Friday, March 30, 2018

1022. Harvey Ellis - Harvey Ellis

Harvey Ellis - Harvey Ellis

my ancestors surround me
like walls of a canyon
quiet
stone hard
their ideas drift over me
like breezes at sunset

we gather sticks
and make settlements
what we do is only partly
our own
and partly continuation
down through the chromosomes

my son
my baby sleeps behind me
stirring in the night
for the touch
that lets him continue

he is arranging 
in his small form the furniture
and windows of his home

it will be a lot like mine

it will be a lot like theirs

Friday, March 16, 2018

1021. To The Son - Jorge Luis Borges

Translated from the Spanish by Alastair Reid

It was not I who begot you. It was the dead—
my father, and his father, and their forebears,
all those who through a labyrinth of loves
descend from Adam and the desert wastes
of Cain and Abel, in a dawn so ancient
it has become mythology by now,
to arrive, blood and marrow, at this day
in the future, in which I now beget you.
I feed their multitudes. They are who we are,
and you among us, you and the the sons to come
that you will beget. The latest in the line
and in red Adam’s line. I too am those others.
Eternity is present in the things
of time and its impatient happenings

Monday, January 29, 2018

1020. The Bed by the Window - Robinson Jeffers

.
I chose the bed downstairs by the sea-window for a good death-bed
When we built the house, it is ready waiting.
Unused unless by some guest in a a twelvemonth, who hardly  suspects
Its later purpose. I often regard it,
With neither dislike nor desire; rather with both, so equaled
That they kill each other and a crystalline interest
Remains alone. We are safe to finish what we have to finish,
And then it will sound rather like music
When the patient daemon behind the screen of sea-rock and sky
Thrumps with his staff, and calls thrice: “Come,  Jeffers

Sunday, December 24, 2017

1019. Figment at the Beginning of Something. . . - David Watts -

My son brings me a stone and asks
which star it fell from,
he is serious
and so I must be careful, even though
I know he will place it
among those things that will leave him
someday, and he
will go on gathering. For this
is one of those moments
that turns suddenly towards you, opening
as it turns, as if for a moment
we paused on the edge
of a heart beat, conscious
of the fear that runs beside us
and how lovely it is to be with each other

in the long resilient mornings.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

1018. Poema - Maria Teresa Horta

Poema by Maria Teresa Horta
Translated from the Portuguese by Lesley Saunders

I let him come.
He sneaks on tiptoe
right up to my ear;
under its ribs my heart
quivers, quickens
as the excitement mounts:
first the forest appears,
then the woodland-sequel,
more mist than snow to the touch –
from the new poem’s
very first line the paper sucks up
every waif-word
and an ugliness steals in,
a cunning hungry thing
crouching there incognito,
pretending to be tame and yet so wolfish
that he’s the kernel of light
and then the noise of its cracking;
he’s lithe on the path,
doubling back on himself,
running with the pack, loping alone;
pussy-footing through the night
he trails moonlight behind him
like a mink coat.
I feel him when the hairs on my skin
lift, and in the delicious dizziness
of my private pulse –
in the midst of my writing, in my dream-life,
I slip all his clothes slowly off

and slide him down beside me.

Monday, November 06, 2017

1017. Marks - Linda Pastan

.
My husband gives me an A
for lasts nights’s supper
an incomplete for my ironing,
a B plus in bed.
My son says I am average,
an average mother, but if
I put my mind to it
I could improve.
My daughter believes
in Pass/Fail and tells me
I pass. Wait ‘till they learn

I’m dropping out.

Friday, October 27, 2017

1016. Epitaph For "Poet's Tomb" - Shuntaro Tankawa

“I, infinite silence, will grant you words”
[God Contemplates Man]  —Jules Supervielle

When I was born
I was nameless
like a water molecule
But right away I was fed vowels mouth-to-mouth
consonants tickled my ears
I was called and
pulled away from the cosmos

Oscillating the atmosphere
carved onto clay tablets
inscribed on bamboo
recorded on sand
words are onion skins
If I keep on peeling
I will not find the cosmos

I would have loved to lose words
to be a tree singing in the wind
I would have loved to be a cloud from a hundred thousand years ago
I would have loved to be a whale’s song
Now I go back to being nameless
with dirt over my eyes, my ears and my mouth

with stars leading me by the fingers