I had put down in writing my fear of the war
I too pined for pastoral description
The blue of the water was the blue of the world
Newness does not, for me, equal satisfaction
A finite number of concentric rings I push out into space
A tedious fabric moving through time without malice
An act of oration, rebellion, inventory, fantasy
The sound of the earth closing its one good eye over me
Imagine: you reach out towards the margin’s white hand
You do what your poems want and are clean
When you lay down your thorns you will be done
You do not take up arms against anyone
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Sonnets are full of love, and this my tome Has many sonnets: so here now shall be One sonnet more, a love sonnet, from me To her whose heart is my heart’s quiet home, To my first Love, my Mother, on whose knee I learnt love-lore that is not troublesome; Whose service is my special dignity, And she my loadstar while I go and come And so because you love me, and because I love you, Mother, I have woven a wreath Of rhymes wherewith to crown your honored name: In you not fourscore years can dim the flame Of love, whose blessed glow transcends the laws Of time and change and mortal life and death.
Love set you going like a fat gold watch. The midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald cry Took its place among the elements. Our voices echo, magnifying your arrival. New statue. In a drafty museum, your nakedness Shadows our safety. We stand round blankly as walls. I'm no more your mother Than the cloud that distills a mirror to reflect its own slow Effacement at the wind's hand. All night your moth-breath Flickers among the flat pink roses. I wake to listen: A far sea moves in my ear. One cry, and I stumble from bed, cow-heavy and floral In my Victorian nightgown. Your mouth opens clean as a cat's. The window square Whitens and swallows its dull stars. And now you try Your handful of notes; The clear vowels rise like balloons.