'Often the Dying Ask for a Map', by B.H. Fairchild
So, friend, you think my face and legs in stone
Are signs that I have failed? Friend, think again.
When I ascended to my marble throne
The land was forest, meadow, lakeside glen.
I took it and I wasted it. This desert tract
Stands as my most expansive monument:
Dead-life, as blank as hope, as bald as fact.
I made a world of sand. And it's this spent
Stage-set, bleached clean, that I am proudest of—
More than my palaces and bling and war—
Because it's the perfection of my love
When my rule's push came to my people's shove.
We tyrants know what power's really for.
I made my desolation to endure.
Is acher ingaith innocht
fufuasan fairggae findfolt
ni agor reimm mora minn
dondlaechraid lainn ua
The wind is rough tonight
tossing the white combed ocean.
I need not dread fierce Vikings
crossing the Irish Sea.
—St. Gall Priscian, margin gloss.
Go not forth to call Dame Sorrow
From the dim fields of Tomorrow;
Let her roam there all unheeded,
She will come when she is needed;
Then, when she draws near thy door,
She will find God there before.
—George MacDonald, unpublished poem;
recited by Jerry Root at Hutchmoot Homebound, October 2021
are still here, but the sepulchre
is empty. A messenger
from the tomb tells us
how a stone has been rolled
from the mind, and a tree lightens
the darkness with its blossom.
There are travellers upon the road
who have heard music blown
from a bare bough, and a child
tells us how the accident
of last year, a machine stranded
beside the way for lack
of petrol, is crowned with flowers.
R. S. Thomas
On the water's surface
Today in Hunterdon County
The day is young
Traffic light goes red
Green. Red. Green. Red.
The warm belly of the bus
The sun strikes
Feeling good in New Jersey
Leaves on the windshield
Thoughts of home
High up in the trees
Water like glass
A vacant lot