Saturday, 31 December 2016

New Year's Eve


There's something about the New Year isn't there - full of hope for new beginnings on one hand, and on the other, remembrances of past deflated hopes and endings. But still, I think hope for the future is always the more buoyant feeling.

Happy New Year to you all, may it be hopeful and buoyant and bright.


The Year - Ella Wheeler Wilcox

What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That’s not been said a thousand times?

The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.

We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.

We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.

We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our brides, we sheet our dead.

We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that’s the burden of the year.


New Year - Lucille Clifton

i am running into a new year
and the old years blow back
like a wind
that I catch in my hair
like strong fingers like
all my old promises and
it will be hard to let go
of what i said to myself
about myself
when i was sixteen and
twenty-six and thirty-six
even forty-six but
i am running into a new year and i beg what i
love and
i leave to forgive me



Monday, 26 December 2016

The Wren Boys

 Wren Boys



The Wren-Boys - Carol Ann Duffy

The old year, a tear in the eye of time;
frost on the blackthorn, the ditches glamorous
with rime; on the inbreath of air,
the long, thoughtful pause before snow.

A star on the brow of a mule in a field
and the mule nuzzling the drystone wall
where a wren, size of a child’s lost purse,
hides in a hole. St. Stephen’s Day.

Eight bells from the Church. Next to the Church,
the Inn. Next to the Inn, and opposite,
a straight furlong of dwellings. End of the line,
a farm. Top of the hill, the Big House –

everywhere musky with peat from the first fires
as though the hour had started the day
with a neat malt; like your man has here
who bangs on door after door with his holly-stick.

Quick boys! Up for the wren! Then the Wren-Boys
flinging open the doors in their green-laced boots,
daft caps, red neckerchiefs, with cudgels and nets;
one with a cage held aloft on the tip of a ribboned staff.
Hedge-bandit, song-bomb, dart-beak, the wren
hops in the thicket, flirt-eye; shy, brave,
grubbing, winter’s scamp, but more than itself –
ten requisite grams of the world’s weight.

And here’s the craic: that the little bird
had betrayed a saint with its song,
or stolen a ride on an eagle’s back
to fly highest; traitor and cheat.

But poets named it Dryw, druid and wren,
sought its hermit tune for a muse;
sweethearts thought it a foolproof blessing for love.
Which was true for the wren? None of the above.

Over the wall, over the field, was the wood
to where the Wren-Boys stomped in a singing gang:
We’ll chase him from bush to bush
and from tree to tree. One had a fiddle,

one had a penny-whistle, another a drum,
one had thirty feathers poked in his hat.
So through the holly, the hazel, the ash,
the brackeny floor, they hunted the wren.

Five hours in, they had startled a fox
which ran like the hounds; had bagged a nest
with five blue unhatched eggs; scarpered
from a cache of poteen stashed in an oak.

On a twig, a robin watched them go,
safe in its myth. It had started to snow
and the boots of the boys blotted the page of the field
as they made for the margins – the ditches and hedgerows.

The priest was supping a pint of stout in the pub,
a small icon of his holy self, clocking the top shelf.
The farmer was sat by the fire with his dog.
Four widows were sharing a Christmas nog.

And the sky went falling, falling, down to the earth
till a lad was sent to fetch the mule to its stall,
and the bell had a muffled, sorrowful sound
and up at the Big House all the lights came on.

And the clouds came grieving, grieving, down to the land,
but could they find that feckin wran,
as they thrashed, poked, joshed and joked
along the lane where weddings and funerals came.

Who it was who plonked his arse on a stile
and yanked the wipe from his neck, the plumes
from his brother’s hat, to fashion a dummy bird,
no living man can tell; nor hear their boisterous glee

as they caged the raggedy wren and swaggered,
whistling, fiddling, drumming, back up the road –
The wren, the wren, the Lord of all birds,
On St. Stephen’s Day was caught on the furze . . .

