Followers

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Psalm

Lord of dimensions and the dimensionless,
Wave and particle, all and none,

Who lets us measure the wounded atom,
Who lets us doubt all measurement,

When in this world we betray you
Let us be faithful in another.


   by Mark Jarman 
    

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

love is a place











e. e. cummings
love is a place
& through this place of
love move
(with brightness of peace)
all places

yes is a world
& in this world of
yes live
(skillfully curled)
all worlds

Monday, August 02, 2010

The Coming One


"Why don't you think of [Christ] as the coming one, who has been at hand since eternity, the future one, the final fruit of a tree, with us as its leaves? What is keeping you from hurling his birth into evolving times and from living your life as though it were one painful beautiful day in the history of a great pregnancy? Don't you see that everything that happens becomes a beginning again and again? Could it not be his beginning, since a beginning in itself is always so beautiful? If, however, he is the most perfect one, would not what is less than perfect have to precede him, so that he can choose himself from great abundance? Would not he have to be the last one, in order to envelop everything within himself? And what sense would our existence make, if the one we longed for had already had his existence in the past?
By extracting the most possible sweetness out of everything, just as the bees gather honey, we thus build him. With any insignificant thing, even with the smallest thing--if only it is done out of love--we begin, with work, with a time of rest following, with keeping silent or with a small lonely joy, with everything that we do alone, without participants or supporters, we begin him: the one whom we shall not experience in this lifetime, even as our ancestors could not experience us. Yet they who belong to the distant past are in us, serving as impetus, as a burden to our fate, as blood that can be heard rushing, as a gesture rising out of the depths of time," " - Rainer Maria Rilke.
hat tip-Andrew Sullivan

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Kris Johnson (July 4, 1951 - January 5, 1985)

Afterwards

When the Present has latched its postern behind my tremulous stay,
And the May month flaps its glad green leaves like wings,
Delicate-filmed as new-spun silk, will the neighbours say,
"He was a man who used to notice such things"?

If it be in the dusk when, like an eyelid's soundless blink,
The dewfall-hawk comes crossing the shades to alight
Upon the wind-warped upland thorn, a gazer may think,
"To him this must have been a familiar sight."

If I pass during some nocturnal blackness, mothy and warm,
When the hedgehog travels furtively over the lawn,
One may say, "He strove that such innocent creatures should come to no harm,
But he could do little for them; and now he is gone."

If, when hearing that I have been stilled at last, they stand at the door,
Watching the full-starred heavens that winter sees,
Will this thought rise on those who will meet my face no more,
"He was one who had an eye for such mysteries"?

And will any say when my bell of quittance is heard in the gloom,
And a crossing breeze cuts a pause in its outrollings,
Till they rise again, as they were a new bell's boom,
"He hears it not now, but used to notice such things"?

He Sure Makes Me Feel It

Sunday, June 20, 2010

To the Choirmaster


The rock lives in the desert, solid, taking its time.
The wave lives for an instant, stable in momentum
at the edge of the sea, before it folds away.
Everything that is, lives and has size.
The mole sleeps in a hole of its making,
and the hole also lives; absence is not nothing.
It didn’t desire to be, but now it breathes
and makes a place, for the comfort of the mole.
I am a space taken, and my absence will be shapely
and of a certain age, in the everlasting.
In the fierce evening, on the mild day,
How long shall I be shaken?
(Habakkuk)
by Paul Hoover
from Poetry Magazine,
June 2010

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day 2010
















Facing It

BY YUSEF KOMUNYAKAA

My black face fades,
hiding inside the black granite.
I said I wouldn't,
dammit: No tears.
I'm stone. I'm flesh.
My clouded reflection eyes me
like a bird of prey, the profile of night
slanted against morning. I turn
this way--the stone lets me go.
I turn that way--I'm inside
the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
again, depending on the light
to make a difference.
I go down the 58,022 names,
half-expecting to find
my own in letters like smoke.
I touch the name Andrew Johnson;
I see the booby trap's white flash.
Names shimmer on a woman's blouse
but when she walks away
the names stay on the wall.
Brushstrokes flash, a red bird's
wings cutting across my stare.
The sky. A plane in the sky.
A white vet's image floats
closer to me, then his pale eyes
look through mine. I'm a window.
He's lost his right arm
inside the stone. In the black mirror
a woman's trying to erase names:
No, she's brushing a boy's hair.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Personals


Some nights I sleep with my dress on. My teeth are small and even. I don't get headaches. Since 1971 or before, I have hunted a bench where I could eat my pimento cheese in peace. If this were Tennessee and across that river, Arkansas, I'd meet you in West Memphis tonight. We could have a big time. Danger, shoulder soft. Do not lie or lean on me. I'm still trying to find a job for which a simple machine isn't better suited. I've seen people die of money. Look at Admiral Benbow. I wish like certain fishes, we came equipped with light organs. Which reminds me of a little known fact: if we were going the speed of light, this dome would be shrinking while we were gaining weight. Isn't the road crooked and steep. In this humidity, I make repairs by night. I'm not one among millions who saw Monroe's face in the moon. I go blank looking at that face. If I could afford it I'd live in hotels. I won awards in spelling and the Australian crawl. Long long ago. Grandmother married a man named Ivan. The men called him Eve. Stranger, to tell the truth, in dog years I am up there.



C. D. Wright was born in 1949 in Mountain Home, Arkansas. She is the author of numerous books of poetry and currently teaches at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

Song


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 ~
(Collected Poems 1947-1980)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day 2010 IN PRAISE OF THE EARTH


Let us bless
The imagination of the Earth,
That knew early the patience
To harness the mind of time,
Waited for the seas to warm,
Ready to welcome the emergence
Of things dreaming of voyaging
Among the stillness of land.

