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Author: WAGONER, DAVID
Matches Found: 759


Wagoner, David    Poet's Biography
759 poems available by this author


A DAY IN THE CITY    Poem Text    
First Line: Dismounting from stools and benches, pouring through bars
Subject(s): Cities; Urban Life


A GIRL PLAYING IN A SANDBOX    Poem Text    
First Line: She drops the plastic soldiers, the trucks
Subject(s): Girls; Toys


A GUIDE TO THE FIELD    Poem Text    
First Line: Through the wild pasture, this mile of strewn grasses
Subject(s): Fields; Nature; Pastures; Meadows; Leas


A PAIR OF BARN OWLS, HUNTING    Poem Text    
First Line: Now slowly, smoothly flying over the field
Subject(s): Owls; Hunting; Hunters


A ROOM WITH A VIEW    Poem Text    
First Line: At last, outside my window an expanse
Subject(s): Landscape; Nature


A SKATING LESSON    Poem Text    
First Line: Her mother brought her halfway
Last Line: Upright, devoted pupil
Subject(s): Skating & Skaters; Fathers & Daughters


A SNAP QUIZ IN BODY LANGUAGE    Poem Text    
First Line: We can't hear what they're saying, but that man
Subject(s): Body, Human; Hugs & Hugging


A VALEDICTORY TO STANDARD OIL OF INDIANA    Poem Text    
First Line: In the darkness east of chicago, the sky burns over the plumbers' nightmares
Subject(s): Industry; Labor & Laborers; Work; Workers


A WARNING TO MY LOVE    Poem Text    
First Line: Born in my mouth, the naked beast leaned out


A WOMAN FEEDING GULLS    Poem Text    
First Line: They cry out at the sight of her and come flying
Subject(s): Gulls; Food & Eating; Seagulls


A WOMAN PHOTOGRAPHING HOLSTEINS    Poem Text    
First Line: Her slender body moves among the herd
Subject(s): Love


ADDRESS TO WEYERHAEUSER, THE TREE-GROWING COMPANY       
First Line: After miles of stumps and slash and the once-buried endeavors
Last Line: To move if you could sing or even listen
Subject(s): Environment


ADVICE TO THE ORCHESTRA    Poem Text    
First Line: Start like pieces of string
Subject(s): Music & Musicians


ADVICE TO THE ORCHESTRA       
First Line: Start like pieces of string
Last Line: Against the old gods' mobile, eccentric knees


AERIAL ACT (1)       
First Line: Suspended from darkness (beyond her
Last Line: On sawdust and walk away into the shadows


AERIAL ACT (2)       
First Line: They step into the light
Last Line: To balance lightly %on dust, to stand in a full downpour of light %surrounded by darkness


AFTER CONSULTING MY YELLOW PAGES       
First Line: All went well today in the barbers' college
Last Line: And where were you? What did you do today?


AFTER FALLING       
First Line: Sleep lightly, sleep eventfully


AFTER READING TOO MANY POEMS, I WATCH A ROBIN TAKING A BATH    Poem Text    
First Line: She does it so devotely
Subject(s): Robins; Baths & Bathing; Showers & Showering


AFTER READING TOO MANY POEMS, I WATCH A ROBIN TAKING A BATH       
First Line: She does it so devotedly


AFTER THE HIGH-SCHOOL GRADUATION, 1944       
First Line: Who was I over the top
Last Line: Me with the last word %on the subject of the unknown %sheepskinned soldiers not death %that night bu


AFTER THE SPEECH TO THE LIBRARIANS    Poem Text    
First Line: I was speaking to the librarians
Subject(s): Libraries & Librarians


AFTER THE SPEECH TO THE LIBRARIANS       
First Line: I was speaking to the librarians
Last Line: With which we all might sing for the children
Subject(s): Librarians And Libraries


AFTERNOON OF SAND    Poem Text    
First Line: Like retarded water
Subject(s): Seashore; Wind; Beach; Coast; Shore


AFTERNOON ON THE GROUND       
First Line: The ducks and the green drakes


ALEXANDRA AND THE SPIDERS       
First Line: Because she wanted the girl next door as a friend
Last Line: For the first time, held fast in the wrong place


ALEXANDRA AND THE THUNDER       
First Line: Seven-year-old alexandra has cried out
Last Line: Is. Baffle-gloom-numb-tomb-bloody-humdrum-doom %it mumbles, shaking both of us


ALGAE       
First Line: They are floating, suspended


AN ADDRESS TO WEYERHAEUSER, THE TREE-GROWING COMPANY    Poem Text    
First Line: After miles of stumps and slash and the once-buried endeavors
Subject(s): Environment; Environmental Protection; Ecology; Conservation


AN ANTHEM FOR MAN    Poem Text    
First Line: I sing the beast that is not beast: the unhorned
Subject(s): Mankind; God; Singing & Singers; Human Race; Songs


AN OFFERING FOR DUNGENESS BAY    Poem Text    
First Line: The tern, his lean, slant wings
Subject(s): Birds; Dungeness Bay, Washington


ANAGRAMS    Poem Text    
First Line: Many have rearranged their names
Subject(s): Names; Language; Words; Vocabulary


APOTHEOSIS OF THE GARBAGEMEN       
First Line: And they come back in the night through alleys to find us
Last Line: The beautiful hogs and billygoats dancing around them


APPLYING FOR A LOAN WITH THE HELP OF THE DICTIONARY OF OCCUP. TITLES       
First Line: In my other lives, I've been a sheepskin pickler
Subject(s): Borrowers & Lenders; Labor & Laborers; Work; Workers


APPLYING FOR A LOAN WITH THE HELP OF THE DICTIONARY OF OCCUP. TITLES       
First Line: In my other lives, I've been a sheepskin pickler
Last Line: Sir, I don't know serious work pays off
Subject(s): Borrowers And Lenders; Labor And Laborers


ARCHEOLOGICAL NOTES    Poem Text    
First Line: Wherever they put their feet, the herdsmen beyond astrakhan
Subject(s): Archeology


ARCHEOLOGICAL NOTES       
First Line: Wherever they put their feet, the herdsmen beyond bleak astrakhan


ARRANGING A BOOK OF POEMS       
First Line: You've lined them all up artifully, but the browsers
Last Line: To lead the bad brass band but out of town


ART OF SURRENDER       
First Line: To be wiped out to the last man would mean missing
Last Line: May be more speechless, courtly, and merciless %than his in a courtyard. %so much for any enemy. He'


ASTRONOMER'S APPRENTICE       
First Line: Observing the noon sun over bangalore
Last Line: That ravaged everything green under the sun
Subject(s): Astronomy And Astronomers


AT LOW TIDE       
First Line: To the first inch of the sea, we come like shorebirds


AT LUNCH WITH PSYCHIATRISTS    Poem Text    
First Line: Psychiatrists sit up straight in contoured chairs
Last Line: They turn aside and interrupt each pther
Subject(s): Psychiatry; Lunch


AT ST. VINCENT DEPAUL'S       
First Line: Buckling their thin soles
Last Line: Free as long as they last


AT THE DOOR       
First Line: All actors look for them-the defining moments
Last Line: The bare suggestion of a garden


AT THE EDGE OF A CLIFF       
First Line: You approachit slowly and unwillingly
Last Line: That took your breath away


AT THE FOOT OF A MOUNTAIN       
First Line: You're at the end of the trail an hour before dawn
Last Line: As you join in, their uninterrupted chanting


AT THE HEMINGWAY MEMORIAL (KETCHUM, MONTANA)       
First Line: The day's bone dry. I've come through sun valley


AT THE MOUTH OF A CREEK    Poem Text    
First Line: This creek, as old as rain, flows past our fire
Subject(s): Love


AT THE MOUTH OF A CREEK       
First Line: This creek, as old as rain, flows past our fire
Last Line: At last to light our frail, permanent love
Subject(s): Love


AT THE POINT OF NO RETURN       
First Line: Till now, you could have taken back your steps
Last Line: To postpone their burial


AT THE RUINS OF BAALBEK, 1971       
First Line: She saw me coming out of the dusty taxi
Last Line: Toward a tall city surrounded by lost tribes


AT THE SUMMIT       
First Line: One more half-step, another half
Last Line: Who can only go south, you can only go %back down, slipping away


AUTHOR OF AMERICAN ORNITHOLOGY SKETCHES A BIRD, NOW EXTINCT       
First Line: When he walked through town, the wing-shot bird he'd hidden
Last Line: He watched it die, he said, with great regret
Subject(s): Birds


AUTHOR SAYS GOODBYE TO HIS HERO       
First Line: It always seemed obvious what you had to do
Last Line: Can tell you which will be yours then: princess or crown %orthe glint of the ax


BACKSTAGE       
First Line: You're standing behind the scenes in the near darkness
Last Line: In those rigid rows and play no part in the story


BAD CHAIRS       
First Line: Some have secret sorrows. They hold nothing
Last Line: For yourself on your own four legs


BAD FISHERMAN       
First Line: At first, I thought my heart was in it: trembling on the shore


BAD UNCLE       
First Line: The aunts couldn't stand to have uncle emmett doing
Last Line: Among the homegrown buttery flock of others oh %emmett the bad example was a caution


BEAN SPROUT       
First Line: First we put dirt into the skinny box
Last Line: Told us what we were going to do about it


BEAR       
First Line: You waken without moving. Your eyes are simply
Last Line: To sleep, still making no one of yourself


BEARS       
First Line: Out of shadows as deep as shadows
Last Line: Becoming shadows again among shadows


BEAUTY AND THE BEAST       
First Line: Men wept when they saw her breasts, squinted with pain


BEDTIME       
First Line: These two girls are thinking %of almost everything
Last Line: Is asleep and will never know %when to remember why


BEGINNING    Poem Text    
First Line: Here am I slippery
Subject(s): Self


BEGINNING       
First Line: By the stiff sheaves of ferns


BEING HERDED PAST THE PRISON'S HONOR FARM    Poem Text    
First Line: The closer I come to their huge black-and-white sides
Subject(s): Cows


BEING HERDED PAST THE PRISON'S HONOR FARM       
First Line: The closer I come to their huge black and white sides, the less


BEING SHOT    Poem Text    
First Line: You'll hear it split-seconds later - tghe loud afterthought
Subject(s): Shooting


BEING SHOT       
First Line: You'll hear it split-seconds later - the loud afterthought
Last Line: Of your punctured integrity will stand for %a graceful coup de grace


BENJAMIN FRANKLIN AND THE DUST DEVIL       
First Line: As he leaned from the coach window, jouncing and gaping
Last Line: Of forward progress, feeling none the wiser


BEST SLOW DANCER       
First Line: Under the sagging clotheslines of crepe paper
Last Line: To lie down lighter than air in a moonlit shimmer %alone to whisper yourself to sleep remember


BETWEEN NEIGHBORS    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: The complainant is a big man
Subject(s): Neighbors; Dogs; Parrots


BITTER CHERRY       
First Line: The pruner, his saw ready
Last Line: And darkened a bitter crip, %and the robins and waxwings %have come this september day %all day in I


BITTERN       
First Line: Neck drawn in, dark shoulders


BLINDMAN       
First Line: He waits by the quiet street
Last Line: Lifts open like a moon


BLINDMAN       
First Line: She fed her husband snow, the blindman


BLUES TO BE SUNG IN A DARK VOICE       
First Line: It's time to shine the bottom of my shoes


BONSAI       
First Line: Four times before, this fir


BOOK OF MOONLIGHT       
First Line: Why should we ever write it? We hold it blank
Last Line: The silhouettes of our illiterate fingers


BOOK SALE - FIVE CENTS EACH       
First Line: On the salvation army's bookshelves, the derelicts


BOY JESUS       
First Line: When they made me the boy jesus
Last Line: No gospels for the fishers of men, but love in other words


BOY OF THE HOUSE       
First Line: Mother, this morning when I woke


BREAK OF DAY       
First Line: Quivering through the field


BREAKFAST    Poem Text    
First Line: By the window, my girls are eating eggs and cereal
Last Line: Except a hard one and want me to decide
Subject(s): Fathers & Daughters; Food & Eating; Dogs; Contests


BREAKFAST       
First Line: By the window, my girls are eating eggs and cereal
Last Line: Except a hard one and want me to decide


BREAKING CAMP    Poem Text    
First Line: Having spent a hard-earned sleep, you must break camp
Subject(s): Camping; Camps; Summer Camps


BREAKING CAMP       
First Line: Having spent a hard-earned sleep, you must break camp in the mountains
Last Line: Which you, traveling light, can't bring along %but must always search for


BREAKING POINT       
First Line: There are four kinds of stress
Last Line: Again except through fire %and the founding hammer


BREATH TEST       
First Line: He isn't going to stand for it sitting down
Last Line: Of supplies and they can all go take a walk %on their own straight line all night if they feel like


BREATHING LESSON       
First Line: Around the compass, soap-flakes and burnt corn


BRIEF APPEARANCE OF THE EQUABLE MAN       
First Line: Bells ring as he pays money, and bells ring
Last Line: There to be wined and dined, refraining from smoking


