Saturday, February 18, 2017

More Olena Kalytiak Davis





The Scaffolding Inside You
By Olena Kalytiak Davis

Your thoughts have hung themselves from nails
like workshirts.

The sky has stopped
offering you reasons to live and your heart is the rock
you threw through each window
of what's deserted you, so you turn
to the burnt out building inside you: the scaffolding
overhead, the fallen beams,
the unsound framework;

according to the blue that's printed on the inside of your arms
you have no plans, no plans
uncovered, or uncovering: the offing is emptying,

the horizon empty

now that your sanity is
a tarp or a bedsheet
in the rough hands of the wind,

now that everything is hooded
in drop cloth.

It didn't happen
overnight. Or maybe it did:

your heart, the rock;
your soul, the Gothic barn.

You've even started envying the flowers their stems.

Will the Norther let up?

Will the moon ever again be so full of itself
that that ragged barn will fill with light, through its tin-covered roof?

You should bury more than the dead.
You should try harder.
You should give up.

From:  "And Her Soul Out of Nothing"


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

I'm listing, falling & yes, envying the flowers their stems... xo, ML

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

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Doors of My Heart by Deborah Digges

My heart on a vine... xo



Doors of My Heart
by Deborah Digges 

The wind blows
through the doors of my heart.
It scatters my sheet music
that climbs like waves from the piano, free of the keys.
Now the notes stripped, black butterflies,
flattened against the screens.
The wind through my heart
blows all my candles out.
In my heart and its rooms is dark and windy.
From the mantle smashes birds’ nests, teacups
full of stars as the wind winds round,
a mist of sorts that rises and bends and blows
or is blown through the rooms of my heart
that shatters the windows,
rakes the bedsheets as though someone
had just made love. And my dresses
they are lifted like brides come to rest
on the bedstead, crucifixes,
dresses tangled in trees in the rooms
of my heart. To save them
I’ve thrown flowers to fields,
so that someone would pick them up
and know where they came from.
Come the bees now clinging to flowered curtains.
Off with the clothesline pinning anything, my mother’s trousseau.
It is not for me to say what is this wind
or how it came to blow through the rooms of my heart.
Wing after wing, through the rooms of the dead
the wind does not blow. Nor the basement, no wheezing,
no wind choking the cobwebs in our hair.
It is cool here, quiet, a quilt spread on soil.
But we will never lie down again.

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

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Farfallettina by Rilke




Farfallettina

Shaking all over, she arrives near the lamp, and her dizziness grants her one last vague reprieve before she goes up in flames. She has fallen into the green tablecloth, and upon that advantageous background she stretches out for a moment (for a unit of her own time which we have no way of measuring) the profusion of her inconceivable splendor. 

She looks like a miniature lady who is having a heart attack on the way to the theater. She will never arrive. Besides, where is there a theater for such fragile spectators?…. Her wings, with their tiny golden threads, are moving like a double fan in front of no face; and between them is this thin body, a bilboquet onto which two eyes like emerald balls have fallen back….

It is in you, my dear, that God has exhausted himself. He tosses you into the fire so that he can recover a bit of strength. (Like a little boy breaking into his piggy bank.)

~ Rainer Maria Rilke
From: The Complete French Poems, Poems and Dedications, 1920-26
translation: Stephen Mitchell

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Southern Winter

Southern Winter

Rain, rain, rain.

Humidity & teasingly
warm Southern air.
Ah, zone 9 winters,
so like life:  unpredictable.

Cold.

Sadness & pain sandwiched
between the rain-plastered leaves
on
the Goji Berry bush.

Low, dark, menacing (tornado?)
clouds:
The not-knowing,
the storm-fear---

season of death teasing life...
an annual event...
keeps you on your toes:

WAKE UP!

Winter:
always pregnant with Spring
here in the South---
bulbs push skyward
before Christmas.

Tiny new leaves
sprouting at the
base of the Goji bush---

roots exposed from
brutal rains...

LifeDeathLifeDeath,
tied eternally together
from the moment
of conception.

