Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold

February 20, 2011

Nocturne

Always I knew that it could not last

(Gathering clouds, and the snowflakes flying),

Now it is part of the golden past

(Darkening skies, and the night-wind sighing);

It is but cowardice to pretend.

Cover with ashes our love’s cold crater —

Always I’ve known that it had to end

Sooner or later.

 

Always I knew it would come like this

(Pattering rain, and the grasses springing),

Sweeter to you is a new love’s kiss

(Flickering sunshine, and young birds singing).

Gone are the raptures that once we knew,

Now you are finding a new joy greater —

Well, I’ll be doing the same thing, too,

Sooner or later.

 

-Dorothy Parker

It’s amazing I have the time and masochism to read wondrous, yet painfully bitter, poetry 7 days before fieldcamp

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July 9, 2010
What are words?
Things you mutter to yourself, softly
And alone. Vague thoughts that end abruptly,
While you cry and rage and scream.
When you tell yourself your favourite dreams
And whisper assurance to the mirror,
Or your lips move to make things clearer
Only for yourself, when vengeful threats are in the same breath uttered
As pledges of adoration and love helplessly sputtered;
Then you know words.
To speak to yourself and face the uncaring dark void
With words meaningless but fraught with feeling
Is but preparation to meet face to living face
And open the mouth
To speak the mind
And find the
Words are
Vanished.

November 7, 2009

Charles_Bukowski

The Suicide Kid
by Charles Bukowski

I went to the worst of bars
hoping to get
killed.
but all I could do was to
get drunk
again.
worse, the bar patrons even
ended up
liking me.
there I was trying to get
pushed over the dark
edge
and I ended up with
free drinks
while somewhere else
some poor
son-of-a-bitch was in a hospital
bed,
tubes sticking out all over
him
as he fought like hell
to live.
nobody would help me
die as
the drinks kept
coming,
as the next day
waited for me
with its steel clamps,
its stinking
anonymity,
its incogitant
attitude.
death doesn’t always
come running
when you call
it,
not even if you
call it
from a shining
castle
or from an ocean liner
or from the best bar
on earth (or the
worst).
such impertinence
only makes the gods
hesitate and
delay.
ask me: I’m
72.

An ode to PW

September 22, 2009

Oh PW, you’ve captured me within your embrace
But of you I am not worthy; oh, the disgrace!
Your demands are too high, too great, too lofty
For the likes of lowly, lowly, merest, me.
You ask for dedication, for steadfast  devotion;
Yet what I give surely is not adoration.

You are of too high worth,
of too noble a birth
For merest me to meet your expectation.
And thusly I stand, rooted in frustration
Brow furrowed in consternation
Slowly sinking into desperation.

My spirit is flagging
My will is waning;
You are too wild a thing.
Incandescent in living beauty
Shining forth your visceral glory
You are far too much for me.

I could not dream to fulfill your demands,
to match your pace or to satisfy your needs.
You wake me every hour of the night
And with incessant cries and unsated appetites
You make abundantly clear your most classy tastes.

I will not feign comprehension of your ways
For I make neither head nor tail of your manners most fey.
Your understanding is, without question, incomparable,
As is your meticulous eye for detail.
No quote, no statement, not the slightest unsubstantiated jot
Is allowed past your eagle eye, unscathed and uncaught.

What other mistress could be as fine;
Who could match your strange appeal?
Who, indeed, could leave me utterly resigned
To never seeing her true desires unconcealed?

Oh PW! Oh PW!
I could not pretend understanding of your plans.
I admit: you are far more than I can take!
Your beauty, your allure, they are not for common man
But only for those a little different in their heads.

June 18, 2009

By L. Mercantini (Italian)
Translation by Alexander Feht

They were three hundred

They landed arms in hand but did not fight us,
They threw themselves to the ground and kissed it.
I looked at everyone – everyone –
Each had tears in his eye, each smiled.
They were bandits from their lair, we were told.
But from us they took not a loaf of bread,
And their only words were,
“We came to die for our land!”

They were three hundred, young and strong –
And all are dead.

With blue eyes, with curls of gold
Their young leader came nigh.
Gathering my courage I took his hand and asked:
“Where leadest thou, fair Captain?”
He looked at me and answered: “Oh my sister,
I go to die for my beautiful fatherland!”
My heart trembled so I could not even wish him,
“God bless you”.

They were three hundred, young and strong –
And all are dead.

Shall I pluck thee the brightest star?

June 12, 2009

If doing so saved all life, would the sun shine any brighter?
And if it would save one race, could the moon rise any higher?

Should the stars shine to expectation;
Will tides obey our exhortation?

Would the rains come upon command;
The earth stop shaking at our demand?

 

The lion does not spare the lamb
Not at beast nor at man’s command.

No force keeps the eagle on the ground,
Only in the skies will he be found.

The calf is not nursed by the ewe;
Surely nothing breaks nature’s rule?

 

So then, could we in  the selfish beast find
A heart that beats compassionate and kind?

Will ever the nasty, short-lived brute
Act in a fashion worthy of repute?

Will a man lift a finger to save a neighbour sorrow?
Would he deny himself for the sake of another?

Intermission

May 3, 2009

Jazz concert was enjoyable. The performances were enjoyable.
Plus, an unfinished (and likely, never to be finished) poem

One man (shadow) play

Darker blacker-on-black shadowplay cast on charcoal coloured asphalt
For an audience of just one none.

Under the single streetlight’s solitary sodium glare;
Swiftly passing
( a day’s rotation in fifteen steps)
Giving way to the next one on this long road.

Shadowfeet, and arms, and head, follow in unison,
Unlike these steps that don’t echo
(how poetically scandalous)
.
Not-quite-soft footfalls
Don’t thud or click or beat the lonely rhythm
But still jars this one man’s night.

Which then is darker:
A moonless starless cloud-filled sky
Stretching horizons of night?
A man, all in black, making his solitary way to
Wherever-home-may-be?
Or the lightless depths of crevices dug deep (,now seen,)
In his thoughts?