James Oppenheim

(1882-1932 / United States)

The New God - Poem by James Oppenheim

Ye morning-glories, ring in the gale your bells,
And with dew water the walk's dust for the burden-bearing ants:
Ye swinging spears of the larkspur, open your wells of gold
And pay your honey-tax to the hummingbird . . .

O now I see by the opening of blossoms,
And of bills of the hungry fledglings,
And the bright travel of sun-drunk insects,
Morning's business is afoot: Earth is busied with a million mouths!

Where goes eaten grass and thrush-snapped dragonfly?
Creation eats itself, to spawn in swarming sun-rays . . .
Bull and cricket go to it: life lives on life . . .
But O, ye flame-daubed irises, and ye hosts of gnats,
Like a well of light moving in morning's light,
What is this garmented animal that comes eating and drinking among you?
What is this upright one, with spade and with shears?

He is the visible and the invisible,
Behind his mouth and his eyes are other mouth and eyes . . .
Thirster after visions
He sees the flowers to their roots and the Earth back through its silent ages:
He parts the sky with his gaze:
He flings a magic on the hills, clothing them with Upanishad music,
Peopling the valley with dreamed images that vanished in Greece
   millenniums back;
And in the actual morning, out of longing, shapes on the hills
To-morrow's golden grandeur . . .

O ye million hungerers and ye sun-rays
Ye are the many mothers of this invisible god,
This Earth's star and sun that rises singing and toiling among you,
This that is I, in joy, in the garden,
Singing to you, ye morning-glories,
Calling to you, ye swinging spears of the larkspur.

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Read poems about / on: animal, travel, magic, sun, star, music, light, water, joy, sky, god, life, dream, flower, rose

Poem Submitted: Saturday, January 4, 2003

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