A Strut for Roethke by John Berryman

Westward, hit a low note, for a roarer lost
across the Sound but north from Bremerton,
hit a way down note.
And never cadenza again of flowers, or cost.
Him who could really do that cleared his throat
& staggered on.

The bluebells, pool-shallows, saluted his over-needs,
while the clouds growled, heh-heh, & snapped, & crashed.

No stunt he'll ever unflinch once more will fail
(O lucky fellow, eh Bones?)drifted off upstairs,
downstairs, somewheres.
No more daily, trying to hit the head on the nail:
thirstless: without a think in his head:
back from wherever, with it said.

Hit a high long note, for a lover found
needing a lower into friendlier ground
to bug among worms no more
around um jungles where ah blurt 'What for?'
Weeds, too, he favoured as most men don't favour men.
The Garden Master's gone.

by John Berryman

Other poems by 'John Berryman '

Henry, edged, decidedly, made up stories

All virtues enter into this world

Let us suppose, valleys & such ago

Behold I bring you tidings of great joy

Three 'coons come at his garbage. He be cross

The Elder Presences

Three around the Old Gentleman

I don't operate often. When I do

She mentioned 'worthless' & he took it in

Our wounds to time, from all the other times

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