Sunday, 20 May 2018

Epitaph

 Image result for white rose

 for Paul x May 20/2015


Epitaph on a Friend - Edward Burns

An honest man here lies at rest,
The friend of man, the friend of truth,
The friend of age, the guide of youth;
Few hearts like his, with virtue warm’d,
Few heads with knowledge so inform’d;
If there’s another world, he lives in bliss;
If there is none, he made the best of this.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Let Go

 Related image
 
 
o by the by - ee cummings
 
o by the by
has anybody seen
little you-i
who stood on a green
hill and threw
his wish at blue

with a swoop and a dart
out flew his wish
(it dived like a fish
but it climbed like a dream)
throbbing like a heart
singing like a flame

blue took it my
far beyond far
and high beyond high
bluer took it your
but bluest took it our
away beyond where

what wonderful thing
is the end of a string
(murmers little you-i
as the hill becomes nil)
and will somebody tell
me why people let go

 

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

For the Sake of Strangers

 Image result for strangers passing
 'All day it continues, each kindness
reaching toward another..'


For The Sake Of Strangers - Dorianne Laux

No matter what the grief, its weight,
we are obliged to carry it.
We rise and gather momentum, the dull strength
that pushes us through crowds.
And then the young boy gives me directions
so avidly. A woman holds the glass door open,
waits patiently for my empty body to pass through.
All day it continues, each kindness
reaching toward another – a stranger
singing to no one as I pass on the path, trees
offering their blossoms, a retarded child
who lifts his almond eyes and smiles.
Somehow they always find me, seem even
to be waiting, determined to keep me
from myself, from the thing that calls to me
as it must have once called to them –
this temptation to step off the edge
and fall weightless, away from the world.

Monday, 14 May 2018

May

Image result for Blossom time  suddenly everything  ablaze with light - matsuo


The perfect description of this month.  
 


Haiku - Matsuo Basho

Blossom time
suddenly everything
ablaze with light

Friday, 6 April 2018

Unable Are the Loved to Die

Image result for forget me nots ]

For Paul x



809 - Emily Dickinson

Unable are the Loved to die
For Love is Immortality,
Nay, it is Deity—

Unable they that love—to die
For Love reforms Vitality
Into Divinity.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

April Song

 Image result for despite the weather live like its spring


April - Sara Teasdale

The roofs are shining from the rain.
The sparrows tritter as they fly,
And with a windy April grace
The little clouds go by.

Yet the back-yards are bare and brown
With only one unchanging tree–
I could not be so sure of Spring
Save that it sings in me.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

April

 Related image


April - Mary Oliver

I wanted to speak at length about
the happiness of my body and the
delight of my mind for it was
April, a night, a
full moon and-

but something in myself or maybe
from somewhere other said: not too
many words, please, in the
muddy shallows the

frogs are singing.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

It's April, it's Spring!


Image result for april flowers

Hello April, hello Spring!

 
when faces called flowers - ee cummings

when faces called flowers float out of the ground
and breathing is wishing and wishing is having-
but keeping is downward and doubting and never
-it's april(yes,april;my darling)it's spring!
yes the pretty birds frolic as spry as can fly
yes the little fish gambol as glad as can be
(yes the mountains are dancing together)


when every leaf opens without any sound
and wishing is having and having is giving-
but keeping is doting and nothing and nonsense
-alive;we're alive,dear:it's(kiss me now)spring!
now the pretty birds hover so she and so he
now the little fish quiver so you and so i
now the mountains are dancing, the mountains)


when more than was lost has been found has been found
and having is giving and giving is living-
but keeping is darkness and winter and cringing
-it's spring(all our night becomes day)o,it's spring!
all the pretty birds dive to the heart of the sky
all the little fish climb through the mind of the sea
all the mountains are dancing;are dancing)

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Spring Equinox

Related image

The right poem will always find you at the right time.
There is always a turning point.
There is always light. There is always love.

Happy Spring Equinox.


March 20 - Ted Kooser

How important it must be
to someone
that  I am alive, and walking,
and that I have written
these poems.
This morning the sun stood
right at the end of the road
and waited for me.


