This is our tenth page of poems and art.  Think in the Morning posts a poem and a piece of napkin art produced in the old Sea Gull Cellar Bar every day on our Facebook Page.


Autumn Song

Sarojini Naidu


Like a joy on the heart of a sorrow,

The sunset hangs on a cloud;

A golden storm of glittering sheaves,

Of fair and frail and fluttering leaves,

The wild wind blows in a cloud.


Hark to a voice that is calling

To my heart in the voice of the wind:

My heart is weary and sad and alone,

For its dreams like the fluttering leaves have gone,

And why should I stay behind?


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Estelle Grunewald artist

Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Estelle Grunewald artist


Where The Blood Red Huckleberry Grows


Where the blood red huckleberry grows

Catspaw flounders in the

Forest of the dwarf

Ogre roams and bellows

Down the green tunic

Of the Manzanita

Salal and the

Hundred year old spruce.


Where rivers one inch wide

Disturb the pattern.

Man grub

Grit and drub dung.


Where blasts outrage

The solitary beetle

And spoil the unheard


Rubbed with

Molten iron balm.


Where the unhappy axe

Rides communion with

The wildwood of the night

And the spade flickers silver

Through the virgin dust,
Digs and splashes fine



I greet this land

Of the whale and wolf

Ten rocks deep

With the spit

Of dead giants

And breathe

The bubbled fog



Inside the dark womb

Of the last pigmy

Birth miracles

Spawn and splatter

What unknown children

Into this land.




We Wear the Mask

Paul Lawrence Dunbar


We wear the mask that grins and lies,

It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,

This debt we pay to human guile;

With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,

And mouth with myriad subtleties.


Why should the world be overwise,

In counting all our tears and sighs?

Nay, let them only see us, while

We wear the mask.


We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries

To thee from tortured souls arise.

We sing, but oh the clay is vile

Beneath our feet, and long the mile;

But let the world dream otherwise,

We wear the mask!


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, RTS artist

Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, RTS artist


The Poor Poet’s Scrapt-Book

Marc Cook


And this only is left ! Cold comfort, these fancies,

To creditors crowding about with their bills;

If the butcher took verses, the baker romances,

To settle their claims, ‘t would have lessened his ills.


Yet he cherished these scraps, and tenderly, knowing,

In spite of their faults, he fathered them all ;

Well it became him, such charity showing

To children so weak and puny and small.


Their life, like his own, was the vagabond’s always;

Like him, they discovered true friends to be rare;

Now hiding in attics, now lurking in hallways,

Nor songs nor singer earth’s blessings could share.


And yet, if they never have known the glories

Of gilded bindings and library shelves,

Perhaps they have carried their simple stories

To some who welcomed them for themselves.


If somewhere, at some time, the eyes of a maiden

Have brightened because of this sonnet on love;

If somebody’s heart with grief heavy-laden

Has comforted been by the stanzas above;

If the marvelous riches which truth inherits

Are made to appear more worthy of gain –

Then, spite of their weakness, their many demerits,

These scraps, let us say, were not written in vain.


While to him, the poor poet, whose spark of God’s fire

Went out in these lines, in the battle for bread,

What matters it now? Is there any round higher

Than that which he stepped to last night from his bed?


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Roy Hoggard artist

Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Roy Hoggard artist


The New Colossus

Emma Lazarus


NOT like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she

With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Sandra Lindstrom artist

Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Sandra Lindstrom artist


The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd

by Sir Walrter Raleigh


If all the world and love were young,

And truth in every Shepherd’s tongue,

These pretty pleasures might me move,

To live with thee, and be thy love.


Time drives the flocks from field to fold,

When Rivers rage and Rocks grow cold,

And Philomel becometh dumb,

The rest complains of cares to come.


The flowers do fade, and wanton fields,

To wayward winter reckoning yields,

A honey tongue, a heart of gall,

Is fancy’s spring, but sorrow’s fall.


Thy gowns, thy shoes, thy beds of Roses,

Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies

Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten:

In folly ripe, in reason rotten.


