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A Beloved Praying For Her Lover’s Return From War

O, do not let death come!
Save for his nostrils a little air,
And a patch of blue sky for his                                                   eyes.
Death is a monster, nature’s                                    deformity,
Do not take the smell of the earth
                                             from him
Or the sound of his boots over
                               the dry twigs.

from Early Poetry


An Encounter

"I must do what I must do,"
said the jackal to the duck.
"So long as you're on land,
                                my friend,
good luck, good luck."

from Gold Branch

Early Poetry | Middle Years | Most Recent Works

The Earliest Poetry I wrote is not known where it is, for sure. Some I know was written before I was ten, and may yet survive in part in my late mother’s archives, now in the hands of my sister. Otherwise the earliest single poem is printed as the first one in the Earliest Poetry Section.

I intend, however, to start copying poems written from the age of 23 on in my journals (which now comprise some 175 volumes) and entering them into this section. Most all of the poems that I will begin to log in my “Early” section will come from those journals and deal with poems I have never looked at from the day I first wrote them. Some recollections of earliest poems, unknown to me now, may also be located in the journals.

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The Middle Years, 1970s-1990 For this general period I have chosen the following poems:

Gold Branch: The original, Gold Branch, consisting of only 46 poems (1980)—some not appearing at all in the new Gold Branch volume with 167 poems (2010).

Seasons Assorted poems, from various parts of the country and from the Far East. Contains some songs and some passages from verse plays.

Gatherings As the title suggests this collection contains poems in widely varying styles and moods—from fallen-from-grace doggerels to my many experiments with the sonnet form as well as Chinese and Japanese forms. Poems of reflection, lyrics, and love are included. Some are later poems.

Song of Mason City poems in praise of my birthplace and the enduring legacy of my early life in northwestern Iowa.

Most Recent Works, (1990 – 2010) This period includes many new poems and some from earlier periods. Gold Branch/Plum Rain also contain some explanatory notes for Chinese references of names and famous allusions.

Poem to a Thai Lady will also be found in the Gold Branch Home Page.

Dragon Woman is an extended fragment deeply influenced by study of Mayan and Meso-American culture, in particular, the PopoL Vuh, the ancient Mayan Bible.

The Marie Sonnets written on the death of my sister, while preparing my Lord Oxford Trilogy (An “Elizabethan” Historical Drama –see PLAYS). These sonnets were deeply influenced by my Midwestern upbringing, David’s Psalms and Shakespeare’s Sonnets.

Now Into The Uncanny Darkness & Other Poems

Now Make Me Of Mirth

Please check back for Recent Stuff and Latest New Poems, as I collect a handful here and there.



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