Monday, November 7, 2016

56th Letter: After Dylan Thomas

In my neat, ramshackle skill
Practiced in the still kitchen
Where a bland round clock ticks
And the coffee-maker coughs,
I dimly work by sixty watts
To quicken sluggish pulses,
To tickle whimpering nerves,
To delight tear-clouded eyes.

Not for neon notoriety,
Not for common dollar or dime,
Do I ply these deft, daft verses
That roar like a mouse at night
Or lisp like a lion at noon,
Not for news or notice,
Not for print, prize, or plaudit,
Do I wield this quiver of lines
With shy impertinent pen,
But for you, my distant sister,
On your porch in autumn
Taking tea as day dusks,
Or in petalled park in April
Reading bird-biographies,
Or silly in silver winter
Catching fleet-fleeced snowflakes
On the quick tip of your tongue.

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