H e a r t   S o n s   &   H e a r t   D a u g h t e r s   of   A l l e n   G i n s b e r g

N a p a l m   H e a l t h   S p a :   R e p o r t   2 0 1 4 :   A r c h i v e s   E d i t i o n








In last night’s dream gladioli grew wild around

the house, queens-of-the-night crashed through walls,

and the remains of the windowsills were overtaken

by tall white lilies and blue irises.

The roses we grew for preserves strangled the door.


I was sitting next to the poplar grown through the roof

when I saw a man hanging smoked fish under the eaves.

My grandparents were having a meal of bread, onion and water;

they were talking about bringing the corn to the mill

and threshing the beanstalks in the yard.


From the beans, the smell of summer.

And these plants are hiding the story.

I saw the sticks we made out of oak branches;

I remembered how we sat in a circle,

the dust from the stalks as we beat them—

something like the sound of galloping horses.


They carried on with the meal. Sifted wheat.

I saw them walk right past me. They loaded the cart.

And I thought I heard my name in the throat of a gladiola.



[Originally published in NHS 2000, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs00/bugan.html.]