Posts tagged: poetry

Last Night I (fragments of a poem not yet written)

Last night I bundled into a room

My every move screaming I don’t know what to do!

Though they deem me fit and fitting
able and willing

I contend with myself the morning after and know the truth for a moment

Stop it.

I want to get off here.

Nikos Gatsos, Amorgos

How much I have loved you I alone know
I who touched you once with the eyes of the Pleiades
And embraced you in the wild hair of the moon and we danced in the summer fields
On the stubble after harvest, and we ate the cut clover
Dark and great sea with so many pebbles round your neck, so many coloured stones
in your hair.

Translated by Sally Purcell
Reprinted by permission of Anvil Press Poetry from Amorgos (1998)

C. P. Cavafy, Ionian Song

Though we have broken their statues,
though we have driven them out of their temples,
the gods did not die because of this.
O Ionian land, it is you they still love,
it is you their souls still remember.
When the August morning dawns upon you
a vigour from their life moves through your air;
and at times a figure of ethereal youth,
indistinct, in rapid stride,
crosses over your hills.

Translated by Rae Dalven
Reprinted by permission of Chatto & Windus from The Complete Poems of C.P. Cavafy (1961)

Who was the Thane lives yet; But under heavy judgement bears that life Which he deserves to lose.
Angus - ‘Macbeth’
The City

The streets of London are ablaze with life and crimes of all kinds committed at all times of day

But mostly under the gaze of the moon not the sun rays

Young bre’s stray from the main roads to the narrow lanes of the concrete maze

No delays despite the delays; life is too swift to find respite in this neon haze


The skirts are too short, too far out from the heart

a matter for that organ this is not

for the faint

nor for the sort whose thoughts are stayed upon the precious or the lost:                

those who count the cost - penny for penny, pound for pound, breath for breath

We shall hire them a hearse.


The curse of the streets of London is visited upon those who shun its devices

And suppress their vices

But turn over your gold coin and let her royal highness show you the jewel in her crown

in all its splendor

Hey big spender! Render to the Queen what belongs to the Queen and withold not a thing. 

Make a copious offering until your pockets are lean

The City will reward you with a pocket full of dreams


19 April 2011

O snail

Climb Mount Fuji,

But slowly, slowly!

Kobayashi Issa
Good Morning

Morning dew emanates from the earth and my world comes alive from rest and the earth rests on my mind and gives me something to think about I roam about the earth’s canvas ‘n’ all till I reach its core and soar in its soul and my world is made whole. Behold the earth is singing and tugging and scratching the surface is melting due to the hole in its ozone and my world is frozen no longer but grows stronger and stronger the longer it longs and shortens the earth’s gasp the grass on its crust stands and my world is brushed over with strokes of green and red and blue and blends of highs and lows and caves enclosed with hills exposed and meadows and stores is there anything the earth cannot provide me Ode to thee blithe spirit on this morning I perform my sacred rituals and we cease to be individuals I dig through your mind for your minerals and salts with my fingers I twist your lubricated bolts I find in you no faults so I tour your resorts with your hands as escorts and resort to violence as I grab your neck and then finally the earth responds with liquids of all sorts gushing forth - oil and water lava floods and floods and strong quick winds in quick succession as the storm rages the earth trembles with tremors and makes sounds euphoric a revolution is before it and I stand for it and welcome it and reverence it and welcome it and reverence it and stand for it and reverence it and welcome it and stand for it!
And my world is made whole. 

I wander thro’ each charter’d street,
Near where the charter’d Thames does flow,
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.

'London' - William Blake

It almost doesn’t need to go on from there.

My Milk


We have reached the point in the life of my milk where the date says something contrary to the taste.
The reciprocal affection between us grows now stronger
for my milk is mindful of the fact that I must proceed with caution, and it does its best itself not to waste.
It preserves itself with admirable tenacity, going beyond the call of used-by date.

It defies the tag imprinted on its skin like a slave tattoo
My milk, like me, does not believe in clairvoyance and divinations.
My milk, like me, is a Nietzschean and strong  -
its cold refrigerated world provides conditions by which it may impose its own will
and it does not just will to live until tomorrow in its optimum state
my milk wills to be the best milk my bowl and mug will ever know!

And when it’s gone - should it ever decide it is time to do so -
my bowl and mug will say “that milk was the greatest milk we ever knew. It was for us an example -
a stalwart of positive consciousness, a supermilk, a free milk that divined that the truth lay under its blue cap.
Its contents were its own to rule and it did so with aplomb!”

But even now as we enter into a time in the life of my milk where I as a human being, base and full of negativity,
take measures to ensure that my milk is still alive and well - morning by morning, daily sipping and sniffing at it with fear and doubt
insulting it with my science and “experience” -
my milk confronts me with a smug wink of the eye and wry little smile:
"I have not given up the wraith" it says "how could i? And you, oh crown of all creation, knower and calculator of all things, how could you not know me? Master, learn mastery over your life, as I have over mine."
So with hearty confidence I thrust my milk down my throat!
With eyes closed and without inhibition I pour copious amounts into my bowl and into my mug, and with that, my day I start.