A mouth. Can blow or breathe,
be a funnel, or Hello.
A grass blade or a cut.
A question seated. And a proud
Shallow mitten for two-fingered hand.
on one stilt. Sometimes built
so the roof gapes.
A policeman. Polite.
Wearing visored cap.
tape of ambiguous length
on which is written the mystery
of everything curly.
detached from its stair.
The universe in diagram:
A cosmic hourglass.
(Note enigmatic shape,
absence of any value of origin,
how end overlaps beginning.)
Unknotted like a shoelace
and whipped back and forth,
can serve as a model of time.
Lorgnette for the right eye.
In England or if you are Alice
the stem is on the left.
A grass blade or a cut
companioned by a mouth.
Open? Open. Shut? Shut.
May Swenson's Other Poems
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Comments about this poem (Cardinal Ideograms by May Swenson )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
(12 May 1828 – 9 April 1882)
Robert Louis Stevenson
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
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