Entry LXXXII – September

Buffalo Dusk

Carl Sandburg

The buffaloes are gone.
And those who saw the buffaloes are gone.
Those who saw the buffaloes by thousands and how they pawed the prairie sod into dust with their hoofs, their great heads down pawing on in a great pageant of dusk,
Those who saw the buffaloes are gone.
And the buffaloes are gone.

Entry LXXXI – September

Winter Night

Ted Olson

Blow now against the cold your thin
Ephemeral breath. Evoke the ghost
Of the pale flame that pants within.
This is yourself. This phantom, lost
On air, this filigree in frost,
Is all of warmth and brawn that hold
At bay the interstellar cold.

Trace in the braided wrist the tick
Of tunneling blood. This quiver, brief
As the wind’s tread along the leaf,
This rhythm feebler than the flick
Of cricket’s wing, no less sustains
The thrust of chaos blindly hurled
Against the frail tide of the veins–
The weight of crumbling world on world.

Breathe hard against the icy wind
Once more. Blow forth against the bright
Brave ghost of flame, a javelinned
Defiance to the crowding night.
Then get you in–to bed– forget,
If so you can, how pulse and breath
(A moment yet . . . a moment yet . . .)
Beat back the seismic tides of death.



Entry LXXIX – July

Rannoch, by Glencoe
Thomas Stearns Eliot

Here the crow starves, here the patient stag
Breeds for the rifle. Between the soft moor
And the soft sky, scarcely room
To leap or soar. Substance crumbles, in the thin air
Moon cold or moon hot. The road winds in
Listlessness of ancient war,
Langour of broken steel,
Clamour of confused wrong, apt
In silence. Memory is strong
Beyond the bone. Pride snapped,
Shadow of pride is long, in the long pass
No concurrence of bone.


Entry LXXVIII – June

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

“God save thee, ancient Mariner!
From the fiends, that plague thee thus!–
Why look ‘st thou so?”– with my cross-bow
I shot the Albatross.

Ah! well a-day! what evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.


Entry LXXVI – June

Marching Men
Marjorie Pickthall

Under the level winter sky
I saw a thousand Christs go by.
They sang an idle song and free
As they went up to calvary.

Careless of eye and coarse of lip,
They marched in holiest fellowship.
That heaven might heal the world, they gave
Their earth-born dreams to deck the grave.

With souls unpurged and steadfast breath
They supped the sacrament of death.
And for each one, far off, apart,
Seven swords have rent a woman’s heart.


Entry LXXV – June

A Book
Emily Dickinson

There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul!


Entry LXXIV – June

My Life had stood – a Loaded Gun (764)
Emily Dickinson

My Life had stood – a Loaded Gun –
In Corners – till a Day
The Owner passed – identified –
And carried Me away –

And now We roam in Sovreign Woods –
And now We hunt the Doe –
And every time I speak for Him
The Mountains straight reply –

And do I smile, such cordial light
Opon the Valley glow –
It is as a Vesuvian face
Had let it’s pleasure through –

And when at Night – Our good Day done –
I guard My Master’s Head –
’Tis better than the Eider Duck’s
Deep Pillow – to have shared –

To foe of His – I’m deadly foe –
None stir the second time –
On whom I lay a Yellow Eye –
Or an emphatic Thumb –

Though I than He – may longer live
He longer must – than I –
For I have but the power to kill,
Without – the power to die –


Entry LXIII – June

Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone 
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read.
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
No thing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”