


NARCIUSS       
First Line: Our last night
Last Line: Then only that: so like a waiting room clock %after the waiting has stopped


NEAR DEEP WATERS: 1. BACK WATER       
First Line: Two buckets, old shoes, and a seine. That's all we needed
Last Line: And water. Back at camp, we would wonder at them %raking those buckets' bottoms the rest of the afte


NEAR DEEP WATERS: 2. THE CAR       
First Line: Rounding a bend in the river, what little sky we could see
Last Line: The hook, then slipped it back alive into the shallow %river, under moonlight, that had no bottom, a


NEIGHBORS IN OCTOBER    Poem Text    
First Line: All afternoon his tractor pulls a wagon
Last Line: Bagging gold for the cold days to come
Subject(s): Farm Life; Agriculture; Farmers


NEIGHBORS IN OCTOBER       
First Line: All afternoon his tractor pulls a wagon
Last Line: Bagging gold for the cold days to come
Subject(s): Farm Life


NEMESIS       
First Line: Below the bedpost in a dusty sphere of light
Last Line: Each small wound would not pull them closer %to the center of privation and guilt


NOVEMBER: THE END OF MYTH       
First Line: We parked beneath that poor, bending tree


ODYSSEY: AN EPIC FOR MINIMALISTS       
First Line: 1. The telemacheia %telemachus, too long a boy
Last Line: He rescued his city... %and penelope never looked cuter


OHIO FIELDS AFTER RAIN       
First Line: The slow humped backs of ice ceased
Last Line: The gray beasts growing tame on the shore


OLD MAN THROWING A BALL    Poem Text    
First Line: He is tight at first, stiff, stands there atilt
Subject(s): Old Age; Dogs; Games; Recreation; Pastimes; Amusements


PASSING WINDOWS       
First Line: It is the end of june, end
Last Line: I simply hold it there, smooth and cold %and pulseless as a tear


PATRIOTICS    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: Yesterday a little girl got slapped to death by her daddy
Subject(s): United States; Patriotism; Death; America; Dead, The


PATRIOTICS       
First Line: Yesterday a little girl got slapped to death by her daddy
Last Line: And here you are, and here we stand again, agape


PEABODY #7 STRIP MINE       
First Line: And that's what they did, strip. Even now
Last Line: In that first, good dream %that strated all of this


PETIT MAL       
First Line: Pallid mist, a haze of pink-and-green
Last Line: Not the spirea's handful %of pinkish spray and dew cupped in a needed balm. %now, holding so little,


PHASES OF THE MOON       
First Line: I have walked into our midnight yard where the spruce
Last Line: Orange and scarred through one maple's frame. I want to say %come home carefully, come home sure. No


PIANO MUSIC       
First Line: From two storeys up in the visible traces of rain
Last Line: Its way back around to our ears. Someone was gone. %that must have been why we kept playing it


PLAIN STYLE       
First Line: Many of us carried what we could - not much
Last Line: Eyes raised to the sky, as in a desperate prayer, %or the most serious, irreversible curse


POISON       
First Line: The summer sally millsap fell from the graceful


POLITICS OF LOVE POEMS       
First Line: This morning %after you got up
Last Line: To sell us what we need %to stay alive
Variant Title(s): The Politics Of Lyri


POND       
First Line: Rust cattails, a few blanched twigs sticking through
Last Line: It's deep there-no cracks. The face of a clock. %no hands


PORTRAIT OF THE WEST       
First Line: In one room, a bowl of fruit
Last Line: Each clean seed, soon %a fist of seeds


POST MERIDIAN       
First Line: Half a life's wanting, the other regret
Last Line: Propped by a birdbath brimming with boots, %husband missing 5/22/02


POSTCARDS FROM THE ISLANDS       
First Line: From a distance the dozen off-islands
Last Line: But we just can't tear them, our eyes, away


POSTMODERNISM    Poem Text    
First Line: The scene you loathe, the sheer fervor, the speed
Last Line: And now even your pity is worthless
Subject(s): Loss; Moving & Movers; Refugees; United States - Immigration & Emigtration