Sing holly, sing ivy, sing ivy, sing holly,
a drop just to drink it will drown melancholy . . .
away round the bend in dwindling violet light
into their given lives, snow-ghosts, gone . . .

to boast at each house with a verse, a sock
for farthings, threepennies, sixpences, florins;
then toast that the wren was out with the old
and in with the new was the robin.

Which would have been news to the wren,
had it understood claptrap, mythology, fable,
warm in its communal roost in the stable
over the heads of the dozing beasts –

while the Wren-Boys boozed and danced at the Inn;
one with a widow, one with the farmer’s daughter,
one with a sweetheart, one with a sozzled priest.
Later, the snow settled, a star in the east.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

A Time Like This

Related image

Merry Christmas to all my readers. Wishing you peace and joy and a light in the heart at this time.


Into the Darkest Hour - Madeline L'Engle

It was a time like this,
War & tumult of war,
a horror in the air.
Hungry yawned the abyss-
and yet there came the star
and the child most wonderfully there.

It was time like this
of fear & lust for power,
license & greed and blight-
and yet the Prince of bliss
came into the darkest hour
in quiet & silent light.

And in a time like this
how celebrate his birth
when all things fall apart?
Ah! Wonderful it is
with no room on the earth
the stable is our heart.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Christmas Eve

Image result for street lantern in the snow



Christmas Eve - Carol Ann Duffy

Time was slow snow sieving the night,
a kind of love from the blurred moon;
your small town swooning, unabashed,
was Winter’s own.

Snow was the mind of Time, sifting
itself, drafting the old year’s end.
You wrote your name on the window-pane
with your young hand.

And your wishes went up in smoke,
beyond where a streetlamp studied
the thoughtful snow on Christmas Eve,
beyond belief,

as Time, snow, darkness, child, kindled.
Downstairs, the ritual lighting of the candles.

Friday, 23 December 2016

A Star

Image result for christmas star
 
 
Now I know this poem is titled with tomorrow's date, but I think it's quite suitable for today too, a Christmas Eve Eve poem.

 
December 24, 1971 - Joseph Brodsky
 

For V.S.
 
When it’s Christmas we’re all of us magi.
At the grocers’ all slipping and pushing.
Where a tin of halvah, coffee-flavored,
is the cause of a human assault-wave
by a crowd heavy-laden with parcels:
each one his own king, his own camel.

Nylon bags, carrier bags, paper cones,
caps and neckties all twisted up sideways.
Reek of vodka and resin and cod,
orange mandarins, cinnamon, apples.
Floods of faces, no sign of a pathway
toward Bethlehem, shut off by blizzard.

And the bearers of moderate gifts
leap on buses and jam all the doorways,
disappear into courtyards that gape,
though they know that there’s nothing inside there:
not a beast, not a crib, nor yet her,
round whose head gleams a nimbus of gold.

Emptiness. But the mere thought of that
brings forth lights as if out of nowhere.
Herod reigns but the stronger he is,
the more sure, the more certain the wonder.
In the constancy of this relation
is the basic mechanics of Christmas.

That’s what they celebrate everywhere,
for its coming push tables together.
No demand for a star for a while,
but a sort of good will touched with grace
can be seen in all men from afar,
and the shepherds have kindled their fires.

Snow is falling: not smoking but sounding
chimney pots on the roof, every face like a stain.
Herod drinks. Every wife hides her child.
He who comes is a mystery: features
are not known beforehand, men’s hearts may
not be quick to distinguish the stranger.

But when drafts through the doorway disperse
the thick mist of the hours of darkness
and a shape in a shawl stands revealed,
both a newborn and Spirit that’s Holy
in your self you discover; you stare
skyward, and it’s right there:
                                                    a star.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Messiah

Image result for handel's messiah
 
 
Messiah (Christmas Portions) - Mark Doty
 
A little heat caught
in gleaming rags,
in shrouds of veil,
   torn and sun-shot swaddlings:

   over the Methodist roof,
two clouds propose a Zion
of their own, blazing
   (colors of tarnish on copper)

   against the steely close
of a coastal afternoon, December,
while under the steeple
   the Choral Society

   prepares to perform
Messiah, pouring, in their best
blacks and whites, onto the raked stage.
   Not steep, really,

   but from here,
the first pew, they’re a looming
cloudbank of familiar angels:
   that neighbor who

   fights operatically
with her girlfriend, for one,
and the friendly bearded clerk
   from the post office

   —tenor trapped
in the body of a baritone? Altos
from the A&P, soprano
   from the T-shirt shop:

   today they’re all poise,
costume and purpose
conveying the right note
   of distance and formality.

