The Answers

by HIM-AND-ME(-and-them)

written by Anne Merritt Davis

photos of Anne and Byron Davis
April 1939


“I never read anyone half so right as I.”
-- William Saroyan

Now you listen to me, Saroyan, and him.

page 1forward


they all said
a Muse is always a she
however obliviously
a HE a-Muse's me

page 2preface

and if my tongue is ever in my cheek please,
love, it's not affront to you.
it's just
adjust of mine
to God' design

does the ever mean sometimes or always
   or do i just hope it means always?
and should it be affront or a front?
and is just as in justice or just merely,
   or just abandon itself to gist,
   or more merrilly still
      to JEST

o k o k o k ok ....... you write that one .......

page 3preface


page 5religion

if i can face
this place
i can't very well
worry about Hell.

page 6religion

if i can't rhyme
with Time
what use to me

if i can't fitly deal
with present woe and weal
what use to me

page 7religion

their God is Good
their Devil is Bad
my God is a laughing clown
who doesn't know up from down

page 4

their God is Good
the Devil is Bad
my God is an imp
that I call versus

page 8religion

J. C.

Jesus passionately paid the price
for the power he had.
playing God comes high.
such a man, men crucify.

Jesus was not God.
He played God and
he passionately paid God
a fair price for
that paradise
of power.

page 9religion

if it isn't funny
it's phoney and no fun. He,
that Old Guy in the sky,
laughs, so why shouldn't I?

page 10religion

A decision which has saved me a
great deal of time

no poet no prophet no seer
no wise man no philosopher
no minister no cracker-barrel
grass roots wit
will i listen to

unless he laughs and knows he's just
another HAM

like God with his outrageous sunsets,
etc. etc.

page 11religion

whatever blooms bright in the mind
of the mystic
is neatly named   GOD
giving the mystic per MISSION to
tell everyone what to do.

AM i a mystic?
but, of course.

page 12religion

we all know
that to grow
we need rain and pain
as well as sun and fun

therefore later
know that hater
did for you as much
as lover: both
are equally deserving
of your everlasting love.

page 13religion

your thoughts sublime
what good are they
if you've no time
to live that way?

brag of your ache
for India's poor
and daily break
the heart next door?

page 14religion


page 15love

i wondered along
collecting fragments.
i met you;

i looked at my hand
and wondered to behold the
perfect round.

it would surely be greed
to ask for, or say that we need
more than this blessed knowing;

only death can consummate.

page 16love

the moon can't pity the sea,
but you me?

the moon can't stop it,
but you can?

the moon attracts the sea
in the same way you me,
but does the sea ache too
as i, being human, do?

and if the sea does ache
does the moon pity the sea?
human you know that i ache
but do you pity me?

you are heartless as the moon
i am helpless as the sea.
P•L•E•A•S•E dim your dazzling eyes
and me demagnetize.

page 17love

the sea may be content
in bondage to the moon
precisely God's intent
she yet may do

but i am not content
in bondage thus to you
for me such tides not meant
i've other work to do.

page 18love

Renunciation is not water
to put out a fire
but rather oxygen that
makes it roar the higher

page 19love

did Jesus command “Love thy
neighbor as thyself.” ?
or say, (“Thou wilt) love thy
neighbor (to the same
degree) as (thou lovest) thyself.” ?

love IS when two persons cannot
distinguish between
give and take

when you and i are shaking
hands who is giving
who taking?

if your love be love
all fragments you descry
you will treat with tenderness
howsoe'er awry

page 20love

April in New England

the Earth said to the Sun
“please, Sir, put down upon me
your warm hand; please, Sir,
let my green fires leap free.”

page 21love


let no other see
your me
i still have to be
their me

please let me be
your me
only when none but you
can see.

page 22love

Winter Thought

this year i fear the thrust of spring
and summer’s certain blossoming.

page 23love

some days Earth cries out with loveliness
that burns with all the fires of Hell
and all the light of Heaven,
“Please, Sir, forbear.”

God answers with a day
of quiet grey.

Earth wants all God’s weather
i all yours.

page 24love


page 25marriage

Spring 1955

stop being wife? perhaps
when the earth,
under caress of April
sun, can withhold.

page 26marriage

Little Boy to Little Girl
or, mayhap,
Some Woman to Her Husband

let's (gently) put away our toys;
you, your dolls,
and i my soldier boys
and play US, man and wife.

page 27marriage

jeanne and charlie mend a broken chair

through the break, from opposite sides
they drove two screws.

strong as new, with two
pulling against each other
pulling against together.

page 28marriage

afraid to live
or die?
not i.
Heaven is here
Hell, too,
with you

page 29marriage

acknowledge that marriage
is the ultimate of
slavery .... it becomes
ultimate of freedom

page 30marriage


page 31some humans

God bless this spinning earth you walk upon
God bless the sun that warms you
God bless all clean green growing things
but most of all God bless the creatures who,
not knowing why, forbear and let
them grow

page 32some humans

For William Blake

your words upon the printed page
i could not understand
and yet you touched and warmed me
with your living hand.

page 33some humans

For W. Blake’s Spiritual Heirs

if you would visit Heaven
and chat with God
and still be here to do
your work on earth,