POSTMODERNISM       
First Line: The scene you loathe, the sheer fervor, the speed
Last Line: And now even your pity is worthless
Subject(s): Loss; Moving And Movers; Refugees; U.s. - Immigration And Emigration


PREDATORY       
First Line: You know this as well
Last Line: And eat, and survive


PREPARATORY MEDITATION       
First Line: No preparation, no participation
Last Line: There is so little time to get ready


PRIMER OF WORDS       
First Line: Hard to picture him here in the lake grass
Last Line: Or how they may seed. Yes. How continue


PULL       
First Line: They held each other a many-hundredth time
Last Line: At the edge, pulled deeper into the abyss


PULP FICTION    Poem Text    
First Line: You want more? You want some more of this shit?
Last Line: The knife, you understand, is real. The knife is mine
Subject(s): Flowers; Nature


PULP FICTION       
First Line: You want more? You want some more of this shit?
Last Line: The knife, you understand, is real. The knife is mine
Subject(s): Flowers; Nature


PURITAN WAY OF DEATH       
First Line: How hard this life is hallowed by the body
Last Line: Which is redundant, awful, endless, and ours
Subject(s): Religion; Spirituality


RAIN BARREL       
First Line: What you imagine--moss, oak scent, green mirror
Last Line: Is not what you thought yourself capable of, ever


RAINBOW       
First Line: If things were worse, this cursed rain
Last Line: It's over. It's what he means by


RED SHIFT    Poem Text    
First Line: Only here through the clear lens of language, and under


RED SHIFT       
First Line: Only here, through the clear lens of language


REMOVALS       
First Line: My own soft prints meet themsleves in pairs
Last Line: Bittern, holding itself straight as a stake %in the swaying weeds


RETURN TO THE POND       
First Line: Through ragweed and goldenrod, thistle raking at my ankles
Last Line: Yet I know something is down there, something alive, %thoughholding very still


ROMANTICISM    Poem Text    
First Line: It is to emerson I have turned now
Subject(s): Emerson, Ralph Waldo (1803-1882); Death - Wives; Loss; Corpses; Cadavers


ROMANTICISM       
First Line: It is to emerson I have turned now
Last Line: #name?


RUNNING THE RIVER LINES       
First Line: Tonight, on a bank line strung


SAINTS' POPPIES    Poem Text    
First Line: Somewhere there are weeds beside the long road
Subject(s): Poppies


SALVATION       
First Line: Someone has tapped your clenched hadn and so
Last Line: It isn't hard to be clean. It isn't the past %that has changed. It's that light, shutting off


SECOND PERSON       
First Line: The beautiful athletes on the white beach
Last Line: Night. And for you who have carried me back


SENTENCES FOR A NEW YEAR       
First Line: You don't know where you are
Last Line: Down the 1)danderoug, 2)imaginary road %where you've got %togo, too


SEPARATION       
First Line: Twice you have driven nearly off the road
Last Line: Are clearer the greater grows the darkness


SEX       
First Line: Such joy %- abundant, indiscriminate! - %these sweet june evenings
Last Line: It's got this sadness - green and down-leaning - %that only the human could love


SIMONIDES' STONE       
First Line: I'm trippin' I'm trippin' could be his song if
Last Line: Red around his form. They do not write on him. %man's dirge is praise


SKATING POND    Poem Text    
First Line: First, a fire. Father would bring the wood and stack it
Last Line: And seen the story of a joy no cbild, n o man, could ever repeat
Subject(s): Farm Life; Skating & Skaters


SKATING POND       
First Line: First, a fire. Father would bring the wood and stack it
Last Line: Have looked across the pond, those patterns like words, %andseen the story of a joy no child, no man


SMALL CONFESSION BY THE RIVER: A LOVE POEM       
First Line: Beyond the fall of bluff and down through the familliar
Last Line: It was everything, the only way to be alone, %the way out oftown. The way, somehow, to love


SMOKE       
First Line: The young and the moneyed have blown
Last Line: To be smoke floating up to the stars
Subject(s): Farm Life; Smoke


SNOW FIGURE       
First Line: A humble night. Hush after hush. Are you listening?
Last Line: Why do we wish so hard to listen to what isn't here? %here, the snow says, as if in response. My lov


SONNET FOR A SEPARATION       
First Line: Where have
Last Line: When, %dear soul, %did we, %live so %purely, %no shame %no blame?


