Tuesday, February 26, 2013


"Epiphany is an unveiling of reality. What in Greek was called epiphaneia meant the appearance, the arrival, of a divinity among mortals or its recognition under a familiar shape of man or woman. Epiphany thus interrupts the everyday flow of time and enters as one privileged moment when we intuitively grasp a deeper, more essential reality hidden in things or persons. A poem-epiphany tells about one moment-event and this imposes a certain form."

'A Book of Luminous Things, An International Anthology of Poetry', Introduced by Czeslaw Milosz

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Wave after Wave

Every evening, at sunset-time, hundreds of bats fly out of Cubbon Park to dot the sky in a silent drama that never fails to fascinate you. To be there, under the bare rain-trees, and see them fly out silently against the darkening blue sky, in wave after wave.

Today watched them gather at the fruiting silk cotton tree.

Don't have a camera great enough to capture that movement, so just go see it yourself. In this season, 6.30 PM, the gate next to UB City.

Go. And tell me about it.

I know, I know, I know that this is changing me

The latest OCD song, on repeat, like some 1500 times. I think I should watch this on really bad days.
And to think the video has a squirrel in it - you know?

R.E.M. - ÜBerlin (Official)


I know, I know, I know that this is changing
We walk the streets to feel the ground
I'm chasing through Berlin

I am flying on a star into a meteor tonight
I am flying on a star, a star, a star
I will make it through the day
And then the day becomes the night
I will make it through the night


"The trees are coming into leaf,
like something almost being said..."*

A time of transition, in our city. The bare trees reveal the intricate patterns of their arms, the new buds "relax and spread", the flowers bloom all over - the annual yellow tabubeia flowers kept their February promise. 

You go to Lal Bagh Botanical gardens every weekend, in the heart of the city, to watch the young squirrels scamper all over 200-year-old trees. Soon they will be covered in leaves, all set for the summer sun.

Photos, on Picasa: https://picasaweb.google.com/106491954401233999557/Uttaraayan

Photos, on Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/106491954401233999557/albums/5833123102125674161
* Philip Larkin

Bluebells for Love

There will be bluebells growing under the big trees
And you will be there and I will be there in May;
For some other reason we both will have to delay
The evening in Dunshaughlin -- to please
Some imagined relation,
So both of us came to walk through that plantation.

We will be interested in the grass,
In an old bucket-hoop, in the ivy that weaves
Green incongruity among dead leaves,
We will put on surprise at carts that pass --
Only sometimes looking sideways at the bluebells in the plantation
And never frighten them with too wild an exclamation.

We will be wise, we will not let them guess
That we are watching them or they will pose
A mere facade like boys
Caught out in virtue's naturalness.
We will not impose on the bluebells in that plantation
Too much of our desire's adulation.

We will have other loves -- or so they'll think;
The primroses or the ferns or the briars,
Or even the rusty paling wires,
Or the violets on the sunless sorrel bank,
Only as an aside the bluebells in the plantation
Will mean a thing to our dark contemplation.

We'll know love little by little, glance by glance.
Ah, the clay under these roots is so brown!
We'll steal from Heaven while God is in the town --
I caught an angel smiling in a chance
Look through the tree-trunks of the plantation
As you and I walked slowly to the station.

Patrick Kavanagh


Your names toll in my dreams.
I pick up tinsel in the street. A nameless god
streaks my hand with blood. I look at the lighted trees
in windows & the spindles of pine tremble
in warm rooms. The flesh of home, silent.

How quiet the bells of heaven must be, cold
with stars who connot rhyme their brilliance
to our weapons. What rouses our lives each moment?
Nothing but life dares dying. My memory, another obituary.
My memory is a cross. Face down. A whistle in high grass.

A shadow pouring down the sill of calamity.
Your names wake me in the nearly dark hour.
The candles in our windows flicker
where your faces peer in, ask us
questions light cannot answer.

Rachel Eliza Griffiths

Night Picnic

There was the sky, starless and vast—
Home of every one of our dark thoughts—
Its door open to more darkness.
And you, like a late door-to-door salesman,
With only your own beating heart
In the palm of your outstretched hand.

All things are imbued with God’s being—
She said in hushed tones
As if his ghost might overhear us—
The dark woods around us,
Our faces which we cannot see,
Even this bread we are eating.

You were mulling over the particulars
Of your cosmic insignificance
Between slow sips of red wine.
In the ensuing quiet, you could hear
Her small, sharp teeth chewing the crust—
And then finally, she moistened her lips. 

