Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Day 649: Blue Squills


Goodbye dear April... You've been a beautiful month.

Blue Squills - Sara Teasdale

How many million Aprils came
         Before I ever knew
How white a cherry bough could be,
         A bed of squills, how blue.

And many a dancing April
         When life is done with me,
Will lift the blue flame of the flower
         And the white flame of the tree.

Oh, burn me with your beauty, then,
         Oh, hurt me, tree and flower,
Lest in the end death try to take
         Even this glistening hour.

O shaken flowers, O shimmering trees,
         O sunlit white and blue,
Wound me, that I through endless sleep
         May bear the scar of you.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Day 648: April Rise

 'If ever the world was blessed, now it is...'
April is nearly over, and what a glorious month it has been. Almost every day sunny and green, birds singing and flowers blooming. How lovely!
April Rise - Laurie Lee

If ever I saw blessing in the air
I see it now in this still early day
Where lemon-green the vaporous morning drips
Wet sunlight on the powder of my eye.

Blown bubble-film of blue, the sky wraps round
Weeds of warm light whose every root and rod
Splutters with soapy green, and all the world
Sweats with the bead of summer in its bud.

If ever I heard blessing it is there
Where birds in trees that shoals and shadows are
Splash with their hidden wings and drops of sound
Break on my ears their crests of throbbing air.

Pure in the haze the emerald sun dilates,
The lips of sparrows milk the mossy stones,
While white as water by the lake a girl
Swims her green hand among the gathered swans.

Now, as the almond burns its smoking wick,
Dropping small flames to light the candled grass;
Now, as my low blood scales its second chance,
If ever world were blessed, now it is.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Day 647: In Memory of Daffodils

'Gather ye rosebuds while ye may...' Robert Herrick said. In this case, it is daffodils, and Ted Hughes is the voice of a lesson learnt too late. Youth is a thing wasted on the young. Don't squander beauty or time or days, or meaning, or small significant little things. 

A powerful poem this one, the untimely tragedy of Sylvia Plath's death of course, cutting through every word.

Daffodils - Ted Hughes

Remember how we picked the daffodils?
Nobody else remembers, but I remember.
Your daughter came with her armfuls, eager and happy,
Helping the harvest. She has forgotten.
She cannot even remember you. And we sold them.
It sounds like sacrilege, but we sold them.
Were we so poor? Old Stoneman, the grocer,
Boss-eyed, his blood-pressure purpling to beetroot
(It was his last chance,
He would die in the same great freeze as you) ,
He persuaded us. Every Spring
He always bought them, sevenpence a dozen,
'A custom of the house'.

Besides, we still weren't sure we wanted to own
Anything. Mainly we were hungry
To convert everything to profit.
Still nomads-still strangers
To our whole possession. The daffodils
Were incidental gilding of the deeds,
Treasure trove. They simply came,
And they kept on coming.
As if not from the sod but falling from heaven.
Our lives were still a raid on our own good luck.
We knew we'd live forever. We had not learned
What a fleeting glance of the everlasting
Daffodils are. Never identified
The nuptial flight of the rarest epherma-
Our own days!
We thought they were a windfall.
Never guessed they were a last blessing.
So we sold them. We worked at selling them
As if employed on somebody else's
Flower-farm. You bent at it
In the rain of that April-your last April.
We bent there together, among the soft shrieks
Of their jostled stems, the wet shocks shaken
Of their girlish dance-frocks-
Fresh-opened dragonflies, wet and flimsy,
Opened too early. 

We piled their frailty lights on a carpenter's bench,
Distributed leaves among the dozens-
Buckling blade-leaves, limber, groping for air, zinc-silvered-
Propped their raw butts in bucket water,
Their oval, meaty butts,
And sold them, sevenpence a bunch-

Wind-wounds, spasms from the dark earth,
With their odourless metals,
A flamy purification of the deep grave's stony cold
As if ice had a breath- 

We sold them, to wither.
The crop thickened faster than we could thin it.
Finally, we were overwhelmed
And we lost our wedding-present scissors. 

