Saturday, September 24, 2016

At Burt Lake by Tom Andrews & Bardo (excerpt) by Suzanne Paolo


No coolness yet, but I can smell it coming...Time to awake now and begin again.  xo




At Burt Lake
By Tom Andrews

To disappear into the right words
and to be their meanings. . .

October dusk.
Pink scraps of clouds, a plum-colored sky.
The sycamore tree spills a few leaves.
The cold focuses like a lens. . .

 Now night falls, its hair
caught in the lake's eye.

 Such clarity of things. Already
I've said too much. . .

                                  Lord,

language must happen to you
the way this black pane of water,
chipped and blistered with stars,
happens to me. 

From:  "The Hemophiliac's Motorcycle" by Tom Andrews, page 13.  (Winner of  'The Iowa Poetry Prize')

*************************************

Mistaking Opiates for the Clear Light
By Suzanne Paola

There's always been this confusion with white things---
hospitals, cold, moonlight.
They seemed to embody the will
paralyzed into peaceful acceptance.
Blank paper consecrate
to the end of words:  I love that,
secretly, more than this.
Quaaludes in my palm, rowers, eucharistic form.
Clear bag of heroin.
Stuff, we called it.  Too foundational to define.

*

In a clear bowl, a pear & a pomegranate wizen
into color.  Almost
alive, skins rucking
in on themselves.  Cheeks
sunk, russet
& carmine, seeming
almost to care about this...
Each a countenance
too private for a face, collapsing
in the hard gravity of color.

I was their opposite, pale girl, not living
or dying.  They were
what I feared.

*

I trust in the bardo wisdom:  how the gods,
with their soft white light, draw us in, convince us
their stuporous world is all there is.

I've seen them, slumping
forward, burning themselves with cigarettes.

How grand they were for a while:  their leathers, their etched
            bodies, a stalled
writhing eagle on each arm.
And their nectars, their secret foods, that gave
an easy kind of sensate order.

Though a god's world finally
suffers itself away from him, braille of the tracks
of a thousand needles, transgressions of red
under the skin---

From:  "Bardo" by Suzanne Paola, pages 6, 7 (Winner of "The Brittingham Prize in Poetry")

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Bardo (from Wikipedia):  "Used loosely, the term "bardo" refers to the state of existence intermediate between two lives on earth. According to Tibetan tradition, after death and before one's next birth, when one's consciousness is not connected with a physical body, one experiences a variety of phenomena. These usually follow a particular sequence of degeneration from, just after death, the clearest experiences of reality of which one is spiritually capable, and then proceeding to terrifying hallucinations that arise from the impulses of one's previous unskillful actions. 

For the prepared and appropriately trained individuals the bardo offers a state of great opportunity for liberation, since transcendental insight may arise with the direct experience of reality, while for others it can become a place of danger as the karmically created hallucinations can impel one into a less than desirable rebirth."

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

PAIN By Linda Pastan

Smile, even when you feel like crying...



PAIN
By Linda Pastan, from "Waiting For My Life"

More faithful
than lover or husband
it cleaves to you,
calling itself by your name
as if there had been a ceremony.

At night, you turn and turn
searching for the one
bearable position,
but though you may finally sleep
it wakens ahead of you.

How heavy it is,
displacing with its volume
your very breath.
Before, you seemed to weigh nothing,
your arms might have been wings.

Now each finger adds its measure;
you are pulled down by the weight
of your own hair.

And if your life should disappear ahead of you
you would not run after it.

===============================

Pain is with me 24/7, 365.  Nobody can see it, so few believe it.  It feels like I should be bleeding profusely, covered in bruises...but I'm not.  Autoimmune disorders, say the doctors...no known cause, no cure...just pain that affects mostly women...go figure.  To those in pain...I wish you relief.  xo

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

What We Want by Linda Pastan

Moonlady by Marion---



What We Want
By Linda Pastan

What we want
is never simple.
We move among the things
we thought we wanted:
a face, a room, an open book
and these things bear our names---
now they want us.
But what we want appears
in dreams, wearing disguises.
We fall past,
holding out our arms
and in the morning
our arms ache.
We don't remember the dream,
but the dream remembers us.
It is there all day
as an animal is there
under the table,
as the stars are there
even in full sun.

^^^^^^^^^^

A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language. ― W.H. Auden

^^^^^^^^^^

Love

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Hymn of a Fat Woman By Joyce Huff




The Hymn of a Fat Woman

By Joyce Huff


All of the saints starved themselves.
Not a single fat one.
The words “deity” and “diet” must have come from the same
Latin root.

Those saints must have been thin as knucklebones
or shards of stained
glass or Christ carved
on his cross.

Hard
as pew seats. Brittle
as hair shirts. Women
made from bone, like the ribs that protrude from his wasted
wooden chest. Women consumed
by fervor.


