Wednesday, 16 August 2017

August Rain

 Image result for august rain


August Rain, after Haying - Jane Kenyon

Through sere trees and beheaded
grasses the slow rain falls.
Hay fills the barn; only the rake
and one empty wagon are left
in the field. In the ditches
goldenrod bends to the ground.

Even at noon the house is dark.
In my room under the eaves
I hear the steady benevolence
of water washing dust
raised by the haying
from porch and car and garden
and purified, as if tonsured.

The grass resolves to grow again,
receiving the rain to that end,
but my disordered soul thirsts
after something it cannot name.

Monday, 7 August 2017

August

 Image result for august


August - Dorothy Parker

When my eyes are weeds,
And my lips are petals, spinning
Down the wind that has beginning
Where the crumpled beeches start
In a fringe of salty reeds;
When my arms are elder-bushes,
And the rangy lilac pushes
Upward, upward through my heart;

Summer, do your worst!
Light your tinsel moon, and call on
Your performing stars to fall on
Headlong through your paper sky;
Nevermore shall I be cursed
By a flushed and amorous slattern,
With her dusty laces' pattern
Trailing, as she straggles by.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Rain Towards Morning

Summer Rain by Evey90

 'Summer Rain'  
by Evey90 on Deviant Art


Always from rain some kind of epiphany...




Rain Towards Morning - Elizabeth Bishop

The great light cage has broken up in the air,
freeing, I think, about a million birds
whose wild ascending shadows will not be back,
and all the wires come falling down.
No cage, no frightening birds; the rain
is brightening now. The face is pale
that tried the puzzle of their prison
and solved it with an unexpected kiss,
whose freckled unsuspected hands alit.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Dream-Chasing

Image result for follow your dream
'To break this shadow
Into a thousand lights of sun,
Into a thousand whirling dreams
Of sun!'

On dream-chasing, Langston Hughes is as real as it gets. 



As I Grew Older - Langston Hughes

It was a long time ago.
I have almost forgotten my dream.
But it was there then,
In front of me,
Bright like a sun—
My dream.
And then the wall rose,
Rose slowly,
Slowly,
Between me and my dream.
Rose until it touched the sky—
The wall.
Shadow.
I am black.
I lie down in the shadow.
No longer the light of my dream before me,
Above me.
Only the thick wall.
Only the shadow.
My hands!
My dark hands!
Break through the wall!
Find my dream!
Help me to shatter this darkness,
To smash this night,
To break this shadow
Into a thousand lights of sun,
Into a thousand whirling dreams
Of sun!

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Fountain Poem

Image result for examples of small fountains in rome


Roman Fountain - Louise Bogan

Up from the bronze, I saw
Water without a flaw
Rush to its rest in air,
Reach to its rest, and fall.

Bronze of the blackest shade,
An element man-made,
Shaping upright the bare
Clear gouts of water in air.

O, as with arm and hammer,
Still it is good to strive
To beat out the image whole,
To echo the shout and stammer
When full-gushed waters, alive,
Strike on the fountain's bowl
After the air of summer.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Song for the Rainy Season

 Image result for summer rain


Song for the Rainy Season - Elizabeth Bishop

Hidden, oh hidden
in the high fog
the house we live in,
beneath the magnetic rock,
rain-, rainbow-ridden,
where blood-black
bromelias, lichens,
owls, and the lint
of the waterfalls cling,
familiar, unbidden.

In a dim age
of water
the brook sings loud
from a rib cage
of giant fern; vapor
climbs up the thick growth
effortlessly, turns back,
holding them both,
house and rock,
in a private cloud.

At night, on the roof,
blind drops crawl
and the ordinary brown
owl gives us proof
he can count:
five times—always five—
he stamps and takes off
after the fat frogs that,
shrilling for love,
clamber and mount.