Every March since they have lifted again
Out of the same bulbs, the same
Baby-cries from the thaw,
Ballerinas too early for music, shiverers
In the draughty wings of the year.
On that same groundswell of memory, fluttering
They return to forget you stooping there
Behind the rainy curtains of a dark April,
Snipping their stems. 

But somewhere your scissors remember. Wherever they are.
Here somewhere, blades wide open,
April by April
Sinking deeper
Through the sod-an anchor, a cross of rust. 

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Day 646: Romantics

Another condemned love affair: Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann. Seems there is such a thing worse than unrequited love, and that's love that is requited, but ultimately not acted upon for some reason - in this case society  mores of the day, marriage, loyalty to friends and family. This poem explains it quite beautifully. 


Romantics - Lisel Mueller

Johannes Brahms 
       and Clara Schumann

The modern biographers worry
"how far it went," their tender friendship.
They wonder just what it means
when he writes he thinks of her constantly,
his guardian angel, beloved friend.
The modern biographers ask
the rude, irrelevant question
of our age, as if the event
of two bodies meshing together
establishes the degree of love,
forgetting how softly Eros walked
in the nineteenth-century, how a hand
held overlong or a gaze anchored
in someone's eyes could unseat a heart,
and nuances of address not known
in our egalitarian language
could make the redolent air
tremble and shimmer with the heat
of possibility.  Each time I hear
the Intermezzi, sad
and lavish in their tenderness,
I imagine the two of them
sitting in a garden
among late-blooming roses
and dark cascades of leaves,
letting the landscape speak for them,
leaving us nothing to overhear.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Day 645: Ode to Wine

Ode to Wine - Pablo Neruda

Day-colored wine,
night-colored wine,
wine with purple feet
or wine with topaz blood,
starry child
of earth,
wine, smooth
as a golden sword,
as lascivious velvet,
wine, spiral-seashelled
and full of wonder,
never has one goblet contained you,
one song, one man,
you are choral, gregarious,
at the least, you must be shared.
At times
you feed on mortal
your wave carries us
from tomb to tomb,
stonecutter of icy sepulchers,
and we weep
transitory tears;
spring dress
is different,
blood rises through the shoots,
wind incites the day,
nothing is left
of your immutable soul.
stirs the spring, happiness
bursts through the earth like a plant,
walls crumble,
and rocky cliffs,
chasms close,
as song is born.
A jug of wine, and thou beside me
in the wilderness,
sang the ancient poet.
Let the wine pitcher
add to the kiss of love its own.

My darling, suddenly
the line of your hip
becomes the brimming curve
of the wine goblet,
your breast is the grape cluster,
your nipples are the grapes,
the gleam of spirits lights your hair,
and your navel is a chaste seal
stamped on the vessel of your belly,
your love an inexhaustible
cascade of wine,
light that illuminates my senses,
the earthly splendor of life.

But you are more than love,
the fiery kiss,
the heat of fire,
more than the wine of life;
you are
the community of man,
chorus of discipline,
abundance of flowers.
I like on the table,
when we're speaking,
the light of a bottle
of intelligent wine.
Drink it,
and remember in every
drop of gold,
in every topaz glass,
in every purple ladle,
that autumn labored
to fill the vessel with wine;
and in the ritual of his office,
let the simple man remember
to think of the soil and of his duty,
to propagate the canticle of the wine. 

Friday, 25 April 2014

Day 644: Aus Einem April

'...everything is turbulent and green..'

You can't beat the energy and verve of the New York School of Poets, especially Frank O'Hara. Here he is with a variation on Rilke's poem of the same title, meaning 'Out of an April.' 

