Strange Sound Theatr


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Lemon and Friends

i had an Alexander Hamilton, but you need three Washingtons (two bills, one coin) to ride the bus.

a sensible person on a time crunch would’ve just saved the energy by hailing a techno-ride, but i much preferred to pay (read: vote) for public infrastructure and transport, not a greed-backed private corporation. so, after calculating time to walk to the next bus, i determined to stop by a local mom-and-pop, purchase something around $2.50, and walk away with a Lincoln plus appropriate bus fare.

the place where i stopped was a bakery on Clement and Arguello, teeny tiny with a wide selection of delicious treats. “Pura Vida,” said the guy behind the register, brown and warm face, dark and curly-haired, referring to my faded tourist shirt from Costa Rica.

“yup,” i said, “it’s an old shirt. you from there?”

“actually, no,” he said, “Nicaragua.”

“whoa, that’s where my mom’s from.”

“what part?”

“Chontales,” i answered, anxiously poring over the pastry prices—$3.50 for lemon cake, $4 for croissants, $5 for cream puffs crafted for the one percent—none of which would leave me appropriate change for the bus. oh well, i thought, i’ll just ask him to break the five.

“can i get the ‘lemon and friends’?”

at this point i noticed a couple—man and woman—sitting halfway up a flight of stairs scrutinizing the scene in which i played a lead role. as our eyes locked the man began reading his lines:

“not just lemon, but honey, molasses, the water of life, organic xantham gum, pixie dust, and Prince’s ashes make up this specific item. hence the title, ‘Lemon and Friends.'”

i glanced at my Nicoya cousin, partly confused why this man was explaining the nuance of my order to me but mostly just ready to go catch my fucking bus and not have a leisurely conversation.

“he’s the baker,” he explained. “want a drink to go with that?”

when i declined, his eyes darted to my cake, and i could almost sense his throat drily gulping in parched despair.

i handed him my ten, only to discover the register completely lacking in ones whatsoever. unfazed, the Nicoya reached into the tip jar to give me my perfect change, smiling. so i couldn’t even ask to break the five.

quickly, likely not courteously, i bid farewell to my comrades and found myself back on the street laughing at the absurdity of it all.

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one day in a blustery, sunny daze on the side of the hill,
the next, wolfing down tequila and orange juice
in little triple-cubed glassware,

sitting around the table like three California quail
and some other beautiful bird from across the country,
all contented as can be,

bleating about the unmistakable mysteries of charcoal paper,
pastel paper, notebook paper, the electromagnetic spectrum,
and imaginary trees.

in between the green, green leaves,
past the gradient of brown bark,
far, far behind the white noise specks of space,
lies something.

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he had never been to Japan.

he’d never lived anywhere but California, Arizona, and Nicaragua.

he’d never been to Greece, Turkey, Hungary, or Spain.

he’d never been to the Netherlands or the Czech Republic.

he’d never had sex, and he’d never been arrested.

he’d never eaten a mushroom or licked acid.

he’d never contemplated creating his own religion.

he’d been in a band, but he’d never been a DJ.

he’d grown his hair long, but never past the collar.

he loved reading and writing, but didn’t think it’d make money.

as for him…


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The duties of the Sea are few—
To boil and to freeze,
To inhale all the Earth provides,
Exhale life on the breeze.

The pleasures of the Sea are broad—
To wash and splash about—
A Waltz that pushes and attracts
The waxing, waning Moon.

The kinsmen of the Sea are Keys—
Sung simply through the Epochs.

The limitations of the Sea—
If you ask the nearest crone—
Or professor—or pelican—
Will forever be Unknown.

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selections from The Pearl by John Steinbeck

“Because the story has been told so often, it has taken root in every man’s mind. And, as with all retold tales that are in people’s hearts, there are only good and bad things and black and white things and good and evil things and no in-between anywhere.” (0)


pulque (n.)
a Mexican alcoholic drink made by fermenting sap from the maguey.
And he drank a little pulque and that was breakfast. (5)


bougainvillaea (n.)
an ornamental climbing plant that is widely cultivated in the tropics. The insignificant flowers are surrounded by brightly colored papery bracts that persist on the plant for a long time.
They came to a place where the brush houses stopped and the city of stone and plaster began, the city of harsh outer walls and inner cool gardens where a little water played and the bougainvillaea crusted the walls with purple and brick-red and white. (10)


indigent (adj.)
poor; needy.
And, since early Mass was over and business was slow, they followed the procession, these endless searchers after perfect knowledge of their fellow men, to see what the fat lazy doctor would do about an indigent baby with a scorpion bite. (12)


