gone under


A Dream of Burial
James Wright

Nothing was left of me
But my right foot
And my left shoulder.
They lay white as the skein of a spider floating
In a field of snow toward a dark building
Tilted and strained by wind.
Inside the dream, I dreamed on.

A parade of old women
Sang softly above me,
Faint mosquitoes near still water.

So I waited, in my corridor.
I listened for the sea
To call me.
I knew that, somewhere outside, the horse
Stood saddled, browsing in grass,
Waiting for me.

Photo by Stas Ovsky on Unsplash

ashes of the moon


Spring Images
James Wright

Two athletes
are dancing in the cathedral
of the wind.

A butterfly lights on the branch
of your green voice.

Small antelopes
fall asleep in the ashes
of the moon.

Photo by Dan Darell on Unsplash

crying in its dark thorns


Trying to Pray
James Wright
This time, I have left my body behind me, crying
In its dark thorns.
There are good things in this world.
It is dusk.
It is the good darkness
Of women’s hands that touch loaves.
The spirit of a tree begins to move.
I touch leaves.
I close my eyes and think of water.

tall ashes of loneliness


Goodbye to the Poetry of Calcium
James Wright

Dark cypresses–
The world is uneasily happy;
It will all be forgotten.
–Theodore Storm

Mother of roots, you have not seeded
The tall ashes of loneliness
For me. Therefore,
Now I go.
If I knew the name,
Your name, all trellises of vineyards and old fire
Would quicken to shake terribly my
Earth, mother of spiraling searches, terrible
Fable of calcium, girl. I crept this afternoon
In weeds once more,
Casual, daydreaming you might not strike
Me down. Mother of window sills and journeys,
Hallower of searching hands,
The sight of my blind man makes me want to weep.
Tiller of waves or whatever, woman or man,
Mother of roots or father of diamonds,
Look: I am nothing.
I do not even have ashes to rub into my eyes.