Thy belt of straw and Ivy buds,

The Coral clasps and amber studs,

All these in me no means can move

To come to thee and be thy love.


But could youth last, and love still breed,

Had joys no date, nor age no need,

Then these delights my mind might move

To live with thee, and be thy love.


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, artist unknown

Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, artist unknown


The Parable of the Old Man and the Young

Wilfred Owen


So Abram rose, and clave the wood, and went,

And took the fire with him, and a knife.

And as they sojourned both of them together,

Isaac the first-born spake and said, My Father,

Behold the preparations, fire and iron,

But where the lamb for this burnt offering?

Then Abram bound the youth with belts and straps,

And builded parapets and trenches there,

And stretched forth the knife to slay his son.

When lo! an angel called him out of heaven,

Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad,

Neither do anything to him. Behold,

A ram, caught in the thicket by its horns;

Offer the Ram of Pride instead of him.

But the old man would not so, but slew his son,

And half the seed of Europe, one by one.


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, James Maxwell artist

Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, James Maxwell artist


Helen Hunt Jackson



THE golden-rod is yellow;

The corn is turning brown;

The trees in apple orchards

With fruit are bending down.


The gentian’s bluest fringes

Are curling in the sun;

In dusty pods the milkweed

Its hidden silk has spun.


The sedges flaunt their harvest,

In every meadow nook;

And asters by the brook-side

Make asters in the brook,


From dewy lanes at morning

The grapes’ sweet odors rise;

At noon the roads all flutter

With yellow butterflies.


By all these lovely tokens

September days are here,

With summer’s best of weather,

And autumn’s best of cheer.


But none of all this beauty

Which floods the earth and air

Is unto me the secret

Which makes September fair.


‘T is a thing which I remember;

To name it thrills me yet:

One day of one September

I never can forget.


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Sandra Lindstrom artist

Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Sandra Lindstrom artist


I Think Continually

Stephen Spender


I think continually of those who were truly great.

Who, from the womb, remembered the soul’s history

Through corridors of light where the hours are suns

Endless and singing. Whose lovely ambition

Was that their lips, still touched with fire,

Should tell of the Spirit clothed from head to foot in song.

And who hoarded from the Spring branches

The desires falling across their bodies like blossoms.


What is precious is never to forget

The essential delight of the blood drawn from ageless springs

Breaking through rocks in worlds before our earth.

Never to deny its pleasure in the morning simple light

Nor its grave evening demand for love.

Never to allow gradually the traffic to smother

With noise and fog the flowering of the spirit.


Near the snow, near the sun, in the highest fields

See how these names are feted by the waving grass

And by the streamers of white cloud

And whispers of wind in the listening sky.

The names of those who in their lives fought for life

Who wore at their hearts the fire’s centre.

Born of the sun they travelled a short while towards the sun,

And left the vivid air signed with their honour.


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Jack Haye artist

Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Jack Haye artist


A Consumer’s Report

Peter Porter


The name of the product I tested is Life,

I have completed the form you sent me

and understand that my answers are confidential.


I had it as a gift,

I didn’t feel much while using it,

in fact I think I’d have liked to be more excited

It seemed gentle on the hands

but left an embarrassing deposit behind.

It was not economical

and I have used much more than I thought

(I suppose I have about half left

but it’s difficult to tell)—

although the instructions are fairly large

there are so many of them

I don’t know which to follow, especially

as they seem to contradict each other.

I’m not sure such a thing

should be put in the way of children—

It’s difficult to think of a purpose

for it.  One of my friends says

it’s just to keep its maker in a job.

Also the price is much too high.

Things are piling up so fast,

after all, the world got by

for a thousand million years

without this, do we need it now?

(Incidentally, please ask your man

to stop calling me ‘the respondent’,

I don’t like the sound of it)

There seems to be a lot of different labels,

sizes and colours should be uniform,

the shape is awkward, it’s waterproof

but not heat resistant, it doesn’t keep

yet it’s very difficult to get rid of:

whenever they make it cheaper they seem

to put less in—if you say you don’t

want it, then it’s delivered anyway.

