And I lay down in mirth

Mirth_and_metre_(1855)_(14778448445)

And I lay down in mirth
like a bed. Later I stood
surveying the good
and the spreading earth.

Then the woods were alive
with invisible birds
and it was good, good.

I stood at my birth
and was wishing the dead
could still hear the music I heard.

Then I pictured the dead
in their cold earthen beds
and the sound of them rose.
And the woods were alive.

And I lay down in mirth
in the grass, in the dirt
and the dead in their earths
raised their voices in song.

The invisible birds
sang along, sang along, sang along,
and it was good, good.

 

 

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I took the post-ultimate step

Detail Stairs to Nowhere

I took the post-ultimate step
The one at the top of the stair
That you take when you know there’s a step yet to go
When really, no step’s there.

Somewhere between plan and forget
I planted a foot in mid-air
Then I stepped up and stood. Now I’m stuck here for good,
On the step past the top of the stair.

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Credo

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Tell the truth but tell it scant
Saving some for later – give the savor
Of what’s undenied – but still may be
Refined. Truth unadorned
Bores – so leave undefined
Beginning, end, or middle – since the mind
Forgets conclusions – but adores a riddle.

 

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The Instructions

Gulliver_Crispi_Il Papagallo (Rome)

Under a weight of words
the courtroom air declines;
the oaken pews are worn;
the fixtures bide their time.

Without a breath or cease
the solemn judge holds forth.
No voice responsive sighs.
All brook his ageless worth.

The eagle on the pole
conducts a fierce salute;
the slackened flag below
cannot conceal its truth.

So spoke in ancient times
Solon or Cicero
to men who stood alike
athwart the verbal flow:

Who shifted just the same
or rocking toe to heel
imbibed the toneless dream
the while the day grew still.

The law’s an endless story
that’s bodied forth by men
monotonously hasty
to some eventual end.

 

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The Earl of Rollercoaster

Harry_G._Traver_Cyclone_roller_coaster_patent.png

The Earl of Rollercoaster found
It inconvenient to expound
On why it was he loved to race
Continually from place to place
Whilst whirling rapidly around —
Now here, now there, now soaring high,
Now falling freely toward the ground,
And screaming all the while.

That’s why he built that crazy train
That bears his name:
It’s easier to experience
than to explain.

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As an example

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As an example
of ingenuity,
you told me:
“but you can survive
on unseen lives;

Modern science can simulate
many effects
by using
culture.

Humans
are the key:
they help to  seed
the future

But can also be
tricked
into work.”

 

 

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How to use an otter to negotiate

 

Otter_Steve_Slocomb_6178538861_3979396802_zHow to use an otter to negotiate
Is to turn it loose in the room
Among the lawyers and business types
Trusting its liquid eyes and old-woman whiskers
To get us to a place where everyone is happy

While knowing they all know you know
Otters live by their wits
And teeth and claws
Are fiercely territorial
Defend their young to the death
Only sometimes mate for life

But prefer loafing in the waves
If only everyone could get along

 

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