Prudence dictates
take a friend along
else you'll be lonely here
and called MAD..

page 34some humans

why should i have to psychoanalyze?
what you are shines clearly from
your eyes;
what you lack and long for i know
from the twisted tale your silent lips

page 36some humans

there is a place where i go for nectar.
she who serves it appears to be
an ordinary mortal like you and me
i get down on my knees
and say to her please
how do you make it or
where do you get it?
have you ever stared straight at the sun?

page 37some humans

   for: Willy D. and Willy T. (against gardening ladies)

i love rocks ... not the ones the pick strikes
and the bar persuades out of our own earth..
such rocks are pale brown, though they hose off
sometimes right colorful, but pick-and-bar
escarred, bare lichen-less .. such rocks we pound
to lifting size and haul away for fill..

the rocks i want are grey and lichen-green
from long years of living with the weather.
i like the look of lichen.  Like?
God Almighty, come-for-coffee-in-my-kitchen,
could no way please me more than you could,
or any, by bringing me and gently
(Ooh, please don't scratch it!) placing
(No, a little to the left) to look ‘Tumbled’
(No, back, and tip it up an inch or so) in my garden
just one--small--grey--touched-with-moss and lichen
-luscious THREE TON rock. Darling      i love you.

page 38some humans


page 39children

i wonder if my little girl--
she's not quite two--
when she grows up to woman's work
will speak as true

as now? one says to her “Bad girl”
she counters “Girl”
when someone says to her “Good girl”
again says “Girl”.

page 40children

for Helen, five, who asked

what is the sky?
how high?

the distant blue
touches you;
only breath or sigh
and you are filled with sky.

no wonder i
am growing high
with every breath
i breathe sky.

page 41children

To Children:   when someone says,
“Which hand?”   say “B•O•T•H•”

the old man had a happy mouth. wife
-protected and self-deluded, he
beamed on us.  he preached and he talked
about God and The Abundant Life.

the son had a stern mouth.  trapped by life
and self-deluded he frowned on us.
when he talked he said that economic necessity
forced him to stay with his wife.

the grandson has a big mouth
with one corner up, the other down.

page 42children




page 43creative

desire will tend,
fulfilled, to end.
contained, it can
build higher than
it first intends,
to endless ends.

page 44creative


The poet has daily intimate concourse
with his unconcious mind.
He dwells upon that sharp point
where all contradictions fuse.
The poet is sufficient as a tree
and as subject to the weather.
He will visit with you;
loneliness forces him to keep trying.

The poetic imagination is not
worth a damn
unless it happily and humbly mates
with daily duty
unless the conflict of that union
becomes for both
a nurturing clasp which creates ......

page 45creative

a new configuration comes only
to him whom faith allows
to put willy in temporary chains
and let nilly carouse.

page 46creative

my unconscious mind is LIGHT not dark

through the fear wall, unasked, unheralded
upthrusts a sudden shaft of light.
in the dark confusion of the conscious
mind it blooms: configuration bright.

page 47creative

out of one who can hold
Heaven on the open palm
and not a finger fold

out of one who can hold
Hell in his belly
contained and untold

Art explodes to life.

page 48creative


let them burn burn burn
in the crucible
let them pulse and push and pound
in the womb
let them tear your living heart wide open

still contain them

page 49creative

a poem is the ultimate scream of birth and
a living creature.
some will only hear the scream
but some will also know and love
the living creature.

page 50creative


you wont believe

page 51facts

the answers you get
when you sit down calmly and
reasonably, logically, mathematically
add up the columns,
are, acknowledged or not, seldom the
answers you live by.

page 52facts

On Rearing Children

as you seek to domesticate
the animal,
beware lest you desiccate the human.

exorcise the Devil
and God's gone, too.

page 53facts


page 54frontiers

Frontiers of “Science”

The psychiatrists and their ilk have made
this great discovery about “projection”.

What was the Seek-and-you-shall-find-knock-
and-it-shall ... guy talking about some years back?

page 55frontiers


let me say:

page 56conclusion

a “multitude of others”
made me ... make an I
out of ought and should and must
yet this I is NO THING; just this
here now here this feeling-Being BLISS
in sunlight and dark

page 57conclusion

  • Anne was born in 1915 in Pittsfield, MA.
  • She and her husband, Byron, settled in Holden, MA in 1948, where they raised 7 children.
  • She was an avid gardener and landscaper on their 8 acres of land.
  • She was a bread baker and a granola maker. Her favorite snack was sunflower seeds and raisons.
  • She was a student and teacher of many things - of calligraphy, of yoga, of gardening, and of the love for books and writing.
  • She was a wood carver of anything from hummingbirds to butter spreaders. She was a craftsman and furniture designer.
  • She was an entrepreneur. She founded The Holden Experiment and the Halcyon Tea Company.
  • She was philosopher and loved to share ideas. Her home's decor included a bulletin boards filled with index cards of quotes ranging from the controversial writings of Henry Miller to the conversational quips of one of her children or grandchildren.
  • She died in her Holden home in 1992.
  • She is the Great(8x) Granddaughter of America's first published poet, Anne Dudley Bradstreet.
photos of Anne Merritt Davis and Byron