Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ivan Granger

Good Night Moon
Beloved, tell me —

Why do you come
only when I
orphan my ambitions?

Why do you show
only when all hope
has fled?

Why, Honeyed Moon,
will you meet me
only on my funeral bed?

And, tell me —

Why won't the dead
stay dead?

Friday, July 30, 2010

Angela Garcia

THE OLD WOMAN in her chair
looked carefully at the keys
poking deep into her memory

To open up her memory
each key was a key-image

“I used to know what each key opened
but now I don’t remember”
she muttered as if I were only
in her head

I trembled at the thought that they could be used
to open a hidden palace

“Nor do you remember the locks,
the drawers, the doors
or even recall where they were”
I said voicelessly

Everything returns to the shadows
but you have the keys

There are no more secrets
for everything returns to the mystery

But you have the keys
although you don’t remember now

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Jorge Luis Borges

Adam Cast Forth
Was there a Garden or was the Garden a dream?
Amid the fleeting light, I have slowed myself and queried,
Almost for consolation, if the bygone period
Over which this Adam, wretched now, once reigned supreme,

Might not have been just a magical illusion
Of that God I dreamed. Already it's imprecise
In my memory, the clear Paradise,
But I know it exists, in flower and profusion,

Although not for me. My punishment for life
Is the stubborn earth with the incestuous strife
Of Cains and Abels and their brood; I await no pardon.

Yet, it's much to have loved, to have known true joy,
To have had — if only for just one day —
The experience of touching the living Garden.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Lorna Bailey


…and when I asked the old She Dragon

‘How should it be?’

She replied

‘Love him as you would want to be loved

Passionately, fiercely, tenderly, softly

Absolutely, completely, unconditionally.’

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Gary Snyder

There Are Those Who Love To Get Dirty

There are those who love to get dirty
and fix things.
They drink coffee at dawn,
beer after work,

And those who stay clean,
just appreciate things,
At breakfast they have milk
and juice at night.

There are those who do both,
they drink tea.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sylvia Plath

The Colossus
"I shall never get you put together entirely,
Pieced, glued, and properly jointed.
Mule-bray, pig-grunt and bawdy cackles
Proceed from your great lips.
It's worse than a barnyard.
Perhaps you consider yourself an oracle,
Mouthpiece of the dead, or of some god or
Thirty years now I have labored
To dredge the silt from your throat.
I am none the wiser.

Scaling little ladders with glue pots and pails
of lysol
I crawl like an ant in mourning
Over the weedy acres of your brow
To mend the immense skull plates and clear
The bald, white tumuli of your eyes.

A blue sky out of the Oresteia
Arches above us. O father, all by yourself
You are pithy and historical as the Roman
I open my lunch on a hill of black cypress.
Your fluted bones and acanthine hair are

In their old anarchy to the horizon-line.
It would take more than a lightning-stroke
To create such a ruin.
Nights, I squat in the cornucopia
Of your left ear, out of the wind,

Counting the red stars and those of plum-
The sun rises under the pillar of your tongue.
My hours are married to shadow.
No longer do I listen for the scrape of a keel
On the blank stones of the landing."

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Charles Cimic

In the Library

for Octavio

There's a book called
"A Dictionary of Angels."
No one has opened it in fifty years,
I know, because when I did,
The covers creaked, the pages
Crumbled. There I discovered

The angels were once as plentiful
As species of flies.
The sky at dusk
Used to be thick with them.
You had to wave both arms
Just to keep them away.

Now the sun is shining
Through the tall windows.
The library is a quiet place.
Angels and gods huddled
In dark unopened books.
The great secret lies
On some shelf Miss Jones
Passes every day on her rounds.

She's very tall, so she keeps
Her head tipped as if listening.
The books are whispering.
I hear nothing, but she does.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sara de Ibanez

Island on the earth

In the north the cold and its broken jasmine.
In the east a nightingale full of thorns.
In the south the rose in its airy mines,
and in the west a road deep in thought.

