Ben Belitt

B
Ben Belitt

Dance Piece
...at the still point, there the dance is.
—T. S. Eliot The errand into the maze,
Emblem, the heel’s blow upon space,
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Night Piece
Rise, cleanly trust, divided star,
And spend that delicate fraud upon the night—
A lover’s instance moving mindful air
To make its peace in dedicated light

Whose look is charnel. Lusters, intent and blind,
Give darkness downward with a glow like sheaves—
A gleaner’s pittance withered in the bind
That keeps the summer godhead of the leaves
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On Quaking Bog
for Jean Brockway When the walkers-on-water went under,
the bog-walkers came out of the barberry
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An Orange in Mérida
The orange-peelers of Mérida, in the wrought-
iron midday, come with mechanical skewers
and live oranges, to straddle the paths
on caissons of bicycle wheels
and work in the dark of the plaza, like jewelers’ cloths.

The orange is ceremonious. Its sleep
is Egyptian. Its golden umbilicus
waits in pyramidal light, swath over swath, outwitting
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Second Adam
Whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
—Genesis When the Deluge had passed,
into my head, by twos, came the creeping things,
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The Spool
They splay at a bend of the road, rifles slung, the
shadows minimal, their hands tugging their slings by
the upper swivel to ease the routine of the march.
They have been moving since morning, and over each
has descended that singleness, mournful and
comatose, which is the mysterious gift of the march.
Their helmets shadow their eyes, their chinstraps
dangling. In the raddle of grasses their solitude
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This Scribe, My Hand
When this warm scribe, my hand, is in the grave.
—John Keats 1.

You are here
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The Trespasser
When last we came this pleasant way
The hedgerows blossomed, high and hard,
And blue with shade the violets lay
In every cherry-lightened yard.

Now, in commemorative rain,
I walk the quiet way alone,
And there are violets again
As blue as I have ever known.
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Veteran’s Hospital
(White River Junction, Vermont) Bringing “only what is needed—essential
toilet articles” in a paper bag,
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