2017-11-18


A Vision of Rest
--Alexander Posey 
Some day this quest
       Shall cease;
          Some day,
          For aye,
    This heart shall rest
      In peace.
Sometimes—ofttimes—I almost feel
The calm upon my senses steal,
So soft, and all but hear
The dead leaves rustle near
And sign to be
At rest with me.
Though I behold
  The ashen branches tossing to and fro,
  Somehow I only vaguely know
The wind is rude and cold.


2017-11-16



On Viewing the Skull and Bones of a Wolf
--Alexander Posey 
How savage, fierce and grim!
....His bones are bleached and white.
But what is death to him?
....He grins as if to bite.
He mocks fate
....that bade, "Begone."
There's fierceness stamped
....In ev'ry bone. 
Let silence settle from the midnight sky-
Such silence as you've broken with they cry;
The bleak wind howl, unto the ut'most verge
Of the mighty waste, thy fitting dirge.




2017-11-14



[ Solitude ; Winslow Homer (1889) ].........



2017-11-12



Elegance
--Linda Gregg 
All that is uncared for.
Left alone in the stillness
in that pure silence married
to the stillness of nature.
A door off its hinges,
shade and shadows in an empty room.
Leaks for light. Raw where
the tin roof rusted through.
The rustle of weeds in their
different kinds of air in the mornings,
year after year.
A pecan tree, and the house
made out of mud bricks. Accurate
and unexpected beauty, rattling
and singing. If not to the sun,
then to nothing and to no one.



2017-11-10



Hard Wired
--Jack Gilbert 
He is shamelessly happy to feel the thing
inside him. He labors up through the pines
with firewood and goes back down again.
Winter on the way. Roses and blackberries
finished, and the iris gone before that.
The peas dead in the garden and the beans
almost done. His tomatoes are finally ripe.
The thing inside him is like that, and will
come back. An old thing, a dangerous one.
Precious to him. He meets the raccoon often
in the dark and ends up throwing stones.
The raccoon gets behind a tree. Comes again,
cautious and fierce. It stops halfway.
They stand glaring in the faint starlight.



2017-11-08


The Weight
--Linda Gregg

Two horses were put together in the same paddock.
Night and day. In the night and in the day
wet from heat and the chill of the wind
on it. Muzzle to water, snorting, head swinging
and the taste of bay in the shadowed air.
The dignity of being. They slept that way,
knowing each other always.
Withers quivering for a moment,
fetlock and the proud rise at the base of the tail,
width of back. The volume of them, and each other’s weight.
Fences were nothing compared to that.
People were nothing. They slept standing,
their throats curved against the other’s rump.
They breathed against each other,
whinnied and stomped.
There are things they did that I do not know.
The privacy of them had a river in it.
Had our universe in it. And the way
its border looks back at us with its light.
This was finally their freedom.
The freedom an oak tree knows.
That is built at night by stars.



2017-11-06


Half the Truth
--Jack Gilbert 
The birds do not sing in these mornings. The skies
are white all day. The Canadian geese fly over
high up in the moonlight with the lonely sound
of their discontent. Going south. Now the rains
and soon the snow. The black trees are leafless,
the flowers gone. Only cabbages are left
in the bedraggled garden. Truth becomes visible,
the architecture of the soul begins to show through.
God has put off his panoply and is at home with us.
We are returned to what lay beneath the beauty.
We have resumed our lives. There is no hurry now.
We make love without rushing and find ourselves
afterward with someone we know well. Time to be
what we are getting ready to be next. This loving,
this relishing, our gladness, this being puts down
roots and comes back again year after year.


2017-11-04


[ J. C. Leyendecker (1900) ].........


2017-11-02



Nighttime
--Yusef Komunyakaa 
Did a big brain.......raise us
..........into mountains
to range
..........over the valley,
to see
..........the approach.....before
whoever it was.....knew
..........they would walk
a path
..........between dusk & dawn
half-awake?
..........An eye squinted,
& sex as idea
....................made the lids dance.
Now, the brain
..........pauses.....on the edge
of ascension.......or surrender, one
..........sleepy hand
pointing at a totem,
..............& the other weighing
a stick
..........or jagged stone.


[via POETRY November 2017]


2017-10-31


The Soul
--John Whitworth 
The soul is like a little mouse.
He hides inside the body’s house
With anxious eyes and twitchy nose
As in and out he comes and goes,
A friendly, inoffensive ghost
Who lives on tea and buttered toast.
He is so delicate and small
Perhaps he is not there at all;
Long-headed chaps who ought to know
Assure us it cannot be so.
But sometimes, as I lie in bed,
I think I hear inside my head
His soft ethereal song whose words
Are in some language of the birds,
An air-borne poetry and prose
Whose liquid grammar no one knows.
So we go on, my soul and I,
Until, the day I have to die,
He packs his bags, puts on his hat
And leaves for ever. Just like that.