   Silence in the hall,
anticipatory, as if we’re all
about to open a gift we’re not sure
   we’ll like;

   how could they
compete with sunset’s burnished
oratorio? Thoughts which vanish,
   when the violins begin.

   Who’d have thought
they’d be so good? Every valley,
proclaims the solo tenor,
   (a sleek blonde

   I’ve seen somewhere before
—the liquor store?) shall be exalted,
and in his handsome mouth the word
   is lifted and opened

   into more syllables
than we could count, central ah
dilated in a baroque melisma,
   liquefied; the pour

   of voice seems
to make the unplaned landscape
the text predicts the Lord
   will heighten and tame.

   This music
demonstrates what it claims:
glory shall be revealed. If art’s
   acceptable evidence,

   mustn’t what lies
behind the world be at least
as beautiful as the human voice?
   The tenors lack confidence,

   and the soloists,
half of them anyway, don’t
have the strength to found
   the mighty kingdoms

   these passages propose
—but the chorus, all together,
equals my burning clouds,
   and seems itself to burn,

   commingled powers
deeded to a larger, centering claim.
These aren’t anyone we know;
   choiring dissolves

   familiarity in an up-
pouring rush which will not
rest, will not, for a moment,
   be still.

   Aren’t we enlarged
by the scale of what we’re able
to desire? Everything,
   the choir insists,

   might flame;
inside these wrappings
burns another, brighter life,
   quickened, now,

   by song: hear how
it cascades, in overlapping,
lapidary waves of praise? Still time.
   Still time to change.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Winter Solstice



The day the light starts to come back. Happy Winter Solstice.


December 21 - Ted Kooser

Perfectly still this solstice morning, 
in bone-cracking cold. Nothing moving,
or so one might think, but as I walk the road,
the wind held in the heart of every tree
flows to the end of each twig and forms a bud.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Meditations on the Solstice

Image result for snowy landscape

'This is the solstice, the still point
of the sun, its cusp and midnight,
the year’s threshold
and unlocking, where the past
lets go of and becomes the future;'


Solstice Poem - Margaret Atwood

I.
Through the slit of our open window, the wind
comes in and flows around us, nothingness
in motion, like time. The power of what is not there.
the snow empties itself down, a shadow turning
to indigo, obliterating
everything out there, roofs, cars, garbage cans,
dead flowerstalks, dog turds, it doesn’t matter.
you could read this as indifference
on the part of the universe, or else a relentless
forgiveness: all of our
scratches and blots and mortal
wounds and patched-up jobs
wiped clean in the snow’s huge erasure.

I feel it as a pressure,
an added layer:
above the white waterfall of snow
thundering down; then attic, moth-balled
sweaters, nomadic tents,
the dried words of old letters;
then stairs, then children, cats and radiators, peeling paint,
us in our bed, the afterglow
of a smoky fire, our one candle flickering;
below us, the kitchen in the dark, the wink
of pots on shelves; then books and tools, then cellar
and furnace, graying dolls, a bicycle,
the whole precarious geology of house
crisscrossed with hidden mousetrails,
and under that a buried river
that seeps up through the cement
floor every spring,
and the tree roots snouting their slow way
into the drains;
under that, the bones
of our ancestors, or if not theirs, someone’s,
mixed with a biomass of nematodes;
under that, bedrock, then molten
stone and the earth’s fiery core;
and sideways, out into the city, street
and corner store and mall
and underpass, then barns and ruined woodlands, continent
and island, oceans, mists
of story drifting
on the tide like seaweed, animal
species crushed and blinking out,
and births and illnesses, hatred and love infra-
red, compassion fleshtone, prayer ultra-
violet; then rumours, alternate waves
of sad peace and sad war,
and then the air, and then the scintillating ions,
and then the stars. That’s where
we are.