And how light knew to nurse
The growth until the face of the Earth
Brightened beneath a vision of color.

When the ages of ice came
And sealed the Earth inside
An endless coma of cold,
The heart of the Earth held hope,
Storing fragments of memory,
Ready for the return of the sun.

Let us thank the Earth
That offers ground for home
And hold our feet firm
To walk in space open
To infinite galaxies.

Let us salute the silence
And certainty of mountains:
Their sublime stillness,
Their dream-filled hearts.

The wonder of a garden
Trusting the first warmth of spring
Until its black infinity of cells
Becomes charged with dream;
Then the silent, slow nurture
Of the seed's self, coaxing it
To trust the act of death.

The humility of the Earth
That transfigures all
That has fallen
Of outlived growth.

The kindness of the Earth,
Opening to receive
Our worn forms
Into the final stillness.

Let us ask forgiveness of the Earth
For all our sins against her:
For our violence and poisonings
Of her beauty.

Let us remember within us
The ancient clay,
Holding the memory of seasons,
The passion of the wind,
The fluency of water,
The warmth of fire,
The quiver-touch of the sun
And shadowed sureness of the moon.

That we may awaken,
To live to the full
The dream of the Earth
Who chose us to emerge
And incarnate its hidden night
In mind, spirit, and light.
~John O'Donohue

Sunday, April 04, 2010

The Love That Dares To Speak Its Name

By James Kirkup
23 April 1918 – 10 May 2009

As they took him from the cross

I, the centurion, took him in my arms-

the tough lean body

of a man no longer young,

beardless, breathless,

but well hung.

He was still warm.

While they prepared the tomb

I kept guard over him.

His mother and the Magdalen

had gone to fetch clean linen

to shroud his nakedness.

I was alone with him.

For the last time

I kissed his mouth. My tongue

found his, bitter with death.

I licked his wound-

the blood was harsh

For the last time

I laid my lips around the tip

of that great cock, the instrument

of our salvation, our eternal joy.

The shaft, still throbbed, anointed

with death's final ejaculation

I knew he'd had it off with other men-

with Herod's guards, with Pontius Pilate,

With John the Baptist, with Paul of Tarsus

with foxy Judas, a great kisser, with

the rest of the Twelve, together and apart.

He loved all men, body, soul and spirit. - even me.

So now I took off my uniform, and, naked,

lay together with him in his desolation,

caressing every shadow of his cooling flesh,

hugging him and trying to warm him back to life.

Slowly the fire in his thighs went out,

while I grew hotter with unearthly love.

It was the only way I knew to speak our love's proud name,

to tell him of my long devotion, my desire, my dread-

something we had never talked about. My spear, wet with blood,

his dear, broken body all open wounds,

and in each wound his side, his back,

his mouth - I came and came and came

as if each coming was my last.

And then the miracle possessed us.

I felt him enter into me, and fiercely spend

his spirit's finbal seed within my hole, my soul,

pulse upon pulse, unto the ends of the earth-

he crucified me with him into kingdom come.

-This is the passionate and blissful crucifixion

same-sex lovers suffer, patiently and gladly.

They inflict these loving injuries of joy and grace

one upon the other, till they dies of lust and pain

within the horny paradise of one another's limbs,

with one voice cry to heaven in a last divine release.

Then lie long together, peacefully entwined, with hope

of resurrection, as we did, on that green hill far away.

But before we rose again, they came and took him from me.

They knew not what we had done, but felt

no shame or anger. Rather they were glad for us,

and blessed us, as would he, who loved all men.

And after three long, lonely days, like years,

in which I roamed the gardens of my grief

seeking for him, my one friend who had gone from me,

he rose from sleep, at dawn, and showed himself to me before

all others. And took me to him with

the love that now forever dares to speak its name.

Seven Stanzas at Easter












Make no mistake: if He rose at all
it was as His body;
if the cells' dissolution did not reverse, the molecules
reknit, the amino acids rekindle,
the Church will fall.

It was not as the flowers,
each soft Spring recurrent;
it was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled
eyes of the eleven apostles;
it was as His Flesh: ours.

The same hinged thumbs and toes,
the same valved heart
that — pierced — died, withered, paused, and then
regathered out of enduring Might
new strength to enclose.

Let us not mock God with metaphor,
analogy, sidestepping transcendence;
making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the
faded credulity of earlier ages:
let us walk through the door.

The stone is rolled back, not papier-mache,
not a stone in a story,
but the vast rock of materiality that in the slow
grinding of time will eclipse for each of us
the wide light of day.

And if we will have an angel at the tomb,
make it a real angel,
weighty with Max Planck's quanta, vivid with hair,
opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen
spun on a definite loom.

Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are
embarrassed by the miracle,
and crushed by remonstrance.

Telephone Poles and Other Poems © 1961
by John Updike. Reprinted by permission of
Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House Inc

On Easter and Updike
by David E. Anderson

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Listen, I've light
in my eyes
and on my skin
the warmth of a star, so strange
is this
that I
can barely comprehend it:
I think
I'll lift my face to it, and then
I lift my face,
and don't even know how
this is done. And
everything alive
(and everything's
alive) is turning
into something else
as at the heart
of some annihilating
or is it creating
fire
that's burning, unseeably, always
burning at such speeds
as eyes cannot
detect, just try
to observe your own face
growing old
in the mirror, or
is it beginning
to be born?

~ Franz Wright ~