Verse > Anthologies > Alfred Kreymborg, ed. > Others for 1919
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Alfred Kreymborg, ed.  Others for 1919.  1920.
 
Love Poems in Autumn
By Marjorie Allen Seiffert
 
I. The Arrival

SHINING highways
Sing to your step,
Windows beckon,
Doorways open a square embrace.
 
Doors laugh gently        5
Swinging together
Behind you.
 
II. There’s A Guest

There’s a flag on my tower,
And my windows
Are orange to the night.        10
They are set in grey stone that frowns
At the black wind.
 
Inside, there’s a guest at my hearth,
And a fire
Painting the grey stone gold.        15
My windows are black
With the hungry night peering through them.
 
Blackness lurks in corners,
Wind snatches the sparks,
Tongs and poker jangle together        20
Like the iron bones
Of a man that was hanged.
 
III. They Who Dance

The feet of dancers
Shine with laughter,
Their hearts are vibrant as bells;        25
 
The air flows by them
Divided, like water
Before a gleaming ship.
 
Triumphantly their bodies sing,
Their eyes        30
Are blind with music.
 
They move through threatening ghosts,
Feeling them cool as mist
Against their brows.
 
They who dance        35
Find infinite golden floors
Beneath their feet.
 
IV. Pianissimo

I took Night
Into my arms,
Night lay upon my breast.        40
 
If Night had wings
She would have brought me
Stars for my hair.
 
The stars laughed
Lightly        45
From far away—
About my shoulders
White mist curled.
 
V. Portrait by Zuloaga

Death lies in wait
For those who do not know        50
What they desire,
And Hell for those who fear
What they have taken.
 
These hands are wrinkled
From stretching forth,        55
Brown
From the winds
Blowing upon them.
 
They are strong with seizing.
They do not tremble.        60
 
VI. Gestures

Let there be dancing figures
On our wine-flask,
Swastikas on our rug,
Inscriptions in our rings
And on our dwelling.        65
 
Let us build ritual
For our worship,
Pledge our love
With vows and holy promises.
 
If we break oaths        70
Let it be darkly
With threatening gestures.
Thus we ignore
That we love and die
Like insects.        75
 
VII. Veils

I shall punish your blindness
With a veil.
 
I shall choose words that join
Gaily, word to word,
I shall weave them flauntingly        80
Into veil upon veil,
I shall wind them defiantly
Over my lips, over my eyes.
 
You shall not see your name
On my lips,        85
You shall not see your image
In my eyes!
 
And through my veils I shall not see
That you are blind.
 
VIII. Freedom

I would be free
        90
From two superstitions,
Thanks and Forgiveness.
 
So I would think of you
As Flame,
As Wind,        95
As Night,
To whom I have been
Wind,
And Flame,
And Night….        100
 
Together burned and swept,
Now drowned
In separate darkness.
 
IX. Mud

I am dazed and weary
From the shapelessness        105
Of what I am—
 
I am poured
Among haphazard stones
In meaningless patterns.
 
Yesterday’s sun dried me        110
Between rounded cobbles,
Today’s deluge sweeps me
Toward alien pavements,
To-morrow’s sun shall dry me
In a new design.        115
 
Better the turbid gutter
Toward the open sea!
 
X. Fools Say—

November’s breath
Is black in the branches of trees
And under the bushes;        120
Harsh rain
Whips down the rustling branch
Of leaves.
 
There is smoke
In the throat of the wind,        125
Its teeth
Bite away beauty.
 
Let fools say:
“Spring
Will come again!”        130
 
 
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