They must have been able to walk three or four abreast
down that straight and oh-so-narrow path.
They must have slipped with ease through the eye
of the needle, leaving the weighty
camels stranded at the city gate.

Within that spare city’s walls,
I do not think I would find anyone like me.

I imagine I will find my kind outside
lolling in the garden
munching on the apples. 


-------------------------------

Friday, September 9, 2016

Summer Haiku




Charms of Hummingbirds
taking summer's heat with them
on green, shining wings.

9/10/15 - MarionL



A face so happy
It makes you dream in yellow---
Bees kiss you with joy.

9/9/16 - MarionL


Monday, September 5, 2016

Let Morning Come

The Moonlady, awake with me...

^*^*^*^*^*^


Let Morning Come
By Marion L.

Let the river flow
unimpeded, night black,
cradled within
strong, willow-sewn banks.

Let the crickets sing
ancient, mystical
tunes, sweet and time-kissed
into my awakened ears.

Let the moonlady’s silver
beams stream down
and suffuse my
twisted, ominous dreams.

Let the candle flame pull me into
its dancing shadow.  May
the flame illuminate
my jaded, somnolent mind.

Let the rivers flow.
     Let the crickets sing.
           Let the moonlady glimmer.
               Let the candlelight shimmer.

Please, let morning come.

**********


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Dreams

Full moon captured by limbs...


Dreams
By Marion L.

I wake with dreams
clinging to me,
their stench almost unbearable.
They’re tangled in my hair,
running down my leg and
wrapped around my ankles.

I trip on my lifelong recurring dream:
the one where I’m running down a long hallway
as a child and the floor is covered with broken glass
and someone is chasing me and I can only run
in slow motion. That one.

I wake with dreams haunting me...

their scent reeks of death.

-------------------------------------

"I am accustomed to sleep and in my dreams to imagine the same things that lunatics imagine when awake."  ~Rene Descartes, "Meditations on First Philosophy"

*****

"In a dream, one is never eighty".  ~Anne Sexton

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Sensual World by Louise Glück

Nature heals...




THE SENSUAL WORLD
By Louise Glück

I call to you across a monstrous river or chasm
to caution you, to prepare you.

Earth will seduce you, slowly, imperceptibly,
subtly, not to say with connivance.

I was not prepared: I stood in my grandmother’s kitchen,
holding out my glass. Stewed plums, stewed apricots–

the juice poured off into the glass of ice.
And the water added, patiently, in small increments,

the various cousins discriminating, tasting
with each addition–

aroma of summer fruit, intensity of concentration:
the colored liquid turning gradually lighter, more radiant,

more light passing through it.
Delight, then solace. My grandmother waiting,

to see if more was wanted. Solace, then deep immersion.
I loved nothing more: deep privacy of the sensual life,

the self disappearing into it or inseparable from it,
somehow suspended, floating, its needs

fully exposed, awakened, fully alive–
Deep immersion, and with it

mysterious safety. Far away, the fruit glowing it its glass bowls.
Outside the kitchen, the sun setting.

I was not prepared: sunset, end of summer. Demonstrations
of time as a continuum, as something coming to an end,

not a suspension: the senses wouldn’t protect me.
I caution you as I was never cautioned:

you will never let go, you will never be satiated.
You will be damaged and scarred, you will continue to hunger.

Your body will age, you will continue to need.
You will want the earth, then more of the earth–

Sublime, indifferent, it is present, it will not respond.
It is encompassing, it will not minister.

Meaning, it will feed you, it will ravish you,
it will not keep you alive.


From:  "The Seven Ages" by Louise Gluck

------------------------------------------------------

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Pain

Broken Ice...


Pain by Marion

I wake weeping (the pain)
as if a dam has broken (endless)
& I'm drowning (in pain)
going deeper (hurtshurtshurts)
into the hurt (endless-endless)
that never stops (always-aching)
praying to come out (of this purgatory)
but I'm sucking waterpain (aching hell)
and fading from life (now the pain is weakening)
as the soft cerulean water takes me (sweet relief)
from this world of pain. (at last)

6/6/15

Friday, August 19, 2016

Clear Night by Charles Wright

Last year's lunar eclipse moon...the magical clouds parted...


CLEAR NIGHT

By Charles Wright


Clear night, thumb-top of a moon, a back-lit sky. 
Moon-fingers lay down their same routine 
On the side deck and the threshold, the white keys and the black keys. 
Bird hush and bird song. A cassia flower falls. 

I want to be bruised by God. 
I want to be strung up in a strong light and singled out. 
I want to be stretched, like music wrung from a dropped seed.   
I want to be entered and picked clean. 

And the wind says “What?” to me. 
And the castor beans, with their little earrings of death, say “What?” to me. 
And the stars start out on their cold slide through the dark.   
And the gears notch and the engines wheel.


Charles Wright, “Clear Night” from Country Music: Selected Early Poems