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Author: SLEIGH, TOM
Matches Found: 169


Sleigh, Tom    Poet's Biography
169 poems available by this author


A VISIT    Poem Text    
First Line: What she is waiting for never arrives
Subject(s): Aging


A WEDDING AT CANA, LEBANON, 2007    Poem Text    
First Line: He said, 'it is terrible what happens.'
Subject(s): Marriage; War; Lebanon; Weddings; Husbands; Wives


ACHILLES' HORSES       
First Line: Achilles' horses are weeping
Last Line: The horse, shaking off a fly %turns his head away


AFTER A LONG ILLNESS       
First Line: Ten thousand fathoms down: the self a mindanoa trench, and in
Last Line: Your coming close, the room laboring in sleep


AFTER MIDNIGHT       
First Line: After midnight in the summer heat
Last Line: The car hurtling weightless through the open night


AFTER ONE       
First Line: Pen marks trying to scratch their way to sense
Last Line: But in my hand I hold a turning key %that even as I lay it down goes on turning


AFTERWORDS       
First Line: The moon hugs the glass, a snail of phosphorus ...
Last Line: Heady as perfume as we dabbed it %on our wrists and behind our ears %and sprinkled it in each other'


ALP       
First Line: The mountain, harsh, redolent, green
Last Line: The crush of history swaying forward, %crunching in my footsteps to the rim


ANIMUS    Poem Text    
First Line: A face, my face, stares back from glass pocked
Subject(s): Doppelgangers


ANIMUS       
First Line: A face, my face, stares back from glass pocked
Last Line: I feel my heart open to enclose that welling salt %as the drops, bright, blood-warm, streak the glas


ARMY CATS    Poem Text    
First Line: Over by the cemetery next to the cp
Subject(s): Lebanon; War; Bombs; Cats


AUBADE       
First Line: Lathe of the ocean. Perpetual


AUGUSTO JANDOLO: ON EXCAVATING AN ETRUSCAN TOMB       
First Line: When we lit our torches
Last Line: Rose up in the glow and seemed to hover


BEIRUT TANK    Poem Text    
First Line: Staring up into the tank's belly lit
Subject(s): Lebanon; War; Tanks (military Science)


BLUEPRINT    Poem Text    
First Line: I had a blueprint
Subject(s): Language; Words; Vocabulary


BOND       
First Line: Stillness. Abandon. Genius with words
Last Line: Presence moving into genius with words moving into abandon, stillness


BRIDGE       
First Line: It wasn't the sort of thing that's talked about
Last Line: Dogs barked, barked, birds, madly sang and cattle %in pens balked, spooked, bellowing for their wayw


BUOYANCY    Poem Text    
First Line: A swimmer swims out through voids of drypoint, inkwash,
Subject(s): Swimming & Swimmers


CHILD'S DRAWING: BOY HOLDING A BALL AT A FUNERAL       
First Line: Next to crazily leaning slabs of slate, parents and children
Last Line: Of the dead and the soon to be dying


CRY       
First Line: Whose body is it anyway, shouts a voice in the street
Last Line: Replenishing forever on its own echoes


DEAR CUSTOMER       
First Line: Cattails fraying and ragged weeds in a jar
Last Line: Bright, of routine life that lies %in a clutter on the desk:faithfully %arriving, unopened, anonymou


DEMON       
First Line: Cars stalled, the light gone
Last Line: My familiar flying through rising fumes %to drag from the car


DON'T GO TO THE BARN       
First Line: The brick of the asylum shimmered in the sun
Last Line: And try to hand yourself. Don't go to the barn %and try to hang yourself. Rose, don't got to the bar


DOOR       
First Line: Fifteen years in each other's heat
Last Line: Your face it appears to me; mine as it seems to you


DREAMHOUSE       
First Line: Does it move inside him, that trembling of the earth?
Last Line: And sweeping wall to wall to wall sunlight everywhere


ECLIPSE       
First Line: When from among the dead the faces
Last Line: They lock hands in an unbreakable chain.
Variant Title(s): The Chai


ELK AT BLACK FORK CANYON       
First Line: Great furred noses nuzzline at hay bales
Last Line: Of fog lengthening down the mountain, %the trampled snow spattered %golden from their urine