BUMS AT BREAKFAST    Poem Text    
First Line: Daily, the bums sat down to eat in our kitchen.
Subject(s): Begging & Beggars; Family Life; Food & Eating; Morning; Relatives


BUMS AT BREAKFAST       
First Line: Daily, the bums sat down to eat in our kitchen
Last Line: I dreamed of days that stopped at the beginning


BURGLAR       
First Line: Being a burglar, you slip out of doors in the morning
Last Line: To say you're running away, but running away


BURIAL SONG    Poem Text    
First Line: My body ran on its legs and waved its hands
Subject(s): Body, Human


BURIAL SONG       
First Line: My body ran on its legs and waved its hands
Last Line: Like a dream stiffened with danger


BY A RIVER       
First Line: Your choice was always clear: not the long struggle
Last Line: Than air, whose breath is water, whose water is light


BY A WATERFALL       
First Line: Over the sheer stone cliff-face, over springs and star clusters
Last Line: Your voice and all your words are disappearing %into this water falling


BY STARLIGHT    Poem Text    
First Line: Now far from those harsh lightsand the glare over cities
Subject(s): Stars; Togetherness


BY STARLIGHT       
First Line: Now far from those harsh lights and the glare over cities, alone
Last Line: Not star-crossed yet, but truly catching them %as they slant to us past hemlocks, as rich %and clear


BY THE ORCHARD    Poem Text    
First Line: Rushing through leaves, they fall
Subject(s): Apples


BY THE ORCHARD       
First Line: Rushing through leaves, they fall
Last Line: Themselves, the hatch of moons


BY THE SEA, BY THE SEA       
First Line: In the seaside restaurant, they're cracking crabs
Last Line: There in the cold salt


CALCULATION       
First Line: Facing a streetlight under batty moths
Last Line: On top of my head, I walked the rest of the night


CANTICLE FOR XMAS EVE       
First Line: O holy night as it was in the beginning
Last Line: O little town of bedlam in the beginning %of the end as it was, as it is to all, good night


CARRYING THE FIRE    Poem Text    
First Line: He felt fevered, even in the wind
Subject(s): Illness; Death; Dead, The


CARRYING THE FIRE       
First Line: He had felt fevered, even in the wind
Last Line: As he himself was burning, then going out


CASTLE    Poem Text    
First Line: She forgot. She has to make one for her class
Subject(s): Teaching & Teachers; Castles; Educators; Professors


CATCHING THE BIG ONE AT LONE LAKE       
First Line: From the rowboat, loosely tied
Last Line: That didn't get away


CATERPILLAR       
First Line: By dense green light
Last Line: Downstream and at a splash %and flurry gone again %into a different dream %in the mouth of a rainbow


CATERPILLAR SONG    Poem Text    
First Line: Summer and leaves filled me
Subject(s): Caterpillars


CATERPILLAR SONG       
First Line: Summer and leaves filled me


CEREMONY ON PIER 40    Poem Text    
First Line: No ships are shivering
Subject(s): Piers


CHANGE       
First Line: He glares at the white hand in front of his face


CHICKEN       
First Line: Her hard round eye is staring
Last Line: You seem to think you're doing


CHORUS       
First Line: That rain-strewn night in the woods, the chorus, chorus
Last Line: As if we belonged there, as if we belonged to them
Subject(s): Music And Musicians


CHORUS FOR A LOST PLAY: 1       
First Line: Again, we sing of man, the buckler of wind


CHORUS FOR A LOST PLAY: 2       
First Line: Pity the masterless man. He lies by the road


CIRCUIT       
First Line: My circuit-riding great-grandfather


CLANCY       
First Line: We bought him at auction, tranquilized to a drooping halt
Last Line: Of her mind and his, digesting this wild good fortune


CLANCY THE BURRO'S FIRST DAY IN HEAVEN    Poem Text    
First Line: He wakens on bright straw
Subject(s): Donkeys; Burros


CLANCY THE BURRO'S FIRST DAY IN HEAVEN       
First Line: He wakens on bright straw
Last Line: To browse the heavenly night


CLIMBING A TREE    Poem Text    
First Line: My daughter's red-winged kite is stuck in the branches
Last Line: Begins down here on dangerous grassland
Subject(s): Danger; Trees


CLIMBING A TREE       
First Line: My daughter's red-winged kite is stuck in the branches
Last Line: Begins down here on dangerous grassland
Subject(s): Danger; Trees


CLOSING TIME    Poem Text    
First Line: At midnight, flaking down like chromium
Last Line: Who cartwheel out of sight, end over end
Subject(s): Night; Parties; Bedtime


CLOSING TIME       
First Line: At midnight, flaking down like chromium
Last Line: The far-afield, the breakers of new ground %who cartwheel out of sight, end over end
Subject(s): Night


COLLECTORS       
First Line: At the edge of the woods in the warm night, the collectors
Last Line: Fumbling there uncertainly in the shadows


COME BEFORE HIS COUNTENANCE WITH A JOYFUL LEAPING    Poem Text    
First Line: Swivelling flat-soled on the dirt but ready to bound in arches
Subject(s): Worship


COME BEFORE HIS COUNTENANCE WITH A JOYFUL LEAPING       
First Line: Swiveling flatsoled on the dirt but ready to bound in arches at the nick of
Last Line: Flopping up and around without us to the stretches of morning


COME WITH ME    Poem Text    
First Line: I was on the verge of the actual genuine
Subject(s): Tourists; Motion Pictures; Man-woman Relationships; Movies; Cinema; Male-female Relations


COME WITH ME       
First Line: I was on the verge of the actual genuine
Last Line: Away from both of us in a cold fury


COMING HOME LATE WITH THE BAD YOUNG MAN       
First Line: So many tangled feet from home among toads


COW DANCE       
First Line: She would prefer to stand and stare
Last Line: Didn't she? So let's be spoons and dishes


CREDO ADORATION    Poem Text    
First Line: The metaphor shall be god. The host
Subject(s): God


CRITICAL DISTANCE    Poem Text    
First Line: All game animals know what it is
Subject(s): Hunting; Nature; Hunters


CRITICAL DISTANCE       
First Line: All game animals know what it is
Last Line: For you to recall, alone in your own field
Subject(s): Hunting; Nature


CROSSING A PATH       
First Line: You see a path in the woods, a well-worn trail
Last Line: Against moss by nightfall


CROSSING A RIVER    Poem Text    
First Line: You kneel at the verge of this impassable arroyo
Subject(s): Rivers


CROSSING HALF A RIVER       
First Line: Stretching and heaving behind me, the snarled wilderness


CURTAIN CALL       
First Line: After the final scene, the final curtain
Last Line: In your preoccupied way the nearest exit


CURTAINS    Poem Text    
First Line: Grandpa took me along to the hospital
Subject(s): Grandparents; Hospitals; Window Treatments; Childhood Memories; Grandmothers; Grandfathers; Great Grandfathers; Great Grandmothers; Venetian Blinds; Curtains; Shades; Drapes


CURTAINS       
First Line: Grandpa took me along to the hospital
Last Line: And asked if I'd like to come along for a ride


CUTTING DOWN A TREE    Poem Text    
First Line: Having picked your tree and cleared its base of suckers
Subject(s): Trees


DANCING DAUGHTERS       
First Line: It comes as naturally to them as standing up
Last Line: Just a little bit longer under the covers


DANSE MACABRE       
First Line: Come as you are in the dark where the fiddler's elbow
Last Line: Come careless under the black flowers in the sky %and the small white stars underfoot, dancing for d


DAY IN THE CITY       
First Line: Dismounting from stools and benches, pouring through bars
Last Line: But who now heap under the raised lids, our old lives %before they are cold
Subject(s): Cities


DEAD LETTER FROM OUT OF TOWN       
First Line: Dick, you were right. I steered clear of that town
Last Line: Don't go, old friend. It pulls the trigger once


DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF THE BIRDS       
First Line: Falling asleep, the birds are falling
Last Line: Dust spun loose on the wind from the end to the beginning
Subject(s): Birds


DEATH OF A CRANEFLY       
First Line: It falls from the air


DEATH OF PAUL BUNYAN       
First Line: No common death, not some civilized garden variety


DEATH OF THE MOON       
First Line: Through the long death of the moon, we drank her light
Last Line: Her closing eyelid %her darkness


DEATH SONG       
First Line: I touch the earth on all fours like a child
Last Line: I sing for a cold beginning


DEPORTMENT FOR YOUNG GENTLEMEN       
First Line: When a gentleman calls on a lady and, alone
Last Line: You may need, after dining, a pair of clean kid gloves


DIARY    Poem Text    
First Line: At monday dawn, I climbed into my skin
Subject(s): Diaries


DIARY       
First Line: At monday dawn, I climbed into my skin
Last Line: And love in a coil. On sunday, I wrote this
Subject(s): Diaries


DIZZY    Poem Text    
First Line: I thought whirling
Subject(s): Spinning


DIZZY       
First Line: I thought whirling %back then I knew
Last Line: Upright no longer spun glassy like me like crazy


DO NOT PROCEED BEYOND THIS POINT WITHOUT A GUIDE       
First Line: The official warning, nailed to a hemlock
Last Line: Being a guide instead of needing one


DOING TIME       
First Line: Do you own time, say prisoners


DOORS       
First Line: All over town at the first rattle of night
Last Line: And one for crying out loud in the long night %to the pounding heart


DOVES OF MERIDA       
First Line: We took ourselves to market in merida


DOWNSTREAM       
First Line: We give in to the persuasions of the river, floating
Last Line: Translucent, the stones below us %glimmering, remaining


DR. FRANKENSTEIN'S GARDEN       
First Line: He needed a place where he could clean his hands
Last Line: And break into blossom as if into manic laughter


DRAFTSMAN, 1945       
First Line: Given one wall and a roof at a wild angle


DREAM HOUSE       
First Line: They would sit together under the low roof
Last Line: Alive to the safe shore


DRIFTWOOD    Poem Text    
First Line: From its burial at sea, a gray-white forest
Last Line: Not one not beautiful
Subject(s): Driftwood; Funerals - At Sea; Burials At Sea


DRIFTWOOD       
First Line: From its burial at sea, a gray-white forest
Last Line: And weather, under our eyes or fingers %not one not beautiful
Subject(s): Driftwood; Funerals - At Sea


DUST DEVIL    Poem Text    
First Line: Through stubble the color of dust, the dust devil
Subject(s): Dust


EARTHBIRD       
First Line: It flies through sand and shale under the ground
Last Line: More dimly than moons and stars, where it knows them, %whereit waits for our return


ELDERS       
First Line: When by the fire at sundown the elders
Last Line: And whisper whatever children need to know
Subject(s): Aging


ELECTROCARDIOGRAM       
First Line: I see your scribbled lyrics, illiterate heart
Last Line: Humming and hawing deadbeats and four-flushers


ELEGY FOR A DISTANT RELATIVE    Poem Text    
First Line: This rubble of stained glass
Subject(s): Death; Dead, The


ELEGY FOR A FOREST CLEAR-CUT BY THE WEYERHAEUSER COMPANY       
First Line: Five months after your death, I come like the others


ELEGY FOR A MINOR ROMANTIC POET    Poem Text    
First Line: If that's you gesturing frantically
Subject(s): Poetry & Poets


ELEGY FOR A SECRET AGENT       
First Line: He'd memorized the maps and the difficult
Last Line: Everywhere -- proof against otherwordly fire


ELEGY FOR A WOMAN WHO REMEMBERED EVERYTHING       
First Line: She knew the grades of all her neighbors' children, the birthdays
Last Line: She will remember everything about you. Nothing will escape her


ELEGY FOR MY MOTHER       
First Line: She heard the least footfall, the least sigh
Last Line: In the doorway saying hello, good-bye, or remember %me, but simply to turn and disappear


ELEGY FOR SIMON CORL, BOTANIST       
First Line: With wildflowers bedded in his mind


ELEGY FOR SOME OF MY POEMS       
First Line: Some were stillborn. For them, a moment of silence
Last Line: To be rearranged for the seeds of a better father


ELEGY FOR TWENTY-FOUR SHELVES OF BOOKS       
First Line: In the restaurant lobby, the owner needed more
Last Line: And keeping these goodwill good-for-nothings in place %(adventures in american literature


ELEGY FOR YARDS, POUNDS, AND GALLONS    Poem Text    
First Line: An unduly elected body of our elders
Subject(s): Measurement Units


ELEGY FOR YARDS, POUNDS, AND GALLONS       
First Line: A duly concocted body of our elders


ELEGY ON THE FIRST DAY OF SPRING    Poem Text    
First Line: In my mother's garden even the ragweed
Last Line: At everything we can still remember
Subject(s): Music & Musicians; Old Age; Spring


ELEGY ON THE FIRST DAY OF SPRING       
First Line: In my mother's garden even the ragweed
Last Line: And us again, as astonished as we are %at everything we can still remember
Subject(s): Music And Musicians; Old Age; Spring


ELEGY WHILE PRUNING ROSES    Poem Text    
First Line: I've weeded thier beds, put down manure and bark dust
Subject(s): Roses; Gardens & Gardening; Death; Dead, The


