Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Collage Poem & Collages by Me






 The High Priestess by Eric Tocce






Collage Poem

By Marion


Three weeks ago

in the early evening

I sat at my desk composing

a new spin on language...

harnessing the powers of the universe,

dreamtime,

and inner space.


Treading softly, breaking taboos,

creating realities

that never before existed,

I destroyed imaginings that cried

out not to be.


I became the High Priestess

of mystery,

words,

dreams,

and ambiguity.


My writing only lead to more writing.


Words multiplied like rabbits in my brain---

pregnant with language---

my imagination in labor,

gloriously giving birth

to newborn poems.


7/10/08

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Tell Me a Story by Robert Penn Warren

 


Tell Me a Story

[ A ]

Long ago, in Kentucky, I, a boy, stood
By a dirt road, in first dark, and heard
The great geese hoot northward.

I could not see them, there being no moon
And the stars sparse. I heard them.

I did not know what was happening in my heart.

It was the season before the elderberry blooms,
Therefore they were going north.

The sound was passing northward.

 

[ B ]

Tell me a story.

In this century, and moment, of mania,
Tell me a story.

Make it a story of great distances, and starlight.

The name of the story will be Time,
But you must not pronounce its name.

Tell me a story of deep delight.


ROBERT PENN WARREN

From New and Selected Poems 1923-1985 by Robert Penn Warren, published by Random House. Copyright © 1985 by Robert Penn Warren.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Pain Relief, Naturally

Earlier this week I acquired a new doctor after firing my evil pain management physician a few weeks ago.  I stopped the Percocet cold turkey.  It was rough, but nowhere in the same ballpark as stopping Neurontin, which I'm STILL slowly titrating off of after 4 months.  I'm down to 100 mg every other day. My brain is beginning to feel like it's functional again.

My new doctor prescribes medical marijuana tinctures.  I never thought I'd live to see the day that medical marijuana would come to Louisiana.  The one local pharmacy that sells it is like Fort Knox.  I guess that's understandable.  I'm just beginning to use it (CBC/THC combination).  For the first time in years, I slept all night.  It felt like a miracle after so many years of serious chronic insomnia.  I'm selling my "stuff" so I can afford this.  Neither the doctor visit nor the tincture is covered under insurance, which is a crime.  The insurance/pharmaceutical companies would rather fill you with harmful chemicals than pay for a totally natural product that not only helps you but also won't kill you.

I spent the first day I used the tincture laughing.  Okay, not like stoned laughing, but like, "Holy Hell, I FEEL GOOD for the first time in many moons!!!  I still have pain but it's sort of muted instead of being acute and unbearable.  And I don't feel stoned, like smoking weed (which I did in the 1970's), for anyone wondering.  My former pain doctor told me I'd be wasting my time and money trying medical marijuana.  Well, that doesn't take a genius to figure out.  He's worried about losing his patients.  I plan to go next week and hand out flyers in his parking lot about the new doctor in town.  All he can do is run me off.  Karma, baby!

Here's my favorite sign in the entire city of New Orleans:



Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Lana Del Rey, Poet & Musician

My newest obsession musically & poetically is Lana Del Rey. 💋  She’s a poet, first, then a musician, with a sultry, otherworldly voice as if she stepped out of the 1940’s.  Her songs tell haunting stories.  She recently published her first book of poetry:  “Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass”.

This song comes from her new album, “Chemtrails Over the Country Club”, coming out soon.


LET ME LOVE YOU LIKE A WOMAN
Lana Del Rey

I come from a small town, how about you?
I only mention it ‘cause I’m ready to leave LA and I want you to come
Eighty miles north or south will do
I don’t care where as long as you’re with me
And I’m with you, and you let me

Let me love you like a woman
Let me hold you like a baby
Let me shine like a diamond
Let me be who I’m meant to be
Talk to me in poems and songs
Don’t make me be bittersweet
Let me love you like a woman
Let me hold you like a baby
Let me hold you like a baby

I come from a small town far away
I only mention it ‘cause I’m ready to leave LA and I want you to come
I guess I could manage if you stay
It’s just if you do I can’t see myself having any fun

So let me love you like a woman
Let me hold you like a baby
Let me shine like a diamond
Let me be who I’m meant to be
Talk to me in songs and poems
Don’t make me be bittersweet
Let me love you like a woman
Take you to infinity
Let me hold you like a baby
Take you to infinity
Let me love you like a woman
Take you to infinity 

We could get lost in the purple rain
Talk about good old days
We could get high on pink champagne 
Baby, let me count the waves

Let me love you like a woman
Let me hold you like a baby
Let me shine like a diamond
Let me be who I’m meant to be
Talk to me in songs and poems
Don’t make me be bittersweet
Let me love you like a woman.

