Phrases flock in a blue pocket book
trailing the rushed rhythm of painted feet
words walk past the morning light
boarding a train too slow a match
for the beast, the beating heart
stilled solely by ink-stained verse
rising from its paper fold, like butterflies
across the blue soaked sky.
Once upon a time
(six winters ago)
on a Thursday night
as bright as this
a girl and a boy sat
soberly still on
a seat of gold grinning
for no better reason
than finding life had
taken a turn toward
that God of knots
they call bliss.
Tonight they sit
closer still in a room
filled with signs
of that life built
for better, worse
Spread across the centre page sat
a good home, its marble face shone
against the streaming light, falling
on a desk standing still, by the window sill
with pictures hanging all around.
Bright blue candles neatly climbing
the pyramid of books in glossy garb
and Chrysanthemums peeking
at straight lined cigars,
astride atop a China vase.
No feet roaming wild within walls,
pearly white and standing tall
covered in framed brushstrokes
containing the lives of other folks.
In this good house so perfect
and true, no stories spill
and spread unchecked,
colouring sleeping rugs that lay
lost in secrets of Mandalay.
I’ve always found that poetry, more than any other genre of writing, seems to best capture moments in time, containing answers to nothing and everything. It is like catharsis, like an epiphany, like someone read your mind, picked at your thoughts and made them whole. And there they rest, outside your head, in words spun this way, reminders that all will be well, as long as you have these…
Chateau X by Martino ~ NL on Flickr
And yet the books will be there, on the shelves, separate beings,
That appeared once, still wet
As shining chestnuts under a tree in autumn,
And, touched, coddled, began to live
In spite of fires on the horizon, castles blown up,
Tribes on the march, planets in motion.
“We are,” they said, even as their pages
Were being torn out, or a buzzing flame
Licked away their letters. So much more durable
Than we are, whose frail warmth
Cools down with memory, disperses, perishes.
I imagine the earth when I am no more:
Nothing happens, no loss, it’s still a strange pageant,
Women’s dresses, dewy lilacs, a song in the valley.
Yet the books will be there on the shelves, well born,
Derived from people, but also from radiance, heights.
by Czeslaw Milosz
Read about his work here:
Thin round mints
in a square tin box,
one finger clicks
open the top,
pink tablets tying
her tongue in knots.
it had boldly warned
of cinnamon breath
for hours long,
take one for now
with more to follow
letting it linger
no hurried swallow.
Sharp edged pins
slowly close in
She shuts her eyes
to catch them spin,
seconds crawl on
behind a racing heart
“Artificially Flavoured” kiss
is ready to depart.
This is the second poem composed on the cellphone during a 40 minute metro ride. Read the first here.
‘Doomed Love’ was scribbled on the cover
Of Aeneas and Dido in time torn asunder
Just then a voice joined my morning ride
Cowering behind a cellphone smile.
The journey she had made for him
To take her mind off sordid things
All tangled now in unshakable vows
He was leaving it all for now.
Her voice quivered as she said “Goodbye!”
“Go then, forever”, she cried
The tears I heard but did not see
Her troubles lay bare next to me.
Words didn’t fly off the page again
I said “forget”, only to myself
Life could look better without that love
The one that hurt you so much.
Ring ring ring it did again
“No more, no more” in refrain
Trembling she rose to face it all
Dido among the Delhi winds.
This poem was composed on a cellphone during a 40 minute metro ride.
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.
– T. S. Eliot, La figlia che piange
You know, I’m often scribbling away, gasping at the discovery of words that have set my heart aflutter. And these are often penned in curious places, strewn among hardbound companions or placed in corners I will not discover for days, years even. While there is much joy in that, I’m tempted today to build a new chamber, right here, to preserve them. So that they may lie a little closer, within reach for you and me.
We begin then with her:
…Is there then a world
where I rule absolutely on fate?
A time I bind with chains of signs?
An existence become endless at my bidding?
The joy of writing.
The power of preserving.
Revenge of a mortal hand.
– from ‘The Joy of Writing’ by Wislawa Szymborska
A river cried God’s name in vain
As treasures spilled onto the streets from a tome
Forsaken love mocked the crimson earth
The night wore a shade of moonshine and verse.
Under green tints and shadow games
Wars had begun in the minds of men
They ate words, warm and uncut
While truant leaves churned fortunes in a cup.
Time flew in on a half-torn wing
Vanity and want shared a rummy drink
They danced among strewn letters of life
Polished by eyes behind velvet screens.