I want children to play upon my grave.
Fragile kites let out on lines held in sticky hands,
Pockets weighty with throwing pebbles;
Ant-army marches across greenest grasses,
Knees drawn high and feet bare
to the first timid days of summer.
Childish voices, noisy and forgetful
of the solemn nature of
life, six feet below the living.
On the Balcony (c. 1912-1915)
Richard E. Miller
The Green Cage (c. 1910-1914)
What are you thinking of, Mother Dear,
as you clasp your cherubic child before
you and gaze off into the distance
between courses of honeyed tea and buttery toast?
The movements of the moon?
Mycology and mineralogy?
Or the sweet deliciousness of another few minutes of sleep,
so you can dream you live in a world where
mothers are the engineers of their own mornings?
A Bird came down the Walk— He did not know I saw— He bit an Angleworm in halves And ate the fellow, raw, And then he drank a Dew From a convenient Grass— And then hopped sidewise to the Wall To let a Beetle pass— He glanced with rapid eyes That hurried all around— They looked like frightened Beads, I thought— He stirred his Velvet Head Like one in danger, Cautious, I offered him a Crumb And he unrolled his feathers And rowed him softer home— Than Oars divide the Ocean, Too silver for a seam— Or Butterflies, off Banks of Noon Leap, plashless as they swim. by Emily Dickinson
Over and over again,
following customary flight patterns;
thoughts flit into my brain.
Buzz, buzz, buzz in your left ear,
I pause midflight;
stung into sudden silence.
I need not bother
unless I can translate my busy buzzing
into a language of grunts and uhs and silence.
It is raining on the house
of Anne Frank
and on the tourists
herded together under the shadow
of their umbrellas,
on the perfectly silent
tourists who would rather be
but who wait here on stairs
so steep they must rise
to some occasion
high in the empty loft,
in the quaint toilet,
in the skeleton
of a kitchen
or on the map-
each of its arrows
a barb of wire-
with all the dates, the expulsions,
the forbidding shapes
And across Amsterdam it is raining
on the Van Gogh Museum
where we will hurry next
to see how someone else
could find the pure
center of light
within the dark circle
of his demons.
by Linda Pastan