**********

Lana Del Rey’s beautiful first book of poetry:




 

Monday, October 26, 2020

New Moon by Ted Kooser

 

Current mood...


Prolific pink Hibiscus

Pain level:  10, 24/7

Am reading Sam Shepard

Soon, very soon...

Pinky, custom Blythe

Sunny & Annie Marie

Thursday, October 1, 2020

My Gabapentin/Neurontin Horror Story



On top of my experience shared here, Hurricane __________ (fill in current Greek name) is heading to Louisiana. So far, this is our ___th (fill in blank) named hurricane this 2020 season.  Since we finally, after 25 years here without one, shelled out $900 for a generator, I am certain we will not have another power outage.  We had 15 days powerless, so hence, the generator.

This is my personal experience taking the drug Gabapentin for over 8 years.  I was originally prescribed the drug after a back surgery where the surgeon damaged my sciatic nerve (the reason for the surgery was that I had a tiny chipped bone, shown on the x-ray, pressing on the sciatic nerve causing severe pain...) .”Simple, 15 minute surgery,” said the lying surgeon, “and your sciatic pain will be gone!”  I woke from the surgery with more serious sciatic pain AND ever since, my right leg and foot is numb. (I developed a limp which caused my left knee to go bad necessitating a total knee replacement.  Two years on and the knee pain has never abated.  It’s like I’m carrying a bowling ball in my knee).  I never got the feeling back in my leg/foot although the surgeon insisted it was temporary.

The Neurontin (brand name) - Gabapentin (generic name) did help the burning nerve pain at first.  Over time, the drug became less and less effective, but it helped me sleep.  Nighttime is hell, when the pain is the worst, therefore the insomnia.  Many times the doctor tried to drastically up my 600 mg per day dosage. Shockingly, the pharmaceutical companies recommended doses are 1500 to 5400 mg per day.  The pills come in 100, 300, 400, 600 & 800 mg doses.

I thought, how hard can stopping Gabapentin/Neurontin be?  It has a short half life, five to seven hours.  It is not an opioid, narcotic or a benzodiazepine, right?

Gabapentin, an anticonvulsant, was originally used to treat ONLY two things:  seizures and severe pain from shingles.  


It is now, in 2020, being prescribed (off label) for bipolar disorder, neuropathic pain, diabetic neuropathy, complex regional pain syndrome, attention deficit disorder, restless leg syndrome, trigeminal neuralgia, periodic limb movement disorder of sleep, anxiety, depression, migraine, insomnia, drug and alcohol withdrawal.  Gabapentin has become a “catch-all” medication (Prescribe it for everything!!!!) due to the uncertainty around its exact mechanism of action.  Still, despite the common practice, off-label prescribing presents deadly serious dangers to the millions of Americans taking these medications.  I speak from experience.


According to an article in “The New York Times” in May, 2019, “ One of the most widely prescribed prescription drugs, gabapentin, is being taken by millions of patients despite little or no evidence that it can relieve their pain.”


I seldom come across comments on patient forums stating people had no problems with Gapapentin/Neurontin.  I didn’t think my problems were that terrible before I tried to go off the drug.  All medications, of course, come with cautions and potential side effects, which, ironically, are under the heading:  less common.  That’s a joke.  In January I saw a video on YouTube of a younger woman who had been on Gabapentin for almost 20 years and was thought to have Dementia.  Her family was in the process of institutionalizing her when her close neighbor/friend suggested it might be the Neurontin.  Turns out it was the Gabapentin destroying/fogging her brain.  It took her over a year to get off the high dose she was on and then for some of the adverse effects to slowly dissipate.  After two years, she is still experiencing withdrawal symptoms...


