31   Henry's Muse

                     by the Providence River

The river drowses like a flickering sword,
on past infinite farmyards gone to seed, a lamp
in a prairie palm     meadows & towns     loud
wail of a long-gone train (Transcontinental Tramp).

Anoint me with the oil of your guttering candle,
London, for     my mint is pennyroyal, &
my royal headache's eased now--     but I'm seeing double--
& blood will flush the curtained chamber of Jerusalem.

Shall I place it on my head?     I'm cold
in this coin of a bowling broken realm.
I'd put an arm across your shoulder, gal--

in the sceptred greenhouse--     should I be so bold?
It's you, O     green-eyed National Velvet     at the helm--
Empress my soul now, for     my mint is pennyroyal

Henry Gould | Island Road 32
Contents | Mudlark No. 6