SONNETS FROM ONE STATE WEST: 1. INSIDE COVERED BRIDGE       
First Line: Nothing about this is right. I have torn
Last Line: To battle the green wall of brush from which %this path has come-- %or there, into which it goes
Variant Title(s): Looking In Both Directions From Inside The Covered Bridg


SONNETS FROM ONE STATE WEST: 2. SUNBATHING    Poem Text    
First Line: My neighbor's new store-bought dog yaps again
Last Line: Quickly enough on their own sweet time
Subject(s): Animals; Dogs


SONNETS FROM ONE STATE WEST: 2. SUNBATHING       
First Line: My neighbor's new store-bought dog yaps again
Last Line: All burning down to ash and grime %quickly enough on their own sweet time
Subject(s): Animals; Dogs


SONNETS FROM ONE STATE WEST: 3. DRIVING PAST NUCLEAR PLANT       
First Line: How often have you heard it: tornado
Last Line: Only the reactor's tower funneled %in the dark. I left. I drove so fast %I swear I rose, swirling in


SPACE/TIME       
First Line: I hate the life of quiet regard. Two miles
Last Line: The night freight measures nothing %but my cry


SPIRIT FLOWER       
First Line: Lean down and listen. %lean in horror, lost breath
Last Line: And sirens begin %to cry
Variant Title(s): Peonie


STARLIGHT    Poem Text    
First Line: Tonight I skate on adult ankles across the blue pond
Subject(s): Skating & Skaters


STARLIGHT       
First Line: Tonight I skate on adult ankles across the blue pond
Last Line: On she glides when I have stopped. On she sails when I have %laid me down and under starlight closed


STILL LIFE WITH JACKET: 1.       
First Line: To find perspective in winter woods
Last Line: Next to the idle railroad tracks we have %followed since the dawn broke. Nothing moves


STILL LIFE WITH JACKET: 2.       
First Line: In nineteen thirty-four, the poor were
Last Line: Silver trees as if gathered by fires- %tents, smoking pots, travelers' rubble


STILL LIFE WITH JACKET: 3.       
First Line: A little stocking cap of caked blood
Last Line: Alive in the failing world? The man %kept this to himself until he died


STILL LIFE WITH JACKET: 4.       
First Line: No one forgives the living or the
Last Line: The dead are everywhere, waiting - white- %robed, huddled in the trees, trackless, cold


STILL-HILDRETH SANATORIUM, 1936    Poem Text    
First Line: When she wasn't on rounds she was counting
Last Line: Lift like a good child my face to be kissed
Subject(s): Psychiatric Hospitals; Mad Houses; Insane Asylums


STILL-HILDRETH SANATORIUM, 1936       
First Line: When she wasn't on rounds she was counting
Last Line: Lift like a good child my face to be kissed
Subject(s): Psychiatric Hospitals


STORIES IN THE LAND       
First Line: Behind the highway at a slight bend in the road
Last Line: Look here you said this is why this is why %and your words lay down among the rocks


STORY       
First Line: It wasn't disquiet with the new house or neighbors
Last Line: Floodlights to trip at the slightest of movements, %when what she needed was her story not ever to c
Variant Title(s): The Troubl


STROKE    Poem Text    
First Line: In the lilac light, in the lengthening pulse of a sorrow
Last Line: Singing through the stream on its way to the brain
Subject(s): Stroke