Charles Simic


"The process of thought that underlies Western philosophy is demonstrative. Based on the principle of contradiction, it must be able to be discussed verbally and precisely. Western philosophy and science are its inevitable product.

Philosophical thought in such cultures as China and Japan does not necessarily require demonstrative arguments and precise verbal expression. Communication of thought is often indirect, suggestive, and symbolic rather than descriptive and precise. The thought process underlying the nondemonstrative approach does not simply rely on language but rather denies it; science, logic and mathematics did not and could not have emerged from it. This does not mean that it is undeveloped and that it must evolve along Western lines.

The Eastern way of thinking is qualitatively different from the Western with its emphasis on verbal and conceptual expression. This separation from language and rational thought is typically found in Zen, which conveys its basic standpoint with the statement, "No reliance on words or letters, a special transmission apart from doctrinal teaching."

The same attitude appears in Confucius, who proclaims, "Clever talk and pretentious manner are seldom found in the Good". We encounter it in ink drawings that negate form and color, Noh theater with its negation of direct or external expression and Japanese waka and haiku poetry. The Eastern approach must be sought in non-thinking beyond thinking and not-thinking.

To generate a creative synthesis of Eastern and Western philosophy, one must include but go beyond the demonstrative thinking that is characteristic of the West, and arrive at unobjectifiable ultimate reality and give it a logical articulation by conceptually expressing the inexpressible.

.....'An Inquiry into the Good' (1911) is the first fruit of Kitaro Nishida's effort to respond to the need for this kind of synthesis.

From the Introduction, by Masao Abe

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dear lost sharer of silences

Eyes Only

Dear lost sharer
of silences,
I would send a letter
the way the tree sends messages
in leaves,
or the sky in exclamations
of pure cloud.

Therefore I write
in this blue
ink, color
of secret veins
and arteries.
It is morning here.
Already the postman walks

the innocent streets,
dangerous as Aeolus
with his bag of winds,
or Hermes, the messenger,
god of sleep and dreams
who traces my image
upon this stamp.

In public buildings
letters are weighed
and sorted like meat;
in railway stations
huge sacks of mail
are hidden like robbers' booty
behind freight-car doors.

And in another city
the conjurer
will hold a fan of letters
before your outstretched hand—
"Pick any card. . . "
You must tear the envelope
as you would tear bread.

Only then dark rivers
of ink will thaw
and flow
under all the bridges
we have failed
to build
between us.

Linda Pastan (1981)


Let the day grow on you upward
through your feet,
the vegetal knuckles,

to your knees of stone,
until by evening you are a black tree;
feel, with evening,

the swifts thicken your hair,
the new moon rising out of your forehead,
and the moonlit veins of silver

running from your armpits
like rivulets under white leaves.
Sleep, as ants

cross over your eyelids.
You have never possessed anything
as deeply as this.

This is all you have owned
from the first outcry
through forever;

you can never be dispossessed.

Derek Walcott, 'Sea Grapes'

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Harp

When he was my age and I was already a boy
my father made a machine in the garage.
A wired piece of steel
with many small and beautiful welds
ground so smooth they resembled rows of pearls.

He went broke with whatever it was.
He held it so carefully in his arms.
He carried it foundry to foundry.
I think it was his harp,
I think it was what he longed to make
with his hands for the world.

He moved it finally from the locked closet
to the bedroom
to the garage again
where he hung it on the wall
until I climbed and pulled it down
and rubbed it clean
and tried to make it work.

Bruce Weigl


The cold grows colder, even as the days
grow longer, February's mercury vapor light
buffing but not defrosting the bone-white
ground, crusty and treacherous underfoot.

This is the time of year that's apt to put
a hammerlock on a healthy appetite,
old anxieties back into the night,
insomnia and nightmares into play;

when things in need of doing go undone
and things that can't be undone come to call,
muttering recriminations at the door,
and buried ambitions rise up through the floor

and pin your wriggling shoulders to the wall;
and hope's a reptile waiting for the sun.

Bill Christophersen

Flying at Night

Above us, stars. Beneath us, constellations.
Five billion miles away, a galaxy dies
like a snowflake falling on water. Below us,
some farmer, feeling the chill of that distant death,
snaps on his yard light, drawing his sheds and barn
back into the little system of his care.
All night, the cities, like shimmering novas,
tug with bright streets at lonely lights like his.

