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.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Night


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It Is Difficult to Speak of the Night  - Jack Gilbert

It is difficult to speak of the night.

It is the other time. Not
an absence of day.
But where there are no flowers
to turn away into.
There is only this dark
and the familiar place of my body.
And the voices calling out
of me for love.
This is not the night of the young:
their simple midnight of fear.
Nor the later place to employ.
This dark is a major nation.
I turn to it at forty
and find the night in flood.
Find the dark deployed in process.
Clotted in parts, in parts
flowing with lights.
The voices still keen of the divorce
we are born into.
But they are farther off,
and do not interest me.
I am forty, and it is different.
Suddenly in mid passage
I come into myself. I leaf
gigantically. An empire yields
unexpectedly: cities, summer forests,
satrapies, horses.
A solitude: an enormity.
Thank god.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Grief

Image result for small boat on the ocean

For the week that's in it. 


Grief - Raymond Carver

Woke up early this morning and from my bed
looked far across the Strait to see
a small boat moving through the choppy water,
a single running light on. Remembered
my friend who used to shout
his dead wife’s name from hilltops
around Perugia. Who set a plate
for her at his simple table long after
she was gone. And opened the windows
so she could have fresh air. Such display
I found embarrassing. So did his other
friends. I couldn’t see it.
Not until this morning.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

October, Daphne's Month

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'Autumn Goddess' by Moon Dreamer

Posted this one before, but it's so beautiful it merits a reposting. 


October

How suddenly
the woods
have turned
again. I feel

like Daphne, standing
with my arms
outstretched
to the season,

overtaken
by color, crowned
with the hammered gold
of leaves.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Letter in October

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A Letter in October - Ted Kooser

Dawn comes later and later now, 
and I, who only a month ago 
could sit with coffee every morning 
watching the light walk down the hill 
to the edge of the pond and place 
a doe there, shyly drinking, 

then see the light step out upon 
the water, sowing reflections 
to either side—a garden 
of trees that grew as if by magic— 
now see no more than my face, 
mirrored by darkness, pale and odd, 

startled by time. While I slept, 
night in its thick winter jacket 
bridled the doe with a twist 
of wet leaves and led her away, 
then brought its black horse with harness 
that creaked like a cricket, and turned 

the water garden under. I woke, 
and at the waiting window found 
the curtains open to my open face; 
beyond me, darkness. And I, 
who only wished to keep looking out, 
must now keep looking in. 

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Into October


Image result for october

'the colors of returning...'


Into October - WS Mervin

These must be the colors of returning
the leaves darkened now but staying on
into the bronzed morning among the seed heads
and the dry stems and the umbers of October
the secret season that appears on its own
a recognition without a sound
long after the day when I stood in its light
out on the parched barrens beside a spring
all but hidden in a tangle of eglantine
and picked the bright berries made of that summer

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Blackberry Eating

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Blackberry Eating - Galway Kinnell

I love to go out in late September
among the fat, overripe, icy, black blackberries
to eat blackberries for breakfast,
the stalks very prickly, a penalty
they earn for knowing the black art
of blackberry-making; and as I stand among them
lifting the stalks to my mouth, the ripest berries
fall almost unbidden to my tongue,
as words sometimes do, certain peculiar words
like strengths or squinched,
many-lettered, one-syllabled lumps,
which I squeeze, squinch open, and splurge well
in the silent, startled, icy, black language
of blackberry-eating in late September.



Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Autumn Poem

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Autumn Poems - Nikki Giovanni

the heat
you left with me
last night
still smolders
the wind catches
your scent
and refreshes
my senses

i am a leaf
falling from your tree
upon which I
was impaled

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

How To Be Old

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How To Be Old - May Swenson 

It is easy to be young, (Everybody is,
at first.) It is not easy
to be old. It takes time.
Youth is given; age is achieved.
One must work a magic to mix with time
in order to become old.