2.
Some centuries ago, when we lived at the edge
of the forest, on nights like this
you would have put on your pelt of a bear
and shambled off to prowl and hulk
among the trees, and be a silhouette of human
fears against the snowbank.
I would have chosen fox;
I liked the jokes,
the doubling back on my tracks,
and, let’s face it, the theft.
Back then, I had many forms:
the sliding in and out
of my own slippery eelskin,
and yours as well; we were each other’s
iridescent glove, the deft body
all sleight-of-hand and illusion.
Once we were lithe as pythons, quick
and silvery as herring, and we still are, momentarily,
except our knees hurt.
Right now we’re content to huddle
under the shed feathers of duck and goose
as the wind pours like a river
we swim in by keeping still,
like trout in a current.
Every cell
in our bodies has renewed itself
so many times since then, there’s
not much left, my love,
of the originals. We’re footprints
becoming limestone, or think of it
as coal becoming diamond. Less
flexible, but more condensed;
and no more scales or aliases,
at least on the outside. Though we’ve accumulated,
despite ourselves, other disguises:
you as a rumpled elephant—
hide suitcase with white fur,
me as a bramble bush. Well, the hair
was always difficult. Then there’s
the eye problems: too close, too far, you’re a blur.
I used to say I’d know you anywhere,
but it’s getting harder.

3.
This is the solstice, the still point
of the sun, its cusp and midnight,
the year’s threshold
and unlocking, where the past
lets go of and becomes the future;
the place of caught breath, the door
of a vanished house left ajar.

Taking hands like children
lost in a six-dimensional
forest, we step across.
The walls of the house fold themselves down,
and the house turns
itself inside out, as a tulip does
in its last full-blown moment, and our candle
flares up and goes out, and the only common
sense that remains to us is touch,

as it will be, later, some other
century, when we will seem to each other
even less what we were.
But that trick is just to hold on
through all appearances; and so we do,
and yes, I know it’s you;
and that is what we will come to, sooner
or later, when it’s even darker
than It is now, when the snow is colder,
when it’s darkest and coldest
and candles are no longer any use to us
and the visibility is zero: Yes.
It’s still you. It’s still you.

Monday, 19 December 2016

No Room

 Image result for mary and joseph turned away at the inn

A very relevant poem for our current situation in the world, and to begin my poetry posting for Christmas week.


Advent - Antony Dunn
for Daisy or Milo
 
O little child, o child to come
knocking at the world's door, for whom,
still, your small universe of womb
is all there is to know, strike dumb
the voices of our worldly gloom;
no room, no room, no room.
 
O little child, make good the sum
of human love. Of every crumb
create a thousand shares. Presume
this much, at least, that there's one home
from which the answer will not come,
no room, no room, no room.

Monday, 5 December 2016

To A Leaf Falling in Winter

 Image result for leaf falling in winter


To A Leaf Falling in Winter - WS Mervin

At sundown when a day's words
have gathered at the feet of the trees
lining up in silence
to enter the long corridors
of the roots into which they
pass one by one thinking
that they remember the place
as they feel themselves climbing
away from their only sound
while they are being forgotten
by their bright circumstances
they rise through all of the rings
listening again
afterward as they
listened once and they come
to where the leaves used to live
during their lives but have gone now
and they too take the next step
beyond the reach of meaning

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Heart View

 Image result for heart vs brain


The Kingdom - Jane Hirshfield

At times

the heart
stands back
and looks at the body,
looks at the mind,
as a lion
quietly looks
at the not-quite-itself,
not-quite-another,
moving of shadows and grass.
Wary, but with interest,
considers its kingdom.
Then seeing
all that will be,
heart once again enters—
enters hunger, enters sorrow,
enters finally losing it all.
To know, if nothing else,
what it once owned.
 