Ted Kooser

Sunday, February 17, 2013


I am not alone.
he’s here now.
sometimes I think
he’s gone
then he
flies back
in the morning or at
noon or in the
a bird no one wants.
he’s mine.
my bird of pain.
he doesn’t sing.
that bird
swaying on the

Charles Bukowski

Recite the list

 …recite the list
of what you’ve learned to do without.
It is stronger than prayer.

Stephen Dunn, 'Traveling'

Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentine for Ernest Mann

You can't order a poem like you order a taco.
Walk up to the counter, say, "I'll take two"
and expect it to be handed back to you
on a shiny plate.

Still, I like your spirit.
Anyone who says, "Here's my address,
write me a poem," deserves something in reply.
So I'll tell you a secret instead:
poems hide. In the bottoms of our shoes,
they are sleeping. They are the shadows
drifting across our ceilings the moment
before we wake up. What we have to do
is live in a way that lets us find them.

Once I knew a man who gave his wife
two skunks for a valentine.
He couldn't understand why she was crying.
"I thought they had such beautiful eyes."
And he was serious. He was a serious man
who lived in a serious way. Nothing was ugly
just because the world said so. He really
liked those skunks. So, he re-invented them
as valentines and they became beautiful.
At least, to him. And the poems that had been hiding
in the eyes of skunks for centuries
crawled out and curled up at his feet.

Maybe if we re-invent whatever our lives give us
we find poems. Check your garage, the odd sock
in your drawer, the person you almost like, but not quite.
And let me know.

Naomi Shihab Nye

This much I do Remember

It was after dinner.
You were talking to me across the table
about something or other,
a greyhound you had seen that day
or a song you liked,

and I was looking past you
over your bare shoulder
at the three oranges lying
on the kitchen counter
next to the small electric bean grinder,
which was also orange,
and the orange and white cruets for vinegar and oil.

Alll of which converged
into a random still life,
so fastened together by the hasp of color,
and so fixed behind the animated
foreground of your
talking and smiling,
gesturing and pouring wine,
and the camber of you shoulders

that I could feel it being painted within me,
brushed on the wall of my skull,
while the tone of your voice
lifted and fell in its flight,
and the three oranges
remained fixed on the counter
the way that stars are said
to be fixed in the universe.

Then all of the moments of the past
began to line up behind that moment
and all of the moments to come
assembled in front of it in a long row,
giving me reason to believe
that this was a moment I had rescued
from millions that rush out of sight
into a darkness behind the eyes.

Even after I have forgotten what year it is,
my middle name,
and the meaning of money,
I will still carry in my pocket
the small coin of that moment,
minted in the kingdom
that we pace through every day.

Billy Collins

The Breather

Just as in the horror movies
when someone discovers that the phone calls
are coming from inside the house

so too, I realized 
that our tender overlapping
has been taking place only inside me.

All that sweetness, the love and desire—
it’s just been me dialing myself
then following the ringing to another room

to find no one on the line,
well, sometimes a little breathing
but more often than not, nothing.

To think that all this time—
which would include the boat rides,
the airport embraces, and all the drinks—

it’s been only me and the two telephones,
the one on the wall in the kitchen
and the extension in the darkened guest room upstairs.

Billy Collins

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wanting to Die

Since you ask, most days I cannot remember.
I walk in my clothing, unmarked by that voyage.  
Then the almost unnameable lust returns.

Even then I have nothing against life.
I know well the grass blades you mention,  
the furniture you have placed under the sun.

But suicides have a special language.
Like carpenters they want to know which tools.
They never ask why build.

Twice I have so simply declared myself,  
have possessed the enemy, eaten the enemy,  
have taken on his craft, his magic.

In this way, heavy and thoughtful,  
warmer than oil or water,
I have rested, drooling at the mouth-hole.

I did not think of my body at needle point.
Even the cornea and the leftover urine were gone.  
Suicides have already betrayed the body.

Still-born, they don’t always die,
but dazzled, they can’t forget a drug so sweet  
that even children would look on and smile.

To thrust all that life under your tongue!—
that, all by itself, becomes a passion.  
Death’s a sad bone; bruised, you’d say,

and yet she waits for me, year after year,  
to so delicately undo an old wound,  
to empty my breath from its bad prison.

Balanced there, suicides sometimes meet,  
raging at the fruit a pumped-up moon,  
leaving the bread they mistook for a kiss,

leaving the page of the book carelessly open,
something unsaid, the phone off the hook
and the love whatever it was, an infection.

Anne Sexton

Yours is the name the leaves chatter

Dear One Absent this Long While

It has been so wet stones glaze in moss;
everything blooms coldly.

