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Blue

Agnes Cleve - Train Ride

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.

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A Good Home

Henri Matisse - Vase, Bottle and Fruit (1906)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.

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And Yet the Books…

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…

And Yet the Books by Czeslaw Milosz

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:

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/czeslaw-milosz

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/apr/07/seamus-heaney-czeslaw-milosz-centenary

1

Cinnamon

Cinnamon_Poem

Thin round mints

in a square tin box,

one finger clicks

open the top,

white paper

black letters

rustling inside,

pink tablets tying

her tongue in knots.

“Curiously Strong”

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.

 

3

On These Tracks

Aeneas_Leaving_Dido

‘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.

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Treasure Chest: Wislawa Szymborska

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

4

Songs After Sundown

Songs After Sundown

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.