Amy Lowell Poems >>
Twenty-Four Hokku On A Modern Theme

I

  Again the larkspur,
  Heavenly blue in my garden.
  They, at least, unchanged.


        II

  How have I hurt you?
  You look at me with pale eyes,
  But these are my tears.


        III

  Morning and evening--
  Yet for us once long ago
  Was no division.


        IV

  I hear many words.
  Set an hour when I may come
  Or remain silent.


        V

  In the ghostly dawn
  I write new words for your ears--
  Even now you sleep.


        VI

  This then is morning.
  Have you no comfort for me
  Cold-colored flowers?


        VII

  My eyes are weary
  Following you everywhere.
  Short, oh short, the days!


        VIII

  When the flower falls
  The leaf is no more cherished.
  Every day I fear.


        IX

  Even when you smile
  Sorrow is behind your eyes.
  Pity me, therefore.


        X

  Laugh--it is nothing.
  To others you may seem gay,
  I watch with grieved eyes.


        XI

  Take it, this white rose.
  Stems of roses do not bleed;
  Your fingers are safe.


        XII

  As a river-wind
  Hurling clouds at a bright moon,
  So am I to you.


        XIII

  Watching the iris,
  The faint and fragile petals--
  How am I worthy?


        XIV

  Down a red river
  I drift in a broken skiff.
  Are you then so brave?


        XV

  Night lies beside me
  Chaste and cold as a sharp sword.
  It and I alone.


        XVI

  Last night it rained.
  Now, in the desolate dawn,
  Crying of blue jays.


        XVII

  Foolish so to grieve,
  Autumn has its colored leaves--
  But before they turn?


        XVIII

  Afterwards I think:
  Poppies bloom when it thunders.
  Is this not enough?


        XIX

  Love is a game--yes?
  I think it is a drowning:
  Black willows and stars.


        XX

  When the aster fades
  The creeper flaunts in crimson.
  Always another!


        XXI

  Turning from the page,
  Blind with a night of labor,
  I hear morning crows.


        XXII

  A cloud of lilies,
  Or else you walk before me.
  Who could see clearly?


        XXIII

  Sweet smell of wet flowers
  Over an evening garden.
  Your portrait, perhaps?


        XXIV

  Staying in my room,
  I thought of the new Spring leaves.
  That day was happy.