In the north an angel lies gagged.
In the east the song commands its mists.
In the south my tender bunch of thin palm trees,
and in the west my door and my worry.

A flight of cloud or sigh could
trace this finest of all borders
that amply defends my refuge.

A distant retribution of wave bursts
and bites into your foreign oblivion,
my dry island inmidst the battle.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Joseph Brodsky

Dutch Mistress

A hotel in whose ledgers departures are more prominent than arrivals.
With wet Koh-i-noors the October rain
strokes what's left of the naked brain.
In this country laid flat for the sake of rivers,
beer smells of Germany and the seaguls are
in the air like a page's soiled corners.
Morning enters the premises with a coroner's
punctuality, puts its ear
to the ribs of a cold radiator, detects sub-zero:
the afterlife has to start somewhere.
Correspondingly, the angelic curls
grow more blond, the skin gains its distant, lordly
white, while the bedding already coils
desperately in the basement laundry.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hilda Doolittle


HIRL up, sea--
whirl your pointed pines.
splash your great pines
on our rocks,
hurl your green over us,
cover us with your pools of fir.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Charles Baudelaire

The Living Flame
HEY pass before me, these Eyes full of light,
Eyes made magnetic by some angel wise;
The holy brothers pass before my sight,
And cast their diamond fires in my dim eyes.

They keep me from all sin and error grave,
They set me in the path whence Beauty came;
They are my servants, and I am their slave,
And all my soul obeys the living flame.

Beautiful Eyes that gleam with mystic light
As candles lighted at full noon; the sun
Dims not your flame phantastical and bright.

You sing the dawn; they celebrate life done;
Marching you chaunt my soul's awakening hymn,
Stars that no sun has ever made grow dim!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Kim Hyesoon

God raised cows on a ranch in the sea
The cows fattened leisurely eating grass
There were no herders, no fences
We couldn’t see even with our eyes open
but every cow’s head was branded with God’s seal
God played a flute when night came
All the blue cows were gathered
God scoffed at all the cows

I stole one of the cows and
gave it to a Mongolian who
with one hand kept the lamb’s mouth shut
and with another made a hole in its heart
He said, this cow belongs to the sea
It has no fur, no flesh. We don’t eat anything from the sea
The cow belongs to him – his body made entirely of tears
The lamb he caught was skinned
without a single drop of blood or a scream

This time I had no choice but
to eat the blue cow by myself
My body became covered in blue mold
I couldn’t feel the cold and roamed the streets in sub-zero weather
Except for the salt crystals falling from one of my eyes
The sea grabbed my ears everywhere I went
and rippled all day
I couldn’t sleep at all

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Chinook Lord's Prayer

Nesika papa klaksta mitlite kopa saghalie
(Our Father Who dwells on High)

Kloshe kopa nesika tumtum mika nem.
(Good for our hearts Your Name.)

Kloshe mika tyee kopa konaway tillikum;
(Good you Chief of all people;)

Kloshe mika tumtum kopa illahee kahkwa kopa saghalie;
(Good Your heart to make our country such as Yours up above;)

Potlatch konaway sun nesika muckamuck,
(Give us all days our food,)

Pee kopet-kumtux donaway nesika mesachie,
(And stop remembering all our sins we make to them,)

Kahkwa nesilka mamook kopa klasksta spose mamook
mesachie kopa nesia;
(As we suppose not their sin against us;)

Mahah siah kopa nesika konaway mesachie.
(Throw far away from us all evil)

Kloshe kahkwa.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Gabriela Mistral

I am Not Alone
The night, it is deserted
from the mountains to the sea.
But I, the one who rocks you,
I am not alone!

The sky, it is deserted
for the moon falls to the sea.
But I, the one who holds you,
I am not alone !