House, open house
to the white dew
and the milk-white sunrise
kind to the eyes,
to membership
of silver fish, mouse,
bookworms,
big moths; with a wall
for the mildew's
ignorant map;

darkened and tarnished
by the warm touch
of the warm breath,
maculate, cherished;
rejoice! For a later
era will differ.
(O difference that kills
or intimidates, much
of all our small shadowy
life!) Without water

the great rock will stare
unmagnetized, bare,
no longer wearing
rainbows or rain,
the forgiving air
and the high fog gone;
the owls will move on
and the several
waterfalls shrivel
in the steady sun.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Summer Days and Nights

 Related image


The Best Time of the Day - Raymond Carver
 
Cool summer nights.
Windows open.
Lamps burning.
Fruit in the bowl.
And your head on my shoulder.
These the happiest moments in the day.

Next to the early morning hours,
of course. And the time
just before lunch.
And the afternoon, and
early evening hours.
But I do love

these summer nights.
Even more, I think,
than those other times.
The work finished for the day.
And no one who can reach us now.
Or ever.


Saturday, 1 July 2017

July

 Image result for july
Hello sweet and lovely July!


July - Susan Hartley Sweet

When the scarlet cardinal tells
Her dream to the dragonfly,
And the lazy breeze makes a nest in the trees,
And murmurs a lullaby,
It's July.

When the tangled cobweb pulls
The cornflower's cap awry,
And the lilies tall lean over the wall
To bow to the butterfly,
It's July.

When the heat like a mist veil floats,
And poppies flame in the rye,
And the silver note in the streamlet's throat
Has softened almost to a sigh,
It's July.

When the hours are so still that time
Forgets them, and lets them lie
Underneath petals pink till the night stars wink
At the sunset in the sky,
It's July.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Evening of the First Fireflies

Image result for summer fireflies


Deep Lane [June 23rd, evening of the first fireflies] - Mark Doty

June 23rd, evening of the first fireflies,
we’re walking in the cemetery down the road,
and I look up from my distracted study of whatever,

an unfocused gaze somewhere a few feet in front of my shoes,

and see that Ned has run on ahead
with the champagne plume of his tail held especially high,
his head erect,

which is often a sign that he has something he believes he is not
allowed to have,

and in the gathering twilight (what is it that is gathered,
who is doing the harvesting?) I can make out that the long
horizontal
between his lovely jaws is one of the four stakes planted on the
slope

to indicate where the backhoe will dig a new grave.

Of course my impulse is to run after him, to replace the marker,
out of respect for the rule that we won’t desecrate the tombs,
or at least for those who knew the woman
whose name inks a placard in the rectangle claimed by the four
poles

of vanishing—three poles now—and how it’s within their
recollection,
their gathering, she’ll live. Evening of memory. Sparklamps in
the grass.
I stand and watch him go in his wild figure eights,
I say, You run, darling, you tear up that hill.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Thursday Mood


Image result for loves me, loves me not


Thursday - Edna St Vincent Millay

And if I loved you Wednesday,
      Well, what is that to you?
I do not love you Thursday -
      So much is true.

And why you come complaining
       Is more than I can see.
I loved you Wednesday - yes - but what
      Is that to me?


Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Summer Solstice

Image result for summer solstice sun
 "The throaty world sings ripen..."

Happy Summer Solstice!


Solstice - Tess Taylor

How again today our patron star
whose ancient vista is the long view

turns its wide brightness now and here:
Below, we loll outdoors, sing & make fire.

We build no henge
but after our swim, linger

by the pond. Dapples flicker
pine trunks by the water.

Buzz & hum & wing & song combine.
Light builds a monument to its passing.

Frogs content themselves in bullish chirps,
hoopskirt blossoms

on thimbleberries fall, peeper toads
hop, lazy—

            Apex. The throaty world sings ripen.
Our grove slips past the sun’s long kiss.

We dress.
We head home in other starlight.