Youth is given. One must put it away
like a doll in a closet,
take it out and play with it only 
on holidays. One must have many dresses
and dress the doll impeccably
(but not to show the doll, to keep it hidden.)

It is necessary to adore the doll,
to remember it in the dark on the ordinary
days, and every day congratulate
one's aging face in the mirror.

In time one will be very old.
In time, one's life will be accomplished.
And in time, in time, the doll–
like new, though ancient–will be found.


Monday, 25 September 2017

The Midnight Club


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The Midnight Club - Mark Strand

The gifted have told us for years that they want to be loved
For what they are, that they, in whatever fullness is theirs,
Are perishable in twilight, just like us. So they work all night
In rooms that are cold and webbed with the moon’s light;
Sometimes, during the day, they lean on their cars,
And stare into the blistering valley, glassy and golden,
But mainly they sit, hunched in the dark, feet on the floor,
Hands on the table, shirts with a bloodstain over the heart.


Friday, 22 September 2017

Autumn Equinox

Image result for autumn leaf with heart

I love the idea of 'stillness' in this poem. Isn't the equinox  a time of stillness before the change in seasons? A moment of pause, surrender, reflection. 


Autumn Refrain - Wallace Stevens

The skreak and skritter of evening gone
And grackles gone and sorrows of the sun,
The sorrows of the sun, too, gone . . . the moon and moon,
The yellow moon of words about the nightingale
In measureless measures, not a bird for me
But the name of a bird and the name of a nameless air
I have never--shall never hear. And yet beneath
The stillness that comes to me out of this, beneath
The stillness of everything gone, and being still
Being and sitting still, something resides,
Some skreaking and skrittering residuum,
And grates these evasions of the nightingale
Though I have never--shall never hear that bird.
And the stillness is in the key, all of it is,
The stillness is all in the key of that desolate sound.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

The Beautiful Changes

Image result for blue lucernes

The season of beautiful changes: autumn.


The Beautiful Changes - Richard Wilbur

One wading a Fall meadow finds on all sides   
The Queen Anne’s Lace lying like lilies 
On water; it glides 
So from the walker, it turns 
Dry grass to a lake, as the slightest shade of you   
Valleys my mind in fabulous blue Lucernes. 

The beautiful changes as a forest is changed   
By a chameleon’s tuning his skin to it;   
As a mantis, arranged 
On a green leaf, grows 
Into it, makes the leaf leafier, and proves   
Any greenness is deeper than anyone knows. 

Your hands hold roses always in a way that says   
They are not only yours; the beautiful changes   
In such kind ways,   
Wishing ever to sunder 
Things and things’ selves for a second finding, to lose   
For a moment all that it touches back to wonder.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Autumn Note



My default autumn feeling.



Autumn Note - Langston Hughes

The little flowers of yesterday
Have all forgotten May.
The last gold leaf
Has turned to brown.
The last bright day is grey.
The cold of winter comes apace
And you have gone away.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Autumn Love Song

Image result for autumn leaves

cruelly, love - ee cummings

cruelly, love
walk the autumn long;
the last flower in whose hair,
they lips are cold with songs

for which is
first to wither, to pass?
shallowness of sunlight
falls, and cruelly,
across the grass
Comes the
moon

love, walk the
autumn
love, for the last
flower in the hair withers;
thy hair is acold with
dreams,
love thou art frail

-walk the longness of autumn
smile dustily to the people,
for winter
who crookedly care.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Frog Autumn

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Frog Autumn - Sylvia Plath 

Summer grows old, cold-blooded mother. 
The insects are scant, skinny. 
In these palustral homes we only 
Croak and wither. 

Mornings dissipate in somnolence. 
The sun brightens tardily 
Among the pithless reeds. Flies fail us. 
The fen sickens. 

Frost drops even the spider. Clearly 
The genius of plenitude 
Houses himself elsewhere. Our folk thin 
Lamentably. 

Thursday, 14 September 2017

The Light of September

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I may have posted this poem before, but it's so beautiful, I'll post again. 

