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"The Moose" by Elizabeth Bishop


From narrow provinces
of fish and bread and tea,
home of the long tides
where the bay leaves the sea
twice a day and takes
the herrings long rides,

where if the river
enters or retreats 
in a wall of brown foam
depends on if it meets
the bay coming in,
the bay not at home;

where, silted red,
sometimes the sun sets
facing a red sea,
and others, veins the flats'
lavender, rich mud
in burning rivulets;

on red, gravelly roads,
down rows of sugar maples,
past clapboard farmhouses
and neat, clapboard churches,
bleached, ridged as clamshells,
past twin silver birches,

through late afternoon
a bus journeys west,
the windshield flashing pink,
pink glancing off of metal,
brushing the dented flank
of blue, beat-up enamel;

down hollows, up rises,
and waits, patient, while
a lone traveller gives
kisses and embraces
to seven relatives
and a collie supervises.

Goodbye to the elms,
to the farm, to the dog.
The bus starts.  The light
grows richer; the fog,
shifting, salty, thin,
comes closing in.

Its cold, round crystals
form and slide and settle
in the white hens' feathers,
in gray glazed cabbages,
on the cabbage roses
and lupins like apostles;

the sweet peas cling
to their wet white string
on the whitewashed fences;
bumblebees creep
inside the foxgloves,
and evening commences.

One stop at Bass River.
Then the Economies 
Lower, Middle, Upper;
Five Islands, Five Houses,
where a woman shakes a tablecloth
out after supper.

A pale flickering.  Gone.
The Tantramar marshes 
and the smell of salt hay.
An iron bridge trembles 
and a loose plank rattles
but doesn't give way.

On the left, a red light
swims through the dark:
a ship's port lantern.
Two rubber boots show,
illuminated, solemn.
A dog gives one bark.
A woman climbs in
with two market bags,
brisk, freckled, elderly.
"A grand night. Yes, sir,
all the way to Boston."
She regards us amicably.
Moonlight as we enter the New Brunswick woods, hairy, scratchy, splintery; moonlight and mist caught in them like lamb's wool on bushes in a pasture. The passengers lie back. Snores. Some long sighs. A dreamy divagation begins in the night, a gentle, auditory, slow hallucination. . . . In the creakings and noises, an old conversation --not concerning us, but recognizable, somewhere, back in the bus: Grandparents' voices uninterruptedly talking, in Eternity: names being mentioned, things cleared up finally; what he said, what she said, who got pensioned; deaths, deaths and sicknesses; the year he remarried; the year (something) happened. She died in childbirth. That was the son lost when the schooner foundered. He took to drink. Yes. She went to the bad. When Amos began to pray even in the store and finally the family had to put him away. "Yes . . ." that peculiar affirmative. "Yes . . ." A sharp, indrawn breath, half groan, half acceptance, that means "Life's like that. We know it (also death)." Talking the way they talked
in the old featherbed,
peacefully, on and on,
dim lamplight in the hall,
down in the kitchen, the dog
tucked in her shawl.
Now, it's all right now even to fall asleep just as on all those nights. --Suddenly the bus driver stops with a jolt, turns off his lights. A moose has come out of the impenetrable wood and stands there, looms, rather, in the middle of the road. It approaches; it sniffs at the bus's hot hood. Towering, antlerless, high as a church, homely as a house (or, safe as houses). A man's voice assures us "Perfectly harmless. . . ." Some of the passengers exclaim in whispers, childishly, softly, "Sure are big creatures." "It's awful plain." "Look! It's a she!" Taking her time, she looks the bus over, grand, otherworldly. Why, why do we feel
(we all feel) this sweet
sensation of joy?
"Curious creatures," says our quiet driver, rolling his r's. "Look at that, would you." Then he shifts gears. For a moment longer, by craning backward, the moose can be seen on the moonlit macadam; then there's a dim smell of moose, an acrid smell of gasoline.

hazelnut_cafe: (Default)
"Adolescence- II" by Rita Dove
Although it is night, I sit in the bathroom, waiting.

Sweat prickles behind my knees, the baby-breasts are alert.

Venetian blinds slice up the moon; the tiles quiver in pale strips.



Then they come, the three seal men with eyes as round

As dinner plates and eyelashes like sharpened tines.

They bring the scent of licorice. One sits in the washbowl,



One on the bathtub edge; one leans against the door.

