Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Collection of Centos by Lorine Niedecker

word count: 430

The men leave the car (87)
Where her snow-grave is (75)
to educate his daughter (35)
the children sing (41)
and yet another child (57)
Lived simply. Gardened. Saw visions. (100)

Strange- he did grow a blue rose, you know. (100)
That June she’s a lush (69)
She could have grown a good rutabaga in the burial ground (63)
Old Mother turns blue and from us, (47)
There’s a better shine (23)

Water lilies- (18)
Something in the water (82)
Where grass-still (55)
We knew (65)
And now I must rake leaves (65)

She helped him string out nets (15)
In the great hall (20)
over my head (23)
till he lost his spring and fall (25)
Tried selling my pictures in jail (26)
To keep his life (33)
Sun, turn the earth once more (34)

He’s the one for me. (58)
My man says the wind blows from the south (30)
She’s moved in on my own poor guy. (31)
His eyes are clear in this air (40)
Four of us lived off half an acre (26)
As we slept in the dark, the blackbirds flying (27)
Measure the man pending… (70)
I lost you to water, summer (71)
To sense and sound in this world (94)
How she loved (122)
You there (123)
I love you. (75)

How white the gulls (75)
Who died (57)
This book of birds I loved (41)
Fall pheasants’ cry (39)
Continue after the mind is blown (40)
I missed the cranes. (54)
Pay particular attention (29)
Don’t shoot the rail! (28)

Asa Gray wrote Increase Lapham: (29)
This is my mew as our days last- (66)
I rose from marsh mud (67)
My friend, you were right. (72)
Our talk, our books (85)
Middle life said nothing- (101)
“Pray, what is matter” (100)
We questioned (86)

My friend made green (87)
To bring us green-white lilies (93)
Down here along the road (83)
Took a lifetime (68)

I was Blondie (61)
I was job-certified (51)
For our work, lay down at night without hay (50)
You ask what kind of boats in my country (40)
We hungered, (34)
I’m a sharecropper down here in the south (30)
He gives up costs on his tree-covered shack- (31)
Then years of money’s lack (55)
He gave the job to somebody else (54)

Beautiful girl- (76)
We’d have danced (91)
I’ve been free (90)
Springtime’s wide (77)
Do I hurt you (96)
Sweet life, My love: (97)
How impossible it is to be alone (72)

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