Jaguar

Poem By Lola Ridge

Nasal intonations of light
and clicking tongues…
publicity of windows
stoning me with pent-up cries…
smells of abattoirs…
smells of long-dead meat.

Some day-end—
while the sand is yet cozy as a blanket
off the warm body of a squaw,
and the jaguars are out to kill…
with a blue-black night coming on
and a painted cloud
stalking the first star—
I shall go alone into the Silence…
the coiled Silence…
where a cry can run only a little way
and waver and dwindle
and be lost.

And there…
where tiny antlers clinch and strain
as life grapples in a million avid points,
and threshing things
strike and die,
letting their hate live on
in the spreading purple of a wound…
I too
will make covert of a crevice in the night,
and turn and watch…
nose at the cleft’s edge.

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Dispossessed

Tender and tremulous green of leaves
Turned up by the wind,
Twanging among the vines -
Wind in the grass

Dreams

Men die…
Dreams only change their houses.
They cannot be lined up against a wall
And quietly buried under ground,

Bowery Afternoon

Drab discoloration
Of faces, façades, pawn-shops,
Second-hand clothing,
Smoky and fly-blown glass of lunch-rooms,

Broadway

Light!
Innumerable ions of light,
Kindling, irradiating,
All to their foci tending…

Betty

You can see the sandhills from our new room.
Butterflies
live in the sandhills
and lizards

Babel

Oh, God did cunningly, there at Babel -
Not mere tongues dividing, but soul from soul,
So that never again should men be able
To fashion one infinite, towering whole.