May 13, 2009 § Leave a comment
My father spent most of his adult life
working for the Commonwealth Public Service, shunting files
from one end of his long desk to the other.
When he died he left half-written
a History of Australian Immigration,
only half-joking when he willed that I should finish it.
Why didn’t he tell me
how little would ever be completed?
letters left unanswered, accounts not settled, promises
never fulfilled, the parts of that motorcycle
unreassembled, lying ten years
on a concrete floor in Westgarth St, people
dying without warning, mid sentence,
taking the next words with them.
From: Walking to Point Clear: Poems 1983-2002
Publisher: Brandl & Schlesinger, Blackheath, 2005
May 10, 2009 § Leave a comment
We Wear the Mask
We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,–
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.
Why should the world be overwise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.
We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!
Paul Laurence Dunbar
April 11, 2009 § 3 Comments
cuz i breathe poems
at the oddest times
for no good reason
in your laughter
rains or shines
May 15, 2007 § Leave a comment
by John Balaban
translated from the Bulgarian with the author,
Well, he lived among us and hated winters.
He moved to Arles where summer and blue jays
obliged him to cut off his ear.
Oh, they all said it was a whore
but Rachel was innocent. When cypresses
went for a walk in the prison yard
he went along and sketched them.
His suns surpassed God’s.
He spelled out the Gospel for miners
and their potatoes stuck in his throat.
Yes, he was a priest in sackcloth, who hoped
that one day humans would learn to walk.
He willed mankind his shoes.
From PATH, CROOKED PATH (Copper Canyon Press, 2006)
by W.S. Merwin
On the last day of the world
I would want to plant a tree
not for the fruit
the tree that bears the fruit
is not the one that was planted
I want the tree that stands
in the earth for the first time
with the sun already
and the water
touching its roots
in the earth full of the dead
and the clouds passing
one by one
over its leaves
The Poetry Center, go there, no really, do.
May 9, 2007 § Leave a comment
blessed to be
the hugged and the squeezed,
the wanted and caressed
February 16, 2007 § Leave a comment
|Double-Click for Lit|
|I feel something,
its been eating away at me,
that I have read the loud proclamations of those who went before,
now their words lie forgotten and yellowed on bookshelves,
and its pains me to see such wonderful thoughts and unique observations cannot compete with the ease of electronic media.
Will my words suffer such a fate?
I shudder to think, the machine replacing well worn or crisp page, that highlighters of yellow kind will become obsolete,
as Shakespeare’s Macbeth is learnt online,
‘double-click for notes’,
perhaps this is the true face of progress,
change in the basic routine so that our feather get ruffled at the idea,
of say books losing out to the computer,
authors adjusting to the net.
I want written print to matter,
for people to pick up the fruits of my labor, pore over the leaves, scribble, underline, Xerox, cover, highlight, and share,
enough that when they lay my book/article/poem down
it will make them say,
(as I once did)
“I Want To Write And Be Read!”.
Featured on Chowk
January 25, 2007 § 2 Comments
By: Ruth Porritt
This simple cathedral of praise
How you made, from the bottom up,
Is for you to remember
Of Andromeda. What remains
Until you meet the ancient light
With your sight you can keep ascending
Its final transformation into space.
The horizon’s urge to sculpt the sky
Puts into relief
Your family’s mountain land
Upon the rising air. In the distance
A windward falcon is open high and steady
Far above the tallest tree
Just beyond your height.
You see a young pine lifting its green spire
By raising your eyes
Out onto the roof deck.
You pass through sliding glass doors
And up to where the stairway ends.
To the top of the penultimate stanza
Past the second story,
But now you’re going the other way,
Line by line, to the bottom of the page.
A force that usually pulls you down,
Of moving against the gravity of habit,
While trying not to notice the effort
And feel what it’s like to climb stairs