2017-10-29


Reading the Bones
--John Whitworth

The tiny bones of children in a cupboard,
The ghost of Gabro knitting in the chair
Beside your bed, the rocking of eggshells,
Descending dust that glitters on the air
The severing of connections in your brain with
The teeth that crumble and the gums that bleed,
The broken promises, the stopping train with
The sailing times you know you'll never need,

The dreams you can't remember when you wake up,
The days you can't remember when you drink,
The drink before the rows before the break up,
The pills you should have emptied down the sink,
The severing of connections in your brain with
The teeth that crumble and the gums that bleed,
The scrubbing brush you can't remove the stain with,
The nightdress tangled in the waterweed.

The sly insinuation of the razor,
The buzzing of the beetle in the wall,
The hidden laws that govern random numbers,
The fear before the pride before the fall,
The severing of connections in your brain with
The teeth that crumble and the gums that bleed,
The fingernails recovered from the drain with
The seven smuggled kilograms of speed,

The purring of the tiger in the attic,
The chattering of the scorpion in the box,
The roaring of the madman in the tunnel,
The intermittent ticking of the clocks,
The severing of connections in your brain with
The teeth that crumble and the gums that bleed,
The killer disappearing through the rain with
The cipher message nobody can read,

The tiny bones of children in your sandwich
The boring of the beetle in your head,
The everlasting crunching of numbers,
The endless conversations with the dead.


2017-10-27



He was a wise man who invented beer. ~Plato..................
[ Kalamazoo Stout ; Bell's, Kalamazoo MI ]......................



2017-10-25



For Them There's Nothing
--Mark Waldron

They can never ride from Karlova Ves to Spitalska,
watching other trams and pale stones of faces

sunk under the glass; they can’t have an itchy insect bite,
an awful cold, or let their sleepy, humid gaze

rest upon their feet beneath the water in the bath.
The things we make, the TV shows that leave

these muted traces of their colours on our clothes,
the foreign films that float below

the stripped out letters of their subtitles,
the songs we listen to and sing, none of these are for them.

They don’t go out to eat, not even in the sullen,
almost empty caf├ęs, where the world’s bright juice

runs in hell-bent rivers between and through the tables
and shines on the floor and goes out onto

the green-grey street where it will rain later
and the false ceiling of cloud is lit from above;

they can’t go out into the garden and turn to look up
at the curtained windows of the bedroom;

they never smell the plain wood of the boxes
we install them in and never even see the only true dark.



2017-10-23



Look at our faces – oh how dead we’re going to be!
--Mark Waldron

It’s the abundance of specificity that leaves me
so dying.

I go hotfoot through miserable woods that are haunted
by me, and here are the trees

each of whose leaves suggests its particular green.
I walk across a field

that’s been spattered with fragments of cow shit
every bit of which is specific.

I go to work. I go home. I go to work. Here are bones,
buttons. Here are wild dogs, biscuits,

French horns, imps, borlotti beans. Here is a submarine,
a brick, a rose hip.

Here are the piping bodies of girls and boys once popped
like perfect peas from puberty’s cramped pupa;

basted, they gleam head to toe with poem juice.
And here are all the world’s small stones arranged

in order of roughness with the smoothest on the right.



2017-10-21




[ Autumn Leaves ; Oscar Peterson & Dizzy Gillespie ]




Heard this on on the radio this morning while driving to the grocery store. Too perfect to not share.



2017-10-19



Music Box
--Jorge Luis Borges (trans. Tony Barnstone) 
Music of Japan. Parsimoniously
from the water clock the drops unfold
in lazy honey or ethereal gold
that over time reiterates a weave
eternal, fragile, enigmatic, bright.
I fear that every one will be the last.
They are a yesterday come from the past.
But from what shrine, from what mountain’s slight
garden, what vigils by an unknown sea,
and from what modest melancholy, from
what lost and rediscovered afternoon
do they arrive at their far future: me?
Who knows? No matter. When I hear it play
I am. I want to be. I bleed away.