Monday, 5 March 2018

March Mindset

 
 

March 1912 - Natasha Trethewey                             

–Postcard, en route westward

At last we are near
breaking the season, shedding
our coats, the gray husk

of winter.  Each tree
trembles with new leaves, tiny
blossoms, the flashy

dress of spring. I am
aware now of its coming
as I’ve never been—

the wet grass throbbing
with crickets, insistent, keen
as desire.  Now,

I feel what trees must—
budding, green sheaths splitting—skin
that no longer fits.

       

Friday, 2 March 2018

Spring Moon

 Image result for moon with blossoms

Indeed.


The Spring Moon -
How many miles away
Those orange blossoms!

                                      -Jack Kerouac

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

The Weight of Sweetness

 Image result for peaches


The Weight of Sweetness - Li-Young Lee 

No easy thing to bear, the weight of sweetness.

Song, wisdom, sadness, joy: sweetness
equals three of any of these gravities.

See a peach bend
the branch and strain the stem until
it snaps.
Hold the peach, try the weight, sweetness
and death so round and snug
in your palm.
And, so, there is
the weight of memory:

Windblown, a rain-soaked
bough shakes, showering
the man and the boy.
They shiver in delight,
and the father lifts from his son’s cheek
one green leaf
fallen like a kiss.

The good boy hugs a bag of peaches
his father has entrusted
to him.
Now he follows
his father, who carries a bagful in each arm.
See the look on the boy’s face
as his father moves
faster and farther ahead, while his own steps
flag, and his arms grow weak, as he labors
under the weight
of peaches.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Turning

 Image result for black shepherd dog

Turning - WS Mervin

Going too fast for myself I missed 
more than I think I can remember

almost everything it seems sometimes 
and yet there are chances that come back

that I did not notice when they stood
where I could have reached out and touched them

this morning the black shepherd dog
still young looking up and saying

Are you ready this time
 

Monday, 26 February 2018

Beginning

 Image may contain: sky, outdoor and nature
 
 
Beginning - James Wright
 
The moon drops one or two feathers into the field.   
The dark wheat listens.
Be still.
Now.
There they are, the moon's young, trying
Their wings.
Between trees, a slender woman lifts up the lovely shadow
Of her face, and now she steps into the air, now she is gone
Wholly, into the air.
I stand alone by an elder tree, I do not dare breathe
Or move.
I listen.
The wheat leans back toward its own darkness,
And I lean toward mine.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Moon Memories

Image result for singing at the moon


I Sang - Carl Sandburg

I sang to you and the moon
But only the moon remembers.
I sang
O reckless free-hearted
free-throated rhythms,
Even the moon remembers them
And is kind to me.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Wait

 Image result for buds on a tree


Wait - Galway  Kinnell

Wait, for now.
Distrust everything if you have to.
But trust the hours. Haven’t they
carried you everywhere, up to now?
Personal events will become interesting again.
Hair will become interesting.
Pain will become interesting.
Buds that open out of season will become interesting.
Second-hand gloves will become lovely again;
their memories are what give them
the need for other hands. The desolation
of lovers is the same: that enormous emptiness
carved out of such tiny beings as we are
asks to be filled; the need
for the new love is faithfulness to the old.

Wait.
Don’t go too early.
You’re tired. But everyone’s tired.
But no one is tired enough.
Only wait a little and listen:
music of hair,
music of pain,
music of looms weaving our loves again.
Be there to hear it, it will be the only time,
most of all to hear your whole existence,
rehearsed by the sorrows, play itself into total exhaustion.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Truthseeker

 Image result for compass


seeker of truth - ee cummings

seeker of truth

follow no path
all paths lead where

truth is here

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Happiness

 Related image


Happiness - Naomi Shihab Nye

It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness.
With sadness there is something to rub against,
a wound to tend with lotion and cloth.
When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up,
something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs or change.

But happiness floats.
It doesn’t need you to hold it down.
It doesn’t need anything.
Happiness lands on the roof of the next house, singing,
and disappears when it wants to.
You are happy either way.
Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house
and now live over a quarry of noise and dust
cannot make you unhappy.
Everything has a life of its own,
it too could wake up filled with possibilities
of coffee cake and ripe peaches,
and love even the floor which needs to be swept,
the soiled linens and scratched records . . .

