LOCAL POEMS

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The Old Huntsman

I've never ceased to curse the day I signed
A seven years' bargain for the Golden Fleece.
'Twas a bad deal all round; and dear enough
It cost me, what with my daft management,
.....
Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon
Miscalculation

Miscalculation
They are voicing out their freedom
They say
Shamelessly shading crocodile tears in public.
.....
Emmanuel Mtema

Emmanuel Mtema
Night Golf

I remember the night I discovered,
lying in bed in the dark,
that a few imagined holes of golf
worked much better than a thousand sheep,
.....

Billy Collins
Running Amok

In the slums of Tondo, people dwell
in shacks of cardboard, bits of bamboo,
corrugated metal, and a few cement blocks.

.....

Nick Carbo
In Praise Of Limestone

If it form the one landscape that we, the inconstant ones,
Are consistently homesick for, this is chiefly
Because it dissolves in water. Mark these rounded slopes
With their surface fragrance of thyme and, beneath,
.....
W. H. Auden

W. H. Auden
Pleasant Prophecies

A day of gladness yet will dawn,
Though when I cannot say;
Perhaps it may be Thursday week,
Perhaps some other day,â??
.....

Robert Fuller Murray
Sky Burial

Q. You're Such a Disciplined Writer. Were You Always That way?
A. When I was in graduate school, I worked part-time at a local
library. I ran the used bookstore in the basement. The money
came in handy. There was plenty of time to study.
.....

Ronald Koertge
Epic

I have lived in important places, times
When great events were decided, who owned
That half a rood of rock, a no-man's land
Surrounded by our pitchfork-armed claims.
.....

Patrick Kavanagh
Rotgut

The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor
the moon by night. Psalm 121

On a hillside scattered with temples broken
.....

Brooks Haxton
Early Sunday Morning

I used to mock my father and his chums
for getting up early on Sunday morning
and drinking coffee at a local spot
but now Iâ??m one of those chumps.
.....

Edward Hirsch
Uncle Bill

My Uncle Bill! My Uncle Bill!
How doth my heart with anguish thrill!
For he, our chief, our Robin Hood,
Has gone to jail for stealing wood!
.....

Banjo Paterson
Pensive On Her Dead Gazing, I Heard The Mother Of All

Pensive, on her dead gazing, I heard the Mother of All,
Desperate, on the torn bodies, on the forms covering the battle-fields gazing;
(As the last gun ceased-but the scent of the powder-smoke linger'd;)
As she call'd to her earth with mournful voice while she stalk'd:
.....
Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman
Fall Creek

As though shedding an old skin,
Fall Creek slips free from fall's weight,
clots of leaves blackening snags,
back of pool where years ago
.....

Ron Rash
Ruth

All is wellâ??in a prisonâ??to-night, and the warders are crying â??Allâ??s Well!â??
I must speak, for the sake of my heartâ??if itâ??s but to the walls of my cell.
For what does it matter to me if to-morrow I go where I will?
Iâ??m as free as I ever shall beâ??there is naught in my life to fulfil.
.....
Henry Lawson

Henry Lawson
Battered Bob

HE WAS working on a station in the Western when I knew him,
And he came from Conongamo, up the old surveyorsâ?? track,
And the fellows all admitted that no man in Vic. could â??do him,â??
Since heâ??d smothered Stonewall Menzie, also Anderson, the black.
.....

Edward George Dyson
Lake Eliza

THE SAND was heavy on our feet,
A Christmas sky was oâ??er us,
And half a mile through dust and heat
Lake â??Liza lay before us.
.....
Henry Lawson

Henry Lawson
Jonah-s Luck

OUT OF LUCK, mate? Have a liquor. Hang it, whereâ??s the use complaining?
Take your fancy, Iâ??m in funds nowâ??I can stand the racket, Dan.
Dump your bluey in the corner; camp here for the night, itâ??s raining;
Bet your life Iâ??m glad to see youâ??glad to see a Daylesford man.
.....