STROKE       
First Line: In the lilac light, in the lengthening pulse of a sorrow
Last Line: There is a bubble in the blood, tiny and clear, %singing through the stream on its way to the brain
Subject(s): Stroke


SUMMER NIGHT, RIVERSIDE DRIVE       
First Line: How small the lovers are. In olmsted park
Last Line: How little light we need to see the dark


SUMMER SLEEP       
First Line: Under the long gasp of stars, when late summer heat


SUNBATHING    Poem Text    
First Line: My neighbor's new store-bought dog yaps again
Subject(s): Dogs; Grief; Sorrow; Sadness


SURVEY: LAST READING       
First Line: My father's teaching me
Last Line: Beat their wings against my chest %to get away, to fly above this world %too imprecise for anything


SWEET HOME, SATURDAY NIGHT: 1. INTRO       
First Line: Turn it and this fast
Last Line: It's saturday night at the com-on-inn


SWEET HOME, SATURDAY NIGHT: 2. FIRST VERSE       
First Line: Welcome, grins the stud
Last Line: And also melodically. %baseball bat. Now move! He said. And they moved.)


SWEET HOME, SATURDAY NIGHT: 3. SECOND VERSE       
First Line: No matter where you're sitting
Last Line: Do you hear it? Are you ready %to let yourself go %a little farther? Oooo oooo oooo


SWEET HOME, SATURDAY NIGHT: 4. CHORUS AND SOLO       
First Line: Baby, says a wind-swept blonde, atwirl near an amp
Last Line: Only sweet home men at sweet home. %hoping you understand, shifting from foot to foot.)


SWEET HOME, SATURDAY NIGHT: 5. THIRD VERSE       
First Line: In birmingham they love
Last Line: In a slapstick newsreel, ghosts %against a wall, %notes on a burning page


SWEET HOME, SATURDAY NIGHT: 6. CHORUS AND SOLO       
First Line: Are you with me? Sweet home, al-uh-bam-uh!
Last Line: Moment forget his march toward death. %bellybutton, I hate this goddamn song. Four:)


SWEET HOME, SATURDAY NIGHT: 7. FOURTH VERSE       
First Line: Oooo oooo oooo %they love this song
Last Line: They pick me up when I'm feeling %blue! Now how 'bout you?


SWEET HOME, SATURDAY NIGHT: 8. CHORUS (REPEAT, WITH GUITAR)       
First Line: We slam into the final chorus like a wreck
Last Line: We love you! Screaming baby screaming sweet! Turn it


SWEET HOME, SATURDAY NIGHT: 9. CODA       
First Line: So we do


TAXI AFTER AN EVENING SHOWER    Poem Text    
First Line: This man saying no no
Subject(s): Grief; Sorrow; Sadness


TAXI AFTER AN EVENING SHOWER       
First Line: This man saying no no. This man moaning jesus christ
Last Line: Block after block, beneath stone walls and windows %and glitter. There is only one sadness, one spee


THANKSGIVING IN TIME OF AIDS       
First Line: Who'd have hoped the wicker basket, filled to
Last Line: Remember us, who live on earth alone


THAT MOON       
First Line: They are halfway %between here %and dying, %our canada geese
Last Line: Your father's %eyelash. And %soon the night entire


THE AFFAIR    Poem Text    
First Line: Then the long fencerow, that years ago had
Subject(s): Love Affairs; Parting; Loss


THE BLUE    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: Heron is gray, not blue, but great enough
Subject(s): Herons


THE CITY OF GOD    Poem Text    
First Line: Now we knelt beside
Subject(s): Deer


THE COUPLE    Poem Text    
First Line: Day after day their deep love sofens
Last Line: Weeping. Song. They are so much alike, after all
Subject(s): Love Nature Of; Togetherness


THE DEER    Poem Text    
First Line: How long did we watch? How long did those
Last Line: Until our will to love was also our power to kill
Subject(s): Nature


THE EXTINCTION OF THE DINOSAURS    Poem Text    
First Line: How much time? The old guys playing cribbage
Subject(s): Mortality


