Tuesday, 30 August 2011
To love you in shadow as in the light
is light itself. In subterranean night
you sow the fields with fireflies of delight.
Lanarkshire holds you, under its grim grass.
But I hold what you were, like a bright glass
I carry brimming through the darkening pass.
Saturday, 27 August 2011
The medieval town, with frieze
Of boy scouts from Nagoya? The snow
That came when we wanted it to snow?
Beautiful images? Trying to avoid
Ideas, as in this poem? But we
Go back to them as to a wife, leaving
The mistress we desire? Now they
Will have to believe it
As we believe it. In school
All the thought got combed out:
What was left was like a field.
Shut your eyes, ad you can feel it for miles around.
Now open them on a thin vertical path.
It might give us – what? – some flowers soon?
Friday, 26 August 2011
i have no idea why this should be and can only apologize
Wednesday, 24 August 2011
Tuesday, 23 August 2011
Not for that city of the level sun,
Its golden streets and glittering gates ablaze –
The shadeless, sleepless city of white days,
White nights, or nights and days, that are as one –
We weary, when all is said, all thought, all done.
We strain our eyes beyond this dusk to see
What, from the threshold of eternity
We shall step into. No, I think we shun
The splendour of that everlasting glare,
The clamour of that never-ending song.
And if for anything we greatly long,
It is for some remote and quiet stair
Which winds to silence and a space of sleep
Too sound for waking and fro dreams too deep.
Monday, 22 August 2011
first off this catches my eye. so far, so dandy you might say, i am after all the one who likes all the collaboration and what not. so why then do i find this article so profoundly depressing? i'm all about the science, history of it and all of that. i like marc quinn, i was all happy when blood head made an appearance in kick-ass. and yet when i see a title like 'we share our chemistry with the stars' i can't help but think that it's all a bit leadenly simplistic.
they return. no t. where has she gone they ask each other. t returns and begins raking the grass. what're you doing they ask. i'm raking up the grass says t. why they ask in unison. because of i don't the dead grass will turn all yucky t say after some thought. how can you pick it up in your hands asks one of them. like this says t. oh they say and watch for a while. can we do that? i'm sure you could says t. can we come in your garden they ask. only if your mum says it's okay says t. why do we need to ask her they ask. because it's polite says t.
this causes some debate. they return to their own house. shortly after a noise that can only be described as bawling ensues. this is not uncommon. they return. a debate ensues on how big a bike they will soon own. that, and the fact that one of them still uses stabilisers and the other doesn't. the fact the gardening is over doesn't seem to bother them. their mother thinks that child labour in the garden, far from being a bad thing, should be encouraged, especially if it's not her garden.
briefly i appear. they are silent. as soon as i've gone they ask, who was that? t tells them. does he live here they ask. yes, says t. is he your husband they ask. no says t. who is he then they ask. he's my boyfriend says t. oh, they say, so where's your husband? t admits later that a rather more elaborate answer than the one she gives suggested itself to her! i don't have a husband she says. oh, say the girls.
later they will return en masse tho this time neither the garden nor i are interesting to them, more the fact that one of the girls has taken one the of the wee boys and 'squeezed his head'. his mother is not bothered by this but does want him to come in to the house as she's sleepy and wants to go to bed. he is unimpressed with this as a gambit to entice him away from the playing.
t comes back inside. i feel like that snowman in oryx and crake trying to explain stuff to the children of crake. and launches off into an exposition on children generally, the children of crake, the hymns in year of the flood and many things atwoodian. draw her a picture of a bunny will you margaret atwood and this is where that sort of caper leads. i firmly expect some sort of appearance of gardener hymns sometime in the near future.
we have a bunch of wee kids in the street these days along with another bunch who are not so wee that we've seen growing up this past few years. it seems a shame that the family has been so limited in recent times and the role of those others, neighbours, friends etc so marginalised as to have been almost criminalised, esp if you're male. we're lucky not to have too much of this looperdom where we are but its effects can be felt at the very least. everything is a threat, everything a danger down to the food they eat (tho this fortunately means they don't rifle our berry crop!). it seems such a shame that we've got to this. children it seems to me benefit those around them so much and they in turn, when exposed to a variety of influences, are benefited themselves. i remember my own childhood in this respect with some fondness but even then i was aware that i just didn't have sufficient in the way of older people around me while i was growing up. the best i can do these days is to be seen reading or drawing outside, looking at insects in the garden or just generally being on my bike
- why are you going on your bike in football boots
- these aren't football boots, these are cycling shoes
- cycling shoes?
- yes, they have these wee clips on the bottom that attach me to the pedals
- can i see?
Saturday, 20 August 2011
Forgetfulness is like a song
That, freed from beat and measure, wanders.
Forgetfulnes is like a bird whose wing are reconciled,
Outspread and motionless, -
A bird that coasts the wind unwearyingly.