Aus Einem April - Frank O'Hara

We dust the walls.
And of course we are weeping larks
falling all over the heavens with our shoulders clasped
in someone’s armpits, so tightly! and our throats are full.
Haven’t you ever fallen down at Christmas
and didn’t it move everyone who saw you?
isn’t that what the tree means? the pure pleasure
of making weep those whom you cannot move by your flights!
It’s enough to drive one to suicide.
And the rooftops are falling apart like the applause
of rough, long-nailed, intimate, roughened-by-kisses, hands.
Fingers more breathless than a tongue laid upon the lips
in the hour of sunlight, early morning, before the mist rolls
in from the sea; and out there everything is turbulent and green.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Day 643: Song of A Second April

Heartbreak in Spring... a kind of an oxymoron isn't it? 

Song of A Second April - Edna St Vincent Millay

April this year, not otherwise
Than April of a year ago,
Is full of whispers, full of sighs,
Of dazzling mud and dingy snow;
Hepaticas that pleased you so
Are here again, and butterflies.

There rings a hammering all day,
And shingles lie about the doors;
In orchards near and far away
The grey wood-pecker taps and bores;
The men are merry at their chores,
And children earnest at their play.

The larger streams run still and deep,
Noisy and swift the small brooks run
Among the mullein stalks the sheep
Go up the hillside in the sun,
Pensively, - only you are gone,
You that alone I cared to keep.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Day 642: Cherry Blossoms

The beautiful cherry blossoms are out! *sigh* What do they speak to you of?

Cherry Blossoms - Basho 

How many, many things
They call to mind
These cherry-blossoms!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Day 641: Azure and Gold

Another lovely ode to April... 

Azure and Gold - Amy Lowell

April had covered the hills
With flickering yellows and reds,
The sparkle and coolness of snow
Was blown from the mountain beds.

Across a deep-sunken stream
The pink of blossoming trees,
And from windless appleblooms
The humming of many bees.

The air was of rose and gold
Arabesqued with the song of birds
Who, swinging unseen under leaves,
Made music more eager than words.

Of a sudden, aslant the road,
A brightness to dazzle and stun,
A glint of the bluest blue,
A flash from a sapphire sun.

Blue-birds so blue, t'was a dream,
An impossible, unconceived hue,
The high sky of summer dropped down
Some rapturous ocean to woo.

Such a colour, such infinite light!
The heart of a fabulous gem,
Many-faceted, brilliant and rare.
Centre Stone of the earth's diadem!

Centre Stone of the Crown of the World,
"Sincerity" graved on your youth!
And your eyes hold the blue-bird flash,
The sapphire shaft, which is truth.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Day 640: Chicks

Still on the Easter theme today - 

Chicks - Carl Sandburg 

The chick in the egg picks at the shell, cracks open one oval world, and enters another 
oval world.

"Cheep...cheep...cheep" is the salutation of the newcomer, the emigrant, the casual at the
gates of the new world.

"Cheep...cheep"... from oval to oval, sunset to sunset, star to star.

It is at the door of this house, this teeny weeny eggshell exit, it is here men say a riddle
and jeer each other: who are you? where do you go from here?

(In the academies many books, at the circus many sacks of peanuts, at the club rooms many
cigar butts.)

"Cheep...cheep"... from oval to oval, sunset to sunset, star to star.


Sunday, 20 April 2014

Day 639: Easter Fawn

Happy Easter!

The Fawn - Mary Oliver 

Sunday morning and mellow as precious metal  
The church bells rang, but I went  
To the woods instead.

A fawn, too new  
For fear, rose from the grass  
And stood with its spots blazing,  
And knowing no way but words,  
No trick but music,  
I sang to him.

He listened.  
His small hooves struck the grass.  
Oh what is holiness?

The fawn came closer,  
Walked to my hands, to my knees.

I did not touch him.  
I only sang, and when the doe came back
Calling out to him dolefully  
And he turned and followed her into the trees,  
Still I sang,  
Not knowing how to end such a joyful text,

Until far off the bells once more tipped and tumbled  
And rang through the morning, announcing  
The going forth of the blessed.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Day 638: Blueberries


“Here, There Are Blueberries” - Mary Szybist

When I see the bright clouds, a sky empty of moon and stars,
I wonder what I am, that anyone should note me.