This drug was highly recommended and prescribed to me by a neurologist and a pain management “doctor”.  Neither warned me of the drug’s dangers, not once.  My pharmacist never warned me of the dangers either.  I wish I’d had an inkling of how dangerous, difficult & psychologically damaging this drug was to discontinue before I had ever taken the first pill.  I wish someone, anyone had warned me that it damages the brain.


Consider yourself warned!


Do not ever, ever, ever take Neurontin/Gabapentin/Gabarone/Gralise.  If you value your brain, do not take this drug!  It basically, over a short time, made me feel like a zombie.  I felt like I was sleepwalking through my life.  I contemplated suicide often.


Below are a FEW of the side effects I experienced over eight years taking the drug for severe neuropathy pain in my legs and feet. I can’t recall all of them because...memory loss.  It helped the pain for a while, but at far too high a price... Gabapentin is being widely used to replace opiates when, in fact, it is a thousand times more dangerous.


My ‘come to Jesus’ experience was this year, in a rare lucid moment, when I picked up a book and couldn’t read it because I’d read one paragraph, then forget it, or not comprehend what I’d just read.  I normally read a book a day and have for over 40 years.  Now, I have to listen to audiobooks.  I’m avidly praying my concentration returns once I’m done slowly titrating myself off this hideous poison.  I’ve been told that some of the withdrawal symptoms last up to two YEARS.  Just this week, I had a scary, panicked feeling that reality, without Gabapentin’s numbing effects, was crushing me...I had a serious panic attack and took a second 100 mg dose that day.  I’m trying to be kind to my wounded, battered brain.  It’s hell getting off this toxic shit.  I’ll say that over and over...


The side effects I experienced, every one listed here, came to me GRADUALLY, over time, not upon first taking the Gabapentin.  I was shocked when I began making the list:


Mania, intermittently 

Anhedonia

Red, burning feet

Weight gain (I gained over 30 pounds that stuck like glue no matter how healthy I ate.)

Dizziness

Brain fog

Insomnia

Lethargy (Severe)

Crying

Depression

Weakened muscles

Swelling in ankles & hands, intermittently 

Severe stomach upset

Anxiety

Blurred vision

Memory loss, short term

Tiredness

Balance issues

Restlessness

Agitation

Nausea

Vomiting

Suicidal thoughts 

Hallucinations 

Auditory hallucinations

Hoarseness

Pain in back (Oh, the irony)

Concentration issues

Chills

Hot flashes

Seizures

Hives

Unusual bruising

Runny nose

Chronic cough

Bloating

Dry eyes

Constipation

Diarrhea

EARS RINGING

Gas

Skin crawling

Red, hot ears


Strangely, the withdrawal symptoms have been eerily similar to the side effects, the insomnia being the worst, then the feeling of reality crushing me.  Some of the less serious side effects are lessening after several months of slowly titrating, thank God.


My first attempt to cut down my low 300 mg twice per per day dose almost killed me.  I, wrongly, tried cold turkey before knowing the dangers of doing that.  I went 5 days with not one wink of sleep.  No one believes me, but I would lay in bed, eyes closed and not sleep.  It was terrifying.  During this period I had hallucinations, visual and audio.  I “saw” someone shining flashlights in the window.  No one was there.  I “heard” doors being slammed and loud, clanging sounds.  I had a seizure.  


I stopped the withdrawal experiment immediately because it scared me, horrified me, which led me to start researching the drug.  That’s when my doctor poo pooed my “imagining these side effects“ and encouraged me to UP THE DOSEAGE!  No shit, the idiot wanted me to take more of this poison... I refused to let him up the dose and he refused to lower my dose to the 100 mg capsules.  Most patients are on up to 5400 mg per day which is pure abuse!   But low or high dose, the withdrawal is as acute.  I’m down to 100 mg per day using water titration and it’s taken me months to drop down very slowly to avoid more withdrawal, but, make no mistake:  you will experience withdrawal no matter how slowly you titrate or how low the dose you take.


I wanted to post this to warn others of the extreme dangers of taking AND stopping Gabapentin/Neurontin, which should not even be on the market, in my opinion.  It literally rewires your perfect brain, sadly.  Hopefully, very slow titration will help my brain to uncross the fucked up wiring caused by the Gabapentin.  


