a minor bird
I have wished a bird would fly away,
and not sing by my house all day;
have clapped my hands at him from the door
when it seemed as if I could bear no more
the fault must partly have been in me.
The bird was not to blame for his key
And of course there must be something wrong
In wanting to silence any song
maggie and milly and molly and may
maggy and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach (to play one day)
and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles,and
milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;
and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles: and
may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.
For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
It’s always ourselves we find in the sea
in a disused graveyard
the living come with grassy tread
to read the gravestones on the hill;
the graveyard draws the living still,
but never anymore the dead.
the verses in it say and say:
“the ones who living come today
to read the stones and go away
tomorrow dead will come to stay”
so sure of death the marbles rhyme,
yet can’t help marking all the time
how no one dead will seem to come.
What is it men are shrinking from?
It would be easy to be clever
And tell the stones: Men hate to die
And have stopped dying forever.
I think they would believe the lie