Kino hesitated a moment. This doctor was not of his people. This doctor was of a race which for nearly four hundred years had beaten and starved and robbed and despised Kino’s race, and frightened it too, so that the indigene came humbly to the door. And as always when he came near to one of this race, Kino felt weak and afraid and angry at the same time. Rage and terror went together. He could kill the doctor more easily than he could talk to him, for all of the doctor’s race spoke to all of Kino’s race as though they were simple animals. And as Kino raised his right hand to the iron ring knocker in the gate, rage swelled in him, and the pounding music of the enemy beat in his ears, and his lips drew tight against his teeth—but with his left hand he reached to take off his hat. The iron ring pounded against the gate. (12-13)


The doctor had once for a short time been a part of the great world and his whole subsequent life was memory and longing for France. “That,” he said, “was civilized living”—by which he meant that on a small income he had been able to keep a mistress and eat in restaurants. He poured his second cup of chocolate and crumbled a sweet biscuit in his fingers. The servant from the gate came to the open door and stood waiting to be noticed.

“Yes?” the doctor asked.

“It is a little Indian with a baby. He says a scorpion stung it.”

The doctor put his cup down gently before he let his anger rise.

“Have I nothing better to do than cure insect bites for ‘little Indians’? I am a doctor, not a veterinary.”

“Yes, Patron,” said the servant.

“Has he any money?” the doctor demanded. “No, they never have any money. I, I alone in the world am supposed to work for nothing—and I am tired of it. See if he has any money!”

At the gate the servant opened the door a trifle and looked out at the waiting people. And this time he spoke in the old language.

“Have you money to pay for the treatment?”

Now Kino reached into a secret place somewhere under his blanket. He brought out a paper folded many times. Crease by crease he unfolded it, until at last there came to view eight small misshapen seed pearls, as ugly and gray as little ulcers, flattened and almost valueless. The servant took the paper and closed the gate again, but this time he was not gone long. He opened the gate just wide enough to pass the paper back.

“The doctor has gone out,” he said. “He was called to a serious case.” And he shut the gate quickly out of shame. (14-15)


botete (n.)
puffer fish.
Spotted botete, the poison fish, lay on the bottom in the eel-grass beds, and the bright-colored swimming crabs scampered over them. (18)


Part of the far shore disappeared into a shimmer that looked like water. There was no certainty in seeing, no proof that what you saw was there or was not there. (18-19)


For centuries men had dived down and torn the oysters from the beds and ripped them open, looking for the coated grains of sand. Swarms of fish lived near the bed to live near the oysters thrown back by the searching men and to nibble at the shining inner shells. But the pearls were accidents, and the finding of one was luck, a little pat on the back by God or the gods or both. (21-22)


Now, Kino’s people had sung of everything that happened or existed. They had made songs to the fishes, to the sea in anger and to the sea in calm, to the light and the dark and the sun and the moon, and the songs were all in Kino and his people—every song that had ever been made, even the ones forgotten. (22)


It is not good to want a thing too much. It sometimes drives the luck away. You must want it just enough, and you must be very tactful with God or the gods. (24)


Kino lifted the flesh, and there it lay, the great pearl, perfect as the moon. It captured the light and refined it and gave it back in silver incandescence. It was as large as a sea-gull’s egg. It was the greatest pearl in the world. (25)


A town is a thing like a colonial animal. A town has a nervous system and a head and shoulders and feet. A town is a thing separate from all other towns, so that there are no two towns alike. And a town has a whole emotion. How news travels through a town is a mystery not easily to be solved. News seems to move faster than small boys can scramble and dart to tell it, faster than women can call it over the fences. (27)


The news came early to the beggars in front of the church, and it made them giggle a little with pleasure, for they knew that there is no almsgiver in the world like a poor man who is suddenly lucky. (28-29)


Every man suddenly became related to Kino’s pearl, and Kino’s pearl went into the dreams, the speculations, the schemes, the plans, the futures, the wishes, the needs, the lusts, the hungers, of everyone, and only one person stood in the way and that was Kino, so that he became curiously every man’s enemy. (30)


[I]t is said that humans are never satisfied, that you give them one thing and they want something more. And this is said in disparagement, whereas it is one of the greatest talents the species has and one that has made it superior to animals that are satisfied with what they have. (32)