And, trust me, the doctors and pharmaceutical companies can care less.  I highly recommend reading Gabapentin patient forums and articles on the dangers of this newest panacea, money maker for big pharmaceutical. Pharmaceutical companies are all about money, not individual patient care.  


Doctors are no longer treating chronic pain patients with safer, lower dose opioids.  Instead, they’re pushing this dangerous Gabapentin poison on people in severe chronic pain.  It’s a travesty and a living nightmare.  Your brain and your entire nervous system become numbed...to everything, in a nightmarish way.


In ten lifetimes I would never have taken this shit if ANYONE had warned me that it could cause Dementia-like symptoms over time.  There were days when I couldn’t remember what happened the hour before.  It was horrifying.  I’m just happy (but still in severe withdrawal misery) that I had a moment of lucidity and the strength to decide to stop taking it.  Most days I feel like I’ll never get my functional brain back, but then I’ll have flashes of memory that I thought had been lost...and it gives me hope.


Suicide rates in chronic pain patients are skyrocketing because they’re desperate to STOP THE PAIN!  There’s an excellent documentary on Amazon titled, “Pain Warriors” about the needless suffering of chronic pain patients.  Another travesty...  


I am among those harmed by new, draconian pain management “guidelines”.  I recently quit my pain management after 8 years of being treated like a criminal drug seeker (for two low dose Percocet in the end, which, by the way, gave me little relief for only a few hours).  It just wasn’t worth the harassment.  And yes, I was seriously harassed by my little pain management doctor, may he burn in hell.  


He had me on a working dose of medication for many years...which gave me my mobility, enabled me to go to the gym, grocery shopping, cook, clean house and have some semblance of a life...all gone now. Today, I can barely walk to my mailbox to get the mail... Then he got busted, investigated, whatever by the DEA for overprescribing.  Not to me, for sure, but to others.  That’s when individual patient care went out the window and robotic prescribing by a government chart (his story, not mine) started.  WHY?  To save his sorry, greedy ass from losing his medical license.  He’s not suffering but his patients are, greatly.  I know this from talking to dozens of them in his waiting room the past few years.  And he is one of only two pain management doctors in my area and the other doctor does not accept new patients.  I feel cornered and helpless...


I’m thinking of trying medical marijuana, recently approved in tincture form only, in my state.  The Catch-22 here is that it’s not covered by insurance and is exorbitantly expensive for someone in my well-below-poverty-level income range:  $250 for the doctor (dealer, really) visit (many visits annually) and up to $150 per month for the “medication”.  I’m conflicted:  do I stay in constant, debilitating pain or cancel my cable, lower my already low grocery bill, stop using heat to lower the electric bill, etc. to find the funds to do it?  I’d be paying roughly 24% of my total annual income...for a bit of pain relief.  That’s criminal when I was getting major pain relief for under $40 per month in pain management before the doctor’s criminal issues.  I may try it for a month to see if it even works.  I’m skeptical, but hopeful.  I can’t go on living in the level of pain I am in.  It’s almost unbearable...


Note:  Lyrica is also in the “GABA” family of drugs.  Be very wary of taking it, too. 






Saturday, September 26, 2020

Uninspired by Traffic




(Sometimes I Feel So) Uninspired

By:  Traffic

Sometimes I feel so uninspired
Sometimes I feel like giving up
Sometimes I feel so very tired
Sometimes I feel like I've had enough
Sometimes you feel like you've been hired
Sometimes you feel like you've been bought
Sometimes you feel like your room's been wired
Sometimes you feel like you've been caught
But don't let it get you down, no, no
There is no reason for not failing
You've got to smile and turn the other cheek
So today you might be done
By tomorrow you'll be sailing
And you won't even hear these words I speak
Some people want to be so desired
Some people can't stand the light of day
Someone laughing, while someone is crying
And old folks are watching the close of the day
But sometimes I feel like my head is spinning
The hunger and pain is all I see
I don't know who's losing
And I don't know who's winning
Hardships and trouble are following me
But don't let it get you down
There is every reason for not failing
You've got to smile and turn the other cheek
So today you might be done
By tomorrow you'll be sailing
And you won't even hear these words I speak
Some people want to be so desired
Some people can't stand the light of day
Someone is laughing, while someone is crying
Old folks are watching the close of the day
But sometimes I feel like my head is spinning
Hunger and pain is all I see
I don't know who's losing
And I don't care who's winning
Hardships and trouble are following me
Songwriters: Jim Capaldi / Steve Winwood


Saturday, September 19, 2020

When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d by Walt Whitman

Because I’ve ignored the magnificent, eloquent Mr. Walt Whitman on my blog!  This is a beautiful free verse pastoral elegy to President Abraham Lincoln.  Read it slowly & reverently and absorb the beauty...