ENDING       
First Line: When I first learned
Last Line: Pure facelessness %which turned from me %and hung in the blind distance, unraveling %into the vacant


FABLE    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: But where, oh where is the holy idiot,
Subject(s): Antiwar Movements; Anti-war Protests


FABLE       
First Line: She seems, almost, the hero in a fable
Last Line: Her hand over his to keep him calm, her smile %forgiving him the feelings he still feels


FENIX    Poem Text    
First Line: Face cross-hatched by violet shadows that fall round her like a net,
Last Line: And on the other lens my ass
Subject(s): Dreams; Social Classes; Man-woman Relationships; Nightmares; Caste; Male-female Relations


FIELD       
First Line: Once I left the room
Last Line: Into a solitude beyond %appeal or recall


FIGHT       
First Line: The street speaks the language of the street
Last Line: A mute satisfaction pulsing in my veins


FIRST LOVE    Poem Text    
First Line: A slightering rustle through ivy and leaves
Subject(s): Love - Beginnings


FISH STORY       
First Line: I was reading plutarch's lives, about the gods


FISSURE       
First Line: Your power to make me feel that I am
Last Line: Moving with the ice pack toward open water


FLESH       
First Line: He is still flesh, animal flesh whatever worlds his madness
Last Line: While his hand shakes and shakes holding the pencil


FOR ROBERT OWEN SLEIGH, C.F.C., 100TH DIVISION       
First Line: The men you killed with a grenade that day
Last Line: Blown through the wall just your shape and size


FOR THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE FALLEN    Poem Text    
First Line: The little boy crying out
Subject(s): Rector, Liam (1949-2007); Innocence; Suicide


FORMAL OCCASION       
First Line: The tidal flats stretched far and awkward
Last Line: We turned %our backs to the view, we walked along


FRAGMENT       
First Line: ...And round the shield's rim ran the stream of ocean
Last Line: And swerving fish bolted shadow to shadow


GOD       
First Line: A warming pulsing flood like blood surging through
Last Line: Are nothing in my hands but my hands moving.


GRID       
First Line: Faces swell, then flatten into the million-celled grid
Last Line: The sun at night makes its smoldering way


HAMMOCK       
First Line: Your hand pushes me away
Last Line: Love draws the soul %the way a magnet draws iron


HARBOR: 1. MOSAIC       
First Line: Your face clears of expression, your eyes
Last Line: Our flesh/fish bodies puddling molten
Subject(s): Boats; Relationships; Water


HARBOR: 2. BATH       
First Line: Buoyancy lifting us on each wave's crest
Last Line: The swell of your razoring whiplash tail
Subject(s): Boats; Water


HARBOR: 3. ARGUMENT       
First Line: The lighthouse light there, then not
Last Line: Higher and higher up the scale


HARBOR: 4. HARPOON       
First Line: The wooden handle cracked but seasoned tough
Last Line: Crystal on crystal holding fast
Subject(s): Boats; Relationships


HARP       
First Line: Stopped at a light halfway to the terminal
Last Line: All eyes and ears, nothing before or behind


HERACLES       
First Line: Strongman. Father. Provider. Savior
Last Line: As the bow bends and the tensing fingers curl


HISTORY LESSON       
First Line: Hamstrung, your genitals hang down, the hair
Last Line: But your eyes blaze like twin projector beams %until the rinsing, neon cloud drifts down


HOME       
First Line: Why, tonight, is the hot air
Last Line: Blare her voice calling all %around him in the hot night air, %'here, over here, home is here ...'


HOPE       
First Line: Overhung by evergreen, your house was cool
Last Line: Go fish in the boneyard,' I hear you say, %your eyes poker-faced, impenetrable


IN JUNE: 1       
First Line: Figs we tear open looking for the worm
Last Line: A wet finger slowly round %the rim until the close shed rings %with a crystal hum


IN JUNE: 2       
First Line: The stars turn jittery
Last Line: Your eyes' hard blue %unflinchingly deliberate, %wet lips stinging %sweet from ouzo


IN JUNE: 3       
First Line: The cove rock
Last Line: As you rouse from the shallows %and wade out into the bay, %dive and dissolve %into a wave


