Friday, March 29, 2013

Farmer Brown's Village Play Set

This appeared in No. 1.

The world is not constructed as it might be.
A clever set of brightly colored blocks
could fix a lot; given a Providence--
a child's bad temper, adult salary,
carpet enough and time--the houses would
show smoking chimneys in July, a fence
a cow could lean against, and portable
tulips, which would display themselves where put.

And when the circus tumbled into town,
the teachers would be clowns, down at the Bank,
old Mr. Wheeze be wearing saffron robes,
have shaved his head and changed his name to Harry.
The cutglass parking meters could dispense
one shining nickel per velocipede.
The ringmaster and his lion would walk by,
talking of spangled tights and tenderloins.
A bigtop makes a 3-ring barn. The ewes
can pile pyramidally for the careful.

Our insufficient, firmly rooted world
needs pigs and saxifrage in every closet--
hang the expense. The roofbeam would be fine.
Poppies are just as good as coffee tables,
and better dyed, if tea-time is pretend.
The elephants, like schools, have principles:
give them an office, let them read announcements.
Take them apart to be put away at night.

Friday, March 08, 2013


When thin recruits come pushing up
    And sun spreads through the soil
And puddles in the footprints gleam
   And shake like hopkins-foil
And dreams of leaving lift the hands
   Of boys with homespun hope,
Then boundless scope and fluid shape
   Of green and possible escape
   Make the blossoms boil;

And color is the consequence,
   The road a second sky.
The tethered and the tedious,
   Exasperated by
Their dun and tan and beige and sand,
   Begin to feel obscurely hurt.
   Spring thrives by root and dirt.