Wednesday, 14 December 2011
Saturday, 12 November 2011
A sunrise does not last all morning
All things pass
A cloudburst does not last all day
All things pass
Nor a sunset all night
All things pass
What always changes?
And if these do not last
Do man's visions last?
Do man's illusions?
Take things as they come
All things pass
Thursday, 10 November 2011
Bloody men are like bloody buses -
You wait for about a year
And as soon as one approaches your stop
Two or three others appear.
You look at them flashing their indicators
Offering you a ride.
You're trying to read the destinations,
You haven't much time to decide.
If you make a mistake, there is no turning back.
Jump off, and you'll stand there and gaze
While the cars, the taxis and the lorries go by
And the minutes, the hours, the days.
by Wendy Cope
The mower stalled, twice; kneeling, I found
A hedgehog jammed up against the blades,
Killed. It had been in the long grass.
I had seen it before, and even fed it, once.
Now I had mauled its unobtrusive world
Unmendably. Burial was no help:
Next morning I got up and it did not.
The first day after a death, the new absence
Is always the same; we should be careful
Of each other, we should be kind
While there is still time.
Wednesday, 9 November 2011
Let not young souls be smothered out before
They do quaint deeds and fully flaunt their pride.
It is the world’s one crime its babes grow dull,
Its poor are ox-like, limp, and leaden-eyed.
Not that they starve, but starve so dreamlessly;
Not that they sow, but that they seldom reap;
Not that they serve, but have no gods to serve;
Not that they die, but that they die like sheep.
Today's 'Poem of the Day' touches on a similar theme to McNeice's Prayer Before Birth... And actually has comparisons with the pre natal poems, of Plath (below). They all touch on the theme of the innocent babe, who will inevitably be effected by the world.
Prayer Before Birth is laid out to echo the waves of contractions during birth.
PRAYER BEFORE BIRTH
Friday, 4 November 2011
You left a love bruise on my cheek today
with your mouth
it stole my heart
You were still and pensive
Your deep blue eyes gazing into mine
and then the miracle of the smile that flickered
just for a moment
I held my breath
THe dishes are done
the table top wiped
the little clothes
hanging in a row
the wee spotty socks
the little flowery vest
the grow suits
and Nan's handknitted cardy
all out to dry
The overhead lights are off
the nightlight burning
I've tucked mother and daughter in bed
and there's been not a peep
So I wander the lamplit garden
the darkened house
until I'm ready for sleep
I hate the uneducated and the ignorant. I hate the pompous and the phoney. I hate the jealous and the resentful. I hate the crabbed and the mean and the petty. I hate all ordinary dull little people who aren’t ashamed of being dull and little.
- John Fowles, The Collector 218
I read this the other day, and it reminded me of something Miranda would have said:
ON JOY AND SORROW
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Some of you say, "Joy is greater thar sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.
Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
Monday, 31 October 2011
RAY TAUGHT US TO...
To love compost,
To eat grapes, including seeds
To eat apples, including the core,
To shoot watermelon pips
That fruit is even better with cream on it
To lick your plate at the conclusion of a meal
To drive a car
To back a trailer
To ride a billycart
That getting bogged every weekend is fun
To ride a horse
To kayak in white melt water
To kayak in rough surf
To jump into deep, muddy rivers
To skip stones on a lake
Blow up a bullant’s nest
To shoot snakes
To love dogs
To build a campfire
To whittle a toasting fork
To lose it completely when pitching a tent
To tell a good yarn
To enjoy a road trip with no stops for any reason
Play a gum leaf
To milk a cow
To milk a goat
To love a cold bath
To hate authority
To use a powertool
To conduct a choir
To laugh just because somebody hurts themselves
When in doubt, hoe in the Vitamin C
To never give in.
|THE ROAD NOT TAKEN|
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
|And sorry I could not travel both|
|And be one traveler, long I stood|
|And looked down one as far as I could|
|To where it bent in the undergrowth;||5|
|Then took the other, as just as fair,|
|And having perhaps the better claim,|
|Because it was grassy and wanted wear;|
|Though as for that the passing there|
|Had worn them really about the same,||10|
|And both that morning equally lay|
|In leaves no step had trodden black.|
|Oh, I kept the first for another day!|
|Yet knowing how way leads on to way,|
|I doubted if I should ever come back.||15|
|I shall be telling this with a sigh|
|Somewhere ages and ages hence:|
|Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—|
|I took the one less traveled by,|
|And that has made all the difference.|
I dug in the garden today -
found some little potatoes
nestled there, in the earth.
Remember when we harvested potatoes
and found baby mice nests? The baby mice
looked like beagle puppies...
Planted grosse lisse tomatoes -
your favourite, Dad. A bit early,
but put some in, like you showed me.
A hole, filled with water, a slurry of
blood and bone, firmed down around the roots.
I pruned the lemon tree you gave me, Jen.
The last trim it had - you did.
The day before you left us Jen,
I hacked back the bougainvillea.
Something to do as I wept for you,
slipping away from us
in your bed in the mountains.
Today, while gathering the prunings
I found the earring I lost.
The ones you said you liked
that last day we spent on earth together.
They matched my scarf, you said.
That I was always good with colour.
Thank you for finding the strength
to gift me with this memory,
while your life was ebbing from you.
I sat beneath the umbrella at the table after gardening.
The rain came.
I saw your hands, Dad.
The way they looked at the close of the day.
But they were my hands -
caked with dried earth.
Picking some baby broad beans in the soft drizzle,
I ate them, still warm from the mother-stem.
You'd have loved them, both of you.
The sweet, bright beans
snuggled down inside the furry pod.
We loved the earth, us three
and in my simple, city plot
we communed together;
you sweetly haunting me,
this early spring afternoon
in the gentle, misty rain.
like the hungry bear in autumn
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
when death comes
like the measle-pox;
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
as a field daisy, and as singular,
tending as all music does, toward silence,
precious to the earth.
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened
or full of argument.