IN JUNE: 4       
First Line: Your song, off-key, melts and puddles
Last Line: My body pressed to yours, waterline to shoreline ... %then your sleeping breath unmoored, an island


IN THE HOSPITAL FOR TESTS       
First Line: A dripping, numbing girl, surf tearing her
Last Line: Ripping into flame as on her lips a smile of wide-eyed %and lacerating gaiety darkens to a firm, unt


INTELLIGENCE    Poem Text    
First Line: Wiretaps and tapes, concealed
Subject(s): Intelligence Agencies


INTELLIGENCE       
First Line: Wiretaps and tapes, concealed
Last Line: And then, edging %the hero closer to the cliff, pointing %out the harbor, he'd push


INVALID       
First Line: He rose late most mornings and took a walk
Last Line: Though we always stopped to touch %the burns at the tips of a dogwood bloom


ISLAND       
First Line: After our last week together
Last Line: Your footstep so light not a grain %of sand shifts beneath its weight


JENNY FISH       
First Line: Slender jenny fish, you danced with your dad
Last Line: As above you, in a fist, your twining hands %clenched with draconian affection


JOY ON A SUNDAY       
First Line: Pulsing there like a wound in the air
Last Line: Happening while the record turns


JUDAS WAKING       
First Line: His name, his habits, burnt off like a foul gas
Last Line: Naked, shivering, he hugged himself, %but no heat took the chill from that embrace


LA BUFADORA       
First Line: The sea spouts out of rocks and rains down
Last Line: I hear the tick of moonlit stones dragged %in the tide's maternal suck


LAMENTATION ON UR       
First Line: Like molten bronze and iron shed blood
Last Line: May this disaster too be torn out of mind


LAND'S END DIALECTIC       
First Line: Januaries the tall sea
Last Line: Though a lowering cast on the mind's brink %hints at the smoke in last night's dream


LAST WISH       
First Line: The cars flashed like scales as the hearse-headed snake
Last Line: But what he lacked in brains he made up in looks.' %and staring straight through me: 'you ought to w


LAST WORD       
First Line: As if your half-witted tongue


LOGOS       
First Line: You walk on the road accompanied
Last Line: As coal-embers: it speaks you, only you, %your name's furnace that you pass through


LULLABY       
First Line: Bellying out in the full sail of dream
Last Line: The music echoing %and drifting in the breath between notes


M. ON HER THIRTHIETH BIRTHDAY    Poem Text    
First Line: Sometimes I think I could be a yogi
Subject(s): Coming Of Age; Parents; Death; Parenthood; Dead, The


M. ON HER THIRTIETH BIRTHDAY       
First Line: Sometimes I think I could be a yogi
Last Line: Mother twenty. I guess that's what it means to be %grown up,to know you wished them gone, and now th


MARCHE AUX OISEAUX       
First Line: I was in such a hurry I climbed


MEADOW       
First Line: Across the road from where we nap
Last Line: Our eyes like x rays pierce the frost %stalking every step the living take


MUSICKE OF DIVISION       
First Line: Spring is dead. The leaves' fat mature laughter
Last Line: Registers like guns pointed to our heads, %the chambers clicking off like drops of blood


NECESSARY WEBS       
First Line: Night galls over and over
Last Line: The ragged center of our lives %until the savage feathered clock begins to swing


NEW YORK AMERICAN SPELL, 2001: 1. OMEN       
First Line: What was going on in the new york american
Last Line: What's big, red, and eats rocks?'


NEW YORK AMERICAN SPELL, 2001: 2. IN FRONT OF ST. VINCENT'S       
First Line: A woman hugging another woman
Last Line: Were pulled swiftly along down the sidewalk


NEW YORK AMERICAN SPELL, 2001: 3. JOKE       
First Line: Faces powdered with dust and ash, there they were
Last Line: Ash smearing down their faces as they chewed


NEW YORK AMERICAN SPELL, 2001: 4. SPELL SPOKEN BY SUPPLIANT TO HELIOS       
First Line: Under my tongue is the mud of the nile
Last Line: And tell them everything truthfully


NEW YORK AMERICAN SPELL, 2001: 5. FROM BROOKLYN BRIDGE       
First Line: Sun shines on the third bridge tower
Last Line: Is air vanishing into clearer air