I’d agree it’s a popular product,

it’s got into the language; people

even say they’re on the side of it.

Personally I think it’s overdone,

a small thing people are ready

to behave badly about.  I think

we should take it for granted.  It its

experts are called philosophers or market

researchers or historians, we shouldn’t

care.  We are the consumers and the last

law makers  So finally, I’d buy it.

But the question of a ‘best buy’

I’d like to leave until I get

the competitive product you said you’d send.


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Max Efroym artist

Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Max Efroym artist



By Ella Wheeler Wilcox


Laugh, and the world laughs with you;

Weep, and you weep alone;

For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,

But has trouble enough of its own.

Sing, and the hills will answer;

Sigh, it is lost on the air;

The echoes bound to a joyful sound,

But shrink from voicing care.


Rejoice, and men will seek you;

Grieve, and they turn and go;

They want full measure of all your pleasure,

But they do not need your woe.

Be glad, and your friends are many;

Be sad, and you lose them all,—

There are none to decline your nectared wine,

But alone you must drink life’s gall.


Feast, and your halls are crowded;

Fast, and the world goes by.

Succeed and give, and it helps you live,

But no man can help you die.

There is room in the halls of pleasure

For a large and lordly train,

But one by one we must all file on

Through the narrow aisles of pain.


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, artist unknown

Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, artist unknown


Rembrandt’s Late Self-Portraits

by Elizabeth Jennings


You are confronted with yourself. Each year

The pouches fill, the skin is uglier.
You give it all unflinchingly. You stare
Into yourself, beyond. Your brush’s care
Runs with self-knowledge. Here

Is a humility at one with craft.

There is no arrogance. Pride is apart

From this self-scrutiny. You make light drift

The way you want. Your face is bruised and hurt

But there is still love left.

Love of the art and others. To the last

Experiment went on. You stared beyond

Your age, the times. You also plucked the past

And tempered it. Self-portraits understand,

And old age can divest,

With truthful changes, us of fear of death.

Look, a new anguish. There, the bloated nose,

The sadness and the joy. To paint’s to breathe,

And all the darknesses are dared. You chose

What each must reckon with.


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Jack Haye artist

Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Jack Haye artist


The Death of Narcissus

by Pedro Serrano

translated by Anna Crowe

Narcissus did not drown.

He crashed against the stone of his laughter,

splintered his face, wrecked

his soul, his belly, his gestures,

fractured his glance and his ribs.


In their place all that is left is a cold

scattering of material.

Narcissus, I must say, was not a face.


He was the reflection of love,

he had neither body nor color,

he could not stand up.


When he drowned the fish ate his sex as they did Shelley’s,

when his cock drowned they

put it in their mouths as they
did with Jorge Cuesta’s.


Because Narcissus shattered inside and could no longer bearthat image,

because what remains of him has turned to mud,

bloated and useless.


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Jack Haye artist

Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Jack Haye artist


Who Said It Was Simple

Audre Lorde


There are so many roots to the tree of anger

that sometimes the branches shatter

before they bear.

Sitting in Nedicks

the women rally before they march

discussing the problematic girls

they hire to make them free.

An almost white counterman passes

a waiting brother to serve them first

and the ladies neither notice nor reject

the slighter pleasures of their slavery.

But I who am bound by my mirror

as well as my bed

see causes in colour

as well as sex

and sit here wondering

which me will survive

all these liberations.


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Max Efroym artist

Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Max Efroym artist


Mike Teavee

Roald Dahl


The most important thing we’ve learned,

So far as children are concerned,

Is never, NEVER, NEVER let

Them near your television set —

Or better still, just don’t install

The idiotic thing at all.

In almost every house we’ve been,

We’ve watched them gaping at the screen.

They loll and slop and lounge about,

And stare until their eyes pop out.