ELEGY WHILE PRUNING ROSES       
First Line: I've weeded their beds, put down manure and bark dust
Last Line: Apology, praise, celebration, wonder, %and love, in memory of the flourishing dead


ELEPHANT RIDE       
First Line: Under her heavy shoulder, the bulging cliffside
Last Line: Still underfoot, still there under their feet %to be walked on shakily together looking back


EMERGENCY MAKER       
First Line: Still alive - ' the message ran


END OF THE STORY       
First Line: After dressing up out of a dress-up basket
Last Line: And wake up later in a different story
Subject(s): Fairy Tales; Night


EPITAPH    Poem Text    
First Line: I sing one for the giantess
Subject(s): Women; Death; Dead, The


EPITAPH FOR A LADIES' MAN       
First Line: His life was dedicated to the proposition


ERICH THE PRINTER—(B. 1883-D. 1938): (1929)    Poem Text    
First Line: Men's names (the prayers against misbirth)
Subject(s): Printing & Printers


ESCAPE ARTIST       
First Line: In the middle of the crowd, they're strapping him into it


ESCAPE FROM MONKEY ISLAND       
First Line: For years they had looked at trees. They would sit all day
Last Line: Who would stand under the trees, not dreaming of climbing, %not dreaming of waking with the gift of


ESCAPED GORILLA       
First Line: When he walked out in the park that early evening
Last Line: Which was too far away to be anywhere


EULOGY FOR RICHARD HUGO (1923-82)    Poem Text    
First Line: We both wore masks. Mine over my mouth
Last Line: Of ashes, he lies there now, its laureate
Subject(s): Hugo, Richard (1923-1982)


EULOGY FOR RICHARD HUGO (1923-82)       
First Line: We both wore masks. Mine over my mouth
Last Line: Of ashes, he lies there now, its laureate
Subject(s): Hugo, Richard (1923-1982)


EVENING SONG ON OUR STREET    Poem Text    
First Line: It was almost bedtime, and something was wrong
Last Line: By both my hands again, and we walked home
Subject(s): African Americans; Sickness; Singing & Singers; Streets; Negroes; American Blacks; Illness; Avenues


EVERY GOOD BOY DOES FINE       
First Line: I practiced my cornet in a cold garage
Last Line: Consider this poem a failure, sprawling flat on a page


EXCURSION OF THE SPEECH AND HEARING CLASS       
First Line: They had come to see the salmon lunging and leaping
Last Line: Their mouths, to take her back to another silence


EXTRAORDINARY PRODUCTION OF EGGS FROM THE MOUTH       
First Line: As he stands alone on stage, the professor


FALLING ASLEEP IN A GARDEN    Poem Text    
First Line: All day the bees have come to the garden
Subject(s): Gardens & Gardening; Sleep


FALLING ASLEEP IN A GARDEN       
First Line: All day the bees have come to the garden
Last Line: The night-blooming moon opens its pale corolla


FEAST       
First Line: Maimed and enormous in the air


FEEDING       
First Line: When I dropped bread, they swam
Last Line: Moving its perfectly sure, %unhurried, widening mouth %toward whiteness to darken it


FILLING OUT A BLANK       
First Line: My preference was to be


FINALE    Poem Text    
First Line: They have torn the house
Subject(s): Houses; Demolition


FIRE BY THE RIVER       
First Line: We gather wood, the bleached, clay-covered branches
Last Line: Breaks through the valley, splashing our sleep with fire


FIRST DAY       
First Line: The first moment of that day everywhere
Last Line: Up at a slant to my feet at the windbreak


FIRST LAW OF MOTION       
First Line: Staying strictly in line and going
Last Line: Human at least, and so, at last, is stopping


FIRST LIGHT       
First Line: Before first light no sound
Last Line: But as wing-sure at wakening %as owl-flight or wren-flight %and as song-struck as this dawn


FIRST PASSENGER BALLOON ASCENSION, 1783       
First Line: The brothers montgolfier were longing
Last Line: More free, more common, and more fraternal air


FIRST PLACE       
First Line: For a mile by green-and-gold light, wading upstream


FIRST TRICK       
First Line: Onstage, the professor in a brilliant spotlight


FIRST WORD       
First Line: There had been sounds before: the trumpeting snout


FISHERMAN'S WIFE       
First Line: When she said, 'no.'


FIVE DAWN SKIES IN NOVEMBER       
First Line: At the roots of clouds a cutworm hollowing
Last Line: And closing toward the river


FLOATING LADY       
First Line: The professor sawed her in half and put her back


FLOWER       
First Line: A bee fell to the pond, and the light-footed water striders
Last Line: In silence a withering hour toward the end of summer %till the petals scattered into the rushes and


FOG    Poem Text    
First Line: Though your brothers, after the long hunt and the fasting
Subject(s): Hunting; Nature; Hunters


FOG       
First Line: Though your brothers, after the long hunt and the fasting
Last Line: You will wrap all love and fear in a beautiful blindness


FOR A BALLPOINT PEN       
First Line: The pen scrawling these lines
Last Line: Guides it on emptiness


FOR A FISHERMAN WHO DYNAMITED A CORMORANT ROOKERY       
First Line: Lean at your rail. Look close at the ripe water
Last Line: By a sea change through which everything is forgiven, %not given up for lost, not even %you disappea
Subject(s): Environment; Nature


FOR A GRIZZLY BEAR SLEEPING    Poem Text    
First Line: He has turned himself and let himself lie down
Last Line: As he has always been, awake or sleeping
Subject(s): Bears


FOR A HEDGE OF WILD ROSES       
First Line: They have bloomed here
Last Line: Like lover and charmed sleeper


FOR A MAN DANCING BY HIMSELF IN A TAVERN       
First Line: In the hallway between the ladies' and gentlemen's
Last Line: Toward the door and out into the dark


FOR A MAN WHO DIED IN HIS SLEEP       
First Line: Once in, he can stay as long as he remembers
Last Line: All the good nights to follow, knocking on wood


FOR A MOCKINGBIRD       
First Line: In the market, all were for sale
Last Line: Over it and was gone


FOR A ROW OF LAUREL SHRUBS       
First Line: They don't want to be your hedge
Last Line: Into crowns and place them squarely on the heads of their most peculiar poets


FOR A STUDENT SLEEPING IN A POETRY WORKSHOP    Poem Text    
First Line: I've watched his eyelids sag, spring open
Subject(s): Classmates; Dreams; Schools; Sleep; Teaching & Teachers; Schoolmates; Nightmares; Students


FOR A THIRD ANNIVERSARY    Poem Text    
First Line: You brought me wildflowers once, not the real ones
Subject(s): Gifts & Giving; Flowers; Time


FOR A THIRD ANNIVERSARY       
First Line: You brought me wildflowers once, not the real ones
Last Line: Starflowers, and wild red currant


FOR A THIRTEENTH ANNIVERSARY       
First Line: Through that weddingless hour


FOR A WINTER WREN    Poem Text    
First Line: In the first rain after a dry summer
Subject(s): Wrens


FOR A WINTER WREN       
First Line: In the first rain after a dry summer


FOR A WOMAN SITTING BY A CREEK       
First Line: At your side, I watch you stare
Last Line: May glint in passing, moved %and held, being all water %may do or turn to, %translucent, gathering l


FOR A WOMAN WHO DOUBTED THE POWER OF LOVE       
First Line: Didn't I say the sun would cross the sky
Last Line: How could the sky and these falling starlit leaves %catch fire without us?


FOR A WOMAN WHO PHONED POETRY NORTHWEST THINKING IT WAS POULTRY ...       
First Line: How can you give your chickens a quick molt?
Last Line: As you scatter grain. We are sincerely yours


FOR A YOUNG SHIELD FERN       
First Line: It needs almost no light. It grows %on the forest floor
Last Line: With me out of the forest %into the garden


FOR AN OLD WOMAN AT THE GATE    Poem Text    
First Line: Your permission slip has been stationed, decoded, stamped
Subject(s): Security Checks; Women - Old Age


FOR LAUREL AND HARDY ON MY WORKROOM WALL    Poem Text    
First Line: They're tipping their battered derbies and striding forward
Subject(s): Comedy; Hardy, Norvell (oliver) (1892-1957); Laurel, Stan (1890-1965); Motion Pictures; Movies; Cinema


FOR PATT, WHISPERING TO A BURRO       
First Line: One arm around his neck, she whispers


FOR THE WARMING OF AN ARTIST'S STUDIO       
First Line: The previous tenant, running out of business


FOR THE YOUNG VINE MAPLES    Poem Text    
First Line: If they sprout deep
Subject(s): Maple Trees


FOR THE YOUNG VINE MAPLES       
First Line: If they sprout deep in thickets
Last Line: For one death after another


FORGETTING THE MAGIC WORDS       
First Line: You thought you had them on the tip %of what you thought
Last Line: Of the dungeon, and soon they'll go on %to their grisly end without you


FORTUNA IMPERATRIX MUNDI       
First Line: Lady of the turning numbers, our gaudy wheeler, aloft and upstage


FOUND       
First Line: All day, the woods have dwindled. The once almost
Last Line: To love, are holding you


FOUR FATES       
First Line: The greeks had words for them. They were the parcae:
Last Line: Beyond the darkness interwoven with stars
Subject(s): Mythology - Classical


FREAK       
First Line: Her shoulders were so close %together there was no room
Last Line: Would pay for the only show %beginning before midnight


FREE PASSAGE       
First Line: Come away, my sea-lane baggage
Last Line: Above flashbulbs, fish heads, and the drowning divers %will be as immortal as rats


FROM HELL TO BREAKFAST       
First Line: Leaving the night upstairs


FROM HERE TO THERE       
First Line: Though you can see in the distance, outlined precisely
Last Line: Asking one more lesson


FRUIT OF THE TREE       
First Line: With a wall and a ditch between us, I watched the gate-legged dromedary
Last Line: If they, from their waterless, intractable hearts, might stretch for pears


GAMES       
First Line: The children from the nursery school are running
Last Line: And play their game called come to the picnic


GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS ...       
First Line: We stand in bright pools together, waiting with crows


GARDENER'S DREAM       
First Line: By moonlight he saw roses already climbing
Last Line: In the morning as if expecting light and rain %to spill from his fingers


GATHERING OF THE LOONS       
First Line: In the dead calm before darkness near the shore
Last Line: The silent loons all floating toward sleep


GETTING AWAY       
First Line: We had brought our love there: to a lake by a forest
Last Line: And left us and the mice in that good house %where nothing stirred but all of us till morning


GETTING OUT OF JAIL ON MONDAY       
First Line: I'm going into the building, he's coming out


GETTING SOMEWHERE       
First Line: All summer, that water shimmering


GIFT OF A MIRROR TO A LADY       
First Line: Take it, my dear. Keep it beneath your pillow


GIFT WRAPPING    Poem Text    
First Line: Already imagining her
Subject(s): Gifts & Giving


GIFT WRAPPING       
First Line: Already imagining her


GIRL PLAYING IN A SANDBOX       
First Line: She drops the plastic soldiers, the trucks
Last Line: They are, for her alone, at her lightest touch
Subject(s): Girls; Toys


GOD AND MAN AND FLOWER    Poem Text    
First Line: But, my dear lord, now that it's in your hand
Last Line: O find yourself in the hands of the living god
Subject(s): Flowers; God; Mankind; Religion; Human Race; Theology


GOD AND MAN AND FLOWER       
First Line: But, my dear lord, now that it's in your hand
Last Line: To fall out of [or, to find yourself in] the hands of the living god
Subject(s): Flowers; God; Mankind; Religion


GOING BACK TO THE SEA       
First Line: It will seem strange at first going under water
Last Line: That night you'll long again to be under water


GOING TO PIECES       
First Line: Those marionette show skeletons can do it
Last Line: Staying alive by going to pieces


GOLDEN RETRIEVER       
First Line: Dew-soaked and bleary-eyed with the smells of the field
Last Line: And up among brambles and arches of blackberry %to disappear in the light-filled field again


GOOD NIGHT       
First Line: But you can, and if you do, expecting
Last Line: You are, spreading himself at the picnic table


GRAY FOX IN A ROADSIDE ZOO    Poem Text    
First Line: Around and across his pen, light-footed, the fox
Last Line: He is almost weightless on the tracer of nothing
Subject(s): Nature


GRAY FOX IN A ROADSIDE ZOO       
First Line: Around and across his pen, light-footed, the fox
Last Line: He is almost weightless on the trace of nothing
Subject(s): Nature


GUIDE TO DUNGENESS SPIT       
First Line: Out of wild roses down from the switching road between pools
Last Line: Those are called ships. We are called lovers %there lie the mountains


GUIDE TO THE FIELD       
First Line: Through this wild pasture, this mile of strewn grasses
Last Line: And comfortless as a scattering %of ashes: all flesh is grass meaning love lies down %mortal, immort


HALCYON DAYS       
First Line: Remember the day we went to halcyon


HAVE YOU ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR GARDEN?       
First Line: The gardener on tv wants me to think
Last Line: Won't be on sale: his furious weed-whacker


HELPING THE HOME PATIENT FALL ASLEEP       
First Line: The patient's stomach should contain no more
Last Line: He should feel he weighs a ton


HER DREAM       
First Line: She breathes, lying flat in the night, catches her breath


HIGH STEEL       
First Line: The path ahead of you is the upper serif
Last Line: And shutting your eyes against what's obviously %waiting dead ahead?