Here there are blueberries, what should I fear?

Here there is bread in thick slices, of whom should I be afraid?

Under the swelling clouds, we spread our blankets.
Here in this meadow, we open our baskets

to unpack blueberries, whole bowls of them,

berries not by the work of our hands, berries not by the work of our fingers.

what taste the bright world has, whole fields
without wires, the blackened moss, the clouds

swelling at the edges of the meadow. And for this,
I did nothing, not even wonder.

You must live for something, they say. People don’t live just to keep on living.

But here is the quince tree, a sky bright and empty.
Here there are blueberries, there is no need to note me.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Day 637: Looking at Good Friday

 'Christ of St John of the Cross' ~ Salvador Dali

No matter what your religion or beliefs, the very human aspect of Jesus, appeals to almost everyone. Especially his suffering on this day, Good Friday. Here is a poem that makes this point in simple terms.   

(You might also like last year's Good Friday poem: Salvador Mundi by Denise Levertov)

Looking at Stars - Jane Kenyon

The God of curved space, the dry
God, is not going to help us, but the son
whose blood spattered
the hem of his mother’s robe.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Day 636: White Blossoms


Have you noticed the cherry trees have begun to blossom? They're so magnificent when in bloom, extraordinary markers of the season bursting forth in our ordinary daily vistas, I can't understand why people don't leap in glee while passing them.

And the white ones, especially, look so lovely, so becoming and gracefully beautiful. I saw a huge one yesterday, sprawled and flowering full in a garden. To my surprise and delight, I noticed there was a bench underneath it. Now wouldn't that be something? To sit under it, admiring its blossoms from a supreme vantage point. I can't think of any sight more uplifting.

Although their fleeting beauty is reminiscent of transience in life, I think what cherry blossoms ('cheery' blossoms) say to us is to enjoy life, while it's in full bloom, while we have it. AE Housman, today again, echoes that sentiment here.
Loveliest of Trees, The Cherry Now - AE Housman

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow. 


Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Day 635: Spring Morning

I love the way this poem sings the praises of April's delights, but at the very last line stops us short with the confession of a sadness. Spring is a balm, after all. 

Spring Morning - AE Housman

Star and coronal and bell
   April underfoot renews,
And the hope of man as well
   Flowers among the morning dews.

Now the old come out to look,
   Winter past and winter's pains,
How the sky in pool and brook
   Glitters on the grassy plains.

Easily the gentle air
   Wafts the turning season on;
Things to comfort them are there,
   Though 'tis true the best are gone.

Now the scorned unlucky lad
   Rousing from his pillow gnawn
Mans his heart and deep and glad
   Drinks the valiant air of dawn.

Half the night he longed to die,
   Now are sown on hill and plain
Pleasures worth his while to try
   Ere he longs to die again.

Blue the sky from east to west
   Arches, and the world is wide,
Though the girl he loves the best
   Rouses from another's side.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Day 634: Because it's Spring

I love this poem. 'because it's spring things dares to do people'  - what a line!  (Yes, I posted this last year, but I need reminding of this sentiment!) An injection of green - that's what ee's poems offer (and a sneaky little ode to love too.)

because it's Spring - ee cummings 

because it's


dare to do people

(& not
the other way

round)because it

's A

Lives lead their own


of everybodyelse's)but

what's wholly
marvellous my


is that you &
i are more than you

& i(be


e It's we)

Monday, 14 April 2014

Day 633: Words

How to describe words exactly? Here are a few ways -

Words - Yahia Lababidi

Words are like days:
coloring books or pickpockets,
signposts or scratching posts,
fakirs over hot coals.

Certain words must be earned
just as emotions are suffered
before they can be uttered
- clean as a kept promise.

Words as witnesses
testifying their truths
squalid or rarefied
inevitable, irrefutable.

