GESTURE POEMS

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In The Nick Of Time

In the Corporate Place it’s a Valentine’s Day
She walks toward me she’s wearing this magic smile
About eleven or so metres away I return the gesture
And I’m smiling she does it the more I’m thrilled
.....
Casey Ginindza

Casey Ginindza
A Nosegay

Say, crimson Rose and dainty Daffodil,
With Violet blue;
Since you have seen the beauty of my saint,
And eke her view;
.....

John Reynolds
Dylan

And is it not a gesture grand
To drink oneself to death?
Oh sure 'tis I can understand,
Being of sober breath.
.....

Robert William Service
The Holy Fair

A note of seeming truth and trust
Hid crafty observation;
And secret hung, with poison'd crust,
The dirk of defamation:
.....
Robert Burns

Robert Burns
Agnostic

The chapel looms against the sky,
Above the vine-clad shelves,
And as the peasants pass it by
They cross themselves.
.....
Robert Service

Robert Service
Assumpta Maria

Mortals, that behold a Woman,
Rising 'twixt the Moon and Sun;
Who am I the heavens assume? an
All am I, and I am one.
.....
Francis Thompson

Francis Thompson
There Is A Lady Sweet And Kind

There is a Lady sweet and kind,
Was never face so pleased my mind;
I did but see her passing by,
And yet I love her till I die.
.....

Anonymous
Jobson Of The Star

Within a pub that's off the Strand and handy to the bar,
With pipe in mouth and mug in hand sat Jobson of the Star.
“Come, sit ye down, ye wond'ring wight, and have a yarn,” says he.
“I can't,” says I, “because to-night I'm off to Tripoli;
.....
Robert Service

Robert Service
The Man With The Blue Guitar

as green.

They said, 'You have a blue guitar,
You do not play things as they are.'
.....

Wallace Stevens
There Is A Lady Sweet And Kind, Thomas Ford's Music Of Sundry Kinds

THERE is a Lady sweet and kind,
Was never face so pleased my mind;
I did but see her passing by,
And yet I love her till I die.
.....

Anonymous
O Ma Belle Rebelle!

O ma belle rebelle!
Las! que tu m'es cruelle,
Ou quand d'une doux souris,
Larron de mes esprits,
.....

Jean Antoine De Baif
Lars

"Tell us a story of these Isles," they said,
The daughters of the West, whose eyes had seen
For the first time the circling sea, instead
Of the blown prairie's waves of grassy green:
.....
Celia Thaxter

Celia Thaxter
Incommunicado

The groundhog on the mountain did not run
But fatly scuttled into the splayed fern
And faced me, back to a ledge of dirt, to rattle
Her sallow rodent teeth like castanets
.....

Sylvia Plath
The Assassination

It begins again, the nocturnal pulse.
It courses through the cables laid for it.
It mounts to the chandeliers and beats there, hotly.
We are too close. Too late, we would move back.
.....

Donald Justice
The Explorers

And some still cry: “What is the use?
The service rendered? What the gain?
Heroic, yes!-but in what cause?
Have they made less one earth-borne pain?
.....
Don Marquis

Don Marquis
Hiawatha's Fishing

Forth upon the Gitche Gumee,
On the shining Big-Sea-Water,
With his fishing-line of cedar,
Of the twisted bark of cedar,
.....
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
An Actor

Some one ('tis hardly new) has oddly said
The color of a trumpet's blare is red;
And Joseph Emmett thinks the crimson shame
On woman's cheek a trumpet-note of fame.
.....

Ambrose Bierce
Tannhauser

To my mother. May, 1870.


The Landgrave Hermann held a gathering
.....
Emma Lazarus

Emma Lazarus
A Hidden Life

Proudly the youth, sudden with manhood crowned,
Went walking by his horses, the first time,
That morning, to the plough. No soldier gay
Feels at his side the throb of the gold hilt
.....
George Macdonald

George Macdonald
To A Friend

“You damn me with faint praise.”


Yes, faint was my applause and cold my praise,
.....
Joseph Rodman Drake

Joseph Rodman Drake
Christmas Eve

I

Out of the little chapel I burst
Into the fresh night-air again.
.....
Robert Browning

Robert Browning
The Prayer Of Agassiz

On the isle of Penikese,
Ringed about by sapphire seas,
Fanned by breezes salt and cool,
Stood the Master with his school.
.....
John Greenleaf Whittier

John Greenleaf Whittier
A Legend Of Cologne

Above the bones
St. Ursula owns,
And those of the virgins she chaperons;
Above the boats,
.....
Bret Harte

Bret Harte
Dylan

And is it not a gesture grand
To drink oneself to death?
Oh sure 'tis I can understand,
Being of sober breath.
.....
Robert Service

Robert Service
Expostulation

Why weeps the muse for England? What appears
In England's case to move the muse to tears?
From side to side of her delightful isle
Is she not clothed with a perpetual smile?
.....
William Cowper

William Cowper
Reverence

I saw the Greatest Man on Earth,
Aye, saw him with my proper eyes.
A loin-cloth spanned his proper girth,
But he was naked otherwise,
.....
Robert Service

Robert Service
Haschisch

Behind the door, beyond the light,
Who is it waits there in the night?
When he has entered he will stand,
Imposing with his silent hand
.....