Since there is no place large enough
to contain so much happiness,
you shrug, you raise your hands, and it flows out of you
into everything you touch. You are not responsible.
You take no credit, as the night sky takes no credit
for the moon, but continues to hold it, and share it,
and in that way, be known.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Bliss

Related image
Indeed :)
 

Bliss - May Sarton

In the middle of the night,
My bedroom washed in moonlight
And outside
The faint hush-hushing
Of an ebbing tide,
I see Venus
Close to
The waning moon.
I hear the bubbling hoot
Of a playful owl.
Pierrot's purrs
Ripple under my hand,
And all this is bathed
In the scent of roses
By my bed
Where there are always
Books and flowers.

In the middle of the night
The bliss of being alive!

Friday, 19 January 2018

Winter Landscape with Rooks

Image result for winter landscape with rooks
 '...what solace
can be struck from rock to make heart's waste
grow green again?'


Winter Landscape, with Rooks - Sylvia Path

Water in the millrace, through a sluice of stone,
plunges headlong into that black pond
where, absurd and out-of-season, a single swan
floats chaste as snow, taunting the clouded mind
which hungers to haul the white reflection down.

The austere sun descends above the fen,
an orange cyclops-eye, scorning to look
longer on this landscape of chagrin;
feathered dark in thought, I stalk like a rook,
brooding as the winter night comes on.

Last summer's reeds are all engraved in ice
as is your image in my eye; dry frost
glazes the window of my hurt; what solace
can be struck from rock to make heart's waste
grow green again? Who'd walk in this bleak place?

Thursday, 18 January 2018

A Black Birch in Winter

Image result for black birch tree in winter



A Black Birch in Winter - Richard Wilbur

You might not know this old tree by its bark,
Which once was striate, smooth, and glossy-dark,
So deep now are the rifts that separate
Its roughened surface into flake and plate.

Fancy might less remind you of a birch
Than of mosaic columns in a church
Like Ara Coeli or the Lateran
Or the trenched features of an agèd man.

Still, do not be too much persuaded by
These knotty furrows and these tesserae
To think of patterns made from outside in
Or finished wisdom in a shriveled skin.

Old trees are doomed to annual rebirth,
New wood, new life, new compass, greater girth,
And this is all their wisdom and their art—
To grow, stretch, crack, and not yet come apart.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Lonely

Image result for jet trail over arctic


Song - Adrienne Rich

You’re wondering if I’m lonely:
OK then, yes, I’m lonely
as a plane rides lonely and level
on its radio beam, aiming
across the Rockies
for the blue-strung aisles
of an airfield on the ocean.

You want to ask, am I lonely?
Well, of course, lonely
as a woman driving across country
day after day, leaving behind
mile after mile
little towns she might have stopped
and lived and died in, lonely.

If I’m lonely
it must be the loneliness
of waking first, of breathing
dawn's first cold breath on the city
of being the one awake
in a house wrapped in sleep.

If I’m lonely
it’s with the rowboat ice-fast on the shore
in the last red light of the year
that knows what it is, that knows it’s neither
ice nor mud nor winter light
but wood, with a gift for burning.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Hailstorm

 Image result for hailstone shower

 'A maelstrom
of ferocious little
fists and punches...'

Hailstones always elicit a simultaneous arghh/awed reaction from me. Perfectly described here by Kay Ryan.

Hailstorm - Kay Ryan

Like a storm
of hornets, the
little white planets
layer and relayer
as they whip around
in their high orbits,
getting more and
more dense before
they crash against
our crust. A maelstrom
of ferocious little
fists and punches,
so hard to believe
once it’s past.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

The Year

 Related image

 The landscape of a year gone, and a new one in front of us. 

 

The Year - Carl Sandburg

I

A storm of white petals,
Buds throwing open baby fists
Into hands of broad flowers.

II

Red roses running upward,
Clambering to the clutches of life
Soaked in crimson.

III

Rabbles of tattered leaves
Holding golden flimsy hopes
Against the tramplings
Into the pits and gullies.

IV

Hoarfrost and silence:
Only the muffling
Of winds dark and lonesome—
Great lullabies to the long sleepers.

Monday, 1 January 2018

New Day

Image result for new beginning


from New Every Morning - Susan Coolidge

Every day is a fresh beginning;
    Listen my soul to the glad refrain,
And, spite of old sorrow and older sinning,
    And puzzles forecasted and possible pain,
    Take heart with the day, and begin again.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

A Toast

Image result for new year toast

Wishing all my readers a very Happy New Year!



