I Shall Build Me A House

Warren

Robert Penn Warren (1905 – 1989)

The urge to write poetry is like having an itch. When the itch becomes annoying enough, you scratch it.

Robert Penn Warren

Grieve Not

by Walter Clyde Curry

Grieve not that winter masks the yet quick earth,
        Nor still that summer walks the hills no more;
        That fickle spring has doffed the plaid she wore

To swathe herself in napkins till rebirth.

These buddings, flowerings, are nothing worth;
  .      .  This ermine cloud stretched firm across the lakes
  .     .   Will presently be shattered into flakes;
Then, starveling world, be subject to my mirth.

I know that faithful swift mortality
.      .  Subscribes to nothing longer than a day;
 .        All beauty signals imminent decay;
And painted wreckage cumbers land and sea.

I laugh to hear a sniveling wise one say,
“Some winnowed self escapes this reckless way.”



Vision

by Robert Penn Warren (1905-1989)

I shall build me a house where the larkspur blooms
. . In a narrow glade in an alder wood,
Where the sunset shadows make violet gloom,
, . And a whip-poor-will calls in eerie mood.

I shall lie on a bed of river sedge,
. . And listen to the glassy dark,
With a guttered light on my window ledge,
. . While an owl stares in at me white and stark.

I shall burn my house with the rising dawn,
. . And leave but the ashes and smoke behind,
And again give the glade to the owl and the fawn,
. . When the grey wood smoke drifts away with the wind.

What Range Will Gold Eyes See

IMG_2703 (1)
Don Fritch (1933 – 2018)

Mortal Limit

by Robert Penn Warren

I saw the hawk ride updraft in the sunset over Wyoming.
It rose from coniferous darkness, past gray jags
Of mercilessness, past whiteness, into the gloaming
Of dream-spectral light above the lazy purity of snow-snags.

There—west—were the Tetons. Snow-peaks would soon be
In dark profile to break constellations. Beyond what height
Hangs now the black speck? Beyond what range will gold eyes see
New ranges rise to mark a last scrawl of light?

Or, having tasted that atmosphere’s thinness, does it
Hang motionless in dying vision before
It knows it will accept the mortal limit,
And swing into the great circular downwardness that will restore

The breath of earth? Of rock? Of rot? Of other such
Items, and the darkness of whatever dream we clutch?