Our earthly time is sweetening from this.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Penelope Evening


Image result for penelope myth

 

Penelope Unravels - Francisca Aguirre

translated by Ana Valverde Osan

There is always adolescence and nothing else at dusk.

When the soft bend in the evening
insinuates its desolate curve,
something within us also bends over.
We have very few things then,
no possession accompanies us,
no possession offends us either.
There is a slow disaster in these hours
that seem the only ones in the day,
those which leave us in the old limits,
those that cannot give us anything,
those of which we do not ask anything.
There is a tender and decomposing disaster
in the final hours of this day
that has gone by like the others,
and, just like them, it has reached
the burning beauty
of that which gazes upon nothingness.
Leaning over my windowsill
I see how a section of time slides by;
evening has softly embalmed
the street’s noisy happenings,
the sky is shrinking little by little
and a burst of patience
wraps the world in soft, ashy hugs.

While the night opens up on the corners,
the moon sets in strange flowers.


Monday, 12 June 2017

Moon Mood

Image result for moon female


Trans-  Rita Dove

I work a lot and live far less than I could,
but the moon is beautiful and there are
blue stars . . . . I live the chaste song of my heart.
—Garcia Lorca to Emilia Llanos Medinor,
November 25, 1920


The moon is in doubt
over whether to be
a man or a woman.

There’ve been rumors,
all manner of allegations,
bold claims and public lies:

He’s belligerent. She’s in a funk.
When he fades, the world teeters.
When she burgeons, crime blossoms.

O how the operatic impulse wavers!
Dip deep, my darling, into the blank pool.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

June Night

 Image result for june full moon over water

A beautiful poem for a beautiful moon!


A June Night - Emma Lazarus

Ten o'clock: the broken moon
Hangs not yet a half hour high,
Yellow as a shield of brass,
In the dewy air of June,
Poised between the vaulted sky
And the ocean's liquid glass.

Earth lies in the shadow still;
Low black bushes, trees, and lawn
Night's ambrosial dews absorb;
Through the foliage creeps a thrill,
Whispering of yon spectral dawn
And the hidden climbing orb.

Higher, higher, gathering light,
Veiling with a golden gauze
All the trembling atmosphere,
See, the rayless disk grows white!
Hark, the glittering billows pause!

Faint, far sounds possess the ear.
Elves on such a night as this
Spin their rings upon the grass;
On the beach the water-fay
Greets her lover with a kiss;
Through the air swift spirits pass,
Laugh, caress, and float away.

Shut thy lids and thou shalt see
Angel faces wreathed with light,
Mystic forms long vanished hence.
Ah, too fine, too rare, they be
For the grosser mortal sight,
And they foil our waking sense.

Yet we feel them floating near,
Know that we are not alone,
Though our open eyes behold
Nothing save the moon's bright sphere,
In the vacant heavens shown,
And the ocean's path of gold.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Monday Song

Image result for buttercups and daisies



A Passing Hail - James Whitcomb Riley

Let us rest ourselves a bit!
Worry? - wave your hand to it -
Kiss your finger-tips and smile
It farewell a little while.

Weary of the weary way
We have come from Yesterday,
Let us fret not, instead,
Of the wary way ahead.

Let us pause and catch our breath
On the hither side of death,
While we see the tender shoots
Of the grasses - not the roots,-

While we yet look down - not up -
To seek out the buttercup
And the daisy where they wave
O'er the green home of the grave.

Let us launch us smoothly on
The soft billows of the lawn,
And drift out across the main
Of our childish dreams again:

Voyage off, beneath the trees,
O'er the field's enchanted seas,
Where the lilies are our sails,
And our sea-gulls, nightingales:

Where no wilder storm shall beat
Than the wind that waves the wheat,
And no tempest-burst above
The old laughs we used to love:

Lose all troubles - gain release,
Languor, and exceeding peace,
Cruising idly o'er the vast,
Calm mid-ocean of the Past.

