An early death
This is the day his death will be remembered
By all who weep:
This is the day his grief will be remembered
By all who grieve.
The winds run down the ice-begotten valleys
Bringing the scent of spring, the healing rain.
But the healing hands lie folded like dead birds:
Their stillness is our comfort who have seen him.
But for the mother what can I find of comfort?
She who wrought glory out of bone and planted
The delicate tree of nerves whose foliage
Responded freely to the loving wind?
Her grief is walking through a harried country
Whose trees, all fanged with savage thorns, are bearing
Her boy's pale body worried on the thorns.
I am the man who looked for peace and found
My own eyes barbed,
I am the man who groped for words and found
An arrow in my hand.
I am the builder whose firm walls surround
A slipping land.
When I grow sick or mad
Mock me not nor chain me:
When I reach for the wind
Cast me not down:
Though my face is a burnt book
And a wasted town.
Two Offices of a Sentry I
Office for Noon
At the field’s border, where the cricket chafes
His brittle wings among the yellow weed,
I pause to hear the sea unendingly sifted
Between the granite fingers of the cape.
At this twelfth hour of unrelenting summer
I think of those whose ready mouths are stopped.
I remember those who crouch in narrow graves.
I weep for those whose eyes are full of sand.