HOLD-UP       
First Line: First comes a fence, then the mouth of an alley
Last Line: My shoes and my money are running away in the dark
Subject(s): Crime And Criminals


HOMAGE       
First Line: When broken laughter broke


HOMECOMING       
First Line: To make yourself at home, you wash your hands
Last Line: And good-bye, till butter wouldn't melt in their mouths


HOMILY FOR THE PRESERVATION OF THE SPIRIT IN A TIME OF DREAD       
First Line: In the house of reptiles
Last Line: The cricket is singing


HOOVERVILLE       
First Line: I wasn't supposed to go where the bums lived
Last Line: Where tumbleweeds, on the loose, were ready to roll


HORSEMEN       
First Line: All day we followed the tracks of the wild horses
Last Line: As we touched them on their trembling withers to tell them %what they were, what they would learn fr


HOUSE HUNTING       
First Line: The wind has twisted the roof from an old house
Last Line: As the crossing stars took time to mark their flight %over the mind's eye


HOUSE OF SONG       
First Line: He would go to a strange shore
Last Line: Became the house of that song


HOUSES OF THE NAVAJO       
First Line: They built their hogans out of the way
Last Line: Because they look the same


HOW COYOTE BECAME ROCK'S BROTHER       
First Line: Coyote walked far, lost in the heat of the day
Last Line: With or without a robe. Welcome, lost brother


HOW IT WILL BE       
First Line: When we are changed to minnows in a river
Last Line: Rushing toward us and around us


HOW MOSS GREW STRONG       
First Line: Ice shouted, 'my sons must be the strongest of sons.'


HOW RAVEN STOLE LIGHT       
First Line: The people lived in darkness without stars
Last Line: Opened the box of sun for the ghostly people %and flew among them, scattering daylight


HOW STONE HELD HIS BREATH       
First Line: Ice shouted, 'my sons are stealing my breath.'


HOW STUMP BECAME ROCK'S BROTHER       
First Line: Stump walked far, lost in the heat of the day


HOW STUMP DREAMED OF EARTHMAKER       
First Line: Stump said, 'I must dream of earthmaker.'


HOW STUMP FISHED IN THE BLACK RIVER       
First Line: Stump said, 'I will fish in the black river.'


HOW STUMP STOOD IN THE WATER    Poem Text    
First Line: Ice had many sons. 'find me my food!' he shouted
Last Line: On his own feet, holding his life in his hands
Subject(s): Physical Disabilities; Handicapped; Handicaps; Physically Challenged; Cripples


HOW STUMP STOOD IN THE WATER       
First Line: Ice had many sons. 'find me my food!' he shouted
Last Line: On his own feet, holding his life in his hands
Subject(s): Physical Disabilities


HOWL       
First Line: Startled at first, you think something
Last Line: Will thrive and make their marks, then howl for the next


ILLUSIONIST       
First Line: He had lifted women, helplessly floating
Last Line: Of power in his hands now trembling and powerless %to lift more than themselves at the close of the


IN A COUNTRY CEMETERY    Poem Text    
First Line: I had been reading tombstones and drinking in
Last Line: Before it was too late
Subject(s): Cemeteries; Drinks & Drinking; Graveyards; Wine


IN A COUNTRY CEMETERY       
First Line: I had been reading tombstones and drinking in
Last Line: Important to her, because it was getting late, %before it was too late
Subject(s): Cemeteries; Drinks And Drinking


IN A FIELD OF WILDFLOWERS       
First Line: Above the river, over the broad hillside
Last Line: For as long as we can imagine through a clear %benevlent afternoon that has no end?


IN A GARDEN    Poem Text    
First Line: The day you said you loved me, we found ourselves
Last Line: (looking the other way.)
Subject(s): Gardens & Gardening; Love - Beginnings; Marvell, Andrew (1621-1678); Poetry & Poets


IN A GARDEN AT THE END OF WINTER       
First Line: On the pond, star-points of rain


IN A LANDFILL       
First Line: Our city fathers and mothers picked this place
Last Line: And join the rest, making ourselves scarce


IN A PASTURE       
First Line: Past outcrops of gray stone on a sloping field
Last Line: Panting, ecstatic, toward his whistling master


IN A STORM       
First Line: They climbed the steep ridge slowly, saving each breath
Last Line: Everything they had known except each other


IN DISTRESS       
First Line: I am abandoning my vessel


IN LOVE       
First Line: Before arriving at love, our only problems
Last Line: Whole days and nights while time keeps time, keeps time %with our preoccupied hearts


IN PRAISE OF THE HIGH VISCOSITY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE       
First Line: Your sluggishness seems well worth
Last Line: Faster without you


IN RUBBLE    Poem Text    
First Line: Right after the bomb, even before the ceiling
Subject(s): World Trade Center Tragedy (9/11/2001); New York City - Terrorist Attack, 9/11


IN THE BADLANDS       
First Line: When we fell apart in the badlands and lay still


IN THE BOOKING ROOM       
First Line: The man with the shopping bag is in so much trouble
Last Line: At the floor and holding a handkerchief dripping blood %tight over one ear like an empty seashell


IN THE DREAM HOUSE       
First Line: My father, having changed %from his comfortable well-worn
Last Line: Out of pride with open eyes %which he no longer has


IN THE DUCK BLIND       
First Line: You don't have to be anything while you're waiting
Last Line: Again an instrument of the beginning of morning


IN THE EXPERIMENTAL POOL       
First Line: The students didn't have to do anything
Last Line: Who climbed into bed with them and said good night


IN THE FOG       
First Line: That evening, they walked in fog, trying to be
Last Line: Or moonless midnight, that whiteness follows then


IN THE HOUSE OF THE DRAGON       
First Line: It comes through the open door as if it's late
Last Line: At a loss for its passion to this very day


IN THE KIVA AT OLD ORAIBI       
First Line: This room you stand in has a floor and a ceiling
Last Line: A piece of cloudless sky burns blue behind him


IN THE OPEN SEASON       
First Line: By what stretch of the mind had we come there, lurching and crackling
Last Line: Dying again and again


IN THE PLAZA DE TOROS       
First Line: Six bulls. And three young men
Last Line: For the gaping mouths of the poor?- %that he lost that day, forever, %some unforgivable hunger?


IN THE ROOM NEXT DOOR       
First Line: The man in the room next door is breaking glass
Last Line: Testing our faith by crying us to sleep


IN THE SHADE OF THE OLD APPLE TREE    Poem Text    
First Line: There's barely room enough under the branches
Last Line: Ready for almost anything
Subject(s): Apple Trees


IN THE SHADOW       
First Line: The moon has come between us
Last Line: Glistens a while, and daylight %turns us a blind eye


IN THE SNOW       
First Line: On a sunless moonless evening
Last Line: My father breathless behind me


IN THE WOODS       
First Line: No matter where you were when you began, no matter
Last Line: Down through a maze of intricate web-fine roots %to feed on


INEXHAUSTIBLE HAT       
First Line: The incomparable monsieur hartz in 1880
Last Line: You were right, you were absolutely right! Encore!


INSTRUCTIONS FOR WHISTLING IN THE DARK       
First Line: Remember: you're demonstrating to dark powers
Last Line: And still emitting now and then (almost %inaudibly) a vibrant column of air


INTO THE NAMELESS PLACES       
First Line: Mr(s) - is undergoing reality orientation to help


INTRODUCTION TO A POETRY READING       
First Line: Others before me have stood up here alone
Last Line: Preservative-free, unscented, fresh-cut poems


JACK AND THE BEANSTALK       
First Line: When she saw the bag of beans
Last Line: Were stalking around the clouds, %rumbling and grumbling, %hunting its bloody supper %and its magic


JEREMIAD       
First Line: The night I was jeremiah


JOGGERS       
First Line: The three women in jogging suits come thumping
Last Line: Like the familiar spirits of a fountain


JOURNEY: STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF A DESERT       
First Line: You stop halfway in this bleakness to reconsider
Last Line: More footloose than ever


JUDGING A HOG       
First Line: He must be observed from both sides and the front
Last Line: The size of udders, you make careful notes


JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL BAND CONCERT       
First Line: When our semi-conductor %raised his baton, we sat there
Last Line: Decomposing our first composer


KEEPERS       
First Line: The drizzle and wind had driven the keepers


KEEPING QUIET AT THE BENEDICTINE ABBEY       
First Line: I was going down to breakfast after a night
Last Line: Then suffered the guilt of special ham and eggs


KINGFISHER       
First Line: The blunt big slate-blue dashing cockaded head
Last Line: Seeing me and swooping away cackling %from the belt streaked rusty over the full belly


LABORS OF THOR       
First Line: Stiff as the icicles in their beards, the ice kings
Last Line: And match her knee for knee, grunting like thunder


LACHRYMALS       
First Line: Some roman women saved their tears in them
Last Line: And walk away, and some would drink them


LAMENT FOR THE NON-SWIMMERS    Poem Text    
First Line: They never feel they can be well in the water
Last Line: They splash ashore, pretending to feel buoyant
Subject(s): Swimming & Swimmers


LAMENT FOR THE NON-SWIMMERS       
First Line: They never feel they can be well in the water
Last Line: But from a sight as blue as drowned men's faces. %they splash ashore, pretending to feel buoyant
Subject(s): Swimming


LAND BEHIND THE WIND: 1. MAKING CAMP       
First Line: When their eyes opened, it was more than morning
Last Line: They gathered boughs, a browse bed and a firebed %and, at the turning point, made fire


LAND BEHIND THE WIND: 2. THEIR FIRE       
First Line: Their fire was small. They fed it only enough
Last Line: As if to shield it, to calm it, and they turned %their faces into its light


LAND BEHIND THE WIND: 3. THEIR SHELTER       
First Line: They sheltered under a spruce in the sudden storm
Last Line: Were drumming against the night like the wings of grouse. %their only fire was their hearts against


LAND BEHIND THE WIND: 4. BACKTRACKING       
First Line: Finding the right way back seemed easy at first
Last Line: Where everything had begun %and might begin again. They kept on walking, %dreaming they were there


LAND BEHIND THE WIND: 5. HIS DREAM       
First Line: He catches sight of it, finally, in the distance
Last Line: Incredible comfort he had always forgotten %even to wish for. He stands and goes on walking


LAND BEHIND THE WIND: 6. HER DREAM AND THE AWAKENING       
First Line: She had become a tree, and two dark birds
Last Line: Wild birds and animals had gathered around her, %looking into her eyes, watching and waiting


LAND BEHIND THE WIND: 8. SEEING THE WIND       
First Line: Long ago, they had tasted a wind like milk. It was still
Last Line: Through all they knew, through all they had ever known, %through all they would know tomorrow of lov


LAND BEHIND THE WIND: 9. WALKING INTO THE WIND       
First Line: After walking into the wind all day, they would rest
Last Line: But motionless, holding their bare ground. %there lay the wind at their feet like a pathway


LAND BEHIND THE WIND: THE SOURCE       
First Line: Neither had said they were going to climb to it
Last Line: Stones like first words: only %begin, and the rest will follow


LANDSCAPER       
First Line: He comes with the deal, he tells me, his services
Last Line: Before his very eyes, I almost turn %into one for him, and we shake on it


LANDSCAPING ROCKS FOR SALE       
First Line: They look like what they are: wreckage, the offspring
Last Line: Out of the light of earth into our darkness %and a hard beginning
Subject(s): Landscape


LAST LOOK (FOR VERNON WATKINS)       
First Line: He was crossing a bridge when I saw him last


LAST WORDS OF THE HUMAN FLY       
First Line: I swear by the bottomless pit of my stomach


LAUGHING BOY       
First Line: On my first day of school %my first friend was a boy
Last Line: And called my name and laughed


LEAVING SOMETHING BEHIND       
First Line: A fox at your neck and snakeskin on your feet
Last Line: Come safely back. There was nothing in her arms


LESSON       
First Line: That promising morning
Last Line: In his fiery honor


LESSONS OF WATER       
First Line: When given a palce to wait, it fills that place
Last Line: For the wind to begin again
Subject(s): Learning; Water


LET US PUT YOU IN YOUR DREAM CAR       
First Line: It won't won't %quite won't in the cold
Last Line: Parking free all night


LETTER HOME       
First Line: In a bad year, my father went away
Last Line: In a letter home with traces of me inside


LIFESAVING       
First Line: Those arms stretching toward you helplessly
Last Line: That its arms and legs can begin to move %surely with yours toward the land of the living


LITANY       
First Line: Our sister of the disposable dolls and doilies


LIVING IN THE RUINS       
First Line: The tyranny of doors swung shut and bolted


LIVING WITH SNAKES       
First Line: Since their natural habitat with its wide secret
Last Line: By their followers, by processions of rib cages, %by their narrowest selves


LONELINESS OF THE 100-METER DASH MAN       
First Line: Crouching, he puts the stiffened tips of his fingers
Last Line: Dashing from start to finish?


