A Smile To Remember

we had goldfish and they circled around and around
in the bowl on the table near the heavy drapes
covering the picture window and
my mother, always smiling, wanting us all
to be happy, told me, 'be happy Henry! '
and she was right: it's better to be happy if you
can
but my father continued to beat her and me several times a week while
raging inside his 6-foot-two frame because he couldn't
understand what was attacking him from within.

Cross

My old man's a white old man
And my old mother's black.
If ever I cursed my white old man
I take my curses back.
If ever I cursed my black old mother
And wished she were in hell,
I'm sorry for that evil wish
And now I wish her well
My old man died in a fine big house.
My ma died in a shack.

Hot And Cold

A woman who my mother knows
Came in and took off all her clothes.

Said I, not being very old,
'By golly gosh, you must be cold! '

'No, no! ' she cried. 'Indeed I'm not!
I'm feeling devilishly hot! '

Clouds And Waves

Mother, the folk who live up in the clouds call out to me-
'We play from the time we wake till the day ends.
We play with the golden dawn, we play with the silver moon.'
I ask, 'But how am I to get up to you? '
They answer, 'Come to the edge of the earth, lift up your
hands to the sky, and you will be taken up into the clouds.'
'My mother is waiting for me at home, 'I say, 'How can I leave
her and come? '
Then they smile and float away.
But I know a nicer game than that, mother.

As Soon As Fred Gets Out Of Bed

As soon as Fred gets out of bed,
his underwear goes on his head.
His mother laughs, 'Don't put it there,
a head's no place for underwear! '
But near his ears, above his brains,
is where Fred's underwear remains.

At night when Fred goes back to bed,
he deftly plucks it off his head.
His mother switches off the light

My Mother

Who sat and watched my infant head
When sleeping on my cradle bed,
And tears of sweet affection shed?
My Mother.


When pain and sickness made me cry,
Who gazed upon my heavy eye,
And wept for fear that I should die?
My Mother.

Looking For A Mother

If it is difficult to feel your mother
Hard to bear and uneasy to share
See only the animals around you
Relation between mother and cub
How they behave for care and love
That can make you believe the truth,

Just same way your mother loved
At early that little you were aged
Neither you did nor knew anyhow

Dora Diller

'My stomach's full of butterflies! '
lamented Dora Diller.
Her mother sighed. 'That's no surprise,
you ate a caterpillar! '

Baby's Way

If baby only wanted to, he could fly up to heaven this moment.
It is not for nothing that he does not leave us.
He loves to rest his head on mother's bosom, and cannot ever
bear to lose sight of her.
Baby know all manner of wise words, though few on earth can
understand their meaning.
It is not for nothing that he never wants to speak.
The one thing he wants is to learn mother's words from
mother's lips. That is why he looks so innocent.
Baby had a heap of gold and pearls, yet he came like a beggar

Mother Doesn't Want A Dog

Mother doesn't want a dog.
Mother says they smell,
And never sit when you say sit,
Or even when you yell.
And when you come home late at night
And there is ice and snow,
You have to go back out because
The dumb dog has to go.

Mother doesn't want a dog.

The Sonnet-Ballad

Oh mother, mother, where is happiness?
They took my lover's tallness off to war,
Left me lamenting. Now I cannot guess
What I can use an empty heart-cup for.
He won't be coming back here any more.
Some day the war will end, but, oh, I knew
When he went walking grandly out that door
That my sweet love would have to be untrue.
Would have to be untrue. Would have to court
Coquettish death, whose impudent and strange

I Come From There

I come from there and I have memories
Born as mortals are, I have a mother
And a house with many windows,
I have brothers, friends,
And a prison cell with a cold window.
Mine is the wave, snatched by sea-gulls,
I have my own view,
And an extra blade of grass.
Mine is the moon at the far edge of the words,
And the bounty of birds,

To My Mother

Because I feel that, in the Heavens above,
The angels, whispering to one another,
Can find, among their burning terms of love,
None so devotional as that of 'Mother,'
Therefore by that dear name I long have called you-
You who are more than mother unto me,
And fill my heart of hearts, where Death installed you
In setting my Virginia's spirit free.
My mother- my own mother, who died early,
Was but the mother of myself; but you

The Death Of The Ball Turret Gunner

From my mother's sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.

Autumn Movement

I cried over beautiful things knowing no beautiful thing lasts.

The field of cornflower yellow is a scarf at the neck of the copper
   sunburned woman, the mother of the year, the taker of seeds.

The northwest wind comes and the yellow is torn full of holes,
   new beautiful things come in the first spit of snow on the northwest wind,
   and the old things go, not one lasts.

Night Of The Scorpion

I remember the night my mother
was stung by a scorpion. Ten hours
of steady rain had driven him
to crawl beneath a sack of rice.

Parting with his poison - flash
of diabolic tail in the dark room -
he risked the rain again.

The peasants came like swarms of flies

Mother O' Mine

If I were hanged on the highest hill,
Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine!
I know whose love would follow me still,
Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine!

If I were drowned in the deepest sea,
Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine!
I know whose tears would come down to me,
Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine!

Infant Sorrow

My mother groaned, my father wept,
Into the dangerous world I leapt;
Helpless, naked, piping loud,
Like a fiend hid in a cloud.

Struggling in my father's hands,
Striving against my swaddling bands,
Bound and weary, I thought best
To sulk upon my mother's breast.

Authorship

You say that father write a lot of books, but what he write I don't
understand.
He was reading to you all the evening, but could you really
make out what he meant?
What nice stores, mother, you can tell us! Why can't father
write like that, I wonder?
Did he never hear from his own mother stories of giants and
fairies and princesses?
Has he forgotten them all?
Often when he gets late for his bath you have to and call him

The Iron Bridge

I am standing on a disused iron bridge
that was erected in 1902,
according to the iron plaque bolted into a beam,
the year my mother turned one.
Imagine- a mother in her infancy,
and she was a Canadian infant at that,
one of the great infants of the province of Ontario.

But here I am leaning on the rusted railing
looking at the water below,