Ouroboros alchemy/
cycles of samsara.

Born to die or
born to live?

Your choice.

By Marion
1/25/17


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Tear It Down by Jack Gilbert



Tear It Down
By Jack Gilbert

We find out the heart only by dismantling what
the heart knows. By redefining the morning,
we find a morning that comes just after darkness.
We can break through marriage into marriage.
By insisting on love we spoil it, get beyond
affection and wade mouth-deep into love.
We must unlearn the constellations to see the stars.
But going back toward childhood will not help.
The village is not better than Pittsburgh.
Only Pittsburgh is more than Pittsburgh.
Rome is better than Rome in the same way the sound
of racoon tongues licking the inside walls
of the garbage tub is more than the stir
of them in the muck of the garbage. Love is not
enough. We die and are put into the earth forever.
We should insist while there is still time. We must
eat through the wildness of her sweet body already
in our bed to reach the body within the body.

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


I first posted this poem 8 years ago...EIGHT(!)  The comments!  They were like time travel, to reread them.  So much change in the lives of those who commented...and in mine, too, of course.  Several of my blog friends dead...no use whitewashing it...dead and missed so very much.

This remains, and always will be, my favorite Jack Gilbert poem.  xo

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Inessential Things by Brian Patten

My silky kitty, Garfield, in one of his favorite spots.


Inessential Things
What do cats remember of days?
They remember the ways in from the cold,
The warmest spot, the place of food.
They remember the places of pain, their enemies,
the irritation of birds, the warm fumes of the soil,
the usefulness of dust.
They remember the creak of a bed, the sound
of their owner´s footsteps,
the taste of fish, the loveliness of cream.
Cats remember what is essential of days.
Letting all other memories go as of no worth
they sleep sounder than we,
whose hearts break remembering so many
inessential things. 
© Brian Patten

Friday, January 6, 2017

Complaint by James Wright

Moonlady tangled in trees.

Getting over the flu.  It's an icy day in Swamplandia...rare & beautiful & magical here in the warm Deep South.

Complaint

She’s gone. She was my love, my moon or more.
She chased the chickens out and swept the floor,
Emptied the bones and nut-shells after feasts,
And smacked the kids for leaping up like beasts.
Now morbid boys have grown past awkwardness;
The girls let stitches out, dress after dress,
To free some swinging body’s riding space
And form the new child’s unimagined face.
Yet, while vague nephews, spitting on their curls,
Amble to pester winds and blowsy girls,
What arm will sweep the room, what hand will hold
New snow against the milk to keep it cold?
And who will dump the garbage, feed the hogs,
And pitch the chickens’ heads to hungry dogs?
Not my lost hag who dumbly bore such pain:
Childbirth at midnight sassafras and rain.
New snow against her face and hands she bore,
And now lies down, who was my moon or more.
“Complaint” by James Wright from Above the River: Complete Poems. © Noonday Press, 1992.

Monday, December 19, 2016

A Poem from the Experimental Novel, "House of Leaves"...



(Untitled Fragment)
By Mark Z. Danielewski, from "House of Leaves", page 563

Little solace comes
to those who grieve
when thoughts keep drifting
as walls keep shifting
and this great blue world of ours
seems a house of leaves

moments before the wind.

<><><><><><><><><>

This truly experimental novel, which is many stories (lifetimes/dimensions) in one, messed with my head so badly that, among other abuses, I threw it against walls, poured coffee (then blow dried it in remorse) on it, tossed it in the trash (and retrieved it) twice, stopped reading it for a full year, then finally just wrote my frustration into the margins (along with the author's gazillion footnotes/endnotes/sidenotes) which is freaking hilarious NOW as I revisit it about 10 years after I read it and enjoy my bad attitude back around 2005 when I experienced "House of Leaves".  Mark Z. Danielewski (MZD) is a pioneer, a poet, and a courageous trailblazer.  He's also a crazy as a loon genius and an excellent storyteller.  It would just be nice to read one of his stories in chronological order, but I doubt that'll happen.  Reading a fat novel (occasionally) in circles and sideways got a bit tedious at times, but I guess that's art for you.