A Toast! - Lang Leav

To new beginnings
             in fear and faith
             and all it tinges.

To love is a dare,
             when hope and despair
             are gates upon its hinges. 


Thursday, 28 December 2017

Song of Three Smiles

Related image
 
Song of Three Smiles - WS Mervin
 
Let me call a ghost,
Love, so it be little:
In December we took
No thought for the weather.

Whom now shall I thank
For this wealth of water?
Your heart loves harbors
Where I am a stranger.

Where was it we lay
Needing no other
Twelve days and twelve nights
In each other’s eyes?

Or was it at Babel
And the days too small
We spoke our own tongue
Needing no other?

If a seed grow green
Set a stone upon it
That it learn thereby
Holy charity.

If you must smile
Always on that other,
Cut me from ear to ear
And we all smile together.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Christmas Snow


 Related image

Heart highs reading this. (Snow-swoon!)


Snow - Gillian Clarke


The dreamed Christmas,
flakes shaken out of silences so far
and starry we can’t sleep for listening
for papery rustles out there in the night
and wake to find our ceiling glimmering,
the day a psaltery of light.

So we’re out over the snow fields
before it’s all seen off with a salt-lick
of Atlantic air, then home at dusk, snow-blind
from following chains of fox and crow and hare,
to a fire, a roasting bird, a ringing phone,
and voices wondering where we are.

A day foretold by images
of glassy pond, peasant and snowy roof
over the holy child iconed in gold.
Or women shawled against the goosedown air
pleading with soldiers at a shifting frontier
in the snows of television,

while in the secret dark a fresh snow falls
filling our tracks with stars.

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

On the 13th Day of Christmas...

Image result for 12 days of christmas

We wouldn't really thank our true love for bombarding us with this array of shenanigans now would we!

On the Thirteenth Day of Christmas My True Love Phoned Me Up... - Dave Calder 

Well, I suppose I should be grateful, you’ve obviously gone
to a lot of trouble and expense – or maybe off your head.
Yes, I did like the birds – the small ones anyway were fun
if rather messy, but now the hens have roosted on my bed
and the rest are nested on the wardrobe. It’s hard to sleep
with all that cooing, let alone the cackling of the geese
whose eggs are everywhere, but mostly in a broken smelly heap
on the sofa. No, why should I mind? I can’t get any peace
anywhere – the lounge is full of drummers thumping tom-toms
and sprawling lords crashed out from manic leaping. The
kitchen is crammed with cows and milkmaids and smells of a million stink-bombs
and enough sour milk to last a year. The pipers? I’d forgotten them –
they were no trouble, I paid them and they went. But I can’t get rid
of these young ladies. They won’t stop dancing or turn the music down
and they’re always in the bathroom, squealing as they skid
across the flooded floor. No, I don’t need a plumber round,
it’s just the swans – where else can they swim? Poor things,
I think they’re going mad, like me. When I went to wash my
hands one ate the soap, another swallowed the gold rings.
And the pear tree died. Too dry. So thanks for nothing,
   love. Goodbye.


Monday, 25 December 2017

The Universal Hymn of Love

 
                                                       Related image


Christmas Morning - Eugene Field

The angel host that sped last night,
Bearing the wondrous news afar,
Came in their ever-glorious flight
Unto a slumbering little star.

'Awake and sing, O star!' they cried.
'Awake and glorify the morn!
Herald the tidings far and wide--
He that shall lead His flock is born!'

The little star awoke and sung
As only stars in rapture may,
And presently where church bells hung
The joyous tidings found their way.

'Awake, O bells! 't is Christmas morn--
Awake and let thy music tell
To all mankind that now is born
What Shepherd loves His lambkins well!'

Then rang the bells as fled the night
O'er dreaming land and drowsing deep,
And coming with the morning light,
They called, my child, to you asleep.

Sweetly and tenderly they spoke,
And lingering round your little bed,
Their music pleaded till you woke,
And this is what their music said:

'Awake and sing! 'tis Christmas morn,
Whereon all earth salutes her King!
In Bethlehem is the Shepherd born.
Awake, O little lamb, and sing!'