Let us rest ourselves a bit!
Worry? - Wave your hand to it -
Kiss your finger-tips and smile
It fare well a little while.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Mockingbirds

 Image result for mary oliver mockingbirds poem


Mockingbirds - Mary Oliver

This morning
two mockingbirds
in the green field
were spinning and tossing
the white ribbons of their songs into the air.
I had nothing
better to do than listen. I mean this seriously.

In Greece,
a long time ago, an old couple opened their door
to two strangers who were,
it soon appeared, not men at all,
but gods.
It is my favorite story-- how the old couple
had almost nothing to give
but their willingness to be attentive--
but for this alone the gods loved them
and blessed them--
when they rose
out of their mortal bodies,
like a million particles of water
from a fountain,
the light
swept into all the corners of the cottage,
and the old couple,
shaken with understanding, bowed down--
but still they asked for nothing
but the difficult life
which they had already.
And the gods smiled, as they vanished, clapping their great wings.

Wherever it was
I was supposed to be this morning-- whatever it was I said
I would be doing--
I was standing
at the edge of the field-- I was hurrying
through my own soul, opening its dark doors-- I was leaning out;
I was listening. 

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Summer Music

 Image result for buttercups
 "Minor has turned to major
As summer, lulling and so mild,
Goes golden-buttercup-wild."
 
Summer has come upon us early here! 'Minor has turned to major' - indeed!



Summer Music - May Sarton

Summer is all a green air—
From the brilliant lawn, sopranos
Through murmuring hedges
Accompanied by some poplars;
In fields of wheat, surprises;
Through faraway pastures, flows
To the horizon's blues
In slow decrescendos.

Summer is all a green sound—
Rippling in the foreground
To that soft applause,
The foam of Queen Anne's lace.
Green, green in the ear
Is all we care to hear—
Until a field suddenly flashes
The singing with so sharp
A yellow that it crashes
Loud cymbals in the ear,
Minor has turned to major
As summer, lulling and so mild,
Goes golden-buttercup-wild.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Ode to Enchanted Light

Related image


Enchanting it is!


Ode to Enchanted Light - Pablo Neruda

Under the trees light
has dropped from the top of the sky,
light
like a green
latticework of branches,
shining
on every leaf,
drifting down like clean
white sand.

A cicada sends
its sawing song
high into the empty air.

The world is
a glass overflowing
with water.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Elegy

Image result for rose on guitar

"So, in the days to come, your name
Shall be as music that ascends..."

To Paul x

Two years on. Your memory a melody, we will never forget.


Elegy - Siegfried Sassoon

Your dextrous wit will haunt us long
Wounding our grief with yesterday.
Your laughter is a broken song;
And death has found you, kind and gay.

We may forget those transient things
That made your charm and our delight:
But loyal love has deathless wings
That rise and triumph out of night.

So, in the days to come, your name
Shall be as music that ascends
When honour turns a heart from shame...
O heart of hearts! ... O friend of friends!

 

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Greening of the Trees


Related image
"it’s the greening of the trees
that really gets to me..."


I love seeing the trees in leaf again! There is something so hopeful about all that green growth.



Instructions on Not Giving Up - Ada Limón

More than the fuchsia funnels breaking out
of the crabapple tree, more than the neighbor’s
almost obscene display of cherry limbs shoving
their cotton candy-colored blossoms to the slate
sky of Spring rains, it’s the greening of the trees
that really gets to me. When all the shock of white
and taffy, the world’s baubles and trinkets, leave
the pavement strewn with the confetti of aftermath,
the leaves come. Patient, plodding, a green skin
growing over whatever winter did to us, a return
to the strange idea of continuous living despite
the mess of us, the hurt, the empty. Fine then,
I’ll take it, the tree seems to say, a new slick leaf
unfurling like a fist to an open palm, I’ll take it all.


