17-52



The Perfect Enjoyment: A Lesson for John Wilmot

Fair Corinne,
Let us lay our lines together in a poem.
Let me lay my bilabial plosive
On your sweet rhyme,
And time, and we united,
In strophe and antistrophe,
Shall sing and dance into the climax of our air.

Free verse and metered lines we'll use,
And undulating rhythms too will fuse
With metaphor, the motive and the music,
And what's more, like a sword thrusting

Tirelessly, ever true and keen,
In the vast redeeming underbelly of the sea,
Received in constant motion, rising
And falling onward to the shore of ecstasy.

In spume and froth sweet Aphrodite come
Naked on your clam shell, and once again
Repeat the long lost words of love and lease
A moment of your tide to our soft charge,
For when those sounds we've married to our own,
Our poem's complete, and we, though emptied,
With your rhyme replete. 

by Robert Witmer

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Robert Witmer's life is reflected in one of his haiku: 

expatriate
returning home
from home. 

This aging émigré seldom knows if he's coming or going. Resident of Tokyo, fortunate in family, friends, occupation, and creative vocation, he often prefers to play pétanque. He has recently published a book of haiku: Finding a Way.

17-25



Death Rides USAir at Night


The wings of Death are de-iced now,
He shakes his hoary head.
He waits for me to settle down
Amongst the newly Dead.

Unlike a hundred years ago
When Death took carriage rides,
When Civil was the final word
With never snark asides.

We spit our greetings 'cross the Aisle,
Complain about the Seats.
No leg room, drinks at quite a cost,
And no more funeral meats.

We taxi to the Runway where
Planes idle in a row—
We pass the fields of grazing geese,
We've nowhere else to go.

The Clock ticks off our final seconds,
We take off at last—
The seat belts buckle in our Coffins,
Hold us dear and fast.

I hear the Engines all a-roar,
As we fly out of sight—
Into Eternity, I guess,
Or into endless Night.

by Jane Yolen

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Jane Yolen has published over 360 books. She writes a poem a day and sends them to subscribers. To subscribe: http://eepurl.com/bs28ab. Of her many prizes for her work, one set her good Scottish wool coat on fire. She takes that as a warning.