Kino was afraid as a man is afraid who says, “I will,” without knowing. (34)


And this Kino knew also—that the gods do not love men’s plans, and the gods do not love success unless it comes by accident. (38)


dissemble (n.)
conceal one’s true motives, feelings, or beliefs.
He was not good at dissembling and he was very well understood. (42)


It is wonderful the way a little town keeps track of itself and of all its units. If every single man and woman, child and baby, acts and conducts itself in a known pattern and breaks no walls and differs with no one and experiments in no way and is not sick and does not endanger the ease and peace of mind or steady unbroken flow of the town, then the unit can disappear and never be heard of. But let one man step out of the regular thought or the known and trusted pattern, and the nerves of the townspeople ring with nervousness and communication travels over the nerve lines of the town. Then every unit communicates to the whole. (53)


Quite apart from any reward they might get, from any word of praise, from any promotion, a pearl buyer was a pearl buyer, and the best and happiest pearl buyer was he who bought for the lowest prices. (55)


There is a great deal to be seen in the tilt of a hat on a man. (58)


The houses belched people; the doorways spewed out children. (58)


legerdemain (n.)
skillful use of one’s hands when performing conjuring tricks.
His door stood open to the morning, and he hummed under his breath while his right hand practiced legerdemain. (42)


“Believe me,” he said. “I am a man.” And his face grew crafty.

“In the morning we will take our canoe and we will go over the sea and over the mountains to the capital, you and I. We will not be cheated. I am a man.”

“Kino,” she said huskily, “I am afraid. A man can be killed. Let us throw the pearl back into the sea.”

“Hush,” he said fiercely. “I am a man. Hush.” And she was silent, for his voice was command. (74)


There was no anger in her for Kino. He had said, “I am a man,” and that meant certain things to Juana. It meant that he was half insane and half god. It meant that Kino would drive his strength against a mountain and plunge his strength against the sea. Juana, in her woman’s soul, knew that the mountain would stand while the man broke himself; that the sea would surge while the man drowned in it. And yet it was this thing that made him a man, half insane and half god, and Juana had need of a man; she could not live without a man. Although she might be puzzled by these differences between man and woman, she knew them and accepted them and needed them. Of course she would follow him, there was no question of that. Sometimes the quality of a woman, the reason, the caution, the sense of preservation, could cut through Kino’s manness and save them all. (77)


The canoe of his grandfather, plastered over and over, and a splintered hole broken in it. This was an evil beyond thinking. The killing of a man was not so evil as the killing of a boat. (80)


He watched the ants moving, a little column of them near to his foot, and he put his foot in their path. Then the column climbed over his instep and continued on its way, and Kino left his foot there and watched them move over it. (92)


He looked into his pearl to find his vision. “When we sell it at last, I will have a rifle,” he said, and he looked into the shining surface for his rifle, but he saw only a huddled dark body on the ground with shining blood dripping from its throat. And he said quickly, “We will be married in a great church.” And in the pearl he saw Juana with her beaten face crawling home through the night. “Our son must learn to read,” he said frantically. And there in the pearl Coyotito’s face, thick and feverish from the medicine. (93-94)


They were the trackers, they could follow the trail of a bighorn sheep in the stone mountains. (96)


Kino ran for the high place, as nearly all animals do when they are pursued. (99)


High in the gray stone mountains, under a frowning peak, a little spring bubbled out of a rupture in the stone. It was fed by shade-preserved snow in the summer, and now and then it died completely and bare rocks and dry algae were on its bottom. But nearly always it gushed out, cold and clean and lovely. In the times when the quick rains fell, it might become a freshet and send its column of white water crashing down the mountain cleft, but nearly always it was a lean little spring. It bubbled out into a pool and then fell a hundred feet to another pool, and this one, overflowing, dropped again, so that it continued, down and down, until it came to the rubble of the upland, and there it disappeared altogether. There wasn’t much left of it then anyway, for every time it fell over an escarpment the thirty air drank it, and it splashed from the pools to the dry vegetation. The animals from miles around came to drink from the little pools, and the wild sheep and the deer, the pumas and raccoons, and the mice—all came to drink. And the birds which spent the day in the brushland came at night to the little pools that were like steps in the mountain cleft. Beside this tiny stream, wherever enough earth collected for root-hold, colonies of plants grew, wild grape and little palms, maidenhair fern, hibiscus, and tall pampas grass with feathery rods raised above the spike leaves. And in the pool lived frogs and water-skaters, and water-worms crawled on the bottom of the pool. Everything that loved water came to these few shallow places. The cats took their prey there, and strewed feathers and lapped water through their bloody teeth. The little pools were places of life because of the water, and places of killing because of the water, too. (103-104)