Monday, 15 May 2017

My Name

 Image result for trees in moonlight


My Name - Mark Strand

Once when the lawn was a golden green
and the marbled moonlit trees rose like fresh memorials
in the scented air, and the whole countryside pulsed
with the chirr and murmur of insects, I lay in the grass,
feeling the great distances open above me, and wondered
what I would become and where I would find myself,
and though I barely existed, I felt for an instant
that the vast star-clustered sky was mine, and I heard
my name as if for the first time, heard it the way
one hears the wind or the rain, but faint and far off
as though it belonged not to me but to the silence
from which it had come and to which it would go.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Paris in Spring

Image result for paris in springtime


Paris in Spring - Sara Teasdale

The city's all a-shining
Beneath a fickle sun,
A gay young wind's a-blowing,
The little shower is done.
But the rain-drops still are clinging
And falling one by one -
Oh it's Paris, it's Paris,
And spring-time has begun.

I know the Bois is twinkling
In a sort of hazy sheen,
And down the Champs the gray old arch
Stands cold and still between.
But the walk is flecked with sunlight
Where the great acacias lean,
Oh it's Paris, it's Paris,
And the leaves are growing green.

The sun's gone in, the sparkle's dead,
There falls a dash of rain,
But who would care when such an air
Comes blowing up the Seine?
And still Ninette sits sewing
Beside her window-pane,
When it's Paris, it's Paris,
And spring-time's come again.

Monday, 8 May 2017

World of Our Own

 Image result for planets

The Guardian's Saturday poem this week.

  


There Are No Boring People in This World -  Yevgeny Yevtushenko

There are no boring people in this world.
Each fate is like the history of a planet.
And no two planets are alike at all.
Each is distinct – you simply can’t compare it.


If someone lived without attracting notice
and made a friend of their obscurity –
then their uniqueness was precisely this.
Their very plainness made them interesting.


Each person has a world that’s all their own.
Each of those worlds must have its finest moment
and each must have its hour of bitter torment –
and yet, to us, both hours remain unknown.


When people die, they do not die alone.
They die along with their first kiss, first combat.
They take away their first day in the snow …
All gone, all gone – there’s just no way to stop it.


There may be much that’s fated to remain,
but something – something leaves us all the same.
The rules are cruel, the game nightmarish –
it isn’t people but whole worlds that perish.


Wednesday, 3 May 2017

To May

 Image may contain: plant, tree, flower, outdoor and nature

 'Season of fancy and of hope...'

This is a very long poem, but worth the reading for Wordsworth's swooning descriptions of May. 


To May - William Wordsworth
 
Though many suns have risen and set
Since thou, blithe May, wert born,
And Bards, who hailed thee, may forget
Thy gift, thy beauty scorn;
There are who to a birthday strain
Confine not harp and voice,
But evermore throughout thy reign
Are grateful and rejoice!

Delicious odor! music sweet,
Too sweet to pass away!
Oh for a deathless song to meet
The soul's desire---a lay
That, when a thousand year are told,
Should praise thee, genial Power!
Through summer heat, autumnal cold,
And winter's dreariest hour.

Earth, sea, thy presence feel - less,
If yon ethereal blue
With its soft smile the truth express,
The heavens have felt it too.
The inmost heart of man if glad
Partakes a livelier cheer;
And eye that cannot but be sad
Let fall a brightened tear.

Since thy return, through days and weeks
Of hope that grew by stealth,
How many wan and faded cheeks
Have kindled into health!
The Old, by thee revived, have said,
'Another year is ours;'
And wayworn Wanderers, poorly fed,
Have smiled upon thy flowers.

Who tripping lisps a merry song
Amid his playful peers?
The tender Infant who was long
A prisoner of fond fears;
But now, when every sharp-edged blast
Is quiet in its sheath,
His Mother leaves him free to taste
Earth's sweetness in thy breath.

Thy help is with the weed that creeps
Along the humblest ground;
No cliff so bare but on its steeps
Thy favors may be found;
But most on some peculiar nook
That our own hands have drest,
Thou and thy train are proud to look,
And seem to love it best.