(Last week in someone’s place we saw

A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)

They sit and stare and stare and sit

Until they’re hypnotised by it,

Until they’re absolutely drunk

With all that shocking ghastly junk.

Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,

They don’t climb out the window sill,

They never fight or kick or punch,

They leave you free to cook the lunch

And wash the dishes in the sink —

But did you ever stop to think,

To wonder just exactly what

This does to your beloved tot?




Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Jack Haye artist

Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Jack Haye artist


My Old Football

John Milton Hayes


You can keep your antique silver and your statuettes of bronze,

Your curios and tapestries so fine,

But of all your treasures rare there is nothing to compare

With this patched up, wornout football pal o’ mine.

Just a patchedup wornout football, yet how it clings!

I live again my happier days in thoughts that football brings.

It’s got a mouth, it’s got a tongue,

And oft when we’re alone I fancy that it speaks

To me of golden youth that’s flown.

It calls to mind our meeting,

’Twas a present from the Dad.

I kicked it yet I worshipped it,

How strange a priest it had!

And yet it jumped with pleasure

When I punched it might and main:

And when it had the dumps

It got blown up and punched again.

It’s lived its life;

It’s played the game;

Its had its rise and fall,

There’s history in the wrinkles of that wornout football.

Caresses rarely came its way in babyhood ’twas tanned.

It’s been well oiled, and yet it’s quite teetotal, understand.

It’s gone the pace, and sometimes it’s been absolutely bust,

And yet ’twas always full of bounce,

No matter how ’twas cussed.

He’s broken many rules and oft has wandered out of bounds,

He’s joined in shooting parties

Over other people’s grounds.

Misunderstood by women,

He was never thought a catch,

Yet he was never happier

Than when bringing off a match.

He’s often been in danger

Caught in nets that foes have spread,

He’s even come to life again

When all have called him dead.

Started on the centre,

And he’s acted on the square,

To all parts of the compass

He’s been bullied everywhere.

His aims and his ambitious

Were opposed by one and all,

And yet he somehow reached his goal

That plucky old football.

When schooling days were ended

I forgot him altogether,

And ’midst the dusty years

He lay a crumpled lump of leather.

Then came the threat’ning voice of War,

And games had little chance,

My brother went to do his bit

Out there somewhere in France.

And when my brother wrote he said,

‘Of all a Tommy’s joys,

There’s none compares with football.

Will you send one for the boys? ’

I sent not one but many,

And my old one with the rest,

I thought that football’s finished now,

But no he stood the test.

Behind the lines they kicked him

As he’d never been kicked before.

Till they busted him and sent him back

A keepsake of the war.

My brother lies out there in France,

Beneath a simple cross,

And I seem to feel my football knows my grief,

And shares my loss.

He tells me of that splendid charge,

And then my brother’s fall.

In life he loved our mutual chum

That worn-out football.

Oh you can keep your antique silver

And your statuettes of bronze

Your curios and tapestries so fine

But of all your treasures rare

There is nothing to compare

With that patched-up worn-out football—

Pal o’ mine.


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Jack Haye artist

Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Jack Haye artist


The Sofas, Fogs, and Cinemas

By Rosemary Tonks


I have lived it, and lived it,

My nervous, luxury civilisation,

My sugar-loving nerves have battered me to pieces.


… Their idea of literature is hopeless.

Make them drink their own poetry!

Let them eat their gross novel, full of mud.


It’s quiet; just the fresh, chilly weather … and he

Gets up from his dead bedroom, and comes in here

And digs himself into the sofa.

He stays there up to two hours in the hole – and talks

– Straight into the large subjects, he faces up to everything

It’s …… damnably depressing.

(That great lavatory coat…the cigarillo burning

In the little dish… And when he calls out: ‘Ha!’

Madness! – you no longer possess your own furniture.)


On my bad days (and I’m being broken

At this very moment) I speak of my ambitions … and he

Becomes intensely gloomy, with the look of something jugged,

Morose, sour, mouldering away, with lockjaw ….