Kino crept silently as a shadow down the smooth mountain face. One bare foot moved a few inches and the toes touched the stone and gripped, and the other foot a few inches, and then the palm of one hand a little downward, and then the other hand, until the whole body, without seeming to move, had moved. (111)

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i have a rain stick in my bathroom that makes the sound of my other half, tumbling pebbles. my mother brought it from New Mexico, a place i’ve been directly west, north, and east of. the stick makes the sound of pebbles thrown around the globe, skipping across flowers, people, pools of sugary rum blood, sinking into multiple dimensions of angiosperm flesh.

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selections from The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells

clock-jobber (n.)
clock repairman.
At four o’clock, when it was fairly dark and Mrs. Hall was screwing up her courage to go in and ask her visitor if he would take some tea, Teddy Henfrey, the clock-jobber, came into the bar. (107)


rum un (n.)
strange character.
“You got a rum un up home!” said Teddy. (111)


cocoanut shy (n., British)
game in which balls are thrown to knock coconuts off a shelf.
It was the finest of all possible Whit-Mondays, and down the village street stood a row of nearly a dozen booths, a shooting gallery, and on the grass by the forge were three yellow and chocolate waggons and some picturesque strangers of both sexes putting up a cocoanut shy. (134)


“I’m invisible. That’s what I want you to understand.”

“Any one could see that.” (147)


It is so much easier not to believe in an invisible man. (149)


“There’s some extra-ordinary things in books,” said the mariner. (166)


“Is there such a thing as an invisible animal? In the sea, yes, thousands! millions! All the larvae, all the little nauplii and tornarias, all the microscopic things, the jelly-fish. In the sea there are more things invisible than visible! I never thought of that before. And in the ponds too! All those little pond-life things,—specks of colourless translucent jelly! But in air? No!” (187)


“As though knowing could be any satisfaction to a man!” (191)


costermonger (n., British, dated)
seller of fruit and vegetables.
“One of my fellow lodgers, a costermonger who shared the opposite room with a butcher, appeared on the landing, and he was called in and told incoherent things.” (205)


perambulator (n., British)
baby carriage.
“I staggered out of the way of the cab, avoided a perambulator by a convulsive movement, and found myself behind the hansom.” (207)


ironmongery (n., British)
“I made one last desperate turn and found myself among lamps and ironmongery.” (216)


“I never blame anyone,” said Kemp. “It’s quite out of fashion.” (223)


“The more I thought it over, Kemp, the more I realised what a helpless absurdity an invisible man was,—in a cold and dirty climate and a crowded civilised city. Before I made this mad experiment I had dreamt of a thousand advantages. That afternoon it seemed all disappointment. I went over the heads of the things a man reckons desirable. No doubt invisibility made it possible to get them, but it made it impossible to enjoy them when they were got. Ambition—what is the good of pride of place when you cannot appear there? What is the good of the love of woman when her name must needs be Delilah? I have no taste for politics, for the black-guardisms of fame, for philanthropy, for sport. What was I to do? And for this I had become a wrapped-up mystery, a swathed and bandaged caricature of a man!” (225-226)


“You have been amazingly energetic and clever, though what you stand to gain by it I cannot imagine. You are against me. For a whole day you have chased me; you have tried to rob me of a night’s rest. But I have had food in spite of you, I have slept in spite of you, and the game is only beginning. The game is only beginning. There is nothing for it, but to start the Terror. This announces the first day of the Terror. Port Burdock is no longer under the Queen, tell your Colonel of Police, and the rest of them; it is under me—the Terror! This is day one of year one of the new epoch,—the Epoch of the Invisible Man. I am Invisible Man the First. To begin with the rule will be easy. The first day there will be one execution for the sake of example,—a man named Kemp. Death starts for him to-day. He may lock himself away, hide himself away, get guards about him, put on armour if he likes; Death, the unseen Death, is coming. Let him take precautions; it will impress my people. Death starts from the pillar box by midday. The letter will fall in as the postman comes along, then off! The game begins. Death starts. Help him not, my people, lest Death fall upon you also. To-day Kemp is to die.” (238)


fag end (n., informal, chiefly British)
very end.
In another moment he had passed the door of the Jolly Cricketers, and was in the blistering fag end of the street, with human beings about him. (249-250)

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let the words flow like fog

let the words flow like fog
from the abyss, instilled with meaning
only after traversing a million miles
across the mind, dizzy
with dreams.

let them hang low,
mingling among the trees,
buildings, people, fiends,
dampening and dimming
natural aversions.

let them grow long in lines
from sunrise to sunset to sunrise
hinting at stupor
through deserts of verdure
fueled by our favorite toxins.

dissipate — let them
when they will —
diadem of universal wisdom
pour forth like fate
from thy dripping, inky quill.