And yet how pleased we wander forth
When May is whispering, 'Come!
'Choose from the bowers of virgin earth
The happiest for your home;
Heaven's bounteous love through me is spread
From sunshine, clouds, winds, waves,
Drops on the mouldering turret's head,
And on your turf-clad graves!'

Such greeting heard, away with sighs
For lilies that must fade,
Or ' the rathe primrose as it dies
Forsaken' in the shade!
Vernal fruitions and desires
Are linked in endless chase;
While, as one kindly growth retires,
Another takes its place.

And what if thou, sweet May, hast known
Mishap by worm and blight;
If expectations newly blown
Have perished in thy sight;
If loves and joys, while up they sprung,
Were caught as in a snare;
Such is the lot of all the young,
However bright and fair.

Lo! Streams that April could not check
Are patient of thy rule;
Gurgling in foamy water-break,
Loitering in glassy pool:
By thee, thee only, could be sent
Such gentle mists as glide,
Curling with unconfirmed intent,
On that green mountain's side.

How delicate the leafy veil
Through which yon house of God
Gleams 'mid the peace of this deep dale
By few but shepherds trod!
And lowly huts, near beaten ways,
No sooner stand attired
In thy fresh wreaths, than they for praise
Peep forth, and are admired.

Season of fancy and of hope,
Permit not for one hour,
A blossom from thy crown to drop,
Nor add to it a flower!
Keep, lovely May, as if by touch
Of self restraining art,
This modest charm of not too much,
Part seen, imagined part! 

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Poetry Day Ireland

Today is #PoetryDayIrl and Poetry Ireland have released  lovely pocket poems for the occasion. This is my favourite:

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

The Poem That Took the Place of a Mountain

Related image

Dedicated to all of you participating in NaPoWriMo!



The Poem that Took the Place of a Mountain - Wallace Stevens
 
There it was, word for word,
The poem that took the place of a mountain.

He breathed its oxygen,
Even when the book lay turned in the dust of his table.

It reminded him how he had needed
A place to go to in his own direction,

How he had recomposed the pines,
Shifted the rocks and picked his way among clouds,

For the outlook that would be right,
Where he would be complete in an unexplained completion:

The exact rock where his inexactnesses
Would discover, at last, the view toward which they had edged,

Where he could lie and, gazing down at the sea,
Recognize his unique and solitary home.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Happy Easter

 Image result for path in grass

I think Mary Oliver manages to capture the religious spirit of spring here perfectly.



Spring - Mary Oliver

Faith
is the instructor.
We need no other.

Guess what I am,
he says in his
incomparably lovely

young-man voice.
Because I love the world
I think of grass,

I think of leaves
and the bold sun,
I think of the rushes

in the black marches
just coming back
from under the pure white

and now finally melting
stubs of snow.
Whatever we know or don't know

leads us to say:
Teacher, what do you mean?
But faith is still there, and silent.

Then he who owns
the incomparable voice
suddenly flows upward

and out of the room
and I follow,
obedient and happy.

Of course I am thinking
the Lord was once young
and will never in fact be old.

And who else could this be, who goes off
down the green path,
carrying his sandals, and singing?

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Astonishment

 Image result for dew covered grass



Imaginary Conversation - Linda Pastan

You tell me to live each day
as if it were my last. This is in the kitchen
where before coffee I complain
of the day ahead—that obstacle race
of minutes and hours,
grocery stores and doctors.


But why the last? I ask. Why not
live each day as if it were the first—
all raw astonishment, Eve rubbing
her eyes awake that first morning,
the sun coming up
like an ingénue in the east?


You grind the coffee
with the small roar of a mind
trying to clear itself. I set
the table, glance out the window
where dew has baptized every
living surface.