THE FEAST    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: The moon tonight is
Subject(s): Breast Cancer


THE FIRST PERSON    Poem Text    
First Line: What I wanted seemed little enough at the time
Subject(s): Loss


THE MIMOSA    Poem Text    
First Line: Days and nights the dull metallic / hammer of welders' work
Last Line: The night is starting to burn and to bloom
Variant Title(s): The Mimosa:
Subject(s): Summer; Trees; Water


THE PURITAN WAY OF DEATH    Poem Text    
First Line: How hard this life is hallowed by the body
Last Line: She reminds us always of this death, this life, which is redundant, awful, endless, and ours
Subject(s): Religion; Spirituality; Theology


THE RAINBOW    Poem Text    
First Line: If things were worse, this cursed rain
Subject(s): Sewall, Samuel (1652-1730); Religion; Weather; Theology


THE SPRING EPHEMERALS    Poem Text    
First Line: Here she comes with her face to be kissed
Subject(s): Spring; Love


THE SUPERNATURAL: A LOVE POEM    Poem Text    
First Line: Heat and haze. The granular frayed-ends of late night
Subject(s): Love


THE TRUTH ABOUT SMALL TOWNS    Poem Text    
Subject(s): Cities And Towns


THE WOMEN    Poem Text    
First Line: The women are gathered at the back porch sink
Subject(s): Women


THE YARD    Poem Text    
First Line: Bunchgrass or the months-dry wheat
Last Line: And the fragrance outside turns to fruit to do again
Subject(s): Nature


THIRD PERSON       
First Line: Not smoke but the shades of smoke, and not cloud-work
Last Line: In the smoke and gray-green distances of pain


TO CROSS BARBED WIRE       
First Line: This way, from far off, seems so easy
Last Line: Look to the day. It looks pretty good


TO WINTER       
First Line: The poetry of earth %is never dead
Last Line: Begin. The earth knows. Wind- %here follows prose


TOP OF THE STOVE       
First Line: And then she would lift her griddle
Last Line: I hold my head close to see what she means


TRACT       
First Line: The political %trees are preparing
Last Line: The meaningful trees %lie down, and they burn


TREATISE ON TOUCH       
First Line: Whom to believe? This is our central task
Last Line: And the eyes of the faithful gazing back


TREES BESIDE WATER    Poem Text    
First Line: Stag- / headed elders, the book
Last Line: Pressed in the book
Subject(s): Trees


TREES BESIDE WATER       
First Line: Stag- %headed elders, the book
Last Line: I am a few leaves, %pressed in the book
Subject(s): Trees


TROLLING ON THE MOREAU       
First Line: When the river fell dead-still


TROUBLE       
First Line: It wasn't disquiet with her neighbors %or new house
Last Line: She needed was the pest just %not to be caught?


TRUTH ABOUT SMALL TOWNS: 1. THE TRUTH ABOUT SMALL TOWNS       
First Line: It never stops raining. The water tower's tarnished
Last Line: Than money. (who says shoppe?) it never rains
Variant Title(s): The Truth About Small Town


TRUTH ABOUT SMALL TOWNS: 2. GRAVEYARD       
First Line: Heat in the short field and dust scuffed up, glare
Last Line: Each one's cup, until the cup overflows
Variant Title(s): Graveyar


TRUTH ABOUT SMALL TOWNS: 3. COUNCIL MEETING       
First Line: The latest uproar: to allow wendy's
Last Line: Then we'll all stand up for what we believe


TRUTH ABOUT SMALL TOWNS: 4. CHARMING       
First Line: The remnant industry of a dying town's itself
Last Line: Someone with a camera's drawing down on you
Variant Title(s): Charmin


TWO CLOUDS       
First Line: White mist burns %like the wings
Last Line: I don't know %and it lifts me


UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION       
First Line: We have decided now to kill the doves
Last Line: It no longer matters who is right. Their cry %comes from both sides of the window at once


UP EARLY       
First Line: But not before that slow shoulder's already sloughed me
Last Line: It is the sun, the morning. %the pale stem by which, nevertheless, this day is held


USES OF NOSTALGIA       
First Line: Nothing so clear as a cloud, nor clouded
Last Line: But not the past. I mean the ones to come


UTAH: THE LAVA CAVES       
First Line: The rain just over, what's left of the day now glowing
Last Line: Each blinking in the last fierce moment of sun. %how far must I go to believe my own eyes?