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Emily Dickinson favorites (701-1100)


A Thought went up my mind today –
That I have had before –
But did not finish – some way back –
I could not fix the Year –

Nor where it went – nor why it came
The second time to me –
Nor definitely, what it was –
Have I the Art to say –

But somewhere – in my Soul – I know –
I’ve met the Thing before –
It just reminded me – ’twas all –
And came my way no more –


No matter – now – Sweet –
But when I’m Earl –
Won’t you wish you’d spoken
To that dull Girl?

Trivial a Word – just –
Trivial – a Smile –
But won’t you wish you’d spared one
When I’m Earl?

I shan’t need it – then –
Crests – will do –
Eagles on my Buckles –
On my Belt – too –

Ermine – my familiar Gown –
Say – Sweet – then
Won’t you wish you’d smiled – just –
Me upon?


Because I could not stop for Death –
He kindly stopped for me –
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –
And Immortality.

We slowly drove – He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For his Civility –

We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess – in the Ring –
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –
We passed the Setting Sun –

Or rather – He passed Us –
The Dews drew quivering and chill –
For only Gossamer, my Gown –
My Tippet – only Tulle –

We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground –
The Roof was scarcely visible –
The Cornice – in the Ground –

Since then – ’tis Centuries – and yet
Feels shorter than a Day
I first surmised the Horses’ Heads
Were toward Eternity –


It tossed – and tossed –
A little Brig I knew – o’ertook by Blast –
It spun – and spun –
And groped delirious, for Morn –

It slipped – and slipped –
As One that drunken – stept –
Its white foot tripped –
Then dropped from sight –

Ah, Brig – Good Night
To Crew and You –
The Ocean’s Heart too smooth – too Blue –
To break for You –


Alter! When the Hills do –
Falter! When the Sun
Question if His Glory
Be the Perfect One –

Surfeit! When the Daffodil
Doth of the Dew –
Even as Herself – Sir –
I will – of You –


The Moon was but a Chin of Gold
A Night or two ago –
And now she turns Her perfect Face
Upon the World below –

Her Forehead is of Amplest Blonde –
Her Cheek – a Beryl hewn –
Her Eye unto the Summer Dew
The likest I have known –

Her Lips of Amber never part –
But what must be the smile
Upon Her Friend she could confer
Were such Her Silver Will –

And what a privilege to be
But the remotest Star –
For Certainty She take Her Way
Beside Your Palace Door –

Her Bonnet is the Firmament –
The Universe – Her Shoe –
The Stars – the Trinkets at Her Belt
Her Dimities – of Blue –


All but Death, can be Adjusted –
Dynasties repaired –
Systems – settled in their Sockets –
Citadels – dissolved

Wastes of Lives – resown with Colors
By Succeeding Springs –
Death – unto itself – Exception –
Is exempt from Change –


The Mountains – grow unnoticed –
Their Purple figures rise
Without attempt – Exhaustion –
Assistance – or Applause –

In Their Eternal Faces
The Sun – with just delight
Looks long – and last – and golden –
For fellowship – at night –


From Blank to Blank –
A Threadless Way
I pushed Mechanic feet –
To stop – or perish – or advance –
Alike indifferent –

If end I gained
It ends beyond
Indefinite disclosed –
I shut my eyes – and groped as well
‘Twas lighter – to be Blind –


Presentiment – is that long Shadow – on the Lawn –
Indicative that Suns go down –

The Notice to the startled Grass
That Darkness – is about to pass –


It is a lonesome Glee –
Yet sanctifies the Mind –
With fair association –
Afar upon the Wind

A Bird to overhear
Delight without a Cause –
Arrestless as invisible –
A matter of the Skies.


