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Away above a Harborful: A poem by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

  • Published at 05:24 pm March 24th, 2021
These Are My Rivers: New and Selected Poems

Poetry

Away above a harborful

                                               of caulkless houses   

among the charley noble chimneypots

                  of a rooftop rigged with clotheslines   

             a woman pastes up sails

                                          upon the wind

hanging out her morning sheets

                                              with wooden pins

                                  O lovely mammal

                                              her nearly naked breasts   

                        throw taut shadows

                                              when she stretches up   

to hang at last the last of her

                                               so white washed sins   

                  but it is wetly amorous

                                                    and winds itself about her   

                     clinging to her skin

                                                   So caught with arms   

                                                                                upraised   

            she tosses back her head

                                               in voiceless laughter   

    and in choiceless gesture then

                                                  shakes out gold hair

while in the reachless seascape spaces

                           between the blown white shrouds   

         stand out the bright steamers

                                                 to kingdom come


(From These Are My Rivers: New and Selected Poems, published by New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1993)

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