I grow coarser; and more modern (I, who am driven mad

By my ideas; who go nowhere;

Who dare not leave my frontdoor, lest an idea …)

All right. I admit everything, everything!


Oh yes, the opera (Ah, but the cinema)

He particularly enjoys it, enjoys it horribly, when someone’s ill

At the last minute; and they specially fly in

A new, gigantic, Dutch soprano. He wants to help her

With her arias.           Old goat! Blasphemer!

He wants to help her with her arias!


No, I … go to the cinema,

I particularly like it when the fog is thick, the street

Is like a hole in an old coat, and the light is brown as laudanum.

… the fogs! the fogs! The cinemas

Where the criminal shadow-literature flickers over our faces,

The screen is spread out like a thundercloud – that bangs

And splashes you with acid…or lies derelict, with lighted

waters in it,

And in the silence, drips and crackles – taciturn, luxurious.

… The drugged and battered Philistines

Are all around you in the auditorium …


And he … is somewhere else, in his dead bedroom clothes,

He wants to make me think his thoughts

And they will be enormous, dull – (just the sort

To keep away from).

… when I see that cigarillo, when I see it … smoking

And he wants to face the international situation …

Lunatic rages! Blackness! Suffocation!


– All this sitting about in cafés to calm down

Simply wears me out. And their idea of literature!

The idiotic cut of the stanzas; the novels, full up, gross.


I have lived it, and I know too much.

My café-nerves are breaking me

With black, exhausting information.


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, artist unknown

Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, artist unknown


Wake Up, Day Calls You

Pedro Salinas y Serrano


Wake up. Day calls you

to your life: your duty.

And to live, nothing more.

Root it out of the glum

night and the darkness

that covered your body

for which light waited

on tiptoe in the dawn.

Stand up, affirm the straight

simple will to be

a pure slender virgin.

Test your bodys metal.

cold, heat? Your blood

will tell against the snow,

or behind the window.

The color

in your cheeks will tell.

And look at people. Rest

doing no more than adding

your perfection to another

day. Your task

is to carry your life high,

and play with it, hurl it

like a voice to the clouds

so it may retrieve the light

already gone from us.

That is your fate: to live

Do nothing.

Your work is you, nothing more.


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, artist unknown

Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, artist unknown


In Lampedusa

by Ribka Sibhatu

translated by André Naffis-Sahely


On 3rd October
a barge carrying 518 people 
arrived in Lampedusa

Having survived a brutal dictatorship

and a journey full of pitfalls

they stood atop their raft in the dead of night

and saw the lights of the promised land

Believing their suffering had reached an end,

they raised a chorus and praised the Virgin Mary.

While waiting for those ships to rescue them,

men and women, children and grownups,

the sick and the healthy began to sing hymns!

I wasn’t ashamed when I called out Your name,

I called out to Mary and didn’t fall

Your name sustained me throughout my journey

and here is the grateful echo of the song I raise to thank you!

Suddenly the raft

started filling with water;

they began flashing

red lights to sound the alarm;

switched their lanterns on and off!

Alas, all was quiet on the island.

Meanwhile the water rose, stoking fears the ship would sink.

To send a distress call,

they set a sail on fire, and as the

flames began to spread, some frightened people

jumped overboard and tipped the boat.

They were all adrift in the freezing sea!

Amidst that storm, some died right away,

some beat the odds and cheated death,

some who could swim tried to help

some drowned using their last breath

to send messages back to their native land,

some called out their names and countries of origin

before succumbing to their fate!

Among the floating corpses

Mebrahtom raised a desperate cry

Yohanna! Yohanna! Yohanna!

But Yohanna didn’t answer;

all alone, and in

an extreme act of love,

she brought her son into the world,

birthing him into the fish-filled sea:

yet nobody in Lampedusa

heard the seven ululations welcoming his birth!

Because after a superhuman struggle

Yohanna died alongside her son,

who never saw the light of day

and perished without even… drawing his first breath!

A baby died

drowned in the salty sea!