I expect you. I thought one night it was you
at the base of the drive, you at the foot of the stairs,

you in a shiver of light, but each time
leaves in wind revealed themselves,

the retreating shadow of a fox, daybreak.
We expect you, cat and I, bluebirds and I, the stove.
In May we dreamed of wreaths burning on bonfires
over which young men and women leapt.

June efforts quietly.
I’ve planted vegetables along each garden wall

so even if spring continues to disappoint
we can say at least the lettuce loved the rain.

I have new gloves and a new hoe.
I practice eulogies. He was a hawk

with white feathered legs. She had the quiet ribs
of a salamander crossing the old pony post road.

Yours is the name the leaves chatter
at the edge of the unrabbited woods.

Lisa Olstein

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Vastness

"For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love."

Carl Sagan in 'Contact'

The mornings, despairing

"..It’s not that I forget
the cat outside. She just wants to stay out
all night. And it’s her cry,
plaintive and despairing: forgotten, forgotten
each morning that wakes me.
And each morning, I open the door
to her joy at finally being remembered.
This is her nature, the nightly melodrama
and relief of morning. If dogs look like
their owners, basset hounded,
beagled, then cats are our hearts:
the purring, the nine lives. The mornings
despairing, plaintive: forgotten, forgotten."

Sue Goyette

Too often

“I felt like crying but nothing came out. It was just a sort of sad sickness, sick sad, when you can’t feel any worse. I think you know it. I think everybody knows it now and then. But I think I have known it pretty often, too often.”

Charles Bukowski, 'Tales of Ordinary Madness'

The terror

Our educational system tell us
that we can all be
big-ass winners.

it hasn't told us
about the gutters
or the suicides.

or the terror of one person
aching in one place

unspoken to

watering a plant.

Charles Bukowski, 'The Crunch'

On the Term of Exile

No need to drive a nail into the wall
To hang your hat on;
When you come in, just drop it on the chair
No guest has sat on.

Don’t worry about watering the flowers—
In fact, don’t plant them.
You will have gone back home before they bloom,
And who will want them?

If mastering the language is too hard,
Only be patient;
The telegram imploring your return
Won’t need translation.

Remember, when the ceiling sheds itself
In flakes of plaster,
The wall that keeps you out is crumbling too,
As fast or faster.

Bertolt Brecht
(20th c. Tr. Adam Kirsch)

After the Sea

As it leaves
the sea inscribes
the sand
with a zen riddle
written in Japanese
characters of seaweed.

the white selves
of seagulls
mesh in repetitions
of desire

John O’Donohue, 'Echoes of Memory'

​Just Now

In the morning as the storm begins to blow away
the clear sky appears for a moment and it seems to me
that there has been something simpler than I could ever

simpler than I could have begun to find words for
not patient not even waiting no more hidden
than the air itself that became part of me for a while

with every breath and remained with me unnoticed
something that was here unnamed unknown in the days
and the nights not separate from them

not separate from them as they came and were gone
it must have been here neither early nor late then
by what name can I address it now holding out my thanks.

W.S. Merwin

The Room

It is an old story, the way it happens
sometimes in winter, sometimes not.
The listener falls to sleep,
the doors to the closets of his unhappiness open

and into his room the misfortunes come --
death by daybreak, death by nightfall,
their wooden wings bruising the air,
their shadows the spilled milk the world cries over.

There is a need for surprise endings;
the green field where cows burn like newsprint,
where the farmer sits and stares,
where nothing, when it happens, is never terrible enough.

Mark Strand

The Time

Summer is the time to write. I tell myself this
in winter especially. Summer comes,
I want to tumble with the river
over rocks and mossy dams.

A fish drifting upside down.
Slow accordians sweeten the breeze.

The Sanitary Mattress Factory says,
"Sleep is Life."
Why do I think of forty ways to spend an afternoon?

Yesterday someone said, "It gets late so early."
I wrote it down. I was going to do something with it.
Maybe it is a title and this life is the poem.

Naomi Shihab Nye

In the same country as you

Love in the Dark Country
Kapka Kassabova

Tomorrow for twenty-four hours
I’ll be in the same country as you.

The sky will be constantly shifting,
the morning will be green, a single morning
for my single bed. And in the night

as the dark country goes to sleep
a church bell will measure
the jet-lag of my heart.