LOOKING FOR NELLIE WASHINGTON       
First Line: My job in a hard time %was to bring those people down
Last Line: With interest so long forgiven %as I owe you I quit


LOOKING FOR SHIVA IN THE PUBLIC MARKET       
First Line: Only one place in the entire city
Last Line: Shiva, when drunk, would dance home to his wife


LOOKING INTO A CRYSTAL BALL       
First Line: Once you get over seeing even more comic
Last Line: To hear them whisper?


LOOKING INTO A POND       
First Line: The leaves have floated across the shallow pond


LOONS MATING       
First Line: Their necks and their dark heads lifted into a dawn
Last Line: And now the haunted uprisen wailing call, %and again, and now the beautiful sane laughter


LOST    Poem Text    
First Line: Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Subject(s): Forest


LOST       
First Line: Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Last Line: Where you are. You must let it find you


LOST STREET       
First Line: You sit for a moment, idling, remembering


LOVE SONG AFTER A NIGHTMARE       
First Line: Half listen, love, half asleep


LOVE STILL HAS SOMETHING OF THE SEA       
First Line: Aldous huxley and thomas mann by the light
Last Line: They turned aside and talked about something else


LULLABY THROUGH THE SIDE OF THE MOUTH       
First Line: Good night, unlucky three. Mice at a feast
Last Line: But those are joys. You will not dream such things


LYING AWAKE IN A BED ONCE SLEPT IN BY GROVER CLEVELAND       
First Line: One night, this bed was the ship of state. It sank


LYING IN AMBUSH       
First Line: He had been told to wait for the enemy
Last Line: The enemy sitting around him, smiling and waiting


MADMAN       
First Line: When the haida heard him and found him in the woods
Last Line: Quick, themselves again in the light


MADSTONE    Poem Text    
First Line: When he had killed a white-tailed deer
Last Line: In his belly another madstone
Subject(s): Hunting; Hunters


MADSTONE       
First Line: When he had killed a white-tailed deer
Last Line: In his belly another madstone
Subject(s): Hunting


MAGICIAN       
First Line: In the tent at the carnival, the magician showed us
Last Line: The woman laughed and spilled her beer in the sawdust


MAKERS OF RAIN       
First Line: We sit at the top of the pyramid of the magician


MAKING A BROWSE BED       
First Line: You've reached the end of daylight, and now each step
Last Line: You smother the light by closing your mind's eye


MAKING A FIRE IN THE RAIN       
First Line: Rain has filled all these branches, living or broken


MAKING A GOD       
First Line: His god let people die and had not stayed
Last Line: In both of its stone hands and eating them


MAKING CAMP       
First Line: You've found the place in time-no permanent shade
Last Line: To the chorus of morning


MAKING UP FOR A SOUL       
First Line: It's been like fixing a clock, jamming the wheels
Last Line: To stop the gaps in ourselves, like better halves


MAN FROM THE TOP OF THE MIND       
First Line: From immaculate construction to half death


MAN OF THE HOUSE       
First Line: My father, looking for trouble, would find it


MAN WHO SPILLED LIGHT WASN'T TO BLAME FOR IT       


MAPMAKING       
First Line: It's an old desire: a sketch of part of the earth
Last Line: Some share of the unknown


MARCH FOR A ONE-MAN BAND       
First Line: He's a boom a blat in the uniform
Last Line: A click he stands at attention a wheeze %and plays the irrational anthem bang


MARCH OF COXEY'S ARMY       
First Line: They started on easter sunday like resurrected bodies


MARSH HAWK       
First Line: Along the split rail fence, no higher


MARSH LEAF    Poem Text    
First Line: The swamp reeds murmur the song
Subject(s): Leaves


MEDITATION       
First Line: You won't squirm a path
Last Line: Or less of your own kind


MEDITATION ON THE UNION BAY GARBAGE FILL       
First Line: There would be classrooms here by now if the inspired garbage


MEDUSA'S LOVER       
First Line: Her personal problems seemed unbearably
Last Line: At her throat forever. She lifted her chin. She pursed. %sheclosed her eyes to wait for her first ki


MEETING A BEAR       
First Line: If you haven't made noise enough to warn him, singing, shouting
Last Line: Meanwhile, move off, yielding the forest floor %as carefully as your honor


MEETING A STRANGER       
First Line: Lost in the woods, you finally find a path
Last Line: Out of your mouth but breath before he's gone


MEETING THE DITCHDIGGER       
First Line: For an hour, our small black galvanized terrier
Last Line: Of crisis, and she crawls forward to surrender


MEMENTO MORI       
First Line: In my list of choies, death has not appeared


MIDDLE OF NOWHERE       
First Line: To be here, in the first place, is sufficiently amazing


MISSING THE TRAIL       
First Line: Only a moment ago you were thinking of something
Last Line: Wanting to get to, past the middle of nowhere %toward your wit's end


MOCKINGBIRD       
First Line: A campus prophet with his mouth to a bullhorn


MODELS       
First Line: Music begins, and here they come toward us
Last Line: They turn and disappear behind curtains


MOSS CAMPION AT THE SNOW LINE       
First Line: The last wildflower before
Last Line: As this mountain, it will go %under once more to endure %after the first snow %one more burial


MOTH FLIGHT       
First Line: For this moth there is no way
Last Line: Of its tongue to drink at a flowerhead


MOTH SONG       
First Line: I tasted it, the gold


MOVING INTO THE GARDEN       
First Line: Moving into the garden, we settle down
Last Line: With what we've gathered here against the winter


MR. BONES       
First Line: Ranchers and townspeople and sodbusters
Last Line: In public and private gardens among flowers


MURDER MYSTERY       
First Line: After the murder, like parades of fools


MURDERER       
First Line: Because he had listened only to his blood, %had let it thicken
Last Line: Again and be himself among them


MUSE    Poem Text    
First Line: Cackling, smelling of camphor, crumbs of pink icing
Last Line: My gristle-breasted, slack-jawed zealot, kiss me again
Subject(s): Muses


MUSE       
First Line: Cackling, smelling of camphor, crumbs of pink icing
Last Line: My gristle-breasted, slack-jawed zealot, kiss me again
Subject(s): Muses


MY FATHER AND THE HYDROSTATIC PARADOX       
First Line: My father made up his mind that old swamp water
Last Line: Counterclockwise the whole clockwise idea


MY FATHER IN THE BASEMENT       
First Line: Something had gone wrong down in the basement
Last Line: In calling strangers if something was out of order %because if he couldn't fix it, nobody could


MY FATHER LAUGHING IN THE CHICAGO THEATER       
First Line: His heavy body would double itself forward
Last Line: Tipping his old hat in gratitude


MY FATHER'S FOOTBALL GAME    Poem Text    
First Line: He watched each tv game for all he was worth, while swaying
Subject(s): Fathers; Football


MY FATHER'S FOOTBALL GAME       
First Line: He watched each tv game for all he was worth, while swaying
Last Line: By failing light in a gotterdammerung, nothing to nothing


MY FATHER'S GARDEN    Poem Text    
First Line: On his way to the open hearth where white-hot steel
Subject(s): Fathers; Junk And Junkyards; Metaphor; Mills And Millers; Steel; Similes


MY FATHER'S GARDEN       
First Line: On his way to the open hearth where white-hot steel
Last Line: As if they were his ripe prize vegetables
Subject(s): Fathers; Junk And Junkyards; Metaphor; Mills And Millers; Steel


MY FATHER'S GHOST    Poem Text    
First Line: I counted them, and now I look through the door
Last Line: My father's ghost in my arms in his dark doorway
Subject(s): Family Life; Fathers; Relatives


MY FATHER'S GHOST       
First Line: I counted them, and now I look through the door
Last Line: My father's ghost in my arms in his dark doorway
Subject(s): Family Life


MY FATHER'S WALL       
First Line: The old one was falling: the cracked gravelly pieces flaking


MY FIRE       
First Line: In the cave under our house
Last Line: Fronds and bone-white flowers %all ice in a frozen garden


MY MOTHER AND FATHER       
First Line: They stand by the empty car
Last Line: And slag in the rusty water


MY MOTHER'S POEM    Poem Text    
First Line: Redwing blackbird, sitting on a stalk
Last Line: Already knowing the end and the answer
Subject(s): Mothers; Poetry & Poets


MY PASSENGER       
First Line: I was flying solo in my father's car
Last Line: That afternoon, I fooled almost everybody


MY PETS       
First Line: I had none in our house


MY PHYSICS TEACHER       
First Line: He tried to convince us, but his billiard ball


MY SNAKE    Poem Text    
First Line: By the railroad tracks, on cinders
Last Line: None of us ever said a word about it
Subject(s): Snakes; Children


MY VISION       
First Line: On a bright day, coming in from sun to shade
Last Line: In a translucence filled with silent lightning


NAVAL TRAINEES LEARN HOW TO JUMP OVERBOARD       
First Line: The last trainees are climbing the diving tower
Last Line: Upright, blue-lipped, no longer breathing, already %drowned,they commit their bodies to the deep


NEIGHBORS       
First Line: My neighbor tells me I'm the worst, the rudest


NESTING GROUND       
First Line: Piping sharp as a reed, %the small bird stood its ground
Last Line: The young spring out of cover, %piping one death was over


NEWS FROM THE COURT       
First Line: Summoned by love and heat and god knows what


NIGHT AT THE ZOO       
First Line: In the smallest hours of the night they climb the walls
Last Line: After slapping and shaking him to a peaceable %agreeable, and respectful silence


NIGHT LIGHT       
First Line: The two girls want to know
Last Line: And plug in the night light


NIGHT OF THE SAD WOMEN       
First Line: They are undressing slowly by closed doors
Last Line: To be raveled to the floor, but not to end


NIGHT PASSAGE       
First Line: The lights are going on over the water


NINE CHARMS AGAINST THE HUNTER       
First Line: In the last bar on the way to your wild game
Subject(s): Hate; Sports


NINE CHARMS AGAINST THE HUNTER       
First Line: In the last bar on the way to your wild game
Last Line: Whose dull knife beats the inside of your chest
Subject(s): Hate; Sports


NO SALE       
First Line: Shushing their ankle dogs


NOTE FROM BODY TO SOUL       
First Line: Each word a rock


NOTE TO A LITERARY CLUB       
First Line: When ladies read poems in the heart of ohio


NOW STUMP FOUND HIS VILLAGE       
First Line: Stump went from lodge to river, the loud one


NUTHATCH    Poem Text    
First Line: Quick, at the feeder, pausing
Last Line: For just one more all morning
Subject(s): Birds


NUTHATCH       
First Line: Quick, at the feeder, pausing
Last Line: For just one more all morning
Subject(s): Birds


OBSERVATIONS FROM THE OUTER EDGE       
First Line: I pass the abrupt end of the woods, and stop
Last Line: Clings to his starry axle, staring sideways


OBSERVER       
First Line: The woman kneeling by the side of the road


OCTOPUS       
First Line: In her small yard of seabed and salt water
Last Line: Is lifting all thought of her to its beginning %lightly, buoyantly, ready to leave %a darkness in it


ODE TO THE MUSE ON BEHALF OF A YOUNG POET       
First Line: Madam, he thinks you've become his lover. He doesn't know
Last Line: Your explosive silences, the consolations of horror, %the forgeries of death


ODE TO TWELVE YARDS OF UNSCREENED FILL DIRT       
First Line: The dump truck left the rough-and-tumble angles


OFFERING FOR DUNGENESS BAY       
First Line: The tern, his lean, slant wings
Last Line: Lifting, beginning again, going on and on


OFFERTORY       
First Line: Ready to leave for work, I look around


OLD MAN, OLD MAN       
First Line: Young men, not knowing what to remember
Last Line: Bend forward over it like a man at a small campfire


OLD MEN GOING TO BED       
First Line: They have already fallen
Last Line: To settle with darkness


OLD WORDS       
First Line: This is hard to say
Last Line: And again, taken to heart, %to touch, love, to begin


ON A MOUNTAINSIDE       
First Line: Here on the north face, on a slab of granite
Last Line: In a dazzle of light, a burnt-gold avalanche


ON BEING ASKED TO DISCUSS POETIC THEORY       
First Line: I know for a fact snow falls in the mountains
Last Line: And wild flowerheads, the same snow is falling


ON MOTEL WALLS       
First Line: Beyond the foot of the bed: a seascape whose ocean
Last Line: Of value? Have you left anything behind?