NEW YORK AMERICAN SPELL, 2001: 6. FROM THE PLANE       
First Line: Pressed against our seats, then released to air
Last Line: Slowly or cruising unblinking, jaws open or closed


NEW YORK AMERICAN SPELL, 2001: 7. SPELL SPOKEN BY SUPPLIANT TO...       
First Line: This is the charm that will protect you, the charm
Last Line: Dyed purple, hang it round your neck and wear it


NEW YORK AMERICAN SPELL, 2001: 8. ROLL OF FILM: PHOTOGRAPHER MISSING       
First Line: Vines of smoke through the latticework of steel
Last Line: Recording in the foul-smelling air


NEW YORK AMERICAN SPELL, 2001: 9. LAMENTATION ON UR       
First Line: Like molten bronze and iron shed blood
Last Line: May this disaster too be torn out of mind


NEWSREEL       
First Line: It was like being in the crosshairs of a magnifying glass
Last Line: Possessed by shadows, dispossesed brain


NIGHT JOURNEY       
First Line: We passed a funeral at midday
Last Line: An iridescent buoyant mass, surging %beneath the spray above the hosed-off sidewalk


NOBODY    Poem Text    
First Line: Line after line smearing off into elephantine
Subject(s): Writing & Writers; Illness


O.D.    Poem Text    
First Line: I was surprised to find them
Subject(s): Drugs & Drug Abuse; Music & Musicians; Narcotics; Opium; Cocaine; Crack; Heroin


OBSEQUIES       
First Line: We stood in line like the deeper vowels
Last Line: You gazed into the blare of the dust-hazed sun, %then rammed the barrel to the iron nipple


OCTOPUS       
First Line: As if childhood swam out, all soul and human-eyed
Last Line: Gold hammered thin canceling his face


OMEN       
First Line: The week after you had gone I woke
Last Line: The sluggish air with a throbbing whine, %gray gun-turrets gleaming in the sun


ON THE PLATFORM    Poem Text    
First Line: The omen I didn't know I was waiting for
Subject(s): Railroad Stations; Bombs


ON THE SEVENTH FLOOR: CANCER WARD       
First Line: We are the elect in this inverse hell
Last Line: The white shoes whisper room to room %as word by word we lose our lives %in someone else's hope, ano


ONE SUNDAY       
First Line: Something in the mind can't rest, can it
Last Line: The common and the sheraton commander


ORACLE    Poem Text    
First Line: Because the burn's unstable, burning too hot
Subject(s): Engineering & Engineers; Rockets; Fathers; Death; Dead, The


OUTCAST       
First Line: Looking up from his drink
Last Line: To carry him back home %its eyes are wet


PAINTER       
First Line: I knew a painter once, though not exactly
Last Line: Having listened, as he painted, %while I read the golden ass aloud


PHYSICAL       
First Line: Wrung out and clammy, my shirt stuck to my back
Last Line: Enclosing him thickly in his flesh %as aides crowded round, muscling him off


PORCH SWING       
First Line: The chains and creak
Last Line: --you can see just how pretty--and here, this one's %of the layer cake we baked for her retirement p


PRAYER       
First Line: God of flesh, god of pleasure
Last Line: Shadowy as bodies giving themselves away


PREMONITION       
First Line: Your girdles, wigs, your stretchmarked flesh turned out
Last Line: What was it you saw when you looked at me. %your soap-slimedhands churning underwater?


PURITY SUPREME       
First Line: Space station walls of my bedroom revolving
Last Line: Falling with one long murmur of conspiring laughter


RAFT       
First Line: Dr. Pepper and the bible on the shelf together, a tricycle
Last Line: Adrift, absorbed, our swimming suits drying, then dried


REFUGE: I       
First Line: A premonition in the marsh
Last Line: Gorged on our silhouettes. %we couldn't tell which was which


REFUGE: II       
First Line: A cage of shade entraps the bed
Last Line: And watch the wings in the scything reds %of the smog-flawedsun, beat upwards


ROOT CELLAR       
First Line: A slithering rustle through ivy and leaves
Last Line: An onion like an apple: my mouth waters %for the sweet white flesh stinging my eyes to tears
Variant Title(s): First Lov


ROUND    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: Somebody's alone in his head, somebody's a kid,
Subject(s): Human Behavior; Conduct Of Life; Human Nature