I’ll open my suitcase and unfold my life
like a blanket. In the dark country I will lie
all night and wonder how this came to be:

the one light left in the world
is your window, somewhere in the land

of thin rain and expensive trains.
And instead of maps, I have an onward ticket.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Abandoned Farmhouse

He was a big man, says the size of his shoes
on a pile of broken dishes by the house;
a tall man too, says the length of the bed
in an upstairs room; and a good, God-fearing man,
says the Bible with a broken back
on the floor below the window, dusty with sun;
but not a man for farming, say the fields
cluttered with boulders and the leaky barn.

A woman lived with him, says the bedroom wall
papered with lilacs and the kitchen shelves
covered with oilcloth, and they had a child,
says the sandbox made from a tractor tire.
Money was scarce, say the jars of plum preserves
and canned tomatoes sealed in the cellar hole.
And the winters cold, say the rags in the window frames.
It was lonely here, says the narrow country road.

Something went wrong, says the empty house
in the weed-choked yard. Stones in the fields
say he was not a farmer; the still-sealed jars
in the cellar say she left in a nervous haste.
And the child? Its toys are strewn in the yard
like branches after a storm--a rubber cow,
a rusty tractor with a broken plow,
a doll in overalls. Something went wrong, they say.

Ted Kooser

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Running along the egde of madness

You’ve got to burn
straight up and down
and then maybe sideways
for a while
and have your guts
scrambled by a
and the demonic
you’ve got to run
along the edge of
you’ve got to drink a
river of booze,
you’ve got to starve
like a winter
you’ve got to live
with the imbecility
of at least a dozen
then maybe
you might know
where you are
for a tiny

Charles Bukowski, 'Bone Palace Ballet'

Friday, February 8, 2013

I have no notion of loving people by halves

"There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”

Jane Austen, 'Northanger Abbey'

Palais d’Hiver

dry whispers
in a house
where I
no longer

Justine Nicholas

Drawing, and Silence

"Perhaps if people were encouraged to draw something everyday, they'd talk a lot less. They'd begin to appreciate the importance of silence, of observation, of not getting entangled in the outward appearance of things. By watching a pencil slowly follow the contours of the subject, they would learn to edit out the superfluous and the unnecessary; they'd perhaps learn to not just see things but also comprehend them."

In Silence: http://sometimesiwritesometimesiam.blogspot.in/2013/02/in-silence.html


All day I have watched the purple vine leaves
Fall into the water.
And now in the moonlight they still fall,
But each leaf is fringed with silver.

Amy Lowell

On music, myth, and shapely speech

One of the offices of poetry: to use shapely speech to express the radicals of existence in all their ambiguity.

To answer idiosyncratically, privately, to a public world given over to falsehood, fake facts, scuzzy rumor, casual murderousness, comedic denials, manic impromptu wind-tunnel ideologies.

To answer palsied language with vital language, plasticity, gaiety of invention and fabulation, against 
opportunistic mendacity.

If poetry can’t, or chooses not to, reveal what it feels like to live as a sentient being in a perilous enchanted world, then maybe it can (and deserves to) die. Or that mission will be replaced by a spectacular dumb show loaded with content, whipped up drama, and “language.”

It will be a polymer mold of  what once was primary material. What can replace the completeness and 
immediacy of feeling that the sounds of words whip up or lay down?

Mickey Rourke and the Bluebird of Happiness: A Notebook
On music, myth, and shapely speech.
W. S. Di Piero


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Lot's Wife

Do not look behind you.
--Gen. 19:17

So simple a mistake. They say I turned to look;
instead it was to listen. I did not know: only the dead
can stand the music of the spheres made mortal.

Caught in my hood, the hard chords of chaos:
the childish scream, the mother's litany as she names
the loss which instantly unnames her.

And then the inconceivable: between the flint
blast and the crack of iron, I heard
the burning of the scorched moth wing,

the lily as its petals crisp to white fire,
but more than these, the footfall
of a naked man who runs to nothing.

And so I chose this brine,
now crystals shift. The salt dissolves
and I want to speak.

Whore of all hopes, I now believe
some stories survive
in order to remake their endings.

Dana Littlepage Smith

So much light wrapping itself around us

White Owl Flies Into and Out of the Field

Coming down out of the freezing sky
with its depths of light,
like an angel, or a Buddha with wings,
it was beautiful, and accurate,
striking the snow and whatever was there
with a force that left the imprint
of the tips of its wings - five feet apart -
and the grabbing thrust of its feet,
and the indentation of what had been running
through the white valleys of the snow -
and then it rose, gracefully,
and flew back to the frozen marshes
to lurk there, like a little lighthouse,
in the blue shadows -
so I thought:
maybe death isn't darkness, after all,
but so much light wrapping itself around us -

as soft as feathers -
that we are instantly weary of looking, and looking,
and shut our eyes, not without amazement,
and let ourselves be carried,
as through the translucence of mica,
to the river that is without the least dapple or shadow,
that is nothing but light - scalding, aortal light -
in which we are washed and washed
out of our bones.