Friday, 2 December 2016

Winter Tree


 
 Image result for winter tree
 
 
The Tree - Sara Teasdale

Oh to be free of myself,
With nothing left to remember,
To have my heart as bare
As a tree in December;

Resting, as a tree rests
After its leaves are gone,
Waiting no more for a rain at night
Nor for the red at dawn;

But still, oh so still
While the winds come and go,
With no more fear of the hard frost
Or the bright burden of snow;

And heedless, heedless
If anyone pass and see
On the white page of the sky
Its thin black tracery.


Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Absences

Image result for snow flowers
 
 
Absences - Donald Justice
 
It's snowing this afternoon and there are no flowers.
There is only this sound of falling, quiet and remote,
Like the memory of scales descending the white keys
Of a childhood piano—outside the window, palms!
And the heavy head of the cereus, inclining,
Soon to let down its white or yellow-white.

Now, only these poor snow-flowers in a heap,
Like the memory of a white dress cast down . . .
So much has fallen.
                                    And I, who have listened for a step
All afternoon, hear it now, but already falling away,
Already in memory. And the terrible scales descending
On the silent piano; the snow; and the absent flowers
      abounding.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Advent

Related image

Perfection.

 
Advent - Carol Ann Duffy

One last silvered leaf fails to fall
from its tree.  A hard year’s winter
has frozen your voice.

                           You would still rejoice
if you could sing, in your listening church -
where candles thrill to their endings,
light’s brave lovers - gold carols
this dark Advent;
                     the hurt heart hearkening:

Lo! He comes with clouds descending.

But there is the descant moon
over our scarred world, its cold, pure breve,
and you will sing to your child
                                   on Christmas Eve.

Friday, 25 November 2016

The Warm ad the Cold

Related image

Poem for the coldest day of the year so far. Brrrrr. 




The Warm and the Cold - Ted Hughes

Freezing dusk is closing
    Like a slow trap of steel
On trees and roads and hills and all
    That can no longer feel.
        But the carp is in its depth
          Like a planet in its heaven.
        And the badger in its bedding
          Like a loaf in the oven.
        And the butterfly in its mummy
          Like a viol in its case.
        And the owl in its feathers
          Like a doll in its lace.

Freezing dusk has tightened
    Like a nut screwed tight
On the starry aeroplane
    Of the soaring night.
        But the trout is in its hole
          Like a chuckle in a sleeper.
        The hare strays down the highway
          Like a root going deeper.
        The snail is dry in the outhouse
          Like a seed in a sunflower.
        The owl is pale on the gatepost
          Like a clock on its tower.

Moonlight freezes the shaggy world
    Like a mammoth of ice -
The past and the future
    Are the jaws of a steel vice.
        But the cod is in the tide-rip
          Like a key in a purse.
        The deer are on the bare-blown hill
          Like smiles on a nurse.
        The flies are behind the plaster
          Like the lost score of a jig.
        Sparrows are in the ivy-clump
          Like money in a pig.

Such a frost
    The flimsy moon
        Has lost her wits.

          A star falls.

The sweating farmers
    Turn in their sleep
        Like oxen on spits.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Great Plains in Winter

Image result for cabin in the great plains in snow




Great Plains in Winter - Ted Kooser

Blue snow in the moonlight,
Set back from the road, a house
with a single lamplit window.
The whole world holds its breath.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Rush of the World

Image result for big dipper
  
'and, like a needle slipped into your vein—
that sudden rush of the world...'


Any Common Desolation - Ellen Bass

can be enough to make you look up
at the yellowed leaves of the apple tree, the few
that survived the rains and frost, shot
with late afternoon sun. They glow a deep
orange-gold against a blue so sheer, a single bird
would rip it like silk. You may have to break
your heart, but it isn’t nothing
to know even one moment alive. The sound
of an oar in an oarlock or a ruminant
animal tearing grass. The smell of grated ginger.
The ruby neon of the liquor store sign.
Warm socks. You remember your mother,
her precision a ceremony, as she gathered
the white cotton, slipped it over your toes,
drew up the heel, turned the cuff. A breath
can uncoil as you walk across your own muddy yard,
the big dipper pouring night down over you, and everything
you dread, all you can’t bear, dissolves
and, like a needle slipped into your vein—
that sudden rush of the world.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

November

 Image result for winter tree

Hard not to think about death in this bleak month of winter beginning.  Linda Pastan sums it up sharply.


