Wednesday, March 24, 2010
He picked me up off the shore of a sick green ocean,
took me to his mud-brick home
and pushed two straw pallets together,
For ten weeks
I let him bring me salted meat
and white silk corsets,
speak to me in soft, guttural tones
when I smiled. On warm days
he would walk with me
through his village, gesture to the women
who were with child
by mates they could not understand,
make me presents
of wilted wild flowes
held out in his pale, meaty fist.
-Excerpts from "My Summer With the Norsemen" by Margaret Bashaar
Monday, March 22, 2010
My heart is small, like a love
of button or black pepper.
On approach, I notice how
objects grow and contours blear.
That's what comes of nearness.
I have an ear for the specific.
As St. Apollonia minds the teeth,
and Magnus of Fussen, hailstones.
I dwarf gloom with my cachet sign:
one good hand conceals
My one good eye,
halving all disaster.
- Excerpt from "In the Voice of a Minor Saint" by Sarah J Sloat
For my love with his one good eye.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
By the wide anxiety of the dawn
Leaves, sister leaves,
I hear you in the lament.
the time of the parting has just passed.
High skies of the youth,
And I am desert yet.
Lost in this curved melancholy.
But the night disperses the separations.
astral nests of illusion,
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
I first wrote about this hauntingly beautiful family photo last August. It is the cover image of Annie Dawid's book And Darkness Was Under His Feet: Stories of a Family. I have since learned that the small boy in the center of the photo is the author's father. Darkness is a beautiful book that well measures up to its cover. It is a memorial to tragic loss, parts of it made me weep, but it is also full of life and resilience.
Ms. Dawid will be reading from Darkness in Portland on April 22nd, at Neveh Shalom Synagogue in SW, at 7:30 pm. This is part of the Inst. for Judaic Studies program.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Lobster in the bathtub. Christmas Eve.
Scrub the tub first. Hand off cleanser.
Rinse well. We don’t want Comet
in our lobster.
against the porcelain. Everyone leery
of going to the bathroom.
Bubbles had risen when we lowered him in,
now he’s limp.
Stare into the water
that wears a similar gooseflesh.
The lobster is dispatched.
* * *
Wrapping an oversized box
(a coffee maker),
can’t find a swathe of paper big enough.
Start to cobble bits together
with tape (ah—chitinous)
and the joints look like repeated segments
of a carapace.
A pilot blue glows. Haemocyanin—
a blood based in copper not iron
while the broth of something Provençal
sings from the pot, a little tomatoey,
a little stigma (not stamen) of crocus sativus
under the Star of
* * *
If the universe is this is the latest—
bouncing between inflation
and shrinkage, as if on a trillion-year
pendulum, why wouldn’t
an infant’s sobbing, on the exhale,
have a prosody
as on the inhale have the chemistry
of tears and seas
or our bouillabaisse,
a primal soup contain
and nonspeech and raspberries—
in the briny speech stream
a scuttling underwriter?
This is the Latest
Image via We Heart It
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
There wasn't much for the ducks.
Mother turned the breadbin upside down.
The ducks quacked and seemed dissatisfied
The water was black and soon it froze.
Winter was hard, winter was hard.
Even money was frozen in the bank.
Saturday evening could only be celebrated
every other Saturday.
Bo Carpelan Winter Was Hard
Set to music by Aulis Sallinen
OK. While in a blue funk, you decide to sell yourself to Cirque du Soleil. And now you wear a sequined leotard to the bank and hang from a silk ribbon every night by your teeth. Well, you’re cured. Nevertheless, life isn’t all gasping crowds. You may be double-jointed but your memories move in a single direction …
Poetry horoscope by Nathan Moore at Read Write Poem
Image via Audrey Hepburn Complex
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Where are the children?
The cry rings through the garden
A faint exhausted echo
Above you in the apple tree
gleams the pale pointed face of a child
stretched like a cat along a branch
Never uttering a word.
Resolution Poem #3 by Spring Night in the Left Office
Photo by Nirrimi Joy Hakanson
via Feaverish Photography
Monday, March 8, 2010
The first beings gave thanks to the gods:
-Truly now, double thanks, triple thanks
that we've been formed. We've been given
our mouths, our faces.
We speak, we listen, we wonder,
we move... under the sky
A quote from the old Mayan book, the book of the dawn of life. I thought of this passage today as I watched Tadzio swimming and splashing in the sunlight. He swam to one side of the pool and stood on the edge, saltwater and steam pouring off of his body. A cool wind blew the steam off the surface of the pool, the trees dipped and swayed, and he splashed underwater again.
He learned to swim two weeks ago.
Truly now, double thanks, triple thanks. Thanks a million. It makes my heart sing.
Image via We Heart It