But, words must not carry
more than they can
it’s not good for their backs
or their reputations.

For, whether they dance alone
or with an invisible partner,
every word is a cosmos
dissolving the inarticulate

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Day 632: Sunday Morning

 Coffee and Oranges by Pamela Munger
Food for thought in this one!
Sunday Morning - Wallace Stevens
Complacencies of the peignoir, and late
Coffee and oranges in a sunny chair,
And the green freedom of a cockatoo
Upon a rug mingle to dissipate
The holy hush of ancient sacrifice.
She dreams a little, and she feels the dark
Encroachment of that old catastrophe,
As a calm darkens among water-lights.
The pungent oranges and bright, green wings
Seem things in some procession of the dead,
Winding across wide water, without sound.
The day is like wide water, without sound,
Stilled for the passing of her dreaming feet
Over the seas, to silent Palestine,
Dominion of the blood and sepulchre.


Why should she give her bounty to the dead?
What is divinity if it can come
Only in silent shadows and in dreams?
Shall she not find in comforts of the sun,
In pungent fruit and bright, green wings, or else
In any balm or beauty of the earth,
Things to be cherished like the thought of heaven?
Divinity must live within herself:
Passions of rain, or moods in falling snow;
Grievings in loneliness, or unsubdued
Elations when the forest blooms; gusty
Emotions on wet roads on autumn nights;
All pleasures and all pains, remembering
The bough of summer and the winter branch.
These are the measures destined for her soul.


Jove in the clouds had his inhuman birth.
No mother suckled him, no sweet land gave
Large-mannered motions to his mythy mind.
He moved among us, as a muttering king,
Magnificent, would move among his hinds,
Until our blood, commingling, virginal,
With heaven, brought such requital to desire
The very hinds discerned it, in a star.
Shall our blood fail? Or shall it come to be
The blood of paradise? And shall the earth
Seem all of paradise that we shall know?
The sky will be much friendlier then than now,
A part of labor and a part of pain,
And next in glory to enduring love,
Not this dividing and indifferent blue.


She says, “I am content when wakened birds,
Before they fly, test the reality
Of misty fields, by their sweet questionings;
But when the birds are gone, and their warm fields
Return no more, where, then, is paradise?”
There is not any haunt of prophesy,
Nor any old chimera of the grave,
Neither the golden underground, nor isle
Melodious, where spirits gat them home,
Nor visionary south, nor cloudy palm
Remote on heaven’s hill, that has endured
As April’s green endures; or will endure
Like her remembrance of awakened birds,
Or her desire for June and evening, tipped
By the consummation of the swallow’s wings.


She says, “But in contentment I still feel
The need of some imperishable bliss.”
Death is the mother of beauty; hence from her,
Alone, shall come fulfilment to our dreams
And our desires. Although she strews the leaves
Of sure obliteration on our paths,
The path sick sorrow took, the many paths
Where triumph rang its brassy phrase, or love
Whispered a little out of tenderness,
She makes the willow shiver in the sun
For maidens who were wont to sit and gaze
Upon the grass, relinquished to their feet.
She causes boys to pile new plums and pears
On disregarded plate. The maidens taste
And stray impassioned in the littering leaves.


Is there no change of death in paradise?
Does ripe fruit never fall? Or do the boughs
Hang always heavy in that perfect sky,
Unchanging, yet so like our perishing earth,
With rivers like our own that seek for seas
They never find, the same receding shores
That never touch with inarticulate pang?
Why set the pear upon those river banks
Or spice the shores with odors of the plum?
Alas, that they should wear our colors there,
The silken weavings of our afternoons,
And pick the strings of our insipid lutes!
Death is the mother of beauty, mystical,
Within whose burning bosom we devise
Our earthly mothers waiting, sleeplessly.


