The valley spirit not dying is called the mysterious female. The opening of the mysterious female is called the root of heaven and earth. Continuous, on the brink of existence, to put it into practice, don't try to force it." - Tao Te Ching, #6, Translated by Thomas Cleary
Black Peter Lyrics By: Robert Hunter Music By: Jerry Garcia . All of my friends come to see me last night I was laying in my bed and dying Annie Beauneu from Saint Angel (note 1) Say "the weather down here so fine"
Just then the wind came squalling through the door (note 2) But who can the weather command Just want to have a little peace to die And a friend or two I love at hand
Fever roll up to a hundred and five Roll on up, gonna roll back down One more day I find myself alive Tomorrow maybe go beneath the ground
See here how everything Lead up to this day And it's just like any other day That's ever been Sun going up and then The sun going down Shine through my window And my friends they come around Come around, come around
The people might know, but the people don't care That a man can be as poor as me (note 3) Take a look at poor Peter, he's lying in pain Now let's come run and see Run and see Run and see Run, run and see, and see
Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley . I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed: And on the pedestal these words appear: 'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!' Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away."
When I'm gluttonous, I want to taste dinosaur meat and smell the cooker phoenix When I'm hungry, I want to eat iceberg and drink sunlight I hate girls with big front teeth hate the college students who study the nutritive value of Jin Gangshan herbs with Citzen watches around their wrists I've just managed to learn how to be honest, only to discover the world has already betrayed me I'm bursting with anger It makes me look ugly when I laugh So I only grimace To defend the blue sky, I drive away all the clouds To defend the bonfire, I set the whole grassland on fire To defend autumn, I turn myself into a fruit I want to eat everything. Quick, close your eyes It's embarrassing to see me so gluttonous and hungry
Kyrie Tomas Tranströmer . At times my life suddenly opens its eyes in the dark. A feeling of masses of people pushing blindly through the streets, excitedly, toward some miracle, while I remain here and no one sees me.
It is like the child who falls asleep in terror listening to the heavy thumps of his heart. For a long, long time till morning puts his light in the locks and the doors of darkness open.
Aftermath . Compelled by calamity's magnet They loiter and stare as if the house Burnt-out were theirs, or as if they thought Some scandal might any minute ooze From a smoke-choked closet into light; No deaths, no prodigious injuries Glut these hunters after an old meat, Blood-spoor of the austere tragedies.
Mother Medea in a green smock Moves humbly as any housewife through Her ruined apartments, taking stock Of charred shoes, the sodden upholstery: Cheated of the pyre and the rack, The crowd sucks her last tear and turns away.
A Song On the End of the World by Czeslaw Milosz translated by Anthony Milosz
On the day the world ends A bee circles a clover, A fisherman mends a glimmering net. Happy porpoises jump in the sea, By the rainspout young sparrows are playing And the snake is gold-skinned as it should always be.
On the day the world ends Women walk through the fields under their umbrellas, A drunkard grows sleepy at the edge of a lawn, Vegetable peddlers shout in the street And a yellow-sailed boat comes nearer the island, The voice of a violin lasts in the air And leads into a starry night.
And those who expected lightning and thunder Are disappointed. And those who expected signs and archangels' trumps Do not believe it is happening now. As long as the sun and the moon are above, As long as the bumblebee visits a rose, As long as rosy infants are born No one believes it is happening now.
Only a white-haired old man, who would be a prophet Yet is not a prophet, for he's much too busy, Repeats while he binds his tomatoes: No other end of the world will there be, No other end of the world will there be.
gas music inaudible in the kitchen. you’re there, more silent even than the little bell-jar. as for me, I’m facing a difficult homecoming. I’d rather be standing beside a pond, eyes fixed on a mirror so dark, so happily pongy that I will now start to laugh, loud and uncontrollable. everything is so immediately different. also the void, that so easily lures me to your railing.
Time past and time future Allow but a little consciousness. To be conscious is not to be in time But only in time can the moment in the rose-garden, The moment in the arbour where the rain beat, The moment in the draughty church at smokefall Be remembered; involved with past and future. Only through time time is conquered.
