PUIs- 20th century poets under the influence

[green_message] Hymnus Ad Patrem Sinensis
Philip Whalen

I praise those ancient Chinamen
Who left me a few words,
Usually a pointless joke or a silly question
A line of poetry drunkenly scrawled on the
margin of a quick splashed picture –
bug, leaf, caricature of Teacher
on paper held together now by little more
than ink & their own strength brushed
momentarily over it
Their world & several others since
Gone to hell in a handbasket, they knew it –
Cheered as it whizzed by –
& conked out among the busted spring rain
Cherryblossom winejars
Happy to have saved us all.

Complaint: To the Muse
Philip Whalen

You do understand I’ve waited long enough
There’s nobody else that interests me more than a minute
I’ve got no more ambition to shop around for poems or love
Come Back!
or at least answer your telephone
I’m nowhere without you

This is the greatest possible drag
Slower than the speed of light or always
A little less than critical mass

The energy the steam the poop is here
Everything is (by Nature) Energy, I myself
A natural thing & certainly massive enough

A block of lead (the end of all radiation)
I don’t even reflect much daylight, not to speak of
glowing in the dark
I’ll never get it off the ground

Poems from Hut Poems
Jonathan Greene


How we become dust –

Some beetles dead
on the walls of my hut.

A Buddha full lotus
in a cave.

Ignorant dust,
Enlightened dust?

The earth accepts both
without judgment.


At my hut
poems must be waiting for me

and my other being –
ghost to my normal busybody self –

sitting calmly there
siphoning songs from the still air.


There is one bent nail
hammered flush into
the door’s molding –

speaks volumes,
the frustrations (that day)
of one carpenter.


Hiking this steep hill in snow,
of course a kinship
hearing the trees creak & moan
in the wind.

Czeslaw Milosz

A day so happy.
Fog lifted early. I worked in the garden.
Hummingbirds were stopping over the honeysuckle flowers.
There was no thing on earth I wanted to possess.
I knew no one worth my envying him.
Whatever evil I had suffered, I forgot.
To think that once I was the same man did not embarrass me.
In my body I felt no pain.
When straightening up, I saw blue sea and sails.

an instance of being
Pell Tanner

my one
at once
from ten thousand things
any time
any where

pears grow heavy
queen anne’ white lace
Grows tall
trails of fire
into headlights

mist lifted dawn
Pell Tanner

deer play
in the field
of the full moon
white tails
sail into the forests
of silver mist
lifted with a winter dawn
in a way
just the same
as you imagine

zen pie
Pell Tanner

in the past
i have dreamed the future
but I never know
what to believe
the truth I an ever after
Seemingly just out of reach
let me say
that’s all right with me

The House is Soft
Ursala Le Guin

The house is soft, softly carpentered,
Even the nails are yieding, semi-transparent.
People come in one by one
And live there a while, quiely feasting,
And leave by the door they entered.
They leave the house forever but not empty;
The passages of the house remember,
The windows look not only out
But inward to the tender rooms.

Ursala Le Guin

Imagine dark.
Forty years’ rain.
The sinking ark.

No dogs bark
Or doves complain
In the long dark.

No eel or shark
noses in vain
the ribs of the ark.

No star, no spark.
No full or wane.
Silence and dark.

Without mark,
without stain,
bright, stark,

the ocean’s arc
is bare again
above the dark.
The sunken ark.

Your Heart is Fine
Joanne Kyger

       Your heart is fine   feeling the widest
possible empathy for the day and its inhabitants

Thanks for looking at the wind
In the top of the eucalyptus
dancing like someone you know
well   ‘I’m here  I’m here  I’m here’

    The wind picks up
a rush of leaves waving

     wildly for your understanding
– apple, plum, bamboo
rooted and flourishing
next to your home
In the air   awake

     without defect


Thomas Merton

I am about to make my home
In the bell’s summit
Set my mind a thousand feet high
On the ace of songs
In a mood of needles and random lights
To purify
The quick magnetic sodas of the skin

I will call the deep protectors out of the ground
The givers of wine
The writers of peace and waste
And sundown riddles

The threat of winter gleams in gray-haired windows
And witty mirrors
And fear lies over the sea

But birds fly uncorrected across burnt lands
The surest home is pointless:
We learn by the cables of orioles

I am about to build my nest
In the misdirected and unpaid express
As I walk away from this poem

Hiding the ace of freedoms