The jewels upon her dress are losing their luster And the dyes of its fabric begin to fade Its warp and weave fraying and growing ragged On her chalk-like rolling swellings as He lays his castings out longer and harder daily
Worse Of course Are the clinging things Bloating up with blood on which they feast Clamoring for more And turning away from the sight of the sky as they beset her
Still She is beloved Deeply and by many And the thought of leaving her Though such parting might be needed Is no easy thing
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They show up in patches on the roadside Stains upon the carpet stretching wide Spilled by passers-by and thickest nearest traffic Crowding where the sludge and slime run off Color springing from the filth
There is hope in such Because it is not only the roadsides That bathe in such waters
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The old song sings Of bulls that leap and bucks that fart Ascribing thus to the old hart The effects of a high-fiber diet And as the spring Prompts buds to bloom and fruits to start And birds to take flight and to dart I think that I may try it
But though the winter now has fled I doubt that Jack has laid his head Down all the way, and thus I dread The cold snap yet to come
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The years have passed since we went on our adventure Passing from the hills into the high plains Packing into a tent that huddled against the wind As dark clouds blew in and disease And we returned to fear and hiding away Coming back to find that everything had stopped
Things have long since started again The sickness pervading the world And the one chance there might have been to start again Gone like so many who Drowned within themselves Choking on their own sputum as others swore It’s no big deal People die every day anyway
Still Still Still Still We have to wonder if it will happen again
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Ever do I seek to simply Sit with pen in hand and page In front of me Using the former to fill the latter And get the things out of my head that well up within
It is not water that comes from that spring Dripping sometimes but flooding in season Nor yet does it leach away whence it flows Or, at least, it does not so in a way anyone knows For who remarks on one more hole in A thing already spongelike?
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If it were my second language, Something I had worked harder to learn– Because it is harder to learn another language later And I grew up a monoglot– Perhaps I would not be so sloppy with the words Hoard them more closely Place them more carefully Perhaps like coins As one author writes Or like jewelry Making more beautiful those who take them up and put them on
As it is I grew up with it Take it for granted Spend it all too easily Knowing I have an ever-full store Casting as if at a fan And with so much effect
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It has happened again Half of a conversation Taking place far away from any interlocutor Provoking rage at someone who Was never even there And would probably not say the things to which Response was given
Bad enough To realize what should have been said Descending the staircase So how much worse To critique a party that nobody threw?
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A spore I cannot help but have inhaled
Hyphae spreading through me without notice until
The bloom breaks out and spreads its gills
Poisoning the ground from which it breaks
And while other fruits are still on offer
They are fewer and their stalks wither as they emerge
From soil being leached away
Unknowing hands will reach out
Grasp what shows itself on offer
Thinking it a blessing from their native soil
In which they are deeply rooted
Mycorrhizae working to no good end
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To make a day a holiday To give a day to people By giving a day to people Seems a noble thing A high honor that endures
Consider Who gets the day Who loses it And how those who have it mark it
If And it is a big if As many ifs are Small though the word is The way we mark it Is the way we ought to mark it Then what honor is it Really?
Ought and is aren’t the same Of course I know it You know it I think Maybe But there are a lot of people Thinking that the way things are Is the way that they must be And I wonder if they’ve thought through what that means
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