VICTORIAN FOLLY       
First Line: For a moment her face was calm
Last Line: A likeness of their manor, %but smaller, and absent of doors


VIOLENCE       
First Line: Eerie from hung drapes, blue velvet, dark aisles
Last Line: Except in the dreams we carry home, too


VIRGA       
First Line: Indian summer, one of those inescapable skies, hill
Last Line: Old father, who had just seen his only child %touching herself in places he was never meant to know


WAKE       
First Line: Clear stars afoam %on a black wave
Last Line: Out of darkness, into %the dark


WEB       
First Line: Hardly more than a salting
Last Line: By the fierce, simple %nearness of the flame: yes, %taken, like love, before I knew, %without a touc


WHERE WE LIVE: 1. SENTIMENTAL: AN EPITHALAMIUM       
First Line: Our willow lets its limbs down
Last Line: Reaching its tender arms %down to us who are reaching up %out of the last %swirling light


WHERE WE LIVE: 2. PASTORAL: A FRAGMENT       
First Line: Where we live, where each green day
Last Line: And our work does become, again and again, a blessing, %a visible affection, %a matter of love


WHERE WE LIVE: 3. CONFESSIONAL: DOMESTIC OF TERROR       
First Line: Who was I talking to? Even the barest dark breeze
Last Line: And what if she does?


WHERE WE LIVE: 4. SUPERNATURAL: A HISTORY       
First Line: Heat and haze. The granular frayed-ends of late night
Last Line: Just like it's always been. %heat and haze. You . Waving. Beginning to run this way
Variant Title(s): The Supernatural: A Love Poe


WHERE WE LIVE: 5. FORMAL: A CATALOG       
First Line: Stippled with sweat and singing
Last Line: So we go on %singing row after row after row
Variant Title(s): Herbs: Our Catalo


WHERE WE LIVE: 6. POLITICAL: FORMS OF JOY       
First Line: So sure of himself, in the simple, soothing way
Last Line: He flips us off with his own peculiar bird. It makes him %glad


WHERE WE LIVE: 7. NATURAL: OUR AUGUST MOON       
First Line: How these blue hours bless us and keep us
Last Line: Swell blue in the lunatic night, I want you %to know I understand. I'll be there soon


WHITE PIN IN BACK WOODS       
First Line: The winter wailed. It shrieked. Several old pines
Last Line: To wave from the shades of her porch


WINGED       
First Line: If there were the sea and not snow, morning
Last Line: To fly where the others, it seems, have gone


WINTER DAY, NOTHING I HAVE DONE       
First Line: Leafless, in the hheat of a season remembered for ice
Last Line: Touched by ligh, still for a moment before wind, %something not far from breath in its hardening tru


WITNESS       
First Line: What I remember is street light tipped blue on the sill
Last Line: Was it a star or far streetlight that blinked out just then?%I was down on my knees when the first d


WOMEN       
First Line: The women are gathered at the back porch sink
Last Line: As when something's put away, but it won't stay down


WORKS AND DAYS       
First Line: More in number, five %or six at a time
Last Line: Here-, to see so many %more gathering now


WRECKER DRIVER FORESEES YOUR DEATH       
First Line: If you walked past the lot on any good sunday


YARD       
First Line: Bunchgrass or the months-dry wheat
Last Line: And the fragrance outside turns to fruit--to do again
Subject(s): Nature


YELLOW LILIES AND CYPRESS SWAMP       
First Line: So green against the standing water they're
Last Line: Like landscape cupped, held, kept. One gorgeous flame