2017-10-17



M-Theory, or, A Piece for Eleven Strings
--T. J. McLemore

Where M stands for magic, mystery, or
membrane, according to taste
                                      Edward Witten


Even the body, so impossibly tuned and tensioned:

all of us crimped, folded and thrumming just so, they say,

like a trillion trillion guitars or glass harmonicas, tiny

symphonies of sound—so why not metaphysics? and maybe

it was a lonely voice that started it all, a single word

that set everything to spinning out in ripples, these circles

we know so well: as all water ends up in the sea, for a time,

as the planets will spiral into their star, be turned to light

(so what is death but a change of state?)—and light, set free

in time, no instrument, no body, pushes back the void, still

humming whatever this song is we all run on, and run to



[via poetry daily]



2017-10-15



Twilight 
firmament tuned contour
while below recessed stars,
thoughts dim into how a home
can acutely reside by cobalt light,
those invisibly aqueous pleas diffused
to cold sense imagined, while closer at hand,
paroxysmal memory indebted to passing
tense terrain, the fluid thought of each
inevitable heart where depthful loss
submerges across the throat, pours
forth back as a figured identity



2017-10-13




..........This
..........--A. R. Ammons 
..........time will wash
..........away 
..........so 
..........clean not a
..........cry 
..........will 
..........be left in
..........it




2017-10-11



Finishing Up
--A. R. Ammons

I wonder if I know enough to know what it’s really like
to have been here: have I seen sights enough to give
seeing over: the clouds, I’ve waited with white
October clouds like these this afternoon often before and

taken them in, but white clouds shade other white
ones gray, had I noticed that: and though I’ve
followed the leaves of many falls, have I spent time with
the wire vines left when frost’s red dyes strip the leaves

away: is more missing than was never enough: I’m sure
many of love’s kinds absolve and heal, but were they passing
rapids or welling stirs: I suppose I haven’t done and seen
enough yet to go, and, anyway, it may be way on on the way

before one picks up the track of the sufficient, the
world-round reach, spirit deep, easing and all, not just mind
answering itself but mind and things apprehended at once
as one, all giving all way, not a scrap of question holding back.



First published in the September edition of POETRY. Which was a surprise to me. With some digging, looks to be a quiet notice for the release later this month of  Volume Two Complete Poems (1978 - 2005).


2017-10-09


[ Garden Chair, Autumn ; Edward Weston (1941) ]......




2017-10-07



The answer is never the answer. What's really interesting is the mystery. If you seek the mystery instead of the answer, you'll always be seeking. I've never seen anybody really find the answer. They think they have, so they stop thinking. But the job is to seek mystery, evoke mystery, plant a garden in which strange plants grow and mysteries bloom. The need for mystery is greater than the need for an answer. 
― Ken Kesey


2017-10-05


Sorrows
--Lucille Clifton 
who would believe them winged
who would believe they could be  
beautiful         who would believe
they could fall so in love with mortals 

that they would attach themselves
as scars attach and ride the skin  

sometimes we hear them in our dreams
rattling their skulls         clicking their bony fingers  
envying our crackling hair
our spice filled flesh   

they have heard me beseeching
as I whispered into my own  
cupped hands       enough not me again
enough       but who can distinguish  
one human voice 
amid such choruses of desire


2017-10-03



The God Who Loves You
--Carl Dennis

It must be troubling for the god who loves you 
To ponder how much happier you’d be today 
Had you been able to glimpse your many futures.
It must be painful for him to watch you on Friday evenings 
Driving home from the office, content with your week—
Three fine houses sold to deserving families—
Knowing as he does exactly what would have happened 
Had you gone to your second choice for college, 
Knowing the roommate you’d have been allotted 
Whose ardent opinions on painting and music 
Would have kindled in you a lifelong passion. 
A life thirty points above the life you’re living 
On any scale of satisfaction. And every point 
A thorn in the side of the god who loves you. 
You don’t want that, a large-souled man like you
Who tries to withhold from your wife the day’s disappointments 
So she can save her empathy for the children. 
And would you want this god to compare your wife 
With the woman you were destined to meet on the other campus? 
It hurts you to think of him ranking the conversation 
You’d have enjoyed over there higher in insight 
Than the conversation you’re used to.
And think how this loving god would feel 
Knowing that the man next in line for your wife 
Would have pleased her more than you ever will 
Even on your best days, when you really try. 
Can you sleep at night believing a god like that
Is pacing his cloudy bedroom, harassed by alternatives 
You’re spared by ignorance? The difference between what is
And what could have been will remain alive for him 
Even after you cease existing, after you catch a chill 
Running out in the snow for the morning paper,
Losing eleven years that the god who loves you 
Will feel compelled to imagine scene by scene 
Unless you come to the rescue by imagining him 
No wiser than you are, no god at all, only a friend 
No closer than the actual friend you made at college,
The one you haven’t written in months. Sit down tonight 
And write him about the life you can talk about 
With a claim to authority, the life you’ve witnessed, 
Which for all you know is the life you’ve chosen.


[via rabbit light]