Sub Terra

by William Carlos Williams

William Carlos Williams

Where shall I find you-
You, my grotesque fellows
That I seek everywhere
To make up my band?
None, not one
With the earthy tastes I require:
The burrowing pride that rises
Subtly as on a bush in May.
Where are you this day-
You, my seven-year locusts
With cased wings?
Ah, my beauties, how I long!
That harvest
That shall be your advent-
Thrusting up through the grass,
Up under the weeds,
Answering me-
That shall be satisfying!
The light shall leap and snap
That day as with a million lashes!
Oh, I have you!
Yes, you are about me in a sense,
Playing under the blue pools
That are my windows.
But they shut you out still
There in the half light-
For the simple truth is
That though I see you clear enough …
You are not there.
It is not that-it is you,
You I want, my companions!
God! if I could only fathom
The guts of shadows!-
You to come with me
Poking into negro houses
With their gloom and smell!
In among children
Leaping around a dead dog!
Onto the lawns of the rich!
To go with me a-tip-toe
Head down under heaven,
Nostrils lipping the wind!

Last updated January 14, 2019