ON SEEING A STREET INDIAN WEARING MY OLD DRESS SUIT       
First Line: It's the one I gave last year to the rummage sale
Last Line: Besides my hands and some money to buy him off


ON SEEING AN X-RAY OF MY HEAD       
First Line: Now face to face, hard head, old nodder and shaker
Last Line: Go back to the start, old lime pit, remembering flesh and skin %your bloody forebears


ON THE FOREST FLOOR       
First Line: In this green shade, over the leaves and rubble
Last Line: Where all that endures is your bewilderment


ON THE PLAINS       
First Line: There was nothing to keep you here, and there was nothing
Last Line: Which, though you cringe aside, still moves against you


ON THIN ICE       
First Line: This is the smoothest going, you've put yourself
Last Line: Stiffening toward home, your feet on the ground


ONCE UPON A PICNIC GROUND       


ONE EAR TO THE GROUND       
First Line: Stretched out on the ground, I hear the news of the night
Last Line: And, beneath, the rumble of faulted and flawed earth %shaking its answer


ONE MORE FOR THE RAIN       
First Line: The rain is pummelling


OPEN STAIRCASE       
First Line: A staircase without walls
Last Line: Has nothing behind her back %and nothing to turn to %or dead latch after her. %there is no ceiling l


ORCHARD OF THE DREAMING PIGS       
First Line: As rosy as sunsets over their cloudy hocks, the pigs come flying
Last Line: To the bloody sites, their breath turned sweet as apples


OSPREY'S NEST       
First Line: The osprey's nest has dropped of its own weight
Last Line: Has come to earth smelling as high as heaven


OTHER HOUSE       
First Line: As a boy, I haunted an abandoned house
Last Line: To a chorus me home toward silence. %theirs was the only house that sang all night
Subject(s): Home


OTHER SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN       
First Line: To walk downhill, you must lean partially backward
Last Line: You can bite a grass stem, look, take a deep breath %and, naturally, let it go


OUR BLINDNESS       
First Line: I see you now, and now
Last Line: All shapes from their feet and fingers %to make a second blindness. %we turn to all we know


OUR FATHER       
First Line: He held so much


OUR HANDS       
First Line: Hands off, I say to my daughters, and keep your hands
Last Line: And made ready for night


OUR MODEL       
First Line: By the forest pond while I sit watching


OUT FOR A NIGHT       
First Line: It was no, no, no, practicing at a chair
Last Line: And no to the knees and chin, and one good-bye


OWL       
First Line: The crows, a stark black-and-blue whirling
Last Line: The first hummingbird moth of this long night


PADDED CELL       
First Line: The only furniture is a man in a corner
Last Line: Before he comes to an abrupt conclusion %smack up against it


PAIR OF BARN OWLS, HUNTING       
First Line: Now slowly, smoothly flying over the field
Last Line: And swerve, claws first, down to the grass together


PANDORA'S DREAM       
First Line: Falling asleep, she saw the lid of the box
Last Line: A single clasp and using her naked eyes. %she rose,still in a dream, and opened it


PART SONG       
First Line: At the nursing home's thanksgiving party


PATH       
First Line: The path led just a shade to steeply
Last Line: And with their empty glasses began climbing %resignedly back uphill
Subject(s): Nature; Roads


PEACOCK DISPLAY    Poem Text    
First Line: He approaches her, trailing his whole fortune
Subject(s): Birds


PEACOCK DISPLAY       
First Line: He approaches her, trailing his whole fortune
Last Line: Not watching him, astonished to discover %all these seeds spread just for her in the dirt
Subject(s): Birds


PEOPLE WHO ATE SNOW       
First Line: The sun died. The birds and animals died
Last Line: They dreamed around it, fearless and motionless


PHOTOGRAPHING A RATTLESNAKE    Poem Text    
First Line: On smooth sand among stones
Last Line: Back to its still life
Subject(s): Photography & Photographers; Rattlesnakes


PHOTOGRAPHING A RATTLESNAKE       
First Line: On smooth sand among stones
Last Line: A teardrop of venom %back to its still life
Subject(s): Photography And Photographers; Rattlesnakes


PICKPOCKET       
First Line: He knows where you've hidden them. He knows
Last Line: Your credit, your likeness, and your assumed name


PINK BOY       
First Line: The people had come to see
Last Line: And then we had some cake


PLAINSONG AGAINST THE RAISING OF THE DEAD       
First Line: No doubt they were all missed
Last Line: And hoping the cold rain %falls gently where they are


PLAINSONG FOR EVERYONE WHO WAS KILLED YESTERDAY       
First Line: You haven't missed anything yet
Last Line: Now as they always were


PLANTING A RED MAPLE       
First Line: They all look dead, lined up like bad examples
Last Line: Come spiraling down to all the other kingdoms?


PLAY       
First Line: Crouching, he was falling


PLAYING THE HEAVY FATHER       
First Line: Your actor playing the heavy father
Last Line: Of one, without a flicker of satisfaction


PLUMAGE       
First Line: Beside a bush, the pheasant on one foot


POEM ABOUT BREATH       
First Line: She was at work on a poem about breath
Last Line: Then she bent over and over, choking with laughter


POETS AGREE TO BE QUIET BY THE SWAMP       
First Line: They hold their hands over their mouths
Last Line: Stoop, and begin the ancient croaking


POLICE MANUAL       
First Line: As a member of the force, you must consider what force


POSING WITH A TROPHY       
First Line: Lying on the ground, your bear


PRAYER    Poem Text    
First Line: From this one breath
Subject(s): Prayer


PRAYER       
First Line: From this one breath


PRESSING LEAVES    Poem Text    
First Line: My daughters bring me leaves
Last Line: To help the others unfold outisde the windows
Subject(s): Leaves; Daughters


PRINCE CHARMING       
First Line: No matter what he did, his entourage said


QUICK MEDITATION ON A SENIOR CITIZENS' DRILL TEAM       
First Line: They're putting their whole souls into it left and right
Last Line: Around a corner ahead of time out of sight


RAGING       
First Line: Suddenly the stone tools spilled from the tracks in my forehead


RATTLESNAKE DANCE       
First Line: Though we're both narrow and smooth %enough to slip away
Last Line: As flakes of obsidian %as the chirring of old rattles


RECITAL       
First Line: During your song, the audience shouldn't know
Last Line: You show no sign of breathing


RECITATION       
First Line: He had to say a poem. Others before him
Last Line: And they never asked him to recite another


RECOLLECTION       
First Line: Dear, I have been days


RELICS       
First Line: Leaning against my books, the sunflowers
Last Line: And pieces of poems and disembodied words %your heads heavy with promises for another season


REMARKABLE EXHIBITION       
First Line: It was remarkable, that day on the river
Last Line: Magic enough to avoid eight rifles flashing %as long as all that and still, as they finally were, %b
Subject(s): Environment; Nature


REPLANTING A GARDEN       
First Line: Here, roses sickened in the shade of a house
Last Line: One earthbound frond at a time all summer long %uncoiling life after life out of that shadow


REPORT FROM A FOREST LOGGED BY THE WEYERHAEUSER COMPANY       
First Line: Three square miles clear-cut
Last Line: They've managed this to a fare-thee-well


REPORT ON THE EXCAVATION       
First Line: It seemed a promising dig: the slightly sunken
Last Line: Like feathers into innocent-seeming earth


RESTING PLACE       
First Line: We'll find it at the edge of a forest


RETURN OF ICARUS       
First Line: He showed up decades later, crook-necked and hip-sprung
Last Line: That's how he'd stay in touch, keeping his feet on the ground
Subject(s): Icarus; Mythology - Classical


RETURN OF ORPHEUS       
First Line: On the long way up from hell, he listened hard
Last Line: Did it dawn on him she was no longer there


RETURN TO THE RIVER       
First Line: Through streaming sunlight and rain, surging, the humpback


RETURN TO THE SWAMP       
First Line: To begin again, I come back to the swamp
Last Line: Fixing on me his green, princely attention


REVIVAL       
First Line: When brother jessen showed the tawny spot


RIDE TOWARD THE SOUND OF GUNFIRE       
First Line: As a strategy, back then or now, it leaves
Last Line: Yourself out of action


RIVERBED       
First Line: Through the salt mouth of the river
Last Line: And we lie down all day beside them


ROLES       
First Line: Old enough then to know


ROOM WITH A VIEW       
First Line: At last, outside my window an expanse


ROSEBUSH; A MEMORY OF THEODORE ROETHKE       
First Line: He was going to plant a rose. He'd found it mildewed
Last Line: From their thin stems. Grimly, he ate them both
Subject(s): Roethke, Theodore (1908-1963)


ROUND DANCE       
First Line: Let's dance. Let's make our marks first


RUBBER JAY       
First Line: You'll never need to search for him
Last Line: Still and be there just once more


RULES       
First Line: If you stand still on the sidewalk stand there breathing
Last Line: A dozen eggs a bible you stole it come here %you're drunk you're a thief you're drunk get in shut up


SALMON BOY       
First Line: That boy was hungry. His mother gave him dog salmon
Last Line: All day he dried on sticks, staring upriver


SATIRISTS       
First Line: With verminous ringlets leaping on their wings


SEANCE FOR TWO HANDS       
First Line: When all the shades could spell


SEARCHING IN THE BRITANNIA TAVERN       
First Line: To get to the land of the dead, you must go through
Last Line: Your soul slowly toward you in cupped hands


SEEDS       
First Line: By night they climbed the dead sunflower stalks in my workroom


SEQUENCE: A SEA CHANGE, SELS.       


SEQUENCE: ACTS OF WAR, SELS.       


SEQUENCE: THE JOURNEY, SELS.       


SEVEN SONGS FOR AN OLD VOICE: DARK SONG       
First Line: The faint scraping of stalk against leaf, the twig


SEVEN SONGS FOR AN OLD VOICE: FIRE SONG       
First Line: I watch the point of the twirling stick


SEVEN SONGS FOR AN OLD VOICE: SONG FOR MAKER OF NIGHTMARES       
First Line: You start your campfire on my breast like a mad grandfather


SEVEN SONGS FOR AN OLD VOICE: SONG FOR THE FIRST PEOPLE       
First Line: When you learned that men were coming, you changed into rocks


SEVEN SONGS FOR AN OLD VOICE: SONG FOR THE SOUL GOING AWAY       
First Line: I have wakened and found you gone


SEVEN SONGS FOR AN OLD VOICE: SONG FOR THE SOUL RETURNING       
First Line: Without singing, without the binding of midnight


SHAPE       
First Line: The seed falls, lies still through rain
Last Line: To transparent eyes, to the ends of fingers, then raises %into a storm this branched unreasoning sha


SHARP-SHIN       
First Line: He broke past the corners
Last Line: The sharper hook of his beak %took its share of spring


SHOCKING MACHINE       
First Line: It looked like something stolen
Last Line: They hadn't just been stuck %with the sons of frankensteins %but with two sad monsters


SHOOTING OF JOHN DILLINGER OUTSIDE THE BIOGRAPH THEATER       
First Line: Chicago ran a fever of a hundred and one that groggy sunday
Last Line: With three unknown vice presidents, benjamin harrison, and james whitcomb riley, %who never held any
Subject(s): Crime And Criminals; Dillinger, John (1902-1934); Indiana


SHOPLIFTER       
First Line: She stands alone in the aisle, head tilted


SICK CHILD       
First Line: That child was quiet and would no longer run
Last Line: And never to come back again in the night
Subject(s): Children


SILENCE OF THE STARS       
First Line: When laurens van der post one night
Last Line: Through their exiles in the desert


SINGING LESSON       
First Line: You must stand erect but at your ease, a posture
Last Line: When you must give the final end-stopped movement %your tacit approval


SITTING BY A SWAMP       
First Line: Minutes ago, it was dead
Last Line: Burns green at my elbow


SLEEPING ALONE (1)       
First Line: It should be easy: no one breathing
Last Line: Beside her but an emptiness he turns to %hourly emptily without her


SLEEPING ALONE (2)       
First Line: It should be easy, no one
Last Line: And then, but forever


SLEEPING BEAUTY       
First Line: The hard part wasn't the overgrown, thorn-clawed hedge
Last Line: Leaned among brambles, wringing their knucklebones %to welcome him, grinning, covered with roses


SLEEPING BY A RIVER       
First Line: My feet cut off from me, the ends of my legs


SLEEPING IN THE WOODS       
First Line: Not having found your way out of the woods, begin
Last Line: By being here have found the right way out %now, you may waken


SLOW COUNTRY       
First Line: When you come to slow country, you will move


SLUG       
First Line: I moved his stone. I turned his house
Last Line: For all souls and slugs to nurse their wisdom


SNAKE HUNT       
First Line: On sloping, shattered granite, the snake man
Last Line: They held their venom behind wide-open eyes


SNAKESKIN       
First Line: All day those eyes %staring from burnt-gold
Last Line: What it had been, went tumbling %slowly adrift downwind


SNOWFLAKES       
First Line: They will not fall from high
Last Line: Together, each like nothing %ever before reborn %from the star-filled heart of water, %and stay in t


SOLES ARE LYING IN SHALLOWS OFF DUNGENESS SPIT       


SOME ANSWERS TO THE PROTESTANT ETHIC       
First Line: What did you do today?
Last Line: Apprentice to a sparrow


SON OF A GLOVER       
First Line: Because the skin of his fingers had touched the skins
Last Line: He would keep his hands to himself


SONG       
First Line: At first, he sang for love
Last Line: Without remembering her %in his arms, no matter where %or how that singing ends


SONG AFTER MIDNIGHT       
First Line: Where have you been, two-legged walker?
Last Line: Lie down alone %till you can ask one true beautiful question%without an answer


SONG FOR THE BONES OF SALMON       
First Line: I have counted your bones
Last Line: Till you come again to die


SONG FOR THE COMING OF SMALLPOX       
First Line: At night sparks fly from them
Last Line: But dreaming only of bones


SONG FOR THE WORST DAY       
First Line: It has come shambling


SONG OF A MAN WHO RUSHED AT THE ENEMY       
First Line: I could have fought like fox who can see behind him
Last Line: I am running toward them on the shore forever, singing this


SONG OFF-KEY       
First Line: I needed to make music, but look what's coming
Last Line: Here come that rat and that bum for no good reason


SONG TO ACCOMPANY THE BEARER OF BAD NEWS       
First Line: Kings kill their messengers
Last Line: With feeling now you may stop


SONGS FOR DREAM CATCHERS: SONG AGAINST THE SKY       
First Line: What is wrong with sky?


