Wednesday, 31 August 2016


 Image result for gold light

Nostalgia - Charles Wright

Always it comes when we least expect it, like a wave,
Or like the shadow of several waves,
                                                             one after the next,
Becoming singular as the face

Of someone who rose and fell apart at the edge of our lives.

Breaks up and re-forms, breaks up, re-forms.
And all the attendant retinue of loss foams out
Brilliant and sea-white, then sinks away.

Memory’s dog-teeth,
                                   lovely detritus smoothed out and laid up.

And always the feeling comes that it was better ten,
Whatever it was—
                                people and places, the sweet taste of things—
And this one, wave borne and wave-washed, was part of all that.

We take the conceit in hand, and rub it for good luck.

Or rub it against the evil eye.
And yet, when that wave appears, or that wave’s shadow, we like it,
Or say we do,
                        and hope the next time

We’ll be surprised again, and returned again, depite the fact
The time will come, they say, when the weight of nostalgia,
                                                                             that ten-foot spread
Of sand in the heart, outweighs
Whatever living existence we drop on the scales.

May it never arrive, Lord, may it never arrive.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016


 Image result for date seamus heaney dies

Remembering Seamus Heaney, three years gone today.

Lives (for Seamus Heaney) - Derek Mahon

First time out
I was a torc of gold
And wept tears of the sun.

That was fun
But they buried me
In the earth two thousand years

Till a labourer
Turned me up with a pick
In eighteen fifty-four

And sold me
For tea and sugar
In Newmarket-on-Fergus.

Once I was an oar
But stuck in the shore
To mark the place of a grave

When the lost ship
Sailed away. I thought
Of Ithaca, but soon decayed.

The time that I liked
Best was when
I was a bump of clay

In a Navaho rug,
Put there to mitigate
The too god-like

Perfection of that
Merely human artifact.
I served my maker well

He lived long
To be struck down in
Tucson by an electric shock

The night the lights
Went out in Europe
Never to shine again.

So many lives,
So many things to remember!
I was a stone in Tibet,

A tongue of bark
At the heart of Africa
Growing darker and darker …

It all seems
A little unreal now,
Now that I am

An anthropologist
With my own
Credit card, dictaphone,

Army-surplus boots
And a whole boatload
Of photographic equipment.

I know too much
To be anything any more;
And if in the distant

Future someone
Thinks he has once been me
As I am today,

Let him revise
His insolent ontology
Or teach himself to pray.

Friday, 19 August 2016

August Musing

I think we've reached that point now alright when we have to bade farewell to summer! This poem, in all its beauty, softens the blow a little. 

*(I found this poem on the beautiful Beyond the Fields We Know blog.)

August - Barbara Crooker

Summer sings its long song, and all the notes are green.
But there’s a click, somewhere in the middle
of the month, as we reach the turning point, the apex,
a Ferris wheel, cars tipping and tilting over the top,
and we see September up ahead, school and schedules
returning. And there’s the first night you step outside
and hear the katydids arguing, six more weeks
to frost, and you know you can make it through to fall.
Dark now at eight, nights finally cooling off for sleep,
no more twisting in damp sheets, hearing mosquitoes’
thirsty whines. Lakes of chicory and Queen Anne’s lace
mirror the sky’s high cirrus. Evenings grow chilly,
time for old sweaters and sweatpants, lying in the hammock
squinting to read in the quick-coming dusk.
A few fireflies punctuate the night’s black text,
and the moonlight is so thick, you could swim in it
until you reach the other side.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Explanations of Love


Explanations of Love - Carl Sandburg

There is a place where love begins and a place
where love ends.

There is a touch of two hands that foils all dictionaries.

There is a look of eyes fierce as a big Bethlehem open hearth
furnace or a little green-fire acetylene torch.

There are single careless bywords portentous as a
big bend in the Mississippi River.

Hands, eyes, bywords–out of these love makes
battlegrounds and workshops.

There is a pair of shoes love wears and the coming
is a mystery.

There is a warning love sends and the cost of it
is never written till long afterward.

There are explanations of love in all languages
and not one found wiser than this:

There is a place where love begins and a place
where love ends—and love asks nothing.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Love's Strategems


How love trumps all, even our flimsy attempts to avoid it.

