I heard those bells'     high sea-rose call--
five senses     tingled--     my ten fingers danced
& through a sunken constellation--greenish metal--
came     & planted in my house     your calm expanse.

Low celandine is for the eyes     & pennyroyal
soothes the roiled brow;     Ophelia's rue
floats upon the tide,     & Denmark's rotten apple
rules     by her side     at last     in Hades now.

The earth     instinct with vision     steals away
our term of life (careless carouse or     sensual feast,
unwound)     yet     still     that muffled melody,
that sea-borne stem of     chorded combers,     vast

rolls back to me     (like wind     through anonymous
cedars,     deep     in northern woods)     a woman's voice.

Henry Gould | Island Road 78
Contents | Mudlark No. 6