"Can you feel it yet?" they whisper.

I don't know what to say, again. They chuckle,



Patting their sleek bodies with their hands.

"Well, maybe next time." And they rise,

Glittering like pools of ink under moonlight,



And vanish. I clutch at the ragged holes

They leave behind, here at the edge of darkness.

Night rests like a ball of fur on my tongue.
hazelnut_cafe: (Default)
Writing
by Charles Bukowski

often it is the only
thing
between you and
impossibility.
no drink,
no woman's love,
no wealth
can
match it.
nothing can save
you
except
writing.
it keeps the walls
from
failing.
the hordes from
closing in.
it blasts the
darkness.
writing is the
ultimate
psychiatrist,
the kindliest
god of all the
gods.
writing stalks
death.
it knows no
quit.
and writing
laughs
at itself,
at pain.
it is the last
expectation,
the last
explanation.
that's
what it
is.


(from blank gun silencer - 1991)
hazelnut_cafe: (Default)

 

This poem pretty much made my life. The link at the bottom is the way to really do it though. Marty McConnell is incredible and hearing it spoken is world-shaking.

 

re:generation

at the millennial rolling-over point
baby boomer one-time-hippies
turned parents across these United States groan,
"when we said
'you can be anything' we meant
'you can be a brain surgeon or
district attorney or
genetic engineer' -- we
didn't mean you should become
a... poet."

But it was Dad who taught me that the call
of my wild heart rings as valid
as any voice of reason

And Mom who showed me that raging terror of where you're headed
is the surest sign you're traveling
in the right direction

This is a generation
beyond definition, unconvinced
the American dream isn't a fiction
of REM sleep; certain
gender matters less than love; determined
the apocalypse won't catch us napping.

Breast-fed on "how many roads must a man walk down,"
we watched our creators sacrifice their sharp edges
to stay within the lines; small wonder we race
to rant about wrongs or
find the edge of the planet
and lean at the lip of the void

We are the change generation,
fitted with the inconsistencies
of a millennium in flux; vagabond lot, we
skitter one city to the next
in seek of a home not in need of so much repair;
see, our inherited tools they fit fit like a Phillips-head
in a slot-top screw; we know that sit-ins
end in tear gas and tanks,
picket lines in promises
and compromises, lobbying
in backrooms and bullshit

I might believe in this Revolution
if one person proved he knew
what he was fighting for
and how

because the KKK still erects a cross in Cincinnati's Fountain Square every
Christmas and

teenage girls have to weigh back alleys versus daddy's fists to secure
abortions and

Promise Keepers fill stadiums while poets play coffeehouses and

if I fucked a woman in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Kansas,
Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North
Carolina, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia or Utah I could get
anywhere from 30 days to 20 years in jail

I don't own
enough rage for it all -- I am
ninety-five miles per hour on I-81, sprinting
to track the tirade vibrating
on the next stage

is Anybody Listening?

I live
in search of a cause worth dying for

We are a generation of screamers
silenced by the conspiracy of comfort
that cradles us voiceless
in our pc cities, where only the drunk
and the dangerous spill what seethes
in so many

I trade crusades like cards, flip
issues like channels

give me a god

give me a rallying cry

give me one
good reason to die

(c) 1999, Marty McConnell
http://youtube.com/watch?v=1X5Pj5w2i20
hazelnut_cafe: (Default)
in the rain-
darkness, the sunset
being sheathed i sit and
think of you

the holy
city which is your face
your little cheeks the streets
of smiles

your eyes half-
thrush
half-angel and your drowsy
lips where float flowers of kiss

and
there is the sweet shy pirouette
your hair
and then

your dancesong
soul. rarely-beloved
a single star is uttered, and I
think
of you

(ee cummings)
hazelnut_cafe: (Default)
Sonnet XVII
(Pablo Neruda)

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
hazelnut_cafe: (Default)
A Green Crab's Shell

Not, exactly, green:
closer to bronze
preserved in kind brine,

something retrieved
from a Greco-Roman wreck,
patinated and oddly

muscular. We cannot
know what his fantastic
legs were like--

though evidence
suggests eight
complexly folded

scuttling works
of armament, crowned
by the foreclaws'

gesture of menace
and power. A gull's
gobbled the center,

leaving this chamber
--size of a demitasse--
open to reveal

a shocking, Giotto blue.
Though it smells
of seaweed and ruin,

this little traveling case
comes with such lavish lining!
Imagine breathing

surrounded by
the brilliant rinse
of summer's firmament.