Edward George Dyson
Old Town Types

I can not recall his heyday; for I knew him in the day
When his curly hair had thinned a bit, his waxed moustache grown grey.
That he kept the local fruit shop was a trifle in life's plan;
For our Captain Curly Taplin was a military man.
.....

Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis
The Columbiad: Book I

The Argument


Natives of America appear in vision. Their manners and characters. Columbus demands the cause of the dissimilarity of men in different countries, Hesper replies, That the human body is composed of a due proportion of the elements suited to the place of its first formation; that these elements, differently proportioned, produce all the changes of health, sickness, growth and decay; and may likewise produce any other changes which occasion the diversity of men; that these elemental proportions are varied, not more by climate than temperature and other local circumstances; that the mind is likewise in a state of change, and will take its physical character from the body and from external objects: examples. Inquiry concerning the first peopling of America. View of Mexico. Its destruction by Cortez. View of Cusco and Quito, cities of Peru. Tradition of Capac and Oella, founders of the Peruvian empire. Columbus inquires into their real history. Hesper gives an account of their origin, and relates the stratagems they used in establishing that empire.
.....

Joel Barlow
Finale

It is folly now to aim
Or to seek for distant fame,
But rest content if we can claim
Something of a local name
.....

James Mcintyre
White Hands

FOR the second time in a year this lady with the white hands is brought to the west room second floor of a famous sanatorium.
Her husband is a cornice manufacturer in an Iowa town and the lady has often read papers on Victorian poets before the local literary club.
Yesterday she washed her hands forty seven times during her waking hours and in her sleep moaned restlessly attempting to clean imaginary soiled spots off her hands.
Now the head physician touches his chin with a crooked forefinger.
.....
Carl Sandburg

Carl Sandburg
Sydney-side

Where's the steward?â??Bar-room steward? Berth? Oh, any berth will doâ??
I have left a three-pound billet just to come along with you.
Brighter shines the Star of Rovers on a world thatâ??s growing wide,
But I think Iâ??d give a kingdom for a glimpse of Sydney-Side.
.....
Henry Lawson

Henry Lawson
A Friendly Game Of Football

We were challenged by The Dingoes - they're the pride of Squatter's Gap-
To a friendly game of football on the flat by Devil's Trap.
And we went along on horses, sworn to triumph in the game,
For the honour of Gyp's Diggings, and the glory of the same.
.....

Edward George Dyson
An Evening Walk, Addressed To A Young Lady

The young Lady to whom this was addressed was my Sister. It was
composed at school, and during my two first College vacations.
There is not an image in it which I have not observed; and now, in
my seventy-third year, I recollect the time and place where most
.....
William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth
Music

I
MUSIC, on the air's edge, rides alone,
Plumed like empastured Caesars of the sky
With a god's helmet; now, in the gold dye
.....

Kenneth Slessor
The Cloud Messenger - Part 04

The slender young woman who is there would be the premier creation by the
Creator in the sphere of women, with fine teeth, lips like a ripe bimba fruit, a
slim waist, eyes like a startled gazelleâ??s, a deep navel, a gait slow on account
of the weight of her hips, and who is somewhat bowed down by her breasts.
.....

Kalidasa
Sunshine State

I dream the Florida of Body Heat
With Kathleen Turner twisting in her dress,
Wind chimes unsettling my sweaty sleep
And lovers marinating in deceit.
.....

Am Juster
Eavesdropper

y grower,
Mole on my shoulder,
To be scratched absently,
To bleed, if it comes to that.
.....

Sylvia Plath
Hello, Soldier!

Back again 'n' nothin' missin' barrin'
arf a hand,
Where an Abdul bit me, chokin' in the Holy
Land.
.....

Edward George Dyson
Weather

Once I dipt into the future far as human eye could see,
And I saw the Chief Forecaster, dead as any one can be--
Dead and damned and shut in Hades as a liar from his birth,
With a record of unreason seldome paralleled on earth.
.....

Ambrose Bierce
Marginalia

Sometimes the notes are ferocious,
skirmishes against the author
raging along the borders of every page
in tiny black script.
.....

