• csalisbury
    New Poem:River
  • csalisbury
    It thinks itself too good for
    These generalizations and is
    Moved on by them. The opposite side
    Is plunged in shade, this one
    In self-esteem. But the center
    Keeps collapsing and re-forming.
    The couple at a picnic table (but
    It's too early in the season for picnics)
    Are traipsed across by the river's
    Unknowing knowledge of its workings
    To avoid possible boredom and the stain
    Of too much intuition the whole scene
    Is walled behind glass. "Too early,"
    She says, "in the season." A hawk drifts by.
    "Send everybody back to the city."
  • csalisbury
    [end of poem]
  • csalisbury
    New Poem : Mixed Feelings
  • csalisbury
    A pleasant smell of frying sausages
    Attacks the sense, along with an old, mostly invisible
    Photograph of what seems to be girls lounging around
    An old fighter bomber, circa 1942 vintage.
    How to explain to these girls, if indeed that's what they are,
    These Ruths, Lindas, Pats and Sheilas
    About the vast change that's taken place
    In the fabric of our society, altering the texture
    Of all things in it? And yet
    They somehow look as if they knew, except
    That it's so hard to see them, it's hard to figure out
    Exactly what kind of expressions they're wearing.
    What are your hobbies, girls? Aw nerts,
    One of them might say, this guy's too much for me.
    Let's go on and out, somewhere
    Through the canyons of the garment center
    to a small café and have a cup of coffee.
    I am not offended that these creatures (that's the word)
    Of my imagination seem to hold me in such light esteem,
    Pay so little heed to me. It's part of a complicated
    Flirtation routine, anyhow, no doubt. But this talk of
    The garment center? Surely that's California sunlight
    Belaboring them and the old crate on which they
    Have draped themselves, fading its Donald Duck insignia
    To the extreme point of legibility.
    Maybe they were lying but more likely their
    Tiny intelligences cannot retain much information.
    Not even one fact, perhaps. That's why
    They think they're in New York. I like the way
    They look and act and feel. I wonder
    How they got that way, but am not going to
    Waste any more time thinking about them.
    I have already forgotten them
    Until some day in the not too distant future
    When we meet possibly in the lounge of a modern airport,
    They looking as astonishingly young and fresh as when this picture was made
    But full of contradictory ideas, stupid ones as well as
    Worthwhile ones, but all flooding the surface of our minds
    As we babble about the sky and the weather and the forests of change.
  • csalisbury
    [end of poem]
  • csalisbury
    New Poem: The One Thing That Can Save America
  • csalisbury
    Is anything central?
    Orchards flung out on the land,
    Urban forests, rustic plantations, knee-high hills?
    Are place names central?
    Elm Grove, Adcock Corner, Story Brook Farm?
    As they concur with a rush at eye level
    Beating themselves into eyes which have had enough
    Thank you, no more thank you.
    And they come on like scenery mingled with darkness
    The damp plains, overgrown suburbs,
    Places of known civic pride, of civil obscurity.
  • csalisbury
    These are connected to my version of America
    But the juice is elsewhere.
    This morning as I walked out of your room
    After breakfast crosshatched with
    Backward and forward glances, backward into light,
    Forward into unfamiliar light,
    Was it our doing, and was it
    The material, the lumber of life, or of lives
    We were measuring, counting?
    A mood soon to be forgotten
    In crossed girders of light, cool downtown shadow
    In this morning that has seized us again?
  • csalisbury
    I know that I braid too much my own
    Snapped-off perceptions of things as they come to me.
    They are private and always will be.
    Where then are the private turns of event
    Destined to boom later like golden chimes
    Released over a city from a highest tower?
    The quirky things that happen to me, and I tell you,
    And you instantly know what I mean?
    What remote orchard reached by winding roads
    Hides them? Where are these roots?
  • Baden

    Really like that one.
  • csalisbury
    It is the lumps and trials
    That tell us whether we shall be known
    And whether our fate can be exemplary, like a star.
    All the rest is waiting
    For a letter that never arrives,
    Day after day, the exasperation
    Until finally you have ripped it open not knowing what it is,
    The two envelope halves lying on a plate.