So, dear my child, kneel at my feet,
And with those voices from above
Share thou this holy time with me,
The universal hymn of love.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Christmas Eve

 Image result for nativity
 

Nativity - Louise Gluck

It is the evening
of the birth of God.
Singing &
with gold instruments
the angels bear down
upon the barn, their wings
neither white
wax nor marble. So
they have been recorded:
burnished,
literal in the composed air,
they raise their harps above
the beasts likewise gathering,
the lambs & all the startled
silken chickens ... And Joseph,
off to one side, has touched
his cheek, meaning
he is weeping ---

But how small he is, withdrawn
from the hollow of his mother's life,
the raw flesh bound
in linen as stars yield
light to delight his sense
for who there is no ornament.
 

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Lines for a Christmas Card

Image result for christmas card

Short, but definitely not sweet. Ho ho ho!



Lines for a Christmas Card - Hilaire Belloc

May all my enemies go to hell,
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Winter Stars


 

Winter Stars - Sara Teasdale

I went out at night alone;
 The young blood flowing beyond the sea
Seemed to have drenched my spirit’s wings—
 I bore my sorrow heavily.

But when I lifted up my head
 From shadows shaken on the snow,
I saw Orion in the east
 Burn steadily as long ago.

From windows in my father’s house,
 Dreaming my dreams on winter nights,
I watched Orion as a girl
 Above another city’s lights.

Years go, dreams go, and youth goes too,
 The world’s heart breaks beneath its wars,
All things are changed, save in the east
 The faithful beauty of the stars.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Winter Solstice

The brighter you shine, the more others will respond to your Light. You needn't market or tell others how enlightened you are or how many you help etc.. You don't have to convince anyone. All you have to do is shine ~Kara via soulsticerising.com

Ironic isn't it, that in this winter season, our celebration focuses on light.


'Wring Out My Clothes' - Fraincis of Assisi

Such love does
the sky now pour,
that whenever I stand in a field,

I have to wring out the light
when I get
home.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Holly

Image result for holly


Holly - Seamus Heaney

It rained when it should have snowed.
When we went to gather holly

the ditches were swimming, we were wet
to the knees, our hands were all jags

and water ran up our sleeves.
There should have been berries

but the sprigs we brought into the house
gleamed like smashed bottle-glass.

Now here I am, in a room that is decked
with the red-berried, waxy-leafed stuff,

and I almost forgot what it's like
to be wet to the skin or longing for snow.

I reach for a book like a doubter
and want it to flare round my hand,

a black letter bush, a glittering shield-wall,
cutting as holly and ice.



Monday, 11 December 2017

Snow Fall

Image result for snow fall
'There is nothing to do
But drift now, more or less
On some great lovingness...'
 
Snow Fall - May Sarton

With no wind blowing
It sifts gently down,
Enclosing my world in
A cool white down,
A tenderness of snowing.

It falls and falls like sleep
Till wakeful eyes can close
On all the waste and loss
As peace comes in and flows,
Snow-dreaming what I keep.

Silence assumes the air
And the five senses all
Are wafted on the fall
To somewhere magical
Beyond hope and despair.

There is nothing to do
But drift now, more or less
On some great lovingness,
On something that does bless,
The silent, tender snow.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Rest




Untitled - Jeffrey Yang

west of rest is sleep
east, dream
where waters meet
north, emptiness,
south, wakefulness,
and out, rising up
to the stars, peace.


Friday, 10 November 2017

Losses

 Image result for castaway

Losses - Kay Ryan

Most losses add something—
a new socket or silence,
a gap in a personal
archipelago of islands.

We have that difference
to visit—itself
a going-on of sorts.

But there are other losses
so far beyond report
that they leave holes
in holes only

like the ends of the
long and lonely lives
of castaways
thought dead but not.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

The Region November

 Image result for november night

 'Deeplier, deeplier, loudlier, loudlier,
The trees are swaying, swaying, swaying...'


The Region November - Wallace Stevens

It is hard to hear the north wind again,
And to watch the treetops, as they sway.

They sway, deeply and loudly, in an effort,
So much less than feeling, so much less than speech,

Saying and saying, the way things say
On the level of that which is not yet knowledge:

A revelation not yet intended.
It is like a critic of God, the world

And human nature, pensively seated
On the waste throne of his own wilderness.