What color is
the underside of skin?
Not so bad, to die,

if we could be opened
into this--
if the smallest chambers

of ourselves,
similarly,
revealed some sky.


Mark Doty
hazelnut_cafe: (Default)
Another smattering of poetry that I have yet to organize, mainly because A) I'm lazy, and B) I'm mainly posting them so that I can close the windows on my screen...


The More Loving One

by W. H. Auden

Looking up at the stars, I know quite well

That, for all they care, I can go to hell,

But on earth indifference is the least

We have to dread from man or beast.


How should we like it were stars to burn

With a passion for us we could not return?

If equal affection cannot be,

Let the more loving one be me.


Admirer as I think I am

Of stars that do not give a damn,

I cannot, now I see them, say

I missed one terribly all day.


Were all stars to disappear or die,

I should learn to look at an empty sky

And feel its total dark sublime,

Though this might take me a little time.


A Miracle for Breakfast

At six o'clock we were waiting for coffee,
waiting for coffee and the charitable crumb
that was going to be served from a certain balcony
--like kings of old, or like a miracle.
It was still dark. One foot of the sun
steadied itself on a long ripple in the river.

The first ferry of the day had just crossed the river.
It was so cold we hoped that the coffee
would be very hot, seeing that the sun
was not going to warm us; and that the crumb
would be a loaf each, buttered, by a miracle.
At seven a man stepped out on the balcony.

He stood for a minute alone on the balcony
looking over our heads toward the river.
A servant handed him the makings of a miracle,
consisting of one lone cup of coffee
and one roll, which he proceeded to crumb,
his head, so to speak, in the clouds--along with the sun.

Was the man crazy? What under the sun
was he trying to do, up there on his balcony!
Each man received one rather hard crumb,
which some flicked scornfully into the river,
and, in a cup, one drop of the coffee.
Some of us stood around, waiting for the miracle.

I can tell what I saw next; it was not a miracle.
A beautiful villa stood in the sun
and from its doors came the smell of hot coffee.
In front, a baroque white plaster balcony
added by birds, who nest along the river,
--I saw it with one eye close to the crumb--

and galleries and marble chambers. My crumb
my mansion, made for me by a miracle,
through ages, by insects, birds, and the river
working the stone. Every day, in the sun,
at breakfast time I sit on my balcony
with my feet up, and drink gallons of coffee.

We licked up the crumb and swallowed the coffee.
A window across the river caught the sun
as if the miracle were working, on the wrong balcony


The Naming of Cats
The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
 It isn't just one of your holiday games;
 You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
 When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
 First of all, there's the name that the family use daily,
 Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
 Such as Victor or Jonathan, or George or Bill Bailey -
 All of them sensible everyday names.
 There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
 Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
 Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter -
 But all of them sensible everyday names.
 But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular,
 A name that's peculiar, and more dignified,
 Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
 Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
 Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
 Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
 Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum -
 Names that never belong to more than one cat.
 But above and beyond there's still one name left over,
 And that is the name that you never will guess;
 The name that no human research can discover -
 But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
 When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
 The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
 His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
 Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
 His ineffable effable
 Effanineffable
 Deep and inscrutable singular Name.


One Art

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster,

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three beloved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

-- Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) a disaster.

Elizabeth Bishop
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Characters of Virtues and Vices (1608)
Joseph Hall, Bishop of Exeter

http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~rbear/hallch.htm

CHARACTERS
OF
VERTVES
AND
VICES:
In two Bookes:
By
IOS. HALL.
LONDON,
Printed by Melch. Bradwood for
Eleazar Edgar and Samuel Marham,
and are to be sold at the sign
of the Bul-head in Pauls
Church-yard.


ANNO
1608.
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Robert Frost (1874–1963). A Boy’s Will. 1915.

21. Revelation


WE make ourselves a place apart
Behind light words that tease and flout,
But oh, the agitated heart
Till someone find us really out.

’Tis pity if the case require 5
(Or so we say) that in the end
We speak the literal to inspire
The understanding of a friend.

But so with all, from babes that play
At hide-and-seek to God afar, 10
So all who hide too well away
Must speak and tell us where they are.