The world, it is deserted.
All flesh is sad you see.
But I, the one who hugs you,
I am not alone!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Robert Hunter/ Jerry Garcia/Phil Lesh

Cumberland Blues
I can't stay here much longer, Melinda
The sun is getting high
I can't help you with your troubles
If you won't help with mine
I gotta get down
I gotta get down
Gotta get down to the mine

You keep me up just one more night
I can't stop here no more
Little Ben clock says quarter to eight
You kept me up till four
I gotta get down
I gotta get down
Or I can't work there no more

Lotta poor man make a five dollar bill
Will keep him happy all the time
Some other fellow's making nothing at all
And you can hear him cry

Can I go, buddy, can I go down
Take your shift at the mine
Gotta get down to the Cumberland mine
That's where I mainly spend my time

Make good money, five dollars a day
If I made any more I might move away

Lotta poor man got the Cumberland Blues
He can't win for losing
Lotta poor man got to walk the line
Just to pay his union dues

I don't know now, I just don't know
If I'm going back again
I don't know now, I just don't know
If I'm going back again

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Maria Del Carmen Paiva


I hear the murmur of flowers:
they spring up from the forgotten spaces,
near the orange tree.
They exhale golden smoke of pure sun
They put to sleep the ashes of siesta
and cover my hot bed.
Voices that flow
from a secret river.

Flowers of ancient blood,
of sleeping skeletons,
of precipitous fugues
and other ephemeral madnesses.

I turn around and the sheets twist around me,
an undefined annoyance enters me.
I go where the lilies
and the well filled with leaves
to lighten the exhaustion of my lips,
so I wonOt fall asleep in this squandered strength.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tomas Transtromer

After a Death

Once there was a shock
that left behind a long, shimmering comet tail.
It keeps us inside. It makes the TV pictures snowy.
It settles in cold drops on the telephone wires.

One can still go slowly on skis in the winter sun
through brush where a few leaves hang on.
They resemble pages torn from old telephone directories.
Names swallowed by the cold.

It is still beautiful to hear the heart beat
but often the shadow seems more real than the body.
The samurai looks insignificant
beside his armor of black dragon scales.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ojibway Folk Song

7 daughters
a fume of smoke, a perfumed rain.
a strong bull pulls a strong till.
a fume of smoke, a fume.
i cannot digest what i ingest in jest. what doth i protest?
lungs in throat, rigged with wire and hay.
a jewel from rote, shines strongs as binds.
our jewel from rote, a jewel.
tied with wire hay, pressed in rock and clay. 'til their not they.
cartoon of self, rich in yes and no, no, yes, and no, no.
a strong bull tills the strong soil.
amused of self, amused.
first born will be eve and second shed rebecca and third bred keturah.
fourth birthed is sarah, fifth fifth fifth will be judith, sixth sixth left us basemith, seventh seventh truthful ruth, and eighth, oh, it's my turn.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sri Chinmoy

My Hope Carries Me
Far, very far, into the world of the farthest beyond
My hope carries me and places me
On the sweetest lap of the unknown.
There I behold my Self-form
In the Dance-Delight of the Absolute.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Pat Lowther

Cloud Horses

for Beth

In my daughter's dream
are black horses
and white horses;
she says there are
also cloud horses
for every colour of sky

Under her closed
eyelids her eyes move
following horses;
she will not say more,
she has decided to keep
her dreams private

She moves in sleep
and in the country
of her days where
i cannot follow:
i see her riding away
on a horse whose colour
i have no name for

Friday, July 9, 2010

Octavio Paz

Between going and staying the day wavers
Between going and staying the day wavers,
in love with its own transparency.
The circular afternoon is now a bay
where the world in stillness rocks.

All is visible and all elusive,
all is near and can't be touched.

Paper, book, pencil, glass,
rest in the shade of their names.

Time throbbing in my temples repeats
the same unchanging syllable of blood.

The light turns the indifferent wall
into a ghostly theater of reflections.

I find myself in the middle of an eye,
watching myself in its blank stare.

The moment scatters. Motionless,
I stay and go: I am a pause.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Alexandr Blok

My monastery, where I’m badly pining,
Is granite, melted by the burning mind.
I’m strangled and blinded under this heat, lying,
And leave it, trying a new cell to find…

There’ll be still heat, but one that’s always warming.
The bloody ball will melt my brain to ash,
I’ll lose my mind in ways, the more calming,
Than in this one, oppressing blood and flesh.