Supple and turbulent, a ring of men
Shall chant in orgy on a summer morn
Their boisterous devotion to the sun,
Not as a god, but as a god might be,
Naked among them, like a savage source.
Their chant shall be a chant of paradise,
Out of their blood, returning to the sky;
And in their chant shall enter, voice by voice,
The windy lake wherein their lord delights,
The trees, like serafin, and echoing hills,
That choir among themselves long afterward.
They shall know well the heavenly fellowship
Of men that perish and of summer morn.
And whence they came and whither they shall go
The dew upon their feet shall manifest.


She hears, upon that water without sound,
A voice that cries, “The tomb in Palestine
Is not the porch of spirits lingering.
It is the grave of Jesus, where he lay.”
We live in an old chaos of the sun,
Or old dependency of day and night,
Or island solitude, unsponsored, free,
Of that wide water, inescapable.
Deer walk upon our mountains, and the quail
Whistle about us their spontaneous cries;
Sweet berries ripen in the wilderness;
And, in the isolation of the sky,
At evening, casual flocks of pigeons make
Ambiguous undulations as they sink,
Downward to darkness, on extended wings.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Day 631: Flirtation

Is there any feeling better than the entertaining of something new 
and something better, if even for a moment? 
Flirtation - Rita Dove
After all, there’s no need
to say anything

at first. An orange, peeled
and quartered, flares

like a tulip on a wedgewood plate
Anything can happen.

Outside the sun
has rolled up her rugs

and night strewn salt
across the sky. My heart

is humming a tune
I haven’t heard in years!

Quiet’s cool flesh—
let’s sniff and eat it.

There are ways
to make of the moment

a topiary
so the pleasure’s in

walking through.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Day 630: Kidnapped by a Poet


'lyric you in lilacs...'

This is a nice interpretation of having a muse. 


Kidnap Poem - Nikki Giovanni

Ever been kidnapped
by a poet
if i were a poet
i'd kidnap you
put you in my phrases and meter
You to jones beach
or maybe coney island
or maybe just to my house
lyric you in lilacs
dash you in the rain
blend into the beach
to complement my see
Play the lyre for you
ode you with my love song
anything to win you
wrap you in the red Black green
show you off to mama
yeah if i were a poet i'd kid
nap you 

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Day 629: Spring Self

Some days it may not feel very Spring-like on the outside (freezing today!), but as long as we're feeling Springy on the inside, well, that's the real season isn't it.

April - Sara Teasdale

The roofs are shining from the rain.
The sparrows tritter as they fly,
And with a windy April grace
The little clouds go by.

Yet the back-yards are bare and brown
With only one unchanging tree -
I could not be so sure of Spring
Save that it sings in me.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Day 628: Pigeons at Dawn

Pigeons at Dawn - Charles Simic

Extraordinary efforts are being made
To hide things from us, my friend.
Some stay up into the wee hours
To search their souls.
Others undress each other in darkened rooms.

The creaky old elevator
Took us down to the icy cellar first
To show us a mop and a bucket
Before it deigned to ascend again
With a sigh of exasperation.

Under the vast, early-dawn sky
The city lay silent before us.
Everything on hold:
Rooftops and water towers,
Clouds and wisps of white smoke.

We must be patient, we told ourselves,
See if the pigeons will coo now
For the one who comes to her window
To feed them angel cake,
All but invisible, but for her slender arm.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Day 627: Return of April

This poem about April is at first glance, a melancholy one. I find it peculiarly haunting, but also at the same time, hopeful.

The poet is sad here for sure, something has happened to lead her to being indifferent to spring's charms (heartache? aging? cynicism?) But how can anyone resist April's charms, that comes along in the year ' like an idiot babbling and strewing flowers'? It can crack the coldest and most cynical of souls I'm sure. That very last line is an admittance of the power of its innocence and idealism to charm. 

And what it seems to say (to me anyway - how about you?) is that despite the harsh truths of life and its hurts, April reminds us of hope and beauty, optimism and renewal, all those things that are antidotes to the bad. And that no matter how fallow it can become, life will always bloom beautiful again.

