Theodore Roethke

O Lull Me, Lull Me


One sigh stretches heaven.
In this, the diocese of mice,
Who's bishop of breathing?

    How still she keeps herself.
    Blessed be torpor.
    Not all animals 
    move about.

Tell me, great lords of sting,
Is it time to think?
When I say things fond,
I hear singing.
O my love's light as a duck
On a moon-forgotten wave!

    The sea has many streets;
    The beach rises with the waves.
    I know my own bones:
    This doxie doesn't do.


The air, the air provides.
Light fattens the rock.
Let's play before we forget!

    A wish! A wish!
    O lovely chink, O white
    Way to another grace! - 
    I see my heart in a seed;
    I breathe into a dream,
    And the ground cries.
    I'm crazed and graceless,
    A winter leaping frog.
    Soothe me, great groans of underneath,
    I'm still waiting for a foot.
    The poke of the wind's close,
    But I can't go leaping alone.
    For you, my pond,
    Rocking with small fish,
    I'm an otter with only one nose:
    I'm all ready to whistle;
    I'm more than when I was born;
    I could say hello to things;
    I could talk to a snail;
    I see what sings!
    What sings!

spoken = David Juda