SCATTERING       
First Line: Not buried by the highways or in the ruined temples
Last Line: Horizon to horizon the wheat grows even thicker


SEAL       
First Line: The mist was a face


SEVENTH CIRCLE    Poem Text    
First Line: And after the fight the moment of awakening
Subject(s): Boys; Fightng; War; Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)


SEVENTH FLOOR: CANCER WARD    Poem Text    
First Line: We are the elect in this inverse hell
Subject(s): Cancer (disease); Hospitals


SHAME    Poem Text    
First Line: If only I'd known then what I was reaching for
Subject(s): Nature


SHAME       
First Line: If only I'd known then what I was reaching for
Last Line: Each reminding the other, if they ever think of it at all, %the american, remember, who was the thie
Subject(s): Nature


SNAKES       
First Line: Lying in sand, I looked for the whale-herd
Last Line: Of what in the egg we must struggle %to break through to, become, and are


SONG       
First Line: Faces of my lai, faces
Last Line: Leisure of watching %what happens happen


SONG THAT ONLY COULD BE SUNG ONCE    Poem Text    
First Line: Variable, changeable, yes, there are days when
Subject(s): Conduct Of Life; Man-woman Relationships; Male-female Relations


SPACE STATION    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: My mother and I and the dog were floating
Subject(s): Mothers; Dogs; Weightlessness


SPEECH FOR MYSELF AS A GHOST    Poem Text    
First Line: Whoever I was, whatever I may have done, speaks to me
Subject(s): Future Life; Ghosts; Supernatural; Retribution; Eternity; After Life


SPEECH FOR MYSELF AS A GHOST       
First Line: Whoever I was, whatever I may have done, speaks to me
Last Line: Coolly transparent through migrant shadows
Subject(s): Future Life; Ghosts; Supernatural


STILLNESS       
First Line: Slow waking in this stillness so luxurious
Last Line: Keeps sifting grain by grain into my mouth


STONE       
First Line: Will, nerve, the stone heads of the kings of judah


STONE GOD AND GODDESS IN AN ARK    Poem Text    
First Line: Out of the stone ark that carried them this far
Subject(s): Death; Dead, The


STRANDING    Poem Text    
First Line: What came wafting
Subject(s): Lebanon; War


SUNDAY DRIVE       
First Line: Beyond the window fields of milkweed pass
Last Line: That slow to a standstill beneath the turning stars. %his eyes slowly close on the eyes of the world


TANK       
First Line: In his black tube top and tight black mini, his flesh
Last Line: The barred door shooting closed in the steel groove


THE ADVANCE    Poem Text    
First Line: Out the barred window sandbags
Subject(s): Lebanon; War; Dolls; Death - Children; Death - Babies


THE BREEZE    Poem Text    
Subject(s): Language; Wnd; Words; Vocabulary


THE DOOR    Poem Text    
First Line: Fifteen years in each other's heat
Subject(s): Doors; Perception


THE HAMMOCK    Poem Text    
First Line: Your hand pushes me away
Subject(s): Life; Love


THE HARBOR: 1. MOSAIC    Poem Text    
First Line: Your face clears of expression, your eyes
Last Line: Our flesh/fish bodies puddlng molten
Subject(s): Boats; Relationships; Water


THE HARBOR: 2. BATH    Poem Text    
First Line: Buoyancy lifting us on each wave's crest
Last Line: The swell of your razoring whiplash tail
Subject(s): Boats; Water


THE HARBOR: 3. ARGUMENT    Poem Text    
First Line: The lighthouse there, then not
Last Line: Higher and higher up the scale
Subject(s): Lighthouses


THE HARBOR: 4. HARPOON    Poem Text    
First Line: The wooden handle cracked but seasoned tough
Last Line: Crystal on crystal holding fast
Subject(s): Boats; Relationships


THE HOLE    Poem Text    
First Line: Out in the garden, the wind was like a dog
Subject(s): Poetry & Poets


THE LAST WORD    Poem Text    
First Line: As if your half-witted tongue
Subject(s): Death; Language; Dead, The; Words; Vocabulary


THE MEADOW    Poem Text    
First Line: Across the road from where we nap
Subject(s): War; Death; Cemeteries; Dead, The; Graveyards


