One rarely finds
just wholesome scraps:
a slice of ham,
Where paint peels in the summer sun,
I sit down on the wino bench,
a sinner who must break a bun
to stay alive. I ask: whose stench
Amid the sudden flurries, shrill
bells toll beneath December cloud.
Martha opens lids, her will
one with the rooks that curse out loud:
A friend sent a pipe made
from petrified sea foam,
froth that was life’s first home.
A bearded craftsman’s blade
Oh, but a thought ago a baying hound
had led him to a clearing in the sky.
The stars tolled beyond the sombre clouds
and on the frozen pond the forest sighed.
On this breezy October morn, I walk
in the swift shadows of cloud-cursing rooks,
watching the world wake on the horizon.
Visiting her cottage I remember ripe ears of corn,
drawers full of bent knives, mouldy crusts of pumpernickel bread,
high shelves of hoary berry jams, curtains threadbare and torn,
and an axe brighter than the cracks in the wall near a bed
In the utter clarity of that new dawn,
having wrestled Socrates all night
until a world of purest forms was drawn,
he put away his thoughts and stepped outside,