Deeplier, deeplier, loudlier, loudlier,
The trees are swaying, swaying, swaying.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Language of Love

Image result for pink window flowers


Permanently - Kenneth Koch

One day the Nouns were clustered in the street.
An adjective walked by, with her dark beauty.
The Nouns were struck, moved, changed.
The next day a Verb drove up, and created the Sentence.

Each Sentence says one thing - for example,

"Although it was a dark rainy day when the Adjective walked by,
I shall remember the pure and sweet expression on her face
until the day I perish from the green, effective earth."

Or, "Will you please close the window, Andrew?"

Or, for example, "Thank you, the pink pot of flowers on
the window sill has changed color recently to a light
yellow, due to the heat from the boiler factory which
exists nearby."

In the springtime the Sentences and the Nouns lay silently on the grass.
A lonely Conjunction here and there would call, "And! But!"
But the Adjective did not emerge.

As the adjective is lost in the sentence,
So I am lost in your eyes, ears, nose, and throat -
You have enchanted me with a single kiss
Which can never be undone
Until the destruction of language.


Sunday, 5 November 2017

Night Life

 Image result for porch at night


The Night, The Porch - Mark Strand

To stare at nothing is to learn by heart
What all of us will be swept into, and baring oneself
To the wind is feeling the ungraspable somewhere close by.
Trees can sway or be still. Day or night can be what they wish.
What we desire, more than a season or weather, is the comfort
Of being strangers, at least to ourselves. This is the crux
Of the matter, which is why even now we seem to be waiting
For something whose appearance would be its vanishing—
The sound, say, of a few leaves falling, or just one leaf,
Or less. There is no end to what we can learn. The book out there
Tells us as much, and was never written with us in mind.
 

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Full Moon Self

Related image
  
'There's no material as variable as moonlight...'

There's a lovely full moon out tonight. Make or do with it what you will.
 
Full Moon - Alice Oswald 

Good God!
What did I dream last night?
I dreamt I was the moon.
I woke and found myself still asleep.

It was like this: my face misted up from inside
And I came and went at will through a little peephole.
I had no voice, no mouth, nothing to express my trouble,
except my shadows leaning downhill, not quite parallel.

Something needs to be said to describe my moonlight.
Almost frost but softer, almost ash but wholer.
Made almost of water, which has strictly speaking
No feature, but a kind of counter-light, call it insight.

Like in woods, when they jostle their hooded shapes,
Their heads congealed together, having murdered each other,
There are moon-beings, sound-beings, such as deer and half-deer
Passing through there, whose eyes can pierce through things.

I was like that: visible invisible visible invisible.
There's no material as variable as moonlight.
I was climbing, clinging to the underneath of my bones, thinking:
Good God! Who have I been last night?

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Riddle

Image result for graveyard with trees in sunlight


Richard Wilbur - Riddle

Where far in forest I am laid,
In a place ringed around by stones,
Look for no melancholy shade,
And have no thoughts of buried bones;
For I am bodiless and bright,
And fill this glade with sudden glow;
The leaves are washed in under-light;
Shade lies upon the boughs like snow.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Samhain

Image result for halloween samhain

Samhain - Annie Finch
 

(The Celtic Halloween)
 
In the season leaves should love,
since it gives them leave to move
through the wind, towards the ground
they were watching while they hung,
legend says there is a seam
stitching darkness like a name.

Now when dying grasses veil
earth from the sky in one last pale
wave, as autumn dies to bring
winter back, and then the spring,
we who die ourselves can peel
back another kind of veil

that hangs among us like thick smoke.
Tonight at last I feel it shake.
I feel the nights stretching away
thousands long behind the days
till they reach the darkness where
all of me is ancestor.

I move my hand and feel a touch
move with me, and when I brush
my own mind across another,
I am with my mother's mother.
Sure as footsteps in my waiting
self, I find her, and she brings

arms that carry answers for me,
intimate, a waiting bounty.
"Carry me." She leaves this trail
through a shudder of the veil,
and leaves, like amber where she stays,
a gift for her perpetual gaze.


Monday, 30 October 2017

Halloween Mask

Image result for halloween scream mask

The scariest thing of all? Not demons, but human nature.

