Kenneth Patchen

(13 December 1911 - 8 January 1972 / Ohio)

The Naked Land


A beast stands at my eye.

I cook my senses in a dark fire.
The old wombs rot and the new mother
Approaches with the footsteps of a world.

Who are the people of this unscaled heaven?
What beckons?
Whose blood hallows this grim land?
What slithers along the watershed of my human sleep?

The other side of knowing ...
Caress of unwaking delight ... O start
A sufficient love! O gently silent forms
Of the last spaces.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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