The baby was born and died

with its umbilical cord still unsevered!

A woman died while giving birth!

368 people died! 357 Eritreans died!

On 3rd October

3000 feet from Rabbit Island,

in the heart of the Mediterranean,

a tragedy struck the Eritrean people,

one of many they have endured.


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Sandy artist

Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Sandy artist


And As In Alice

Mary Jo Bang


Alice cannot be in the poem, she says, because

She’s only a metaphor for childhood

And a poem is a metaphor already

So we’d only have a metaphor

Inside a metaphor. Do you see?

They all nod. They see. Except for the girl

With her head in the rabbit hole. From this vantage,

Her bum looks like the flattened backside

Of  a black and white panda. She actually has one

In the crook of  her arm.

Of course it’s stuffed and not living.

Who would dare hold a real bear so near the outer ear?

She’s wondering what possible harm might come to her

If  she fell all the way down the dark she’s looking through.

Would strange creatures sing songs

Where odd syllables came to a sibilant end at the end.

Perhaps the sounds would be a form of  light  hissing.

Like when a walrus blows air

Through two fractured front teeth. Perhaps it would

Take the form of a snake. But if a snake, it would need a tree.

Could she grow one from seed? Could one make a cat?

Make it sit on a branch and fade away again

The moment you told it that the rude noise it was hearing was

rational thought

With an axe beating on the forest door.


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Karen Kesler artist

Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Karen Kesler artist


The Bunny Gives Us a Lesson in Eternity

Mary Ruefle


We are a sad people, without hats.

The history of our nation is tragically benign.

We like to watch the rabbits screwing in the graveyard.

We are fond of the little bunny with the bent ear

who stands alone in the moonlight

reading what little text there is on the graves.

He looks quite desirable like that.

He looks like the center of the universe.

Look how his mouth moves mouthing the words

while the others are busy making more of him.

Soon the more will ask of him to write their love

letters and he will oblige, using the language

of our ancestors, those poor clouds in the ground,

beloved by us who have been standing here for hours,

a proud people after all.


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Sandra Lindstrom

Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Sandra Lindstrom


On Living

Nazim Hikmet


Living is no laughing matter:

you must live with great seriousness

like a squirrel, for example

I mean without looking for something beyond and above living,

I mean living must be your whole occupation.

Living is no laughing matter:

you must take it seriously,

so much so and to such a degree

that, for example, your hands tied behind your back,

your back to the wall,
or else in a laboratory

in your white coat and safety glasses,

you can die for people—
even for people whose faces you’ve never seen,

even though you know living
is the most real, the most beautiful thing.

I mean, you must take living so seriously

that even at seventy, for example, you’ll plant olive trees

and not for your children, either,
but because although you fear death you don’t believe it,

because living, I mean, weighs heavier.



Let’s say we’re seriously ill, need surgery—

which is to say we might not get up

from the white table.

Even though it’s impossible not to feel sad

about going a little too soon,

we’ll still laugh at the jokes being told,

we’ll look out the window to see if it’s raining,

or still wait anxiously

for the latest newscast…

Let’s say we’re at the front—

for something worth fighting for, say.

There, in the first offensive, on that very day,

we might fall on our face, dead.

We’ll know this with a curious anger,

but we’ll still worry ourselves to death

about the outcome of the war, which could last years.

Let’s say we’re in prison

and close to fifty,

and we have eighteen more years, say,

before the iron doors will open.

We’ll still live with the outside,

with its people and animals, struggle and wind—

I mean with the outside beyond the walls.

I mean, however and wherever we are,

we must live as if we will never die.



This earth will grow cold,

a star among stars

and one of the smallest,

a gilded mote on blue velvet—

I mean this, our great earth.

This earth will grow cold one day,

not like a block of ice

or a dead cloud even

but like an empty walnut it will roll along

in pitch-black space…

You must grieve for this right now

—you have to feel this sorrow now—

for the world must be loved this much

if you’re going to say “I lived”…