Sunday, February 28, 2016

Plumbing Poetry

Tork by Neha

I pulled for an hour:
It needed to be twisted for a second.

- Neha

Let us hear from you

1.8, Wonder by Janet Echelman 
Over and over again
I have been thrown
to the ground.
Over and over again
I have risen up.
One of these days, thrown.
I will stay down.
Antaeus, write home!

- Wendell Berry, Leavings

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Thing Is

to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you've held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.

- Ellen Bass, Mules of Love

Thursday, February 18, 2016

A Woman Speaks

Moon marked and touched by sun  
my magic is unwritten
but when the sea turns back
it will leave my shape behind.  
I seek no favor
untouched by blood
unrelenting as the curse of love  
permanent as my errors
or my pride
I do not mix
love with pity
nor hate with scorn
and if you would know me
look into the entrails of Uranus  
where the restless oceans pound.

I do not dwell
within my birth nor my divinities  
who am ageless and half-grown  
and still seeking
my sisters
witches in Dahomey
wear me inside their coiled cloths  
as our mother did
mourning.

I have been woman
for a long time
beware my smile
I am treacherous with old magic  
and the noon's new fury
with all your wide futures  
promised
I am
woman
and not white.

- Audre Lorde

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer.
And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.

The force that drives the water through the rocks
Drives my red blood; that dries the mouthing streams
Turns mine to wax.
And I am dumb to mouth unto my veins
How at the mountain spring the same mouth sucks.

The hand that whirls the water in the pool
Stirs the quicksand; that ropes the blowing wind
Hauls my shroud sail.
And I am dumb to tell the hanging man
How of my clay is made the hangman’s lime.

The lips of time leech to the fountain head;
Love drips and gathers, but the fallen blood
Shall calm her sores.
And I am dumb to tell a weather’s wind
How time has ticked a heaven round the stars.

And I am dumb to tell the lover’s tomb
How at my sheet goes the same crooked worm.

- Dylan Thomas

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sunflower Sutra

Sunflowers by Van Gogh
"..You were never no locomotive, Sunflower, you were a sunflower!  
And you Locomotive, you are a locomotive, forget me not!
So I grabbed up the skeleton thick sunflower and stuck it at my side like a scepter,
and deliver my sermon to my soul, and Jack’s soul too, and anyone who’ll listen,
—We’re not our skin of grime, we’re not dread bleak dusty imageless locomotives, we’re golden sunflowers inside, blessed by our own seed & hairy naked accomplishment-bodies growing into mad black formal sunflowers in the sunset, spied on by our own eyes under the shadow of the mad locomotive riverbank sunset Frisco hilly tincan evening sitdown vision."

- Allen Ginsberg

Flowers

Red Poppies and Daisies by Van Gogh 

I know someone who kisses the way
a flower opens, but more rapidly.
Flowers are sweet. They have
short, beatific lives. They offer
much pleasure. There is
nothing in the world that can be said
against them.
Sad, isn’t it, that all they can kiss
is the air.

Yes, yes! We are the lucky ones.

- Mary Oliver

Song

Untitled by A.Ramachandran
The weight of the world
is love.
Under the burden
of solitude,
under the burden
of dissatisfaction

the weight,
the weight we carry
is love.

Who can deny?
In dreams
it touches
the body,
in thought
constructs
a miracle,
in imagination
anguishes
till born
in human--
looks out of the heart
burning with purity--
for the burden of life
is love,

but we carry the weight
wearily,
and so must rest
in the arms of love
at last,
must rest in the arms
of love.

No rest
without love,
no sleep
without dreams
of love--
be mad or chill
obsessed with angels
or machines,
the final wish
is love
--cannot be bitter,
cannot deny,
cannot withhold
if denied:

the weight is too heavy

--must give
for no return
as thought
is given
in solitude
in all the excellence
of its excess.

The warm bodies
shine together
in the darkness,
the hand moves
to the center
of the flesh,
the skin trembles
in happiness
and the soul comes
joyful to the eye--

yes, yes,
that's what
I wanted,
I always wanted,
I always wanted,
to return
to the body
where I was born.

- Allen Ginsberg:

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Self-Portrait

It doesn’t interest me if there is one God
or many gods.
I want to know if you belong or feel
abandoned,
if you can know despair or see it in others.
I want to know
if you are prepared to live in the world
with its harsh need
to change you. If you can look back
with firm eyes,
saying this is where I stand. I want to know
if you know
how to melt into that fierce heat of living,
falling toward
the center of your longing. I want to know
if you are willing
to live, day by day, with the consequence of love
and the bitter
unwanted passion of your sure defeat.
I have heard, in that fierce embrace, even
the gods speak of God.

- David Whyte, From River Flow, New and Selected Poems,  Many Rivers Press