Thomas Thornburg Poetry Memorial: Munseetown

Published by Two Magpies Press, Bozeman MT, 2001


(for Carol Kasparek)

the sick cat in the clowder calls,
(the little girl who loved her lost)
wanders in the alley, falls
and stiffens like a frozen coat;
a powder of November palls
on the despair of hunted dusks,
a dumb husk of hares;
that creature in the corner there
sprawling in the drunken chair
ringing silver on the table
has no business being here
and is in trouble.


When these feathered sing
In fawdled magnolia
It is truly spring.


This winter sun again is centered
Above Gillespie Towers where
Each dawn discovers lights declaring
Early risers there.
Infirm and ill and some demented,
Why do they rise in winder, staring
When each in her cell might bask instead
In summer dreams beneath the snows
Of memory, secure and somnolent?
The weak light rallies, and I know:
A car awaits her who is newly dead.
I must take leave of this, prepare my readings
(Poems of death) for students, show
Them the journey we must go.


Not, if nothing else, a free
Thing one spends his red time making,
Fit words:  between you and me
(One’s self abides though every shaking
Star whipsaw on any side)
This talk wrought for all your taking,
This song, one’s self abides.
There are lives no need to move to laughter
One’s debtors dying as alone,
To ink one’s name is writ in water:
The polished stanza is a stone.

Thus was this is, and this to be
Horseman nor hearse in passing see,
Or lovers in the quarreling world
Read any but their now stones knurled;
Nothing but poetry forgives
Beauty for being so; we live
Until we die, and die until,
Rising like any spring a round us,
God or godlessness unground us.

to be continued, check back for updates

Publication Status of Munseetown

Currently, no copies of Munseetown are available anywhere on the Internet.  That status may change, and maybe even with some research, copies may be found. I will continue to search for copies.

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