Friday, 14 April 2017

Good Friday

  Related image

 

The Seven Last Words - Mark Strand

1

The story of the end, of the last word
of the end, when told, is a story that never ends.
We tell it and retell it — one word, then another
until it seems that no last word is possible,
that none would be bearable. Thus, when the hero
of the story says to himself, as to someone far away,
‘Forgive them, for they know not what they do,’
we may feel that he is pleading for us, that we are
the secret life of the story and, as long as his plea
is not answered, we shall be spared. So the story
continues. So we continue. And the end, once more,
becomes the next, and the next after that.

2
There is an island in the dark, a dreamt-of place
where the muttering wind shifts over the white lawns
and riffles the leaves of trees, the high trees
that are streaked with gold and line the walkways there;
and those already arrived are happy to be the silken
remains of something they were but cannot recall;
they move to the sound of stars, which is also imagined,
but who cares about that; the polished columns they see
may be no more than shafts of sunlight, but for those
who live on and on in the radiance of their remains
this is of little importance. There is an island
in the dark and you will be there, I promise you, you
shall be with me in paradise, in the single season of being,
in the place of forever, you shall find yourself. And there
the leaves will turn and never fall, there the wind
will sing and be your voice as if for the first time.

3

Someday some one will write a story set
in a place called The Skull, and it will tell,
among other things, of a parting between mother
and son, of how she wandered off, of how he vanished
in air. But before that happens, it will describe
how their faces shone with a feeble light and how
the son was moved to say, ‘Woman, look at your son,’
then to a friend nearby, ‘Son, look at your mother.’
At which point the writer will put down his pen
and imagine that while those words were spoken
something else happened, something unusual like
a purpose revealed, a secret exchanged, a truth
to which they, the mother and son, would be bound,
but what it was no one would know. Not even the writer.


4 These are the days when the sky is filled with
the odor of lilac, when darkness becomes desire,
when there is nothing that does not wish to be born.
These are the days of spring when the fate
of the present is a breezy fullness, when the world’s
great gift for fiction gilds even the dirt we walk on.
On such days we feel we could live forever, yet all
the while we know we cannot. This is the doubleness
in which we dwell. The great master of weather
and everything else, if he wishes, can bring forth 
a dark of a different kind, one hidden by darkness
so deep it cannot be seen. No one escapes.
Not even the man who saved others, and believed
he was the chosen son. When the dark came down
even he cried out, ‘Father, father, why have you
forsaken me?’ But to his words no answer came.

5

To be thirsty. To say, ‘I thirst.’ To be given,
instead of water, vinegar, and that to be pressed
from a sponge. To close one’s eyes and see the giant
world that is born each time the eyes are closed.
To see one’s death. To see the darkening clouds
as the tragic cloth of a day of mourning. To be the one
mourned. To open the dictionary of the Beyond and discover
what one suspected, that the only word in it
is nothing. To try to open one’s eyes, but not to be
able to. To feel the mouth burn. To feel the sudden
presence of what, again and again, was not said.
To translate it and have it remain unsaid. To know
at last that nothing is more real than nothing.

6

‘It is finished,’ he said. You could hear him say it,
the words almost a whisper, then not even that,
but an echo so faint it seemed no longer to come
from him, but from elsewhere. This was his moment,
his final moment. “It is finished,” he said into a vastness
that led to an even greater vastness, and yet all of it
within him. He contained it all. That was the miracle,
to be both large and small in the same instant, to be
like us, but more so, then finally to give up the ghost,
which is what happened. And from the storm that swirled
a formal nakedness took shape, the truth of disguise
and the mask of belief were joined forever.

7

Back down these stairs to the same scene,
to the moon, the stars, the night wind. Hours pass
and only the harp off in the distance and the wind
moving through it. And soon the sun’s gray disk,
darkened by clouds, sailing above. And beyond,
as always, the sea of endless transparence, of utmost
calm, a place of constant beginning that has within it
what no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, what no hand
has touched, what has not arisen in the human heart.
To that place, to the keeper of that place, I commit myself.