SONGS FOR DREAM CATCHERS: SONG FOR A STOLEN SOUL       
First Line: Sky, I am standing


SONGS FOR DREAM CATCHERS: SONG FOR ICE       
First Line: Ice, I ask for nothing


SONGS FOR DREAM CATCHERS: SONG FOR SNAKE       
First Line: Come out of your coil in the yellow shadow


SONGS FOR DREAM CATCHERS: SONG FOR THE EATING OF BARNACLES       
First Line: I carry the stones you cling to


SONGS FOR DREAM CATCHERS: SONG FOR THE PAINTING OF THE DEAD       
First Line: Now, in the black branches


SONGS FOR DREAM CATCHERS: SONG FOR THE SKULL OF BLACK BEAR       
First Line: You came out of pity for my empty stomach


SONGS FOR DREAM CATCHERS: SONG FOR THE STEALING OF A SPRING       
First Line: This place where water grows


SONGS MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME       
First Line: In a small throaty soprano
Subject(s): Family Life


SPEECH FROM A COMEDY       
First Line: I am god. But all my creatures are unkind to me
Last Line: God is sick and tired


SPEEDING    Poem Text    
First Line: My friends and I wanted to drive fast
Subject(s): Automobile Drivers; Speed


SPEEDING       
First Line: My friends and I wanted to drive fast
Last Line: Our eyes were headed were meant to go by god


SPIDER SONG       
First Line: It flies crookedly


SPRING SONG       
First Line: O marvelous, our brave delight


STANDING HALFWAY HOME       
First Line: At the last turn in the path, where locust thorns
Last Line: As if I were a stalk, bursts into song


STANDING IN BARR CREEK       
First Line: Under the down-swept water-wise streaming boughs
Last Line: A passing-through, an unending dissolution %as permanent as the stones bearing us both


STAYING ALIVE       
First Line: Staying alive in the woods is a matter of calming down
Subject(s): Forests; Survival; Wilderness; Woods


STAYING ALIVE       
First Line: Staying alive in the woods is a matter of calming down
Last Line: Then, chances are, you should be prepared to burrow %deep for a deep winter
Subject(s): Forests; Survival; Wilderness


STAYING ALIVE IN A CLEAR-CUT FOREST       
First Line: I sit on a forest floor


STAYING FOUND       
First Line: He stood alone on the almost washed-away road


STAYING HERE       
First Line: A sliver of light, the crack of morning, breaks
Last Line: As well as you know your own


STILTWALKER       
First Line: Look up out tilting through


STOPPING ALONG THE WAY    Poem Text    
First Line: Heading south toward campus, my car
Subject(s): Automobile Drivers; Possums


STORYTELLER       
First Line: We had no warning. He was suddenly there
Last Line: And never returned except as voices in dreams %warning us, softly troubling our troubled sleep


STRETCHING       
First Line: Leaving the road and crossing the hard shoulder


STRETCHING CANVASES       
First Line: By the last of the light, I pull


STUMP SPEECH       
First Line: This is the bark, which is always dead
Last Line: Inside the broken shell of the bark %but a dream of a tree forever dead. %and this is the speech tha


SUMMER STORM IN NAVARRE, OHIO       
First Line: When the wind was right, all of my grandma's house
Last Line: And the smell of fresh bread whirling through the window


SURVIVOR       
First Line: We found the salmon on its side, the river no longer


SYMPOSIUM       
First Line: The professor of comparative literature
Last Line: And driving him beyond their frames of reference


TACHYCARDIA AT THE FOOT OF THE FIFTH GREEN       
First Line: My heart is flapping away from me


TALKING BACK       
First Line: This green-and-red, yellow-naped amazon parrot, pythagoras
Last Line: The answer which yeats in his finite wisdom forgot to teach me


TALKING TO BARR CREEK       
First Line: Under the peach-leaf willows, alders, and choke cherries
Last Line: Teach me your spirit, going yet staying, being %born, vanishing, enduring


TALKING TO THE FOREST       
First Line: We'll notice first they've quit turning their ears
Last Line: Making no noise unless someone is listening


TAMING A BEAR       
First Line: I tried to punish her
Last Line: The gathering and regathering %of her own wilderness


TAN TA RA, CRIES MARS ...'       
First Line: Clang!' goes the high-framed, feather-tufted gong. The mace


TEAL'S WING       
First Line: About the tide line above the dead
Last Line: Still beautiful still poised %still light as feathers
Subject(s): Animals; Death; Seashore


TELLING WHAT HAPPENED       
First Line: The kwakiutl said one word
Last Line: Nearby in the night would know %it was safe to sleep now
Subject(s): History; Nature


THAT BIRD       
First Line: That bird hidden high between your shoulders
Last Line: Into itself alone. It will be %only itself and then be gone


THAT CHILD    Poem Text    
First Line: That child was dangerous. That just-born
Subject(s): Babies; Native Americans - Children; Infants


THAT HUNTER       
First Line: That bella coola hunter had followed and found
Last Line: As sand-fleas, clouds of mosquitoes, and horseflies


THAT MOMENT       
First Line: Having swum farther than he'd known he could swim, so far
Last Line: He turns and walks toward her in a room, his love %for her that moment beginning


THAT OLD GANG OF MINE       
First Line: Warden, I tahnk you.' 'not at all.' he bowed
Last Line: We danced a ring around the burning bush


THE ACTRESS AND THE RAT    Poem Text    
First Line: I can hear her feet overhead. As ever, at night
Subject(s): Actors & Actresses; Man-woman Relationships; Theater & Theaters; Actresses; Male-female Relations; Stage Life


THE ASTRONOMER'S APPRENTICE    Poem Text    
First Line: Observing the noon sun over bangalore
Subject(s): Astronomy & Astronomers


THE AUTHOR OF AMERICAN ORNITHOLOGY SKETCHES A BIRD, NOW EXTINCT    Poem Text    
First Line: When he walked through town, the wing-shot bird he'd hidden
Subject(s): Birds


THE BEST SLOW DANCER    Poem Text    
First Line: Under the sagging clotheslines of crepe paper
Subject(s): Youth; Dancing & Dancers


THE BURNING BUSH    Poem Text    
First Line: A quick flare takes the leaves
Last Line: The bush stands bare at the edge of the silent prairie
Subject(s): Fire


THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF THE BIRDS    Poem Text    
First Line: Falling asleep, the birds are falling
Subject(s): Birds


THE ELDERS    Poem Text    
First Line: When by the fire at sundown the elders
Subject(s): Aging


THE END OF THE STORY    Poem Text    
First Line: After dressing up out of a dress-up basket
Subject(s): Fairy Tales; Night; Bedtime


THE ESCAPED GORILLA    Poem Text    
First Line: When he walked out in the park that early evening
Subject(s): Apes; Escapes; Zoos; Gorillas; Chimpanzees; Gibbons; Orangutans; Fugitives


THE FAN DANCE    Poem Text    
First Line: I was seven and sally rand wasn't wearing
Subject(s): Children; Burlesque; Dancing & Dancers; Innocence


THE FIRST MOVIE    Poem Text    
First Line: I walked with jessamine, the tall black lady
Last Line: Sayng hush, hush, but I 'd hushed myself already
Subject(s): Motion Pictures; Childhood Memories


THE FOUR FATES    Poem Text    
First Line: The greeks had words for them. They were the parcae:
Subject(s): Mythology - Classical


THE GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD MORNING OF FEDERICO GARCIA LORCA    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: He knew he was asleep and was dreaming
Subject(s): Garcia Lorca, Federico (1898-1936)


THE HOLD-UP    Poem Text    
First Line: First comes a fence, then the mouth of an alley
Subject(s): Crime & Criminals


THE JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING BAND    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: When our semi-conductor
Subject(s): High Schools; Bands; Music & Musicians; Orchestras


THE LESSONS OF WATER    Poem Text    
First Line: When given a place to wait, it fills that place
Subject(s): Learning; Water


THE LONELINESS OF THE 100-METER DASH MAN    Poem Text    
First Line: Crouching, he puts the stiffened tips of his fingers
Subject(s): Loneliness; Track Athletics; Running Races; Pole Vaulting; Discus Throwing; Shot Putting; Running Hurdles


THE MAN FROM THE TOP OF THE MIND    Poem Text    
First Line: From immaculate construction to half death
Subject(s): Robots & Robotics


THE MODELS    Poem Text    
First Line: Music begins, and here they come toward us
Subject(s): Models


THE OTHER HOUSE    Poem Text    
First Line: As a boy, I haunted an abandoned house
Subject(s): Home


THE PATH    Poem Text    
First Line: The path led just a shade too steeply
Subject(s): Nature; Roads; Paths; Trails


THE PRINCIPLES OF CONCEALMENT    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: If you're caught in the open
Subject(s): Identity


THE RECOGNITION    Poem Text    
First Line: I recognize myself, but not by sight
Subject(s): Self


THE RED HAT    Poem Text    
First Line: The lady had come right through the front door
Last Line: Smiling behind the screen with her clothes off
Subject(s): Women – Old Age; Hats; Memory


THE ROSEBUSH; A MEMORY OF THEODORE ROETHKE    Poem Text    
First Line: He was going to plant a rose. He'd found it mildewed
Subject(s): Roethke, Theodore (1908-1963)


THE SHOOTING OF JOHN DILLINGER OUTSIDE THE BIOGRAPH THEATER    Poem Text    
First Line: Chicago ran a fever of a hundred and one that groggy sunday
Subject(s): Crime & Criminals; Dillinger, John (1902-1934); Indiana


THE SICK CHILD    Poem Text    
First Line: That child was quiet and would no longer run
Subject(s): Children; Childhood


THE TEAL'S WING    Poem Text    
First Line: About the tide line above the dead
Subject(s): Animals; Death; Seashore; Dead, The; Beach; Coast; Shore


THE WATER LILY    Poem Text    
First Line: As slowly, as carefully as a wading bird
Subject(s): Art & Artists


THE WORDS    Poem Text    
First Line: Wind, bird, and tree
Subject(s): Environment; Environmental Protection; Ecology; Conservation


THE WORDS-AND-MUSIC MEN    Poem Text    
First Line: They said they could make up songs
Subject(s): Language; Music & Musicians; Words; Vocabulary


THEIR BODIES    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: That gaunt old man came first, his hair as white
Subject(s): Industry; Labor & Laborers; Work; Workers


THEIR BODIES       
First Line: That gaunt old man came first, his hair as white
Last Line: Of doing everything, always.) if you're not certain %which ones are theirs, be gentle to everybody
Subject(s): Industry; Labor And Laborers


THERE       
First Line: Where you haven't looked yet, there, in that passage


THINKING OF WHAT TO SAY       
First Line: In that country house where I roomed upstairs
Last Line: Till supper and sundown at a loss for words


THIS IS A WONDERFUL POEM    Poem Text    
First Line: Come at it carefully, don't trust it, that isn't its right name
Subject(s): Poetry & Poets


THIS IS A WONDERFUL POEM       
First Line: Come at it carefully, don't trust it, that isn't its right name
Last Line: Now, what do you want to do about it?