Where’s the new cell? Where is my cloister, novel?
Not on the skies, the grave’s darkness behind,
But on the Earth it’s healthy one and low,
Where I’ll find all, when having lost my mind!...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Gregory Orr

Love Poem

A black biplane crashes through the window
of the luncheonette. The pilot climbs down,
removing his leather hood.
He hands me my grandmother's jade ring.
No, it is two robin's eggs and
a telephone number: yours.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


When You Are Old

When you are old and gray and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true;
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face.

And bending down beside the glowing bars
Murmur, a little sadly, how love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And his his face amid a crowd of stars.

W. B. Yeats (1865-1939)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Maria Barnas

Into the city from the top storey.
The streets of Buenos Aires are roaring below.

The city where everything turns out right.

They take you along in right-
angles. But shadows are blowing here

and pebblestone buildings
swirl. There is one

with a heart of grazed red stone.

And so as not to see a heart pouring itself out
you go downstairs. Hang onto your shadow.

The red hem round your neck opens out
into a red river. Think waterfall.


A piano lid slams a house shut.
Swipes a building against the wall.

In the lift you stumble over the threshold from a certain house.
A ceiling of stars ascends.

Twenty storeys plunge. Full length.
A city rises.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Dawn Huffaker


(4th of July)

The sun has walked below the horizon,
And the plants sigh, as the ground cools
From the heat of the day.

Car doors slam,
And motors rev -
Eager to be off.

Tires touch pavement,
And wander down the road
To find the perfect viewing location.

The sky slowly fades from blue to black,
As inky silhouettes stretch and chatter
About the fun they have had during the day.

At the appointed proper darkness,
Sparkles of light appear
Over the town.

Each flower of breathtaking light
Chases the other,
As they go higher and higher.

Freedom tickles their heels,
As they race across the sky,
Glowing with delight.

The sky soon fills with fireworks,
And the oohs and ahs from the crowd
Applaud their performance.

When the curtain of darkness at last returns,
The silhouettes sigh and smile.
Then, they load up and head back home to bed.

Czeslaw Milosz

A Hall
The road led straight to the temple.
Notre Dame, though not Gothic at all.
The huge doors were closed. I chose one on the side,
Not to the main building-to its left wing,
The one in green copper, worn into gaps below.
I pushed. Then it was revealed:
An astonishing large hall, in warm light.
Great statues of sitting women-goddesses,
In draped robes, marked it with a rhythm.
Color embraced me like the interior of a purple-brown flower
Of unheard-of size. I walked, liberated
From worries, pangs of conscience, and fears.
I knew I was there as one day I would be.
I woke up serene, thinking that this dream
Answers my question, often asked:
How is it when one passes the last threshold?

Friday, July 2, 2010

Ward Kelly


Help me, help me, I am never coming
back to these weary mountains, never
returning to your black skin . . .
for white men do not truly know
how to return to women who have
waited for centuries.

Save me, save me, I was never leaving
your custodial skin, never wandering
off from the belief in what waited
at your thighs.

It was the dead who waited there . . .
you never told me your skin was so
clever as to provide maternity
for both dead and breathing,
and I now see that even though
you never spoke the words,
your eyes danced again and again
from the joy of this consummation.

You sought to marry me with
the dead. Yet why must I leave?
It is not you who sends me
away, and not the dead . . .

then at the circumference I understood
that I cannot see the enormity
of the problem the dead souls
must solve, while they, themselves,
do not have the solutions provided me
by touching skin.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Paul Bogaert

When one places the hand
onto the kind of rubber
and feels the knobs
of a body frame beneath,
then in escalator time a distance stretches out:
between the hand that gradually takes a lead
and the rest of the body in tow.
More and more in that fashion
till one lets go of the hand and gets used to forces again
that are immensely restraining, as to an escape.