Spring - Edna St Vincent Millay  

To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of the crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only under ground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots,
Life in itself
Is nothing,
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Day 626: NaPoWriMo

For all those involved in the National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) challenge - here's a great poem on how to write a poem.

A Loaf of Poetry -Koriyama Naoshi

you mix
the dough
of experience
the yeast
of inspiration
and knead it well
with love
and pound it
with all your might
and then
leave it
it puffs out big
with its own inner force
and then
knead it again
shape it
into a round form
and bake it

in the oven
of your heart.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Day 625: Looking


Looking, Walking, Being - Denise Levertov

"The World is not something to

look at, it is something to be in." - Mark Rudman

I look and look.

Looking's a way of being: one becomes,

sometimes, a pair of eyes walking.

Walking wherever looking takes one.

The eyes

dig and burrow into the world.

They touch

fanfare, howl, madrigal, clamor.

World and the past of it,

not only

visible present, solid and shadow

that looks at one looking.

And language? Rhythms

of echo and interruption?


a way of breathing.

breathing to sustain


walking and looking,

through the world,
in it.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Day 624: April Rain Song

Rain today, but somehow April rain doesn't seem as bad as other kinds...

April Rain Song - Langston Hughes

Let the rain kiss you
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops
Let the rain sing you a lullaby
The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk
The rain makes running pools in the gutter
The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night
And I love the rain. 

Friday, 4 April 2014

Day 623: Wings & Other Notations

This poem is wonderfully fun and cryptic. 

Three Notations on Bipeds - Carl Sandburg
The down drop of the blackbird,
The wing catch of arrested flight,
The stop midway and then off: off for triangles, circles, loops of new hieroglyphs—
This is April’s way: a woman:
“O yes, I’m here again and your heart
knows I was coming.”

White pigeons rush at the sun,
A marathon of wing feats is on:
“Who most loves danger? Who most loves wings? Who somersaults for God’s sake in the name of wing power in the sun and blue on an April Thursday.”
So ten winged heads, ten winged feet, race their white forms over Elmhurst.
They go fast: once the ten together were a feather of foam bubble, a chrysanthemum whirl speaking to silver and azure.

The child is on my shoulders.
In the prairie moonlight the child’s legs hang over my shoulders.
She sits on my neck and I hear her calling me a good horse.
She slides down—and into the moon silver of a prairie stream
She throws a stone and laughs at the clug-clug.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Day 622: New Season

'From here I can go anywhere I choose.' 

I love how spring represents new beginnings. Clean slates, endless possibilities. And especially today, as it's my birthday and the beginning of an entirely new year.

New Season - Wendy Cope

No coats today. Buds bulge on chestnut trees,
and on the doorstep of a big, old house
a young man stands and plays his flute.

I watch the silver notes fly up
and circle in blue sky above the traffic,
travelling where they will.

And suddenly this paving-stone
midway between my front door and the bus stop
is a starting-point.

From here I can go anywhere I choose.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Day 621: April/Aries

'Aries' by Josephine Wall

I think this poem is not only an accurate picture of April but also of its astrological personality: Aries.

Especially that part about the bull. Or should it be ram? Or is Wadsworth here referring to May - ie Taurus, the bull? Or could it be a reference to seizing the day, grabbing the bull by the horns? Anyway, every Aries knows what their 'wreathed horns' are. We may be sweet most of the time, 'with thoughts of love I glide', but have a fiery feistiness that can flare up as suddenly as an April shower.

April (from 'The Poet's Calendar') - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I open wide the portals of the Spring
  To welcome the procession of the flowers,
With their gay banners, and the birds that sing
  Their song of songs from their aerial towers.
I soften with my sunshine and my showers
  The heart of earth; with thoughts of love I glide
Into the hearts of men; and with the Hours
  Upon the Bull with wreathed horns I ride.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Day 620: It's April!

'-it's april(yes,april,my darling)it's spring!' 

when faces called flowers float out of the ground - ee cummings