Circles on the Water: Selected Poems by Marge Piercy

By Marge Piercy

Greater than one hundred fifty poems from her seven books of poetry written among 1963 and 1982.

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Laid down among the signs a self assigned. Decided it was only ever upward unto nothing, grass and wildflowers, each stem the very thread of trembling, as little weight as color on the eye. There was an order you could choose to enter, another, in doing so, to leave. You were, as before a river or tree decides to branch. 54 West to dust. At the crossroads, digitalis quickens its cups. What in wind to hold, to home, what to house you now? Call back walls, the black slate roof, the locked door that answered your name like a key.

At the crossroads, digitalis quickens its cups. What in wind to hold, to home, what to house you now? Call back walls, the black slate roof, the locked door that answered your name like a key. Asphalt westward is wet, and longitude, and summer is everything is a noun is touched by water, being led—let it—latitude, curving over, along, farther, away, a way west to dust. 55 To drag about, to torment, to wallow, roots of the sweet word I trammel : valka, he’s gone, fucking someone else. Nothing goes by luck in composition, not in this city of four kinds of sleep : ends, ended, will end, will have ended.

Faith, what is it abides, what’s left of pastoral but unreality. Ask artifice. Ask ornament. Go ahead and ask : what principle animates the natural : owl pink Lady’s Slipper orchid white-tailed deer woodchuck : 44 is it only what’s visible that’s knowable. Twenty dandelions gone to seed; tent worms slung in the articulated tree; what’s tiresome : mind unanswered, writing to supply scaffolds to hold up scenery, nothing but queries and plywood, string strung to a high struck bell auguring : it’s too late to see a third turkey left headless, wreck of feathers the owl scared, scattered in grass— 45 This page intentionally left blank pil g rim A pilgrim, where am I?

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