The Birds begun at Four o’clock –
Their period for Dawn –
A Music numerous as space –
But neighboring as Noon –

I could not count their Force –
Their Voices did expend
As Brook by Brook bestows itself
To multiply the Pond.

Their Witnesses were not –
Except occasional man –
In homely industry arrayed –
To overtake the Morn –

Nor was it for applause –
That I could ascertain –
But independent Ecstasy
Of Deity and Men –

By Six, the Flood had done –
No Tumult there had been
Of Dressing, or Departure –
And yet the Band was gone –

The Sun engrossed the East –
The Day controlled the World –
The Miracle that introduced
Forgotten, as fulfilled.


Who Court obtain within Himself
Sees every Man a King –
And Poverty of Monarchy
Is an interior thing –

No Man depose
Whom Fate Ordain –
And Who can add a Crown
To Him who doth continual
Conspire Against His Own


Unable are the Loved to die
For Love is Immortality,
Nay, it is Deity –

Unable they that love – to die
For Love reforms Vitality
Into Divinity.


All Circumstances are the Frame
In which His face is set –
All Latitudes exist for His
Sufficient Continent –

The Light His Action, and the Dark
The Leisure of His Will –
In Him Existence serve or set
A Force illegible.


Soto! Explore thyself!
Therein thyself shalt find
The “Undiscovered Continent” –
No Settler had the Mind.


Spring is the Period
Express from God.
Among the other seasons
Himself abide,

But during March and April
None stir abroad
Without a cordial interview
With God.


The Robin for the Crumb
Returns no syllable
But long records the Lady’s name
in Silver Chronicle.


Ribbons of the Year –
Multitude Brocade –
Worn to Nature’s Party once

Then, as flung aside
As a faded Bead
Or a Wrinkled Pearl
Who shall charge the Vanity
Of the Maker’s Girl?


I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my Feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch –
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.


The Mountains sat upon the Plain
In his tremendous Chair –
His observation omnifold,
His inquest, everywhere –

The Seasons played around his knees
Like Children round a sire –
Grandfather of the Days is He
Of Dawn, the Ancestor –


Crumbling is not an instant’s Act
A fundamental pause
Dilapidation’s processes
Are organized Decays.

‘Tis first a Cobweb on the Soul
A Cuticle of Dust
A Borer in the Axis
An Elemental Rust –

Ruin is formal – Devil’s work
Consecutive and slow –
Fail in an instant, no man did
Slipping – is Crash’s law.


To die – without the Dying
And live – without the Life
This is the hardest Miracle
Propounded to Belief.


Far from Love the Heavenly Father
Leads the Chosen Child,
Oftener through Realm of Briar
Than the Meadow mild.

Oftener by the Claw of Dragon
Than the Hand of Friend
Guides the Little One predestined
To the Native Land.


It rises – passes – on our South
Inscribes a simple Noon –
Cajoles a Moment with the Spires
And infinite is gone –


‘Twas my one Glory –
Let it be
I was owned of Thee –


That Such have died enable Us
The tranquiller to die –
That Such have lived,
Certificate for Immortality.


Somewhat, to hope for,
Be it ne’er so far
Is Capital against Despair –

Somewhat, to suffer,
Be it ne’er so keen –
If terminable, may be borne.


The Opening and the Close
Of Being, are alike
Or differ, if they do
As Bloom upon a Stalk.

That from an equal Seed
Unto an equal Bud
Go parallel, perfected
In that they have decayed.


Air has no Residence, no Neighbor,
No Ear, no Door,
No Apprehension of Another
Oh, Happy Air!

Ethereal Guest at e’en an Outcast’s Pillow –
Essential Host, in Life’s faint, wailing Inn,
Later than Light thy Consciousness accost me
Till it depart, persuading Mine –


The Bustle in a House
The Morning after Death
Is solemnest of industries
Enacted upon Earth –

The Sweeping up the Heart
And putting Love away
We shall not want to use again
Until Eternity.


The Sun went down – no Man looked on –
The Earth and I, alone,
Were present at the Majesty –
He triumphed, and went on –

The Sun went up – no Man looked on –
The Earth and I and One
A nameless Bird – a Stranger
Were Witness for the Crown –


I am afraid to own a Body –
I am afraid to own a Soul –
Profound – precarious Property –
Possession, not optional –

Double Estate – entailed at pleasure
Upon an unsuspecting Heir –
Duke in a moment of Deathlessness
And God, for a Frontier.


To Whom the Mornings stand for Nights,
What must the Midnights – be!

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