Arthur Symons
The Ballad Of The Ice-worm Cocktail

To Dawson Town came Percy Brown from London on the Thames.
A pane of glass was in his eye, and stockings on his stems.
Upon the shoulder of his coat a leather pad he wore,
To rest his deadly rifle when it wasn't seeking gore;
.....
Robert Service

Robert Service
The Ballad Of The Leather Medal

Only a Leather Medal, hanging there on the wall,
Dingy and frayed and faded, dusty and worn and old;
Yet of my humble treasures I value it most of all,
And I wouldn't part with that medal if you gave me its weight in gold.
.....
Robert Service

Robert Service
Lincoln, The Man Of The People

When the Norn Mother saw the Whirlwind Hour
Greatening and darkening as it hurried on,
She left the Heaven of Heroes and came down
To make a man to meet the mortal need.
.....
Edwin Markham

Edwin Markham
Summer Storm

We stood on the rented patio
While the party went on inside.
You knew the groom from college.
I was a friend of the bride.
.....

Dana Gioia
Condors

I. CONDORS FLYING
WE watched the Condors winging towards the Moon,
A Moon that glimmered in the blue daylight;
Around us were the Andes, and beyond
.....
Padraic Colum

Padraic Colum
The House Of Dust: Part 04: 03: Palimpsest: A Deceitful Portrait

Well, as you say, we live for small horizons:
We move in crowds, we flow and talk together,
Seeing so many eyes and hands and faces,
So many mouths, and all with secret meanings,—
.....

Conrad Potter Aiken
Visitors

They haunt me, they tease me with hinted
Withheld revelations,
The songs that I may not utter;
They lead me, they flatter, they woo me.
.....
Don Marquis

Don Marquis
Lesson

Our love has chosen its appropriate gesture
Which when viewed in the midst of all the gestures
It didn't choose seems almost insignificant.

.....

Bill Knott
When The Millennium Comes

WHEN the Millennium comes
Only the kings will fight,
While the princes beat the drums,
And the queens in aprons white,
.....

Katharine Lee Bates
On A Dead Child

Perfect little body, without fault or stain on thee,
With promise of strength and manhood full and fair!
Though cold and stark and bare,
The bloom and the charm of life doth awhile remain on thee.
.....
Robert Bridges

Robert Bridges
The Big Top

The boom and blare of the big brass band is cheering to my heart
And I like the smell of the trampled grass and elephants and hay.
I take off my hat to the acrobat with his delicate, strong art,
And the motley mirth of the chalk-faced clown drives all my care away.
.....
Joyce Kilmer

Joyce Kilmer
The Spoilsport

My familiar ghost again
Comes to see what he can see,
Critic, son of Conscious Brain,
Spying on our privacy.
.....
Robert Graves

Robert Graves
Snow-bound: A Winter Idyl

To the Memory of the Household It Describes
This Poem is Dedicated by the Author:

"As the Spirits of Darkness be stronger in the dark, so Good Spirits,which be Angels of Light, are augmented not only by the Divine lightof the Sun, but also by our common Wood Fire: and as the CelestialFire drives away dark spirits, so also this our Fire of Wood doth thesame." -- Cor. Agrippa, Occult Philosophy,
.....
John Greenleaf Whittier

John Greenleaf Whittier
Legends

CLOWNS DYINGFIVE circus clowns dying this year, morning newspapers told their lives, how each one horizontal in a last gesture of hands arranged by an undertaker, shook thousands into convulsions of laughter from behind rouge-red lips and powder-white face.

STEAMBOAT BILLWhen the boilers of the Robert E. Lee exploded, a steamboat winner of many races on the Mississippi went to the bottom of the river and never again saw the wharves of Natchez and New Orleans.
And a legend lives on that two gamblers were blown toward the sky and during their journey laid bets on which of the two would go higher and which would be first to set foot on the turf of the earth again.
.....
Carl Sandburg

Carl Sandburg
Returned To Say

When I face north a lost Cree
on some new shore puts a moccasin down,
rock in the light and noon for seeing,
he in a hurry and I beside him
.....

William Stafford
In Memory Of Radio

Who has ever stopped to think of the divinity of Lamont Cranston?
(Only jack Kerouac, that I know of: & me.
The rest of you probably had on WCBS and Kate Smith,
Or something equally unattractive.)
.....

Amiri Baraka
Mesmerism

I.

All I believed is true!
I am able yet
.....
Robert Browning

Robert Browning
The Dead: Iv

These hearts were woven of human joys and cares,
Washed marvellously with sorrow, swift to mirth.
The years had given them kindness. Dawn was theirs,
And sunset, and the colours of the earth.
.....
Rupert Brooke

Rupert Brooke
Childhood, A Poem: Part I

Pictured in memory's mellowing glass, how sweet
Our infant days, our infant joys, to greet;
To roam in fancy in each cherish'd scene,
The village churchyard, and the village green,
.....

Henry Kirk White
At His Grave

LEAVE me a little while alone,
Here at his grave that still is strown
With crumbling flower and wreath;
The laughing rivulet leaps and falls,
.....

Alfred Austin
The Undying

In thin clear light unshadowed shapes go by
Small on green fields beneath the hueless sky.
They do not stay for question, do not hear
Any old human speech: their tongue and ear
.....

John Freeman
The Stag.

Blest be the boy, by virtue nurst,
Who knows not aught of fear's controul,
And keeps, in peril's sudden burst,
The freedom of an active soul.
.....
William Hayley

William Hayley
With Eye And With Gesture

With eye and with gesture
You say you are holy.
I say you lie;
For I did see you
.....
Stephen Crane

Stephen Crane