To The Light of September - WS Mervin

When you are already here 
you appear to be only 
a name that tells of you 
whether you are present or not 

and for now it seems as though 
you are still summer 
still the high familiar 
endless summer 
yet with a glint 
of bronze in the chill mornings 
and the late yellow petals 
of the mullein fluttering 
on the stalks that lean 
over their broken 
shadows across the cracked ground 

but they all know 
that you have come 
the seed heads of the sage 
the whispering birds 
with nowhere to hide you 
to keep you for later 

you 
who fly with them 

you who are neither 
before nor after 
you who arrive 
with blue plums 
that have fallen through the night 

perfect in the dew

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Rainy Night

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One good thing about the rain - poetry.


Last Night the Rain Spoke To Me - Mary Oliver

Last night
the rain
spoke to me
slowly, saying,

what joy
to come falling
out of the brisk cloud,
to be happy again

in a new way
on the earth!
That’s what it said
as it dropped,

smelling of iron,
and vanished
like a dream of the ocean
into the branches

and the grass below.
Then it was over.
The sky cleared.
I was standing

under a tree.
The tree was a tree
with happy leaves,
and I was myself,

and there were stars in the sky
that were also themselves
at the moment,
at which moment

my right hand
was holding my left hand
which was holding the tree
which was filled with stars


and the soft rain—
imagine! imagine!
the wild and wondrous journeys
still to be ours.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Our Possible Life




 'But for those short times
we seemed to be alive...'

Going There - Jack Gilbert

The danger when we try to leave.
Going over and over afterward
what we should have done
instead of what we did.
But for those short times
we seemed to be alive. Misled,
misused, lied to and cheated,
certainly. Still, for that
little while, we visited
our possible life.

Friday, 1 September 2017

End of Summer

End of Summer - Stanley Kunitz

An agitation of the air,
A perturbation of the light
Admonished me the unloved year
Would turn on its hinge that night.
 
I stood in the disenchanted field
Amid the stubble and the stones,
Amazed, while a small worm lisped to me
The song of my marrow-bones.
 
Blue poured into summer blue,
A hawk broke from his cloudless tower,
The roof of the silo blazed, and I knew
That part of my life was over.
 
Already the iron door of the north
Clangs open: birds, leaves, snows
Order their populations forth,
And a cruel wind blows.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

August's End






August - Lizette Woodworth Reese

No wind, no bird. The river flames like brass.
On either side, smitten as with a spell
Of silence, brood the fields. In the deep grass,
Edging the dusty roads, lie as they fell
Handfuls of shriveled leaves from tree and bush.
But ’long the orchard fence and at the gate,
Thrusting their saffron torches through the hush,
Wild lilies blaze, and bees hum soon and late.
Rust-colored the tall straggling briar, not one
Rose left. The spider sets its loom up there
Close to the roots, and spins out in the sun
A silken web from twig to twig. The air
Is full of hot rank scents. Upon the hill
Drifts the noon’s single cloud, white, glaring, still.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Personal Helicon

 Image result for a well
' I rhyme
To see myself, to set the darkness echoing.'

In remembrance.

Personal Helicon - Seamus Heaney

As a child, they could not keep me from wells
And old pumps with buckets and windlasses.
I loved the dark drop, the trapped sky, the smells
Of waterweed, fungus and dank moss.

One, in a brickyard, with a rotted board top.
I savoured the rich crash when a bucket
Plummeted down at the end of a rope.
So deep you saw no reflection in it.

A shallow one under a dry stone ditch
Fructified like any aquarium.
When you dragged out long roots from the soft mulch
A white face hovered over the bottom.

Others had echoes, gave back your own call
With a clean new music in it. And one
Was scaresome, for there, out of ferns and tall
Foxgloves, a rat slapped across my reflection.

Now, to pry into roots, to finger slime,
To stare, big-eyed Narcissus, into some spring
Is beneath all adult dignity. I rhyme
To see myself, to set the darkness echoing.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

August Rain

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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

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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?