    The message was wise, and seemingly
    Dictated a long time ago.
    Its truth is timeless, but its time has still
    Not arrived, telling of danger, and the mostly limited
    Steps that can be taken against danger
    Now and in the future, in cool yards,
    In quiet small houses in the country,
    Our country, in fenced areas, in cool shady streets.
  • csalisbury
    [end of poem]
  • csalisbury
    New Poem : Tenth Symphony
  • csalisbury
    I have not told you
    About the riffraff at the boat show.
    But seeing the boats coast by
    Just now on their truck:
    All red and white and blue and red
    Prompts me to, wanting to get in your way.
  • csalisbury
    You've never told me about a lot of things:
    Why you love me, why we love you, and just exactly
    What sex is. When people speak of it
    As happens increasingly, are they always
    Referring to the kind where sexual organs are brought in -
    Diffident, vague, hard to imagine as they are to a blind person?
    I find that thinking these things divides us,
    Brings us together. As on last Thanksgiving
    Nobody could finish what was on his plate,
    And gave thanks. Means more
    To some than me I guess.
    But again I'm not sure of that.
  • csalisbury
    There is some connexion
    (I like the way the English spell it
    They're so clever about some things
    Probably smarter generally than we are
    Although there is supposed to be something
    We have that they don't - don't ask me
    What it is. And please no talk of openness.
    I would pick Francis Thompson over Bret Harte
    Any day, if I had to)
    Among this. It connects up,
    Not to anything, but kind of like
    Closing the ranks so as to leave them open.
    You can "stop and shop." Self service
    And the honor system prevail, resulting in
    Tremendous amounts of spare time,
    A boon to some, to others more of a problem
    That ony points a way around it.
    Sitting in the living room this afternoon I saw
    How to use it. My vision remained etched in the
    Buff wall a long time, an elective
    Cheshire cat. Unable to cancel,
    The message is received penultimately.
  • csalisbury
    So over these past years -
    A little puttering around,
    Some relaxing, a lot of plans and ideas.
    Hope to have more time to tell you about
    The latter in the forseeable future.
  • csalisbury
    [end of poem]
  • csalisbury
    New Poem : On Autumn Lake
  • csalisbury
    Leading liot act to foriage is activity
    Of Chinese philosopher here on Autumn Lake thoughtfully
    inserted in
    Plovince of Quebec - stop it! I will not. The edge hugs
    The lake with ever-more-paternalistic insistence, whose effect
    Is in the blue way up ahead. The distance
  • csalisbury
    By air from other places to here isn't much, but
    It doesn't count, at least not the way the
    Shore distance - leaf, tree, stone; optional (fern, frog, skunk(;
    And then stone, tree leaf; then another optional - count
    It's like the "machines" of the 19th-century Academy.
    Turns out you didn't need all that training
    To do art - that it was even better not to have it. Look at
    The Impressionists - some of 'em had it, too, but preferred
    to forget it
    In vast composed canvases by turns riotous
    And indigent in color, from which only the notion of space is lacking.
  • csalisbury
    I do not think that this
    Will be my last trip to Autumn Lake
    Have some friends among many severe heads
    We all scholars sitting under tree
    Waiting for nut to fall. Some of us studying
    Persian and Aramaic, others the art of distilling
    Weird fragrances out of nothing, from the ground up.
    In each the potential is realized, the two wires
    Are crossing.
  • csalisbury
    [end of poem]
  • csalisbury
    New Poem : Fear of Death
  • csalisbury
    What is it now with me
    And is it as I have become?
    Is there no state free from the boundary lines
    Of before and after? The window is open today
  • csalisbury
    And the air pours in with piano notes
    In its skirts, as though to say, "Look, John,
    I've brought these and these" - that is,
    A few Beethovens, some Brahmses,
  • csalisbury
    A few choice Poulenc notes....Yes,
    It is being free again, the air, it has to keep coming back
    Because that's all it's good for.
    I want to stay with it out of fear
  • csalisbury
    That keeps me from walking up certain steps,
    Knocking at certain doors, fear of growing old
    Alone, and of finding no one at the evening end
    Of the path except another myself
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