the muse apprentice guild
--expanding the canon into the 21st century




TWO WORKS
BY BURT KIMMELMAN

MOWING THE LAWN

My neighbor mows his lawn.
Patiently, row by row,
he makes each turn in the
high grass - one day, the next,

after work. This is what
there is to be done - on
a Saturday, going
up and down, the hum of

the motor and the smell
of burnt gasoline and
newly cut green life. This
is his pleasure - the bright

sun, the stir of the day,
its engine, and after
that the silence. This is
what there is to be done.

================

THE VALENTINE'S DAY

Take care, song, that what stars' imprint you mirror
Grazed their tears; draw speech from their nature or
Love in you - faced to your outer stars - purer
Gold than tongues make without feeling
Art new, hurt old: revealing
The slackened bow as the stinging
Animal dies, thread gold stringing
The fingerboard pressed in my honor.

                        - Louis Zukofsky

They sunge, "Blessed be Seynt Valentyn!
For on his day I ches yow to be myn,
Withoute repentynge, myn herte swete!"
And therewithal here bekes gonne mete
..
- Geoffrey Chaucer

THE SUN fills up the street, the trees, and
the thick air, fat and fresh with the good.
All the birds are coming to the blood

of Spring, the sacrifice
                          cut days in sand.
Warm birds in the withering
                            light, bland
hollow in the heart, stone, pride and food

on the harrowing wing. Find bow, brood
agon done, penance paid in Winter's hand.
All music in our heart's sand, sun's thought

heaving verges of old madness, hunt
dearness, song's wary small loveliness
the slackened foot, eye's nearness; light, our shunt-
ing out heart's hunger, out variedness.
Sure touch of hand, bow in gladness brought.