I’d like to say Rest In Peace to Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  Although I disagreed with her politically, I respect her as a successful, intelligent, intellectual, hardworking woman.  May the next Supreme Court Justice be God’s choice to help to bring peace, along with the other justices, back to our divided, troubled country. ~Marion



“When ‘Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd’ - is an elegy on the death of Abraham Lincoln, though it never mentions the president by name. Like most elegies, it develops from the personal (the death of Lincoln and the poet's grief) to the impersonal (the death of "all of you" and death itself); from an intense feeling of grief to the thought of reconciliation. The poem, which is one of the finest Whitman ever wrote, is a dramatization of this feeling of loss. This elegy is grander and more touching than Whitman's other two elegies on Lincoln's death, "0 Captain! My Captain!" and "Hush'd Be the Camps To-day." The form is elegiac but also contains elements found in operatic music, such as the aria and recitative. The song of the hermit thrush, for example, is an "aria." ~ from “cliff notes”


Lilacs on a Fence


When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d

BY WALT WHITMAN

1 
When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d, 
And the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night, 
I mourn’d, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring. 

Ever-returning spring, trinity sure to me you bring, 
Lilac blooming perennial and drooping star in the west, 
And thought of him I love. 

2 
O powerful western fallen star! 
O shades of night—O moody, tearful night! 
O great star disappear’d—O the black murk that hides the star! 
O cruel hands that hold me powerless—O helpless soul of me! 
O harsh surrounding cloud that will not free my soul. 

3 
In the dooryard fronting an old farm-house near the white-wash’d palings, 
Stands the lilac-bush tall-growing with heart-shaped leaves of rich green, 
With many a pointed blossom rising delicate, with the perfume strong I love, 
With every leaf a miracle—and from this bush in the dooryard, 
With delicate-color’d blossoms and heart-shaped leaves of rich green, 
A sprig with its flower I break. 

4 
In the swamp in secluded recesses, 
A shy and hidden bird is warbling a song. 

Solitary the thrush, 
The hermit withdrawn to himself, avoiding the settlements, 
Sings by himself a song. 

Song of the bleeding throat, 
Death’s outlet song of life, (for well dear brother I know, 
If thou wast not granted to sing thou would’st surely die.) 

5 
Over the breast of the spring, the land, amid cities, 
Amid lanes and through old woods, where lately the violets peep’d from the ground, spotting the gray debris, 
Amid the grass in the fields each side of the lanes, passing the endless grass, 
Passing the yellow-spear’d wheat, every grain from its shroud in the dark-brown fields uprisen, 
Passing the apple-tree blows of white and pink in the orchards, 
Carrying a corpse to where it shall rest in the grave, 
Night and day journeys a coffin. 

6 
Coffin that passes through lanes and streets, 
Through day and night with the great cloud darkening the land, 
With the pomp of the inloop’d flags with the cities draped in black, 
With the show of the States themselves as of crape-veil’d women standing, 
With processions long and winding and the flambeaus of the night, 
With the countless torches lit, with the silent sea of faces and the unbared heads, 
With the waiting depot, the arriving coffin, and the sombre faces, 
With dirges through the night, with the thousand voices rising strong and solemn, 
With all the mournful voices of the dirges pour’d around the coffin, 
The dim-lit churches and the shuddering organs—where amid these you journey, 
With the tolling tolling bells’ perpetual clang, 
Here, coffin that slowly passes, 
I give you my sprig of lilac. 

7 
(Nor for you, for one alone, 
Blossoms and branches green to coffins all I bring, 
For fresh as the morning, thus would I chant a song for you O sane and sacred death. 

All over bouquets of roses, 
O death, I cover you over with roses and early lilies, 
But mostly and now the lilac that blooms the first, 
Copious I break, I break the sprigs from the bushes, 
With loaded arms I come, pouring for you, 
For you and the coffins all of you O death.) 