Robert Browning. 1812–1889

718. Pippa's Song

THE year 's at the spring,
And day 's at the morn;
Morning 's at seven;
The hill-side 's dew-pearl'd;
The lark 's on the wing; 5
The snail 's on the thorn;
God 's in His heaven—
All 's right with the world!

Robert Browning. 1812–1889

728. Misconceptions

THIS is a spray the Bird clung to,
Making it blossom with pleasure,
Ere the high tree-top she sprung to,
Fit for her nest and her treasure.
O, what a hope beyond measure 5
Was the poor spray's, which the flying feet hung to,—
So to be singled out, built in, and sung to!

This is a heart the Queen leant on,
Thrill'd in a minute erratic,
Ere the true bosom she bent on, 10
Meet for love's regal dalmatic.
O, what a fancy ecstatic
Was the poor heart's, ere the wanderer went on—
Love to be saved for it, proffer'd to, spent on!
hazelnut_cafe: (Default)

I love this line:


"...What did you think, that joy
was some slight thing?"
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"The Embrace" by Mark Doty

You weren't well or really ill yet either;
just a little tired, your handsomeness
tinged by grief or anticipation, which brought
to your face a thoughtful, deepening grace.

I didn't for a moment doubt you were dead.
I knew that to be true still, even in the dream.
You'd been out—at work maybe?—
having a good day, almost energetic.

We seemed to be moving from some old house
where we'd lived, boxes everywhere, things
in disarray: that was the story of my dream,
but even asleep I was shocked out of narrative

by your face, the physical fact of your face:
inches from mine, smooth-shaven, loving, alert.
Why so difficult, remembering the actual look
of you? Without a photograph, without strain?

So when I saw your unguarded, reliable face,
your unmistakable gaze opening all the warmth
and clarity of you—warm brown tea—we held
each other for the time the dream allowed.

Bless you. You came back so I could see you
once more, plainly, so I could rest against you
without thinking this happiness lessened anything,
without thinking you were alive again
hazelnut_cafe: (Default)
Awdl Gywydd (Welsh)

Pronounced “owdl gow-widd” Seven syllable quatrains with end rhyme and couplet binding.

* * * * * * A
* * A * * * B (A could shift to 3rd or 4th syllable)
* * * * * * C
* * C * * * B (B could shift to 3rd or 4th syllable)

The mid-line rhymes can be various forms of
half-rhyme, such as consonance or assonance.
The main rhyme (B) should be perfect.


Four seven-syllable lines; lines two and four rhyme; lines one and three rhyme into the third, fourth, or fifth syllables of lines two and four.

"Softly let the measure break
Till the dancers wake, and rise,
Lace their golden shoes, and turn
Toward the stars that burn their eyes."


http://www.poetryrenewal.com/forms/000/12.shtml

http://anitraweb.org/kalliope/welsh.html
hazelnut_cafe: (Default)
"If this be needful truth you tell me,
Spare me, and let me have lies hereafter."


(She)

From "Late Summer" by Edwin Arlington Robinson
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Elizabeth Bishop -
"The Imaginary Iceberg"



We'd rather have the iceberg than the ship,
although it meant the end of travel.
Although it stood stock-still like cloudy rock
and all the sea were moving marble.
We'd rather have the iceberg than the ship;
we'd rather own this breathing plain of snow
though the ship's sails were laid upon the sea
as the snow lies undissolved upon the water.
O solemn, floating field,
are you aware an iceberg takes repose
with you, and when it wakes may pasture on your snows?

This is a scene a sailor'd give his eyes for.
The ship's ignored. The iceberg rises
and sinks again; its glassy pinnacles
correct elliptics in the sky.
This is a scene where he who treads the boards
is artlessly rhetorical. The curtain
is light enough to rise on finest ropes
that airy twists of snow provide.
The wits of these white peaks
spar with the sun. Its weight the iceberg dares
upon a shifting stage and stands and stares.