Love's Strategems - Donald Justice

But these maneuverings to avoid
The touching of hands,
These shifts to keep the eyes employed
On objects more or less neutral
(As honor, for time being, commands)
Will hardly prevent their downfall.
Stronger medicines are needed.
Already they find
None of their strategems have succeeded,
Nor would have, no,
Not had their eyes been stricken blind,
Hands cut off at the elbow.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Summer Rain Poem


'it is the secret of a summer shower
to steal the light and hide it in a flower...'

I posted this poem previously here, but since it bears a new title now (as it appears in the latest collection 'Falling Awake' from Alice Oswald), I'll post it again.

And, because right now, I really need to read something that captures some beauty about this dismal summer rain we've been having...! :(

A Short Story of Falling - Alice Oswald

It is the story of the falling rain
to turn into a leaf and fall again

it is the secret of a summer shower
to steal the light and hide it in a flower

and every flower a tiny tributary
that from the ground flows green and momentary

is one of water’s wishes and this tale
hangs in a seed-head smaller than my thumbnail

if only I a passerby could pass
as clear as water through a plume of grass

to find the sunlight hidden at the tip
turning to seed a kind of lifting rain drip

then I might know like water how to balance
the weight of hope against the light of patience

water which is so raw so earthy-strong
and lurks in cast-iron tanks and leaks along

drawn under gravity towards my tongue
to cool and fill the pipe-work of this song

which is the story of the falling rain
that rises to the light and falls again

Monday, 8 August 2016


August -  Lizette Woodworth Reese

No wind, no bird. The river flames like brass.
On either side, smitten as with a spell
Of silence, brood the fields. In the deep grass,
Edging the dusty roads, lie as they fell
Handfuls of shriveled leaves from tree and bush.
But ’long the orchard fence and at the gate,
Thrusting their saffron torches through the hush,
Wild lilies blaze, and bees hum soon and late.
Rust-colored the tall straggling briar, not one
Rose left. The spider sets its loom up there
Close to the roots, and spins out in the sun
A silken web from twig to twig. The air
Is full of hot rank scents. Upon the hill
Drifts the noon’s single cloud, white, glaring, still.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

The Saddest Lines

Well this is beautiful. Swooningly romantic and heartbreaking.  Pablo Neruda, in perfect form.

Tonight I Can Write (The Saddest Lines) - Pablo Neruda 

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write, for example, 'The night is starry and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance.'

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms.
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is starry and she is not with me.

This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight tries to find her as though to bring her closer.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another's. She will be another's. As she was before my kisses.
Her voice, her bright body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Never (Ever)

A clever and cool little poem. 

Ever - Meghan O'Rourke

Even now I can’t grasp “nothing” or “never.”
They’re unholdable, unglobable, no map to nothing.
Never? Never ever again to see you?
An error, I aver. You’re never nothing,
because nothing’s not a thing.
I know death is absolute, forever,
the guillotineguttingnever to which we never say goodbye.
But even as I think “forever” it goes “ever”
and “ever” and “ever.” Ever after.
I’m a thing that keeps on thinking. So I never see you
is not a thing or think my mouth can ever. Aver:
You’re not “nothing.” But neither are you something.
Will I ever really get never?
You’re gone. Nothing, never—ever.

Monday, 1 August 2016

If I Could Tell You

August, always seems a month about Time. When summer time begins to run out and time as a rapidly dwindling resource, makes itself known.

If I Could Tell You - WH Auden

Time will say nothing but I told you so,
Time only knows the price we have to pay;
If I could tell you I would let you know.

If we should weep when clowns put on their show,
If we should stumble when musicians play,
Time will say nothing but I told you so.

There are no fortunes to be told, although,
Because I love you more than I can say,
If I could tell you I would let you know.

The winds must come from somewhere when they blow,
There must be reasons why the leaves decay;
Time will say nothing but I told you so.

Perhaps the roses really want to grow,
The vision seriously intends to stay;
If I could tell you I would let you know.

Suppose all the lions get up and go,
And all the brooks and soldiers run away;
Will Time say nothing but I told you so?
If I could tell you I would let you know.