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

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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

Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Cinnamon Peeler by Michael Ondaatje

I've always had a nose for scents---quite like a bloodhound I've been told.  I could smell beer on my mother's breath the second she walked in the door...from the time I was born until I was 15...She quit drinking (and smoking, temporarily) when she got pregnant with my little brother when I was 15 years old. (To this day I wonder why she could get herself sober for him, but not for me and my sisters...) I was horrified to have a pregnant mother at that age.  Ah, those teen years.

I also grew up in a chronic fog/cloud of Pall Mall filterless and Virginia Slim cigarettes.  I guess there is no such thing as a perfect childhood, right?  For sure.  We all do the best we can... But I'm way off track now...  

Back to scents:  this amazingly fragrant poem always delights my senses supremely.  Can't you just smell the cinnamon?  Enjoy!

The Cinnamon Peeler
By Michael Ondaatje


If I were a cinnamon peeler
I would ride your bed
and leave the yellow bark dust
on your pillow.

Your breasts and shoulders would reek
you could never walk through markets
without the profession of my fingers
floating over you. The blind would
stumble certain of whom they approached
though you might bathe
under rain gutters, monsoon.

Here on the upper thigh
at this smooth pasture
neighbor to your hair
or the crease
that cuts your back. This ankle.
You will be known among strangers
as the cinnamon peeler's wife.

I could hardly glance at you
before marriage
never touch you
-- your keen nosed mother, your rough brothers.
I buried my hands
in saffron, disguised them
over smoking tar,
helped the honey gatherers...

When we swam once
I touched you in water
and our bodies remained free,
you could hold me and be blind of smell.
You climbed the bank and said

this is how you touch other women
the grasscutter's wife, the lime burner's daughter.
And you searched your arms
for the missing perfume.
and knew
what good is it
to be the lime burner's daughter
left with no trace
as if not spoken to in an act of love
as if wounded without the pleasure of scar.

You touched
your belly to my hands
in the dry air and said
I am the cinnamon
peeler's wife. Smell me.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Monet Refuses the Operation by Lisel Mueller

                     Monet's "Houses of Parliament" from his series of this painting.


Monet Refuses The Operation by Lisa Mueller

Doctor, you say there are no haloes
around the streetlights in Paris
and what I see is an aberration
caused by old age, an affliction
I tell you it has taken me all my life
to arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels, 
to soften and blur and finally banish 
the edges you regret I don't see, 
to learn that the line I called the horizon 
does not exist and sky and water,
so long apart, are the same state of being.
Fifty-four years before I could see 
Rouen cathedral is built 
of parallel shafts of sun, 
and now you want to restore 
my youthful errors: fixed
notions of top and bottom,
the illusion of three-dimensional space,
wisteria separate
from the bridge it covers.
What can I say to convince you
the Houses of Parliament dissolves
night after night to become
the fluid dream of the Thames?
I will not return to a universe 
of objects that don't know each other,
as if islands were not the lost children
of one great continent. The world 
is flux, and light becomes what it touches,
becomes water, lilies on water,
above and below water,
becomes lilac and mauve and yellow
and white and cerulean lamps,
small fists passing sunlight 
so quickly to one another 
that it would take long, streaming hair
inside my brush to catch it.
To paint the speed of light!
Our weighted shapes, these verticals, 
burn to mix with air
and change our bones, skin, clothes
to gases. Doctor,
if only you could see
how heaven pulls earth into its arms
and how infinitely the heart expands 
to claim this world, blue vapor without end.