If you're looking for a challenging reading experience, then read this book.  If you're an impatient, normal type, then for heaven's sake:  DO NOT READ THIS BOOK!




Friday, December 16, 2016

Questions of Travel by Elizabeth Bishop

There are too many waterfalls here; the crowded streams
hurry too rapidly down to the sea,
and the pressure of so many clouds on the mountaintops
makes them spill over the sides in soft slow-motion,
turning to waterfalls under our very eyes.
–For if those streaks, those mile-long, shiny, tearstains,
aren’t waterfalls yet,
in a quick age or so, as ages go here,
they probably will be.
But if the streams and clouds keep travelling, travelling,
the mountains look like the hulls of capsized ships,
slime-hung and barnacled.
Think of the long trip home.
Should we have stayed at home and thought of here?
Where should we be today?
Is it right to be watching strangers in a play
in this strangest of theatres?
What childishness is it that while there’s a breath of life
in our bodies, we are determined to rush
to see the sun the other way around?
The tiniest green hummingbird in the world?
To stare at some inexplicable old stonework,
inexplicable and impenetrable,
at any view,
instantly seen and always, always delightful?
Oh, must we dream our dreams
and have them, too?
And have we room
for one more folded sunset, still quite warm?
But surely it would have been a pity
not to have seen the trees along this road,
really exaggerated in their beauty,
not to have seen them gesturing
like noble pantomimists, robed in pink.
–Not to have had to stop for gas and heard
the sad, two-noted, wooden tune
of disparate wooden clogs
carelessly clacking over
a grease-stained filling-station floor.
(In another country the clogs would all be tested.
Each pair there would have identical pitch.)
–A pity not to have heard
the other, less primitive music of the fat brown bird
who sings above the broken gasoline pump
in a bamboo church of Jesuit baroque:
three towers, five silver crosses.
–Yes, a pity not to have pondered,
blurr’dly and inconclusively,
on what connection can exist for centuries
between the crudest wooden footwear
and, careful and finicky,
the whittled fantasies of wooden footwear
and, careful and finicky,
the whittled fantasies of wooden cages.
–Never to have studied history in
the weak calligraphy of songbirds’ cages.
–And never to have had to listen to rain
so much like politicians’ speeches:
two hours of unrelenting oratory
and then a sudden golden silence
in which the traveller takes a notebook, writes:
“Is it lack of imagination that makes us come
to imagined places, not just stay at home?
Or could Pascal have been not entirely right
about just sitting quietly in one’s room?
Continent, city, country, society:
the choice is never wide and never free.
And here, or there . . . No. Should we have stayed at home,
wherever that may be?”
Elizabeth Bishop


Saturday, December 3, 2016

In The Bleak Midwinter by Christina Rossetti

It's been crazy here at Chez Dragonfly since I got my greenhouse. Did I mention I have a new little greenhouse/potting shed?  I do! I counted 62 plants in it yesterday, most babies propagated from my other plants: Lemongrass, Yarrow, Pineapple Sage, Spearmint, Peppermint, Chocolate Mint, Apple Mint, Comfrey, Basil, Lavender, Airplane Plants, Wandering Jew, Black Sweet Potato Vines, Passionflowers...too many to recall!  Mother Nature keeps blessing me with abundance.  For the first time in my life, I have big fat Tomatoes in December!  They're also in the greenhouse.  I bought one Angel Trumpet flower a few years ago & now have 12 of them. They're like trees! This Spring I plan to have a few plant sales to make some money to buy more plants. LOL!  It's an addiction.  And my Cypress Tree has 10 babies all thriving across my front yard.  They're gorgeous.

I want to wish you all a blessed Christmas/Holiday season filled with love, peace & happiness.  I sincerely appreciate the many faithful readers of my blog, several who have become dear, precious friends over the years.  This has been a physically painful year for me (chronic pain & autoimmune disorders) and your support means the world to me.  God bless you all! xo, Marion

...water like a stone...


In the bleak midwinter

Related Poem Content Details

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.