Ferlinghetti Florilegium

endless the ever-unwinding
watchspring heart of the world
shimmering in time
shining through space

as if they were watching some odorless TV ad
in which everything is always possible

Where are Whitman’s wild children,
where the great voices speaking out
with a sense of sweetness and sublimity

Let us not sit upon the ground
and tell sad stories
of the death of sanity.

the ones with old pocket watches
the old ones with gnarled hands
and wild eyebrows
the ones with baggy pants
with both belt & suspenders

And every Peace Officer with dogs
trained to track & kill

One not necessarily very beautiful
man or woman who loves you

The voice knocked me down, so soft, so tin, so frail, so stubborn still.

and was a loud conscientious objector to
the deaths we daily give each other
though we speak much of love

I could not imagine her carrying
a carbine

They lower the body soundlessly
into a huge plane in Dallas
into a huge plane in Los Angeles
marked ‘United States of America’

And let our two selves speak
All night under the cypress tree

and I am waiting
for Aphrodite
to grow live arms
a final disarmament conference
in a new rebirth of wonder

Him just hang there
on His Tree
looking real Petered out
and real cool

but them right in the middle of it
comes the smiling

Endless Life: Selected Poems
New Directions, 1981




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