The iceberg cuts its facets from within.
Like jewelry from a grave
it saves itself perpetually and adorns
only itself, perhaps the snows
which so surprise us lying on the sea.
Good-bye, we say, good-bye, the ship steers off
where waves give in to one another's waves
and clouds run in a warmer sky.
Icebergs behoove the soul
(both being self-made from elements least visible)
to see them so: fleshed, fair, erected indivisible.
hazelnut_cafe: (Default)
John Donne
A LECTURE UPON THE SHADOW

Stand still, and I will read to thee
A Lecture, Love, in loves philosophy.
These three houres that we have spent,
Walking here, two shadowes went
Along with us, which we our selves produc'd;
But, now the Sunne is just above our head,
We doe those shadowes tread;
And to brave clearenesse all things are reduc'd.
So whilst our infant loves did grow,
Disguises did, and shadowes, flow
From us, and our care; but, now 'tis not so.
That love hath not attain'd the high'st degree,
Which is still diligent lest others see.
Except our loves at this noone stay,
We shall new shadowes make the other way.
As the first were made to blinde
Others; these which come behinde
Will worke upon our selves, and blind our eyes.
If our loves faint, and westwardly decline;
To me thou, falsly, thine,
And I to thee mine actions shall disguise.
The morning shadowes weare away,
But these grow longer all the day,
But oh, loves day is short, if love decay.
Love is a growing, or full constant light;
And his first minute, after noone, is night.
hazelnut_cafe: (Default)
Robert Browning. 1812–1889

728. Misconceptions

THIS is a spray the Bird clung to,
Making it blossom with pleasure,
Ere the high tree-top she sprung to,
Fit for her nest and her treasure.
O, what a hope beyond measure
Was the poor spray's, which the flying feet hung to,—
So to be singled out, built in, and sung to!

This is a heart the Queen leant on,
Thrill'd in a minute erratic,
Ere the true bosom she bent on,
Meet for love's regal dalmatic.
O, what a fancy ecstatic
Was the poor heart's, ere the wanderer went on—
Love to be saved for it, proffer'd to, spent on!
hazelnut_cafe: (Default)
"To Sleep" ~ John Keats

O SOFT embalmer of the still midnight!
Shutting with careful fingers and benign
Our gloom-pleased eyes, embower'd from the light,
Enshaded in forgetfulness divine;
O soothest Sleep! if so it please thee, close,
In midst of this thine hymn, my willing eyes,
Or wait the amen, ere thy poppy throws
Around my bed its lulling charities;
Then save me, or the passèd day will shine
Upon my pillow, breeding many woes;

Save me from curious conscience, that still lords
Its strength for darkness, burrowing like a mole;
Turn the key deftly in the oilèd wards,
And seal the hushèd casket of my soul.
hazelnut_cafe: (Default)
VII. O Solitude! if I must with thee dwell...

O SOLITUDE! if I must with thee dwell,
Let it not be among the jumbled heap
Of murky buildings; climb with me the steep,-
Nature’s observatory - whence the dell,
Its flowery slopes, its river’s crystal swell,
May seem a span; let me thy vigils keep
’Mongst boughs pavillion’d, where the deer’s swift leap
Startles the wild bee from the fox-glove bell.
But though I’ll gladly trace these scenes with thee,
Yet the sweet converse of an innocent mind,
Whose words are images of thoughts refin’d,
Is my soul’s pleasure; and it sure must be
Almost the highest bliss of human-kind,
When to thy haunts two kindred spirits flee.


Poems (1817)

Sonnet to a Cat

Cat! who hast pass'd thy grand cliacteric,
How many mice and rats hast in thy days
Destroy'd? - How many tit bits stolen? Gaze
With those bright languid segments green, and prick
Those velvet ears - but pr'ythee do not stick
Thy latent talons in me - and upraise
Thy gentle mew - and tell me all thy frays
Of fish and mice, and rats and tender chick.
Nay, look not down, nor lick thy dainty wrists -
For all the wheezy asthma, - and for all
Thy tail's tip is nick'd off - and though the fists
Of many a maid have given thee many a mail,
Still is that fur as soft as when the lists
In youth thou enter'dst on glass bottled wall.
hazelnut_cafe: (Default)
SO THIN A VEIL

by: Edward Carpenter (1844-1929)

O thin a veil divides
Us from such joy, past words,
Walking in daily life--the business of the hour, each detail seen to;
Yet carried, rapt away, on what sweet floods of other Being:
Swift streams of music flowing, light far back through all Creation shining,
Loved faces looking--
Ah! from the true, the mortal self
So thin a veil divides!


Edward Carpenter and George Merrill were the models for E. M. Forster's Maurice.

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