Skip to content

Out Of The Windows Of Trains

by H.J. Blanchard

Artwork, “Morning Has Broken” by Molly Cassidy


To Fields and Shields

Soft , lay the outlands of sweet birth ,

by whose ancient bosom ,

flew the jackdaw in dawn’s half-light , of gentle suppleness ,

who lay hand of foreign hand within each morn’s awakening :

blood of blood , flesh of flesh of which pale cheeks partook ,

and still which rest amongst the skulls of the fallen ,

whose cry sails upon each secret mist ,

which raps itself around ,

the streets and highways , and all the folk therein …

what majesty is this which on a childish sport resides

eternal the yoke of gleeful humanhood ,

what poison drank she that her womb lies desolate amidst the glories of

her eyes , dulled by silent inessence ;

what leaves are turned to ashes by electric lighting ,

which illumines the mausoleum of the rotting ,

and sets the soul in rigor mortis ?

Where are the hidden hearts from which stem the gristle of sheets and sails,

of time …

what crannies claim they for their own ,

what seed falls on the land robbed of its loins in blood

(which rends the silence more disturbing )?

And I would claim the stars had I not

knowledge of their fair accompaniment , and freedom of the

celestial borough

(as all mankind ) …

here , in the houses and the woods , lives themselves

a plainchant make –

quires which reach for eternity ,

and consider not the heads of kings , one day ,

like apples on hating winterground , rejecting the issue of time ,

the earth does ….

and it is you who hate me , cries the old voice ,

you , who would hold lying vigils in my fading memory !

thou spurnest the parental oak ,

of which is firewood cut , and of which is lain my living pyre

smell the mist whose drummer boy beats on into eternity

and who calls the caravanserai

on e’er on …

meet with , us that we might see thy face ,

you who spin the webs of sleep and pass most freely in the autumn lands ,

oft to breech and oft to break , burning ‘neath the water

RYDBERG

blood swam in the outer mouth , as he dragged his stainèd carcus throught

each sodden acre, dying in lifeful agony

in each silent irrecollection as skull sat ,

twit twooing on the carpeted floor leading to the vestry of time ,

and the happy knives who danced across books in flamelit

dizziness … eye devouring its onlooker

as the sputum filled army of haystacks set fire to him

(the old walker)

and out of its eyes pushed the embryonic windows

of forgotten after-middays , where black turns grey and overcoats are

banqueted upon by moths , in conspiracy with winter’s uncaringness ,

and the black bread chewed with the convicts’ million mouths

… piece by piece snow covered meres fashioned dreamchildhood in light

sleep , which fell off the cart somewhere betwixt madness and lucidity ,

mortis being the only vernacular-trampling station of faded eyes and throats ,

nay not the faded bluey , they remain ,

or oft can do e’en if all about sinks in cabbag’d likelihood , placing each brow in tree stumps

of liquidness

which bottle themselves , bespectacled out of cologne ( which i only mention

for the sake of the eastlight , which breaks upon happy ribald

amid the dips and ups of our sweet arbour ( wherein the raven hears each

pacing word , which falls silently around the forest navels of choral

appreciation) …

crucifixes hung from the fo’ads of guilty shadowmitrers ,

listening hard for the noise in the dawn , as far off echoes the calfskin

covering ( like friends of trust ) the nakedness of wet fear ;

fear that

leaks into the branches as they wave and as the cowsuds go sour

and the feasts rot in life’s corrupting .

White gleams the dawn on yonder rise ,

Who lifts his happy head and flees away .

The yellowness dawns , so to dawn again.

ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY

metal ,

metal crushing upon itself – as the clock unravels

spools and spools of human genes , there were ,

never reassembled , given clay torsos on europa’s soil

and who killed their (if distant) blood brothers and sisters

in the cold air ,

without feeling ,

quiet and bilious as the lamp went out

and the great wail commenc’d ;

poor , poor city

thou seem’st too deep to rise again ,

and yet at greater depths thou hast ‘fore been

O weep , weep or cry

or rend your garments , whatever shall emerge , you shall be free to it ,

lest the dogs approach at night ….

metal pressing on metal

like my g – l -asses’ frame ,

but itching as it rips through uncover’d flesh …

destroying for that

is the muse

of the evil

who compose their symphonies of hatred

whilst sitting in the back row at black masses … though

often without knowing

that

or why

or how:

for we are all our mothers’ children

from earth to earth

ashes to ashes …

tristesse pénible à tristesse pénible , painful sadness to painful sadness ,

priez pour le monde mes amis pray for the world my friends

Frige’s Ode

green man leaps , rain fills the owl-mist

as orisons rise to thunor's pelt , by pale and painted faces , where winds gush

through the ages and the hobblehouses of folk … bit by darkness:

now trees gape and fly , and timedeaths pull on the skin , like the unbodied winds’ eyes,

setting northward by rain and depth , the world of northdom overcast …

by the wise ones … the gentle rain stealing their perfect wrongfulness ,

by brooks where wept lovers and legionnaires (byhairbreadth) ,

whither abelio once blessed the earthen drips of sky ,

and whittled choruses of the living young , flesh’d beneath the achings of eternal voices ,

calling by mud .

and so the mere snatched the blade , drowning the bellicose voices

which rise anew at mungo’s wanderings … wood settling itself by wood ,

to be grazed ‘pon by beast …

*

trolls still dance …

arthur and guenivere breathe in the whirling hills ,

and the middlearthen yet cleave the bosom of the fleshless ,

the cycle of trampling … o’er the heads of kinsmen .

Free she rides , free her blonde-red locks are now …

Sleep love , sleep … thou art newly woman’d ,

And glory awaits thee .

09/05/16


Published inPoetryChapel Hill