8 
O western orb sailing the heaven, 
Now I know what you must have meant as a month since I walk’d, 
As I walk’d in silence the transparent shadowy night, 
As I saw you had something to tell as you bent to me night after night, 
As you droop’d from the sky low down as if to my side, (while the other stars all look’d on,) 
As we wander’d together the solemn night, (for something I know not what kept me from sleep,) 
As the night advanced, and I saw on the rim of the west how full you were of woe, 
As I stood on the rising ground in the breeze in the cool transparent night, 
As I watch’d where you pass’d and was lost in the netherward black of the night, 
As my soul in its trouble dissatisfied sank, as where you sad orb, 
Concluded, dropt in the night, and was gone. 

9 
Sing on there in the swamp, 
O singer bashful and tender, I hear your notes, I hear your call, 
I hear, I come presently, I understand you, 
But a moment I linger, for the lustrous star has detain’d me, 
The star my departing comrade holds and detains me. 

10 
O how shall I warble myself for the dead one there I loved? 
And how shall I deck my song for the large sweet soul that has gone? 
And what shall my perfume be for the grave of him I love? 

Sea-winds blown from east and west, 
Blown from the Eastern sea and blown from the Western sea, till there on the prairies meeting, 
These and with these and the breath of my chant, 
I’ll perfume the grave of him I love. 

11 
O what shall I hang on the chamber walls? 
And what shall the pictures be that I hang on the walls, 
To adorn the burial-house of him I love? 

Pictures of growing spring and farms and homes, 
With the Fourth-month eve at sundown, and the gray smoke lucid and bright, 
With floods of the yellow gold of the gorgeous, indolent, sinking sun, burning, expanding the air, 
With the fresh sweet herbage under foot, and the pale green leaves of the trees prolific, 
In the distance the flowing glaze, the breast of the river, with a wind-dapple here and there, 
With ranging hills on the banks, with many a line against the sky, and shadows, 
And the city at hand with dwellings so dense, and stacks of chimneys, 
And all the scenes of life and the workshops, and the workmen homeward returning. 

12 
Lo, body and soul—this land, 
My own Manhattan with spires, and the sparkling and hurrying tides, and the ships, 
The varied and ample land, the South and the North in the light, Ohio’s shores and flashing Missouri, 
And ever the far-spreading prairies cover’d with grass and corn. 

Lo, the most excellent sun so calm and haughty, 
The violet and purple morn with just-felt breezes, 
The gentle soft-born measureless light, 
The miracle spreading bathing all, the fulfill’d noon, 
The coming eve delicious, the welcome night and the stars, 
Over my cities shining all, enveloping man and land. 

13 
Sing on, sing on you gray-brown bird, 
Sing from the swamps, the recesses, pour your chant from the bushes, 
Limitless out of the dusk, out of the cedars and pines. 

Sing on dearest brother, warble your reedy song, 
Loud human song, with voice of uttermost woe. 

O liquid and free and tender! 
O wild and loose to my soul—O wondrous singer! 
You only I hear—yet the star holds me, (but will soon depart,) 
Yet the lilac with mastering odor holds me. 

14 
Now while I sat in the day and look’d forth, 
In the close of the day with its light and the fields of spring, and the farmers preparing their crops, 
In the large unconscious scenery of my land with its lakes and forests, 
In the heavenly aerial beauty, (after the perturb’d winds and the storms,) 
Under the arching heavens of the afternoon swift passing, and the voices of children and women, 
The many-moving sea-tides, and I saw the ships how they sail’d, 
And the summer approaching with richness, and the fields all busy with labor, 
And the infinite separate houses, how they all went on, each with its meals and minutia of daily usages, 
And the streets how their throbbings throbb’d, and the cities pent—lo, then and there, 
Falling upon them all and among them all, enveloping me with the rest, 
Appear’d the cloud, appear’d the long black trail, 
And I knew death, its thought, and the sacred knowledge of death. 

Then with the knowledge of death as walking one side of me, 
And the thought of death close-walking the other side of me, 
And I in the middle as with companions, and as holding the hands of companions, 
I fled forth to the hiding receiving night that talks not, 
Down to the shores of the water, the path by the swamp in the dimness, 
To the solemn shadowy cedars and ghostly pines so still. 

