Silver Stream

it is addressed thusly:
For Roland John Ford.
it reads:
I took a stone and skipped it
I drew forth my hand and dipped it
Dipped it deep within this stream
Can I recall how long it's been
Been since young I sat and watched
Watched as sundry items crossed
Crossed across this land?

A leaf does pass and with it fish
Fish of silver, as a wish
Passing long, and staying short
Seen but brief to make retort
Retort to call it back, a dream
Dream among the brown and green
And lay it in my hand?

What are carried, as the thoughts
Among the wispy watery knots
Who sing its wistful, burbling song
A song whose day was all but long
Long its measure, driving slow
Slow as we who sit below
And try to understand?

Lapping, rolling life and ring
Ring of trees about it sing
Sing of their source, sing of their end
Or sing of going 'round the bend
A bend beyond this riven land
And give forth a vision grand?
A cataract, a mighty strand?
Or yet, as I withdraw my hand
Nothing more than this.


The Poet Considers Things True

it reads:
Sometimes wearing the cloth
Of human thought
Flitting light like a moth
From is and ought
Man speaks a word and thinks
He has made truth
But truth, unseen, just blinks
And awaits his proof.


The Song of the Workman

it is addressed thusly:
A song.
it reads:
Whistle, sing or shout
Because these are the facts:
Until we work it out
No time yet to relax!


The Song of the Sleeper

it is addressed thusly:
A song.
it reads:
Am I not a dream?
And so in that dawn
Not as it may seem
As dream I'll be gone.


The Orator Speaks of The Human Condition

it is addressed thusly:
A question
it reads:
And when they have brought low
Everything that tears and stings
And even the elements will know
They are our playthings;
And then who will remain
The masters to tame?

Who is more dangerous than man
And who is more ingenious?
Are we not he? Then can
Anything be done to save us?
War is too grand
For a final stand;

All are too clever by half
And everyone is slightly mad
Perhaps one madcap laugh
Is what remains to be had
Before it all slips
Get into the ships!

And the clock no more does know
The times for its rings
And even the nurses are brought low
Who are the playthings
In this asylum
We must be 'em.



it reads:
Ignorance! And what other
Has been said of thee, but
To thy infamy, and no bother
To those that know, and what
Knowledge! It is but this
The wind blows not for itself
Nor shines sun by its wish
The earth covets not her wealth
The clouds frosting the hills
Ancient stars and worlds afar
Care not, nor have they wills
But it be found another's wish
As uncut rock upon the rills
Indifferent! Come out
Thou hidden jewel made
For thee? I doubt;
And to this thee I bade
Love, but care not for this
Which dies, but reach beyond
That of which we're merely fond
Let truth and mercy kiss
And be another's! And this
Is bliss.