Billy Collins
Humanities Lecture

Aristotle was a little man with
eyes like a lizard, and he found a streak
down the midst of things, a smooth place for his feet
much more important than the carved handles
.....

William Stafford
Emily Hardcastle, Spinster

We shall come tomorrow morning, who were not to have her love,
We shall bring no face of envy but a gift of praise and lilies
To the stately ceremonial we are not the heroes of.

.....

John Crowe Ransom
Shoveling Snow With Buddha

In the usual iconography of the temple or the local Wok
you would never see him doing such a thing,
tossing the dry snow over a mountain
of his bare, round shoulder,
.....

Billy Collins
The Wonderful Aussie Waler

When Allenby's Army smashed the Turk
Who was the bloke who did all the work
The Aussie knows and he'll tell you straight
That most of the job was done by his mate
.....

Arthur Henry Adams
The King

"Farewell, Romance!" the Cave-men said;
"With bone well carved he went away,
Flint arms the ignoble arrowhead,
And jasper tips the spear to-day.
.....
Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling
Address At The Opening Of The California Theatre, San Francisco, January 19, 1870

Brief words, when actions wait, are well:
The prompter's hand is on his bell;
The coming heroes, lovers, kings,
Are idly lounging at the wings;
.....
Bret Harte

Bret Harte
Lambert Hutchins

I have two monuments besides this granite obelisk:
One, the house I built on the hill,
With its spires, bay windows, and roof of slate;
The other, the lake-front in Chicago,
.....
Edgar Lee Masters

Edgar Lee Masters
John Horace Burleson

I won the prize essay at school
Here in the village,
And published a novel before I was twenty-five.
I went to the city for themes and to enrich my art;
.....
Edgar Lee Masters

Edgar Lee Masters
Memorials Of A Tour In Italy, 1837 - Iii. - At Rome

Is this, ye Gods, the Capitolian Hill?
Yon petty Steep in truth the fearful Rock,
Tarpeian named of yore, and keeping still
That name, a local Phantom proud to mock
.....
William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth
Prologue

My friends, we sing Canadian themes,
For in them we proudly glory;
Her lakes, her rivers and her streams,
Worthy of renown in story.
.....

James Mcintyre
Local Lad

I never saw a face so bright
With brilliant blood and joy,
As was the grinning mug last night
Of Dick, our local boy,
.....
Robert Service

Robert Service
Vision Of Columbus - Book 2

High o'er the changing scene, as thus he gazed,
The indulgent Power his arm sublimely raised;
When round the realms superior lustre flew,
And call'd new wonders to the hero's view.
.....

Joel Barlow
My Suicide

I've often wondered why
Old chaps who choose to die
In evil passes,
Before themselves they slay,
.....
Robert Service

Robert Service
The Mutability Of Literature - A Colloquy In Westminster Abbey - Prose

I know that all beneath the moon decays,
And what by mortals in this world is brought,
In time's great periods shall return to nought.
I know that all the muses' heavenly rays,
.....

Washington Irving
The Rhyme Of The Three Greybeards

He'd been for years in Sydney "a-acting of the goat",
His name was Joseph Swallow, "the Great Australian Pote",
In spite of all the stories and sketches that he wrote.

.....
Henry Lawson

Henry Lawson
To A Friend, With An Unfinished Poem

Thus far my scanty brain hath built the rhyme
Elaborate and swelling; ­ yet the heart
Not owns it. From thy spirit-breathing powers
I ask not now, my friend! the aiding verse
.....
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The River Of Rivers In Connecticut

There is a great river this side of Stygia
Before one comes to the first black cataracts
And trees that lack the intelligence of trees.

.....

Wallace Stevens
Battered Bob

He was working on a station in the Western when I knew him,
And he came from Conongamo, up the old surveyors' track,
And the fellows all admitted that no man in Vic. could 'do him,'
Since he'd smothered Stonewall Menzie, also Anderson, the black.
.....

Edward Dyson
A Royal Poet - Prose

Though your body be confined
And soft love a prisoner bound,
Yet the beauty of your mind
Neither check nor chain hath found.
.....

Washington Irving