November - Linda Pastan

It is an old drama
this disappearance of the leaves,
this seeming death
of the landscape.
In a later scene,
or earlier,
the trees like gnarled magicians
produce handkerchiefs
of leaves
out of empty branches.
 
And we watch.
We are like children
at this spectacle
of leaves,
as if one day we too
will open the wooden doors
of our coffins
and come out smiling
and bowing
all over again.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Fall Leaves

 Image result for emily bronte - leaf poem



Fall Leaves, Fall - Emily Bronte 
 
Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow;
I shall sing when night’s decay
Ushers in a drearier day.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Eagle Poem

Image result for eagle
To pray you open your whole self
To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon
To one whole voice that is you.
And know there is more
That you can’t see, can’t hear;
Can’t know except in moments
Steadily growing, and in languages
That aren’t always sound but other
Circles of motion.
Like eagle that Sunday morning
Over Salt River. Circled in blue sky
In wind, swept our hearts clean
With sacred wings.
We see you, see ourselves and know
That we must take the utmost care
And kindness in all things.
Breathe in, knowing we are made of
All this, and breathe, knowing
We are truly blessed because we
Were born, and die soon within a
True circle of motion,
Like eagle rounding out the morning
Inside us.
We pray that it will be done
In beauty.
In beauty.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Harlem Night Song

Image result for harlem night song



Harlem Night Song - Langston Hughes
 
Come,
Let us roam the night together
Singing.

I love you.

Across
The Harlem roof-tops
Moon is shining.
Night sky is blue.
Stars are great drops
Of golden dew.

Down the street
A band is playing.

I love you.

Come,
Let us roam the night together
Singing.



Friday, 11 November 2016

The Weeping Girl


Image result for weeping girl with flowers


La Figlia Che Piange (The Weeping Girl) - T. S. Eliot

Stand on the highest pavement of the stair —
Lean on a garden urn —
Weave, weave the sunlight in your hair —
Clasp your flowers to you with a pained surprise —
Fling them to the ground and turn
With a fugitive resentment in your eyes:
But weave, weave the sunlight in your hair.

So I would have had him leave,
So I would have had her stand and grieve,
So he would have left
As the soul leaves the body torn and bruised,
As the mind deserts the body it has used.
I should find
Some way incomparably light and deft,
Some way we both should understand,
Simple and faithless as a smile and a shake of the hand.

She turned away, but with the autumn weather
Compelled my imagination many days,
Many days and many hours:
Her hair over her arms and her arms full of flowers.
And I wonder how they should have been together!
I should have lost a gesture and a pose.
Sometimes these cogitations still amaze
The troubled midnight, and the noon's repose.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Mending Wall

Image result for mending wall
 
'Something there is that doesn't love a wall..' Yes, there is. Take that Donald Trump.  
 
 
Mending Wall - Robert Frost

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbour know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
"Stay where you are until our backs are turned!"
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, "Good fences make good neighbours."
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
"Why do they make good neighbours? Isn't it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down." I could say "Elves" to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbours."

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

The Second Coming

 

This is the only poem that can fit the devastation and fearful consequences of today. 
 

The Second Coming - WB Yeats
 
Turning and turning in the widening gyre   
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere   
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst   
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.   
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out   
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert   
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,   
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,   
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it   
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.   
The darkness drops again; but now I know   
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,   
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,   
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

November Rain

 Image result for black umbrellas on a rainy day


November Rain - Linda Pastan

How separate we are
under our black umbrellas—dark
planets in our own small orbits,

hiding from this wet assault
of weather as if water
would violate the skin,

as if these raised silk canopies
could protect us
from whatever is coming next—

December with its white
enamel surfaces; the numbing
silences of winter.

From above we must look
like a family of bats—
ribbed wings spread

against the rain,
swooping towards any
makeshift shelter.