THE SEAL    Poem Text    
First Line: The mist was a face
Subject(s): Seals (animals)


THE VERY END    Poem Text    
First Line: My eyes are strange to the print tonight
Subject(s): Grandparents; Death; Grandmothers; Grandfathers; Great Grandfathers; Great Grandmothers; Dead, The


THE WORK    Poem Text    
First Line: Today, this moment, speechlessly in pain,
Subject(s): Fathers; Illness; Hospitals


THE WOUND    Poem Text    
First Line: When I woke the darkness was so thick,
Subject(s): Dreams; Nightmares


THIS DAY ONLY: 1       
First Line: Zone innavigable of being, unforeseeable zone
Last Line: And withering so particular it can't be argued over?


THIS DAY ONLY: 2       
First Line: Whether we are or aren't immortal, whether we know
Last Line: We're creeping along the edge of your abyss


THIS DAY ONLY: 3       
First Line: Your comings and goings, your heavens and hells
Last Line: And ungraspable flowering from the paint can


THREE HORSES       
First Line: Out in the pasture, in the clear twilight
Last Line: Hooves scraping, neck bowing in the moonlight. %her daughters prick their ears, but do not answer


TICKET       
First Line: False-faced monument, monument of mind that fades
Last Line: Mouth moving: once you were the angel; now what are you?


TO THE OTHER       
First Line: You leave, gray as the mist, the way a shadow
Last Line: Around the knuckles of the branches and warped %a thousand glittering ways across the night


TO THE SUN       
First Line: Crowned in hydrogen, it travels incognito,
Last Line: To hang by the river and pass around the wine %until ours minds buss like hives of honeyed light.


TOKEN       
First Line: Pitted and hollowed out %a miniature moon
Last Line: To the crater's %molten lip


TRACKS       
First Line: Evanescent engine in it ether-housing
Last Line: Arriving at each moment beyond as far as it can go


TRAIN       
First Line: Train wheels like battle sounds lulled the carriage
Last Line: Drifting rootless all night above the deep


TRANSFUSION       
First Line: I saw it, visible aura, unstoppable flow
Last Line: The soul shed its mask to stare its keeper down


TREES BY FIRELIGHT       
First Line: What shapes they make are shapes they hide from day
Last Line: Our backs to the shadowy corners of the house


TRIUMPH    Poem Text    
First Line: My mother, sure, everything I know
Subject(s): Mothers


UCCELLO       
First Line: The world holds out its threat and hope: he looks
Last Line: The anguished words unknot in his throat: 'I am paolo of thebirds, paolo uccello'


UNDER THE PINES       
First Line: Down the nave of twisted pines
Last Line: Off too quick %to follow after


UTTER STRANGER       
First Line: Late summer, clear sky
Last Line: Are careful to call grace that gleamed %from the dark privacy of that mouth


VERY END       
First Line: My eyes are strange to the print tonight;
Last Line: The dates marked for birth, %marriage, death, asks that I float you on my breath


VISION       
First Line: The year I had my operation I
Last Line: How far-off and strange she seems, that girl


VISIT       
First Line: What she is waiting for never arrives
Last Line: Over the stony waters that %ceaselessly pour out


VOWS       
First Line: The cracked creekbed sang with heat that afternoon
Last Line: As you spat in the rust-eaten coffee can %and shrugged back,eyes open, to your pillow


WAKING       
First Line: Near that hour of the dawn when the swallow
Last Line: As a single flame, and that imagined blaze %so singed me that it broke my slumber


WORD       
First Line: Like a ruin living in its own destruction
Last Line: Coughs and spits until the water runs dry


WORDS TO A FORMER MUSICIAN       
First Line: Your hand that does not reach for mine
Last Line: Whose music's throbbing stop and start %floods us with a ceaseless beat


WOUND       
First Line: When I woke the darkness was so thick
Last Line: On the glass, its light carving out the curtains %like the shadow of a wing across the windowpane


WRECK       
First Line: Spirit, is it, or only my own mind
Last Line: Watching for them to come back round to zeroes


YOU HAVE HER EYES       
First Line: Note and not your fingers play and bring me
Last Line: Distant, unreachable in the glass, %as you raise your eyes and our looks cross