The Second Coming by William Butler Yeats . Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert A shape with lion body and the head of a man, A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds. The darkness drops again; but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
In my first thirty years of life I roamed hundreds and thousands of miles. Walked by rivers through deep green grass Entered cities of boiling red dust. Tried drugs, but couldn’t make Immortal; Read books and wrote poems on history. Today I’m back at Cold Mountain: I’ll sleep by the creek and purify my ears.
The season is the heart star. What escapes now will not be remembered. What escapes now was once thrown Off like a shirt or saddle. Ridden into Bethlehem to be borrowed, Then given; this is it: the one noise, A rock, cobalt and a book, a cow-child Is giving us a gift. It is the gift of an infant mind
Formula for Obtaining Life . . Now, then! Ha, now thou hast come to listen, thou Long Human Being, thou art staying, thou Helper of human beings. Thou never lettest go thy grasp from the soul. Thou hast, as if it were, taken a firmer grasp upon the soul. I originated at the cataract, not so far away. I will stretch out my hand to where thou art. My soul has come to bathe itself in thy body. The white foam will cling to my head as I walk along the path of life, the white staff will come into my extended hand. The fire of the hearth will be left burning for me incessantly. The soul has been lifted up successively to the seventh upper world.
Thirty years ago I was born into the world. A thousand, ten thousand miles I’ve roamed, By rivers where the green grass lies thick, Beyond the border where the red sands fly. I brewed potions in a vain search for life everlasting, I read books, I sang songs of history, And today I’ve come home to Cold Mountain To pillow my head on the stream and wash my ears.
To Nature . It may indeed be phantasy, when I Essay to draw from all created things Deep, heartfelt, inward joy that closely clings; And trace in leaves and flowers that round me lie Lessons of love and earnest piety. So let it be; and if the wide world rings In mock of this belief, it brings Nor fear, nor grief, nor vain perplexity. So will I build my altar in the fields, And the blue sky my fretted dome shall be, And the sweet fragrance that the wild flower yields Shall be the incense I will yield to Thee, Thee only God! and thou shalt not despise Even me, the priest of this poor sacrifice
Migrant Hostel Parkes, 1949-51 . No one kept count of all the comings and goings— arrivals of newcomers in busloads from the station, sudden departures from adjoining blocks that left us wondering who would be coming next.
Nationalities sought each other out instinctively— like a homing pigeon circling to get its bearings; years and name-places recognised by accents, partitioned off at night by memories of hunger and hate.
For over two years we loved like birds of passage— always sensing a change in the weather: unaware of the season whose track we would follow.
A barrier at the main gate sealed off the highway from our doorstep— as it rose and fell like a finger pointed in reprimand or shame; and daily we passed underneath or alongside it— needing its sanction to pass in and out of lives that had only begun or were dying.
Tonight This House Speaks . Tonight this house speaks to me through the creaking in the cupboards and the refrigerator's humming. Believe me, when this house shakes under my feet it isn't because of the train. There's something in the basement. I don't know what, I've never been there, I'm afraid of the empty room that leads to it.
Tonight I'm a hearing machine. Beer bottles are crashing in the dusty corners. Even the spiders are hesitant. The crack in the ceiling is a fissure in the brain for all I know, this kidney ache might be a sign of rusty pipes, the cricket's clicking has been the song of my ventricles all these years.
Thank God the water goes on at 2. Then I sleep while the plum tree drinks on, a water full of sounds.
I threw my arms about those shoulders, glancing at what emerged behind that back, and saw a chair pushed slightly forward, merging now with the lighted wall. The lamp glared too bright to show the shabby furniture to some advantage, and that is why sofa of brown leather shone a sort of yellow in a corner. The table looked bare, the parquet glossy, the stove quite dark, and in a dusty frame a landscape did not stir. Only the sideboard seemed to me to have some animation. But a moth flitted round the room, causing my arrested glance to shift; and if at any time a ghost had lived here, he now was gone, abandoning this house.
The great thing is not having a mind. Feelings: oh, I have those; they govern me. I have a lord in heaven called the sun, and open for him, showing him the fire of my own heart, fire like his presence. What could such glory be if not a heart? Oh my brothers and sisters, were you like me once, long ago, before you were human? Did you permit yourselves to open once, who would never open again? Because in truth I am speaking now the way you do. I speak because I am shattered.