THOREAU AND THE BODY    Poem Text    
First Line: The lighthouse-keeper told him where he could / find it
Subject(s): Thoreau, Henry David (1817-1862)


THOREAU AND THE BODY       
First Line: The lighthouse-keeper told him where he could %find it
Last Line: Extended forgetfulness. Refreshed, reassured, %he walked away to forget
Subject(s): Thoreau, Henry David (1817-1862)


THOREAU AND THE CATFISH       
First Line: While he was wading in the swamp knee-deep
Last Line: To be beside him under its own power. %its skin as black as hers


THOREAU AND THE COW       
First Line: He was walking home through a meadow, all his senses
Last Line: And embarrassed to hope for what he saw in her: %the aura of adoration


THOREAU AND THE CRICKETS       
First Line: He found them bedded in ice, in the frozen puddles
Last Line: Back through the snow and ice to their cold beds


THOREAU AND THE SNAPPING TURTLE       
First Line: As his boat glided across a flooded meadow
Last Line: Over the dark still water under the hill


THOREAU AND THE STUMPS       
First Line: Farmers along the river found no profit
Last Line: To cast their light over his scrawled pages


THOREAU AND THE TOADS    Poem Text    
First Line: After the spring thaw, their voices ringing
Subject(s): Thoreau, Henry David (1817-1862); Toads


THOREAU AND THE TOADS       
First Line: After the spring thaw, their voices ringing
Last Line: And straighten and square-knot his rawhide laces
Subject(s): Thoreau, Henry David (1817-1862); Toads


THOREAU WADING IN A RIVER    Poem Text    
First Line: On summer days at the swampy edge of the river
Last Line: Going zap1 and zap! Zap! Zap! All the way home
Subject(s): Rivers; Summer; Swimming & Swimmers; Thoreau, Henry David (1817-1862)


THOREAU WADING IN A RIVER       
First Line: On summer days at the swampy edge of the river
Last Line: The bundle of dry clothes there on the shore
Subject(s): Rivers; Summer; Swimming; Thoreau, Henry David (1817-1862)


THREE WAYS OF A RIVER       
First Line: Sometimes, without a murmur, the river chooses
Last Line: As still as the rock that holds it, as level %as if held cold to drink in these two hands


THRESHOLDS       
First Line: High on the reef, the chalk-dry barnacles
Last Line: With eyelids shut and trembling, the mind's eye staring
Subject(s): Environment; Nature


TIBULLUS' ADVICE TO PHOLOE ABOUT HER YOUNG MAN       
First Line: There's no use trying to hide those lover's looks. I know


TO A FARMER WHO HUNG FIVE HAWKS ON HIS BARBED WIRE       
First Line: They saw you behind your muzzle much more clearly
Last Line: Little by little, lightly and softly, %more quietly than the breath of a deer mouse


TO A PANHANDLER WHO, FOR A QUARTER, SAID 'GOD BLESS YOU'    Poem Text    
First Line: You held out your hand, expecting (on the average) nothing
Subject(s): Begging & Beggars; Gratitude; God


TO A PANHANDLER, WHO, FOR A QUARTER, SAID GOD BLESS YOU.       
First Line: You held out your hand, expecting (on the average) nothing


TO BE SUNG ON THE WATER       
First Line: Whatever you say or sing


TO BE WRITTEN IN BRAILLE       
First Line: This is not for our eyes


TO MY FRIEND WHOSE PARACHUTE DID NOT OPEN    Poem Text    
First Line: Thrown backward first, head over heels in the wind
Subject(s): Parachutes


TO MY FRIEND WHOSE PARACHUTE DID NOT OPEN       
First Line: Thrown backward first, head over heels in the wind
Last Line: And if you struck the ground, both of us died


TO THE FLY IN MY DRINK       
First Line: You wouldn't listen to my wordless temperance
Last Line: In a garden where some cold-sober slug will celebrate %your wake through the night


TOUCH OF THE MOTHER       
First Line: She stands in the hallway, waiting for a sign
Last Line: And something blue goes in and out the window


TRACK SCALE WEIGHER       
First Line: Out of the blackened mouth


TRACKING       
First Line: The man ahead wasn't expecting you
Last Line: Or simply to blunder past


TRAIL HORSE       
First Line: Get on, expecting the worst - a mount like a statue
Last Line: No straddler of winged horses, no budding centaur %but a man biting the dust


TRAVELING LIGHT       
First Line: Through this most difficult country, this world we had known
Last Line: The cold speech of the earth in the colder air %and knowing it by heart


TREE HOUSE    Poem Text    
First Line: Last spring a neighbor boy / nailed up a house in a tree
Subject(s): Houses; Play; Trees; Youth


TRUANT OFFICER'S HELPER       
First Line: My only day in the black
Last Line: And smart and made it up %out of my own head %on that stolenpaper, %my stolen pencil trembling
Subject(s): Education; Schools


TRYING TO MAKE MUSIC       
First Line: Getting the right words in the right order
Last Line: Lock-down and body search! Silence and lights out!


TRYING TO PRAY       
First Line: My voice from its poor box


TRYING TO SING IN THE RAIN       
First Line: I sit by a steep deer-trail rapidly becoming


TRYING TO WRITE A POEM WHILE THE COUPLE UPSTAIRS MAKE LOVE    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: She's like a singer straying slowly off key
Subject(s): Neighbors; Love - Erotic; Poetry & Poems


TUMBLEWEED    Poem Text    
First Line: Here comes another, bumping over the sage
Subject(s): Weeds


TUMBLEWEED       
First Line: Here comes another, bumping over the sage
Last Line: Here comes another, flopping among the sage
Subject(s): Weeds


TURNING BACK AND STARTING OVER       
First Line: Our feet slow down by themselves, trudging reluctantly


TURNING OVER AN OLD LEAF       
First Line: It's lying flat as if pressed as a keepsake
Last Line: More near, more edible than any heaven


TV EDITORIAL       
First Line: The man square in the middle of the screen
Last Line: With a gang of bargains slashing across prime time


UNCANNY ILLUSION OF THE HEADLESS LADY       
First Line: The curtains part. We see a headless lady


UNDER ALL SPEECH       
First Line: Under all your making of language, all your loud and soft, tedious and
Last Line: Till they seemed worthwhile by the rise and fall of the thames


UNDER THE RAVEN'S NEST       
First Line: On a branch still bobbing and weaving under the weight
Last Line: Mere minor tricksters, he swerves to the cedar crown %and presides with lofty silence over my workro


UNDER THE SIGN OF MOTH       
First Line: Having read and written myself almost to sleep, I stretch
Last Line: For what it came to find and will die for


UNLOADING THE ELEPHANTS       
First Line: Out of the sliding doors


UP AGAINST THE SEA    Poem Text    
First Line: At the foot of the cliff, the sea is taking back
Subject(s): Seashore; Erosion; Beach; Coast; Shore


VACANCY       
First Line: The chair and table both go quietly


VACATION       
First Line: The indian asked me, 'how come you're not working?'


VALEDICTORY TO STANDARD OIL OF INDIANA       
First Line: In the darkness east of chicago, the sky burns over the plumbers' nightmares
Last Line: Which moved the suckers when they'd seen enough. Get out of town
Subject(s): Industry; Labor And Laborers


VICTORIAN IDYLL       
First Line: She came through the room like an answer in long division


VISITING HOUR       
First Line: Strip off your clothes and give them to a man
Last Line: Will have to imagine you for years and years


VISITING THE LADY WITH THE PLANT       
First Line: It was almost going to be too late for me
Last Line: Supposed to be and going to be %good and think about it


VOW       
First Line: By the snowy owl in the fog


WADING IN A MARSH    Poem Text    
First Line: Nothing here in this rain-fed marsh
Subject(s): Swamps; Walking; Bogs; Fens; Marshes


WADING IN A MARSH       
First Line: Nothing here in this rain-fed marsh


WAITING IN A RAIN FOREST       
First Line: The rain does not fall here: it stands in the air around you
Last Line: While many spring from one to a wild garden %flourishing in silence


WAITING ON THE CURB    Poem Text    
First Line: Stalled by traffic, waiting for the light
Subject(s): Death; Dead, The


WAITING ON THE CURB       
First Line: Stalled by traffic, waiting for the light
Last Line: Clings to my spine like a drunk to a lamppost
Subject(s): Death


WAITING OUT A STORM ON A DESERTED FARM       
First Line: The door of this farmhouse
Last Line: Six of those posts have sprouted %branches and put out leaves


WAITING WITH THE SNOWY OWLS       
First Line: Their yellow eyes as blank as the end


WAKING UP IN A GARDEN       
First Line: We wake together, discovering the garden
Last Line: Night-bearing gifted star-marked wings of the hunted %whose tongues, like ours, go spiralling into s


WALKING AROUND THE BLOCK WITH A THREE-YEAR-OLD       
First Line: She sees a starling legs-up in the gutter
Last Line: I show her my empty hands, and she takes one


WALKING AT NIGHT       
First Line: After the sidewalk, after the last streetlight at the end


WALKING IN A SWAMP       
First Line: When you first feel the ground under your feet
Last Line: Including yourself, now in it over your head %as upright as ever


WALKING IN THE SNOW       
First Line: Let us put on appropriate galoshes, letting them flap open
Last Line: Like our footprints ducking and draking in the snow %one after the other


WALKING ON THE CEILING       
First Line: You slip out of bed, your numb feet far away
Last Line: Till you have nothing between you and the zenith %but a shadowless daylight


WALLACE STEVENS ON HIS WAY TO WORK       
First Line: He would leave early and walk slowly
Last Line: To readjusting the business of the earth


WALT WHITMAN BATHING       
First Line: After his stroke, he would walk into the woods
Last Line: And would lead himself toward home like a dear companion


WANTED       
First Line: By the stamp machine, they hang on their own hooks
Last Line: And forgotten even sooner than possible


WARBLER       
First Line: My neighbor shut off his engine at the curb


WARNING TO MY LOVE       
First Line: Born in my mouth, the naked beast leaned out


WASHING A YOUNG RHINOCEROS       
First Line: Inside its horse-high, bull-strong, hog-tight fence
Last Line: And cabbage leaves, what feels as good to desire %as its fabulous horn


WATCHING THE HARBOR SEALS       
First Line: They float erect, their heads out of the water


WATER LILY       
First Line: As slowly, as carefully as a wading bird
Last Line: But slowly to turn away, %to take nothing away but his mind's eye
Subject(s): Art And Artists


WATER MUSIC FOR THE PROGRESS OF LOVE IN A LIFE RAFT DOWN THE SLOUGH       
First Line: Slipping at long last from the shore, we wave
Last Line: This music from silence


WATERFALL       
First Line: It plunges into itself, stone-white, mottled with emerald
Subject(s): Waterfalls


WEATHER MAN       
First Line: To learn his fate for the day, he only needed
Last Line: Of morning and ceiling zero


WELCOME       
First Line: For leagues the bunting rose on telephone wires


WHISPER SONG       
First Line: Listening and listening %closely, you may hear
Last Line: Whispering to itself %from its mysterious heart


WHISTLER'S MOTHER    Poem Text    
First Line: My father said his mother bought it for him
Last Line: It was the only art my father owned
Subject(s): Paintings & Painters; Family Life


WHO SHALL BE THE SUN?       
First Line: The people said, 'who shall be the sun?'
Last Line: Slept in their lodges, safe, till he coiled again


WINTER WREN       
First Line: It knows each leaf, it darts
Last Line: Hard my eyes may stare %at where it quickened, %then faded to nothing %on earth as plain as daylight


WITNESS PROTECTION       
First Line: You've done your duty. You've said for the record
Last Line: Except perhaps to yourselves under your breath


WOMAN DRIVING A CAR FULL OF FLOWERS       
First Line: Side by side, we've stopped for the same light
Last Line: And evening to the end of a rootless garden


WOMAN FEEDING GULLS       
First Line: They cry out at the sight of her and come flying
Last Line: And the endlessly hungry opening and closing %of wings and arms and shore and the turning sky


WOMAN PHOTOGRAPHING HOLSTEINS       
First Line: Her slender body moves among the herd
Last Line: Into my arms. We hum as if in clover
Subject(s): Love


WOMAN STANDING IN THE SURF       
First Line: Thigh-deep in the sea, she watches waves arriving
Last Line: Of her desire, in wonder %outspreading her arms over water to welcome them %against her, against her


WORDS       
First Line: Wind, bird, and tree
Last Line: In a landscape, the old words
Subject(s): Environment


WORDS ABOVE A NARROW ENTRANCE       
First Line: The land behind your back
Last Line: Nothing at peace, but you


WORDS-AND-MUSIC MEN       
First Line: They said they could make up songs
Last Line: Just take a word or two and you'll see, you'll see, %oh boy we're a lot like you
Subject(s): Language; Music And Musicians


WORKING AGAINST TIME       
First Line: By the newly bulldozed logging road, for a hundred yards
Last Line: Are tangled under the biting rain as I say this


WORMS    Poem Text    
First Line: When the spade turns over, the worms
Last Line: All taken in by the darkness of the mouth
Subject(s): Worms


WORMS       
First Line: When the spade turns over, the worms


WRITING AN ELEGY IN MY SLEEP       
First Line: I was mending something between what falls asleep
Last Line: And smoothly and steadily across his silence. %death is the only one who knows that poem


YOUNG GIRL WITH A PITCHER FULL OF WATER       
First Line: She carries it unsteadily, warily
Last Line: Away from her to fill her earth to the brim. %then she stands still, smiling above flowers


YOUNG GOATS       
First Line: The theory was they'd eat the blackberry patch
Last Line: For the good goats no longer grazing there


YOUNG WILLOW       
First Line: Not at the river's edge where others bend
Last Line: That clear cold ending


YOUNG WOMAN FOUND IN THE WOODS       
First Line: Lying among flowers in a green shadow
Last Line: To leave her speechless. She is smiling at strangers %more openly than ever at any lover %and has no


YOUNG WOMAN TRYING ON A VICTORIAN HAT       
First Line: She lifts it with both hands, murmurs the label
Last Line: And shaking her hair into a fresh disorder


YOUR FORTUNE: A COLD READING       
First Line: Say nothing revealing. You needn't tell
Last Line: If you could have the answer to one question %now, truly, secretly, what would it be?