Forgetfulness is rain at night,
Or an old house in a forest, - or a child.
Forgetfuness is white, - white as a blasted tree,
And it may stun the sybil into prophecy,
Or bury the Gods.
I can remember much forgetfulness.
Tuesday, 16 August 2011
Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.
After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns,
we ourselves flash and yearn,
and moreover my mother told me a a boy
(repeatingly) “Ever to confess you’re bored
means you have no
Inner Resources.” I conclude now I have no
inner resources, because I am heavy bored.
People bore me,
literature bores me, especially great literature,
Henry bores me, with his plights & gripes
as bad as achilles,
who loves people and valiant art, which bores me.
And the tranquil hills, & gin, like a drag
and somehow a dog
had taken itself & its tail considerably away
into mountains or sea or sky, leaving
behind: me, wag.
Sunday, 14 August 2011
A seal swims lie a poodle through the sheet
of blinding salt. A country graveyard, here
and there a rock, and here and there a pine,
throbs on the essence of the gasoline.
Some mote, some eye-flaw, wobbles in te heat,
hair-thin, hair-dark, the fragment of a hair-
a noose, a question? All is possible;
if there’s freewill, it’s something likeis hair,
inside my eye, outside my eye, yet free,
airless as grace, if the good God… I see.
Our bodies quiver. In the rustling air,
all’s possible, all’s unpredictable.
Old wives and husbands! Look, their gravestones wait
in couples with the names and half the date –
one future and one freedom. In a flash
I see us whiten into skeletons,
our eager, sharpened cries, a pair of stones,
cutting like shark-fins through the boundless wash.
Two walking cobwebs, almost bodiless,
crossed paths here once, kept house, and lay in beds.
Your fingertips once touched my fingertips
and set us tingling through a thousand threads.
Poor pulsing Fête Champêtre! The summer slips
Between our fingers into nothingness.
We to lean forward, as the heat waves roll
over our bodies, grown insensible,
ready to dwindle off into the soul,
two motes or eye-flaws, the invisible…
Hope of the hopeless launched and cast adrift
on the great flaw that gives the final gift.
Dear Figure curving like a question mark,
how will you hear my answer in the dark?
Thursday, 11 August 2011
Now an angel of the Lord appeared to
Moses in a blazing fire –
a fire that devours fire; a fire that burns
in things dry and moist; a fire that
glows amid snow and ice; a fire that is
like a crouching lion; a fire that reveals
itself in many forms; a fire that is, and
never expires; a fire that shines and
roars; a fire that blazes and sparkles; a
fire that flies in a storm wind; a fire
that burns without wood; a fire that
renews itself every day; a fire that is
not fanned by fire; a fire that billows
like palm branches; a fire whose sparks
are flashes of lightning; a fire black as
a raven; a fire, curled, like the colours
of the rainbow!
trans by t. carmi
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.
(America never was America to me.)
Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed-
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.
(It never was America to me.)
O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.
(There's never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")
Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?
I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek-
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.
I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one's own greed!
I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean-
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today--O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.
Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That's made America the land it has become.
O, I'm the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home--
For I'm the one who left dark Ireland's shore,
And Poland's plain, and England's grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa's strand I came
To build a "homeland of the free."
Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we've dreamed
And all the songs we've sung
And all the hopes we've held
And all the flags we've hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay-
Except the dream that's almost dead today.
O, let America be America again-
The land that never has been yet-
And yet must be-the land where every man is free.
The land that's mine-the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME-
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.
Sure, call me any ugly name you choose-
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
We must take back our land again,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath-
America will be!
Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain-
All, all the stretch of these great green states-
And make America again!
Monday, 8 August 2011
Sunday, 7 August 2011
Saturday, 6 August 2011
Wednesday, 3 August 2011
Our Father who art in Heaven
And we’ll stay here on earth
Which is sometimes so pretty
With its mysteries of New York
And its mysteries of Paris
At least as good as that of the Trinity
With its little canal at Ourcq
Its great wall of China
Its river at Morlaix
Its candy canes
With its Pacific Ocean
And its two basins in the Tuileries
With its good children and bad people
With all the wonders of the world
Which are here
Simply on the earth
Offered to everyone
Wondering at the wonder of themselves
And daring not to avow it
As a naked pretty girl dares not show herself
With the world’s outrageous misfortunes
Which are legion
With the masters of this world
The masters with their priests their traitors and their troops
With the seasons
With the years
With the pretty girls and with the old bastards
With the straw of misery rotting in the steel
trans by lawrence ferlinghetti
Tuesday, 2 August 2011
A Work for Poets
To have carved on the days of our vanity
Also a few marks
From an ancient forgotten time
A child may read
That not far from the stone
Might open for wayfarers
Here is a work for poets -
Carve the runes
Then be content with silence.