And the singer so shy to the rest receiv’d me, 
The gray-brown bird I know receiv’d us comrades three, 
And he sang the carol of death, and a verse for him I love. 

From deep secluded recesses, 
From the fragrant cedars and the ghostly pines so still, 
Came the carol of the bird. 

And the charm of the carol rapt me, 
As I held as if by their hands my comrades in the night, 
And the voice of my spirit tallied the song of the bird. 

Come lovely and soothing death, 
Undulate round the world, serenely arriving, arriving, 
In the day, in the night, to all, to each, 
Sooner or later delicate death. 

Prais’d be the fathomless universe, 
For life and joy, and for objects and knowledge curious, 
And for love, sweet love—but praise! praise! praise! 
For the sure-enwinding arms of cool-enfolding death. 

Dark mother always gliding near with soft feet, 
Have none chanted for thee a chant of fullest welcome? 
Then I chant it for thee, I glorify thee above all, 
I bring thee a song that when thou must indeed come, come unfalteringly. 

Approach strong deliveress, 
When it is so, when thou hast taken them I joyously sing the dead, 
Lost in the loving floating ocean of thee, 
Laved in the flood of thy bliss O death. 

From me to thee glad serenades, 
Dances for thee I propose saluting thee, adornments and feastings for thee, 
And the sights of the open landscape and the high-spread sky are fitting, 
And life and the fields, and the huge and thoughtful night. 

The night in silence under many a star, 
The ocean shore and the husky whispering wave whose voice I know, 
And the soul turning to thee O vast and well-veil’d death, 
And the body gratefully nestling close to thee. 

Over the tree-tops I float thee a song, 
Over the rising and sinking waves, over the myriad fields and the prairies wide, 
Over the dense-pack’d cities all and the teeming wharves and ways, 
I float this carol with joy, with joy to thee O death. 

15 
To the tally of my soul, 
Loud and strong kept up the gray-brown bird, 
With pure deliberate notes spreading filling the night. 

Loud in the pines and cedars dim, 
Clear in the freshness moist and the swamp-perfume, 
And I with my comrades there in the night. 

While my sight that was bound in my eyes unclosed, 
As to long panoramas of visions. 

And I saw askant the armies, 
I saw as in noiseless dreams hundreds of battle-flags, 
Borne through the smoke of the battles and pierc’d with missiles I saw them, 
And carried hither and yon through the smoke, and torn and bloody, 
And at last but a few shreds left on the staffs, (and all in silence,) 
And the staffs all splinter’d and broken. 

I saw battle-corpses, myriads of them, 
And the white skeletons of young men, I saw them, 
I saw the debris and debris of all the slain soldiers of the war, 
But I saw they were not as was thought, 
They themselves were fully at rest, they suffer’d not, 
The living remain’d and suffer’d, the mother suffer’d, 
And the wife and the child and the musing comrade suffer’d, 
And the armies that remain’d suffer’d. 

16 
Passing the visions, passing the night, 
Passing, unloosing the hold of my comrades’ hands, 
Passing the song of the hermit bird and the tallying song of my soul, 
Victorious song, death’s outlet song, yet varying ever-altering song, 
As low and wailing, yet clear the notes, rising and falling, flooding the night, 
Sadly sinking and fainting, as warning and warning, and yet again bursting with joy, 
Covering the earth and filling the spread of the heaven, 
As that powerful psalm in the night I heard from recesses, 
Passing, I leave thee lilac with heart-shaped leaves, 
I leave thee there in the door-yard, blooming, returning with spring. 

I cease from my song for thee, 
From my gaze on thee in the west, fronting the west, communing with thee, 
O comrade lustrous with silver face in the night. 

Yet each to keep and all, retrievements out of the night, 
The song, the wondrous chant of the gray-brown bird, 
And the tallying chant, the echo arous’d in my soul, 
With the lustrous and drooping star with the countenance full of woe, 
With the holders holding my hand nearing the call of the bird, 
Comrades mine and I in the midst, and their memory ever to keep, for the dead I loved so well, 
For the sweetest, wisest soul of all my days and lands—and this for his dear sake, 
Lilac and star and bird twined with the chant of my soul, 
There in the fragrant pines and the cedars dusk and dim.