 
Empire of Dreams  - Charles Simic 
On the first page of my dreambook
It’s always evening
In an occupied country.   
Hour before the curfew.   
A small provincial city.   
The houses all dark.
The storefronts gutted.

I am on a street corner   
Where I shouldn’t be.   
Alone and coatless
I have gone out to look
For a black dog who answers to my whistle.   
I have a kind of Halloween mask
Which I am afraid to put on.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

The Haunted Chamber

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'Each heart has its haunted chamber...'

Perhaps the most haunting thing of all - the ghosts we keep in our own hearts.


The Haunted Chamber - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Each heart has its haunted chamber,
  Where the silent moonlight falls!
On the floor are mysterious footsteps,
  There are whispers along the walls!

And mine at times is haunted
  By phantoms of the Past
As motionless as shadows
  By the silent moonlight cast.

A form sits by the window,
  That is not seen by day,
For as soon as the dawn approaches
  It vanishes away.

It sits there in the moonlight
  Itself as pale and still,
And points with its airy finger
  Across the window-sill.

Without before the window,
  There stands a gloomy pine,
Whose boughs wave upward and downward
  As wave these thoughts of mine.

And underneath its branches
  Is the grave of a little child,
Who died upon life's threshold,
  And never wept nor smiled.

What are ye, O pallid phantoms!
  That haunt my troubled brain?
That vanish when day approaches,
  And at night return again?

What are ye, O pallid phantoms!
  But the statues without breath,
That stand on the bridge overarching
  The silent river of death?

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Bluebeard

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A short and sharp take on the Bluebeard story by Sylvia Plath. 


Bluebeard - Sylvia Plath

I am sending back the key
that let me into bluebeard’s study;
because he would make love to me
I am sending back the key;
in his eye’s darkroom I can see
my X-rayed heart, dissected body:
I am sending back the key
that let me into bluebeard’s study.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Incantation

 Image result for autumn leaves and moon
 
It's almost Halloween... when the 'witchery' of autumn is in plain sight. 

from Incantation - George Parsons Lathrop
When the leaves, by thousands thinned,
A thousand times have whirled in the wind,
And the moon, with hollow cheek,
Staring from her hollow height,
Consolation seems to seek
From the dim, reechoing night;
And the fog-streaks dead and white
Lie like ghosts of lost delight
O’er highest earth and lowest sky;
Then, Autumn, work thy witchery!

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

After the Storm

Image result for stars


May Perpetual Light Shine - Patricia Spears Jones

We have encountered storms 
Perfect in their drench and wreck
 
Each of us bears an ornament of grief
A ring, a notebook, a ticket torn, scar
It is how humans know their kind—
 
What is known as love, what can become  
the heart’s food stored away for some future
Famine
 
Love remains a jewel in the hand, guarded
Shared fragments of earth & air   drift & despair.
 
We ponder what patterns matter other than moons and tides:
musical beats—rumba or waltz or cha cha cha
cosmic waves like batons furiously twirling
colors proclaiming sparkle of darkness
as those we love begin to delight
in the stars embracing
 

Monday, 16 October 2017

Storm Warnings

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We are currently in the middle of a hurricane in Ireland. (Ireland!)

Stormy weather always makes me think of this poem.

Storm Warnings - Adrienne Rich


The glass has been falling all the afternoon,
And knowing better than the instrument
What winds are walking overhead, what zone
Of grey unrest is moving across the land,
I leave the book upon a pillowed chair
And walk from window to closed window, watching
Boughs strain against the sky

And think again, as often when the air
Moves inward toward a silent core of waiting,
How with a single purpose time has traveled
By secret currents of the undiscerned
Into this polar realm. Weather abroad
And weather in the heart alike come on
Regardless of prediction.

Between foreseeing and averting change
Lies all the mastery of elements
Which clocks and weatherglasses cannot alter.
Time in the hand is not control of time,
Nor shattered fragments of an instrument
A proof against the wind; the wind will rise,
We can only close the shutters.

I draw the curtains as the sky goes black
And set a match to candles sheathed in glass
Against the keyhole draught, the insistent whine
Of weather through the unsealed aperture.
This is our sole defense against the season;
These are the things we have learned to do
Who live in troubled regions.