Mary Oliver

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Where it begins will remain a question
for the time being at least which is to
say for this lifetime and there is no
other life that can be this one again
and where it goes after that only one
at a time is ever about to know
though we have it by heart as one and though
we remind each other on occasion

How often may the clarinet rehearse
alone the one solo before the one
time that is heard after all the others
telling the one thing that they all tell of
it is the sole performance of a life
come back I say to it over the waters

"Sonnet" by W.S. Merwin, from Migration. © Copper Canyon Press, 2007.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Come with me then

You are tired

You are tired
(I think)
Of the always puzzle of living and doing;
And so am I.
Come with me then
And we'll leave it far and far away-
(Only you and I understand!)

You have played
(I think)
And broke the toys you were fondest of
And are a little tired now;
Tired of things that break and-
Just tired.
So am I.

But I come with a dream in my eyes tonight
And knock with a rose at the hopeless gate of your heart-
Open to me!
For I will show you the places Nobody knows
And if you like
The perfect places of Sleep.

Ah come with me!
I'll blow you that wonderful bubble the moon
That floats forever and a day;
I'll sing you the jacinth song
Of the probable stars;
I will attempt the unstartled steppes of dream
Until I find the Only Flower
Which shall keep (I think) your little heart
While the moon comes out of the sea.

e.e. cummings

To admit

To admit that what falls
falls solitarily, lost in the permanent dusk of the particular.

From The New Intelligence, Timothy Donnelly

Flying at Night

Above us, stars. Beneath us, constellations.
Five billion miles away, a galaxy dies
like a snowflake falling on water. Below us,
some farmer, feeling the chill of that distant death,
snaps on his yard light, drawing his sheds and barn
back into the little system of his care.
All night, the cities, like shimmering novas,
tug with bright streets at lonely lights like his.

Ted Kooser


"Maturity is first the shedding of what you are not, and then the balancing of what you are in relation to the human being you love, and allowing the selves of that person which are not related to you to exist independently, outside of the relationship."

Anaïs Nin in Diary of Anaïs Nin Volume 5 1947-1955: Vol. 5


Inspiration is for amateurs

“Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work.” Chuck Close

Chuck Close on Creativity, Work Ethic, and Problem-Solving vs. Problem-Creating by Maria Popova

What's all this stuff about motivation?

"What's all this stuff about motivation? I say, if you need motivation, you probably need more than motivation. You probably need chemical intervention or brain surgery. Actually, if you ask me, this country could do with a little less motivation. The people who are causing all the trouble seem highly motivated to me."

'Brain Droppings', George Carlin

There are days

These are the days when birds come back,
A very few, a bird or two,
To take a backward look.
These are the days when skies put on
The old, old sophistries of June,--
A blue and gold mistake.

Emily Dickinson

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Tender, luminous, and demanding

Mary Oliver

Sweet Jesus, talking
his melancholy madness,
stood up in the boat
and the sea lay down,

silky and sorry.
So everybody was saved
that night.
But you know how it is

when something
different crosses
the threshold -- the uncles
mutter together,

the women walk away,
the young brother begins
to sharpen his knife.
Nobody knows what the soul is.

It comes and goes
like the wind over the water --
sometimes, for days,
you don't think of it.

Maybe, after the sermon,
after the multitude was fed,
one or two of them felt
the soul slip forth

like a tremor of pure sunlight
before exhaustion,
that wants to swallow everything,
gripped their bones and left them

miserable and sleepy,
as they are now, forgetting
how the wind tore at the sails
before he rose and talked to it --

tender and luminous and demanding
as he always was --
a thousand times more frightening
than the killer storm.

The Place Of The Solitaires

Let the place of the solitaires
Be a place of perpetual undulation.

Whether it be in mid-sea
On the dark, green water-wheel,
Or on the beaches,
There must be no cessation
Of motion, or of the noise of motion,
The renewal of noise
And manifold continuation;

And, most, of the motion of thought
And its restless iteration,

In the place of the solitaires,
Which is to be a place of perpetual undulation.

Wallace Stevens

"Not Ideas About The Thing But The Thing Itself": http://firstknownwhenlost.blogspot.in/2013/01/not-ideas-about-thing-but-thing-itself.html

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