Monday, March 30, 2015

blessing





 
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Her life closed in a gentle dream—may she wake as kindly in the other world!
 
–Emily Bronte,
Wuthering Heights




Sunday, March 29, 2015

Stationary Point







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I would know nothing, dream nothing:
who will teach my non-being
how to be, without striving to be?

How can the water endure it?

What sky have the stones dreamed?

Immobile, until those migrations
delay at their apogee
and fly on their arrows
toward the cold archipelago.

Unmoved in its secretive life,
like an underground city,
so the days may glide down
like ungraspable dew:

nothing fails, or shall perish,
until we be born again,
until all that lay plundered
be restored with the tread
of the springtime we buried—
the unceasingly stilled, as it lifts
itself out of non-being, even now,
to be flowering bough.


–Pablo Neruda
Voyages and Homecomings, 1959





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Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Ancients of the World








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The salmon lying in the depths of Llyn Llifon
Secretly as a thought in a dark mind,
Is not so old as the owl of Cwm Cowlyd
Who tells her sorrow nightly on the wind.

The ousel singing in the woods of Cilgwri,
Tirelessly as a stream over the mossed stones,
Is not so old as the toad of Cors Fochno
Who feels the cold skin sagging round his bones.
The toad and the ousel and the stag of Rhedynfre,
That has cropped each leaf from the tree of life,
Are not so old as the owl of Cwm Cowlyd,
That the proud eagle would have to wife.


–R. S. Thomas




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Friday, March 27, 2015

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Zen teacher Issan Dorsey, who established the Maitri Hospice in San Francisco,
was on his deathbed when one of his closest friends came to visit him.

“I’m going to miss you,” the friend said.

“I’m going to miss you, too,” responded Issan. He was silent for a moment.
Then he asked, “Are you going somewhere?”

–Sean Murphy
One Bird, One Stone



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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Red Glove Thrown in a Rosebush







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If our bodies weren’t so beautiful.
Even rabbits are made of firecrackers
so tiny they tickle your hand.
If only the infirmities,
blocked neural pathways, leg braces
and bandages didn’t make all these bodies
look like they’re dancing.

Breathing will destroy us, hearts
like ninja stars stuck into the sternums
of granite caesars. Should I worry
people have stopped saying how skinny
and pale I am? Paul may destroy the kitchen
but he’s the best cook I know.

Seared tuna, pesto risotto – where
did he get those tomatoes? –what a war
must be fought for simplicity!
Even the alligator, flipped over,
is soft as an eyelid. Hans, the trapezist,
got everyone high on New Year’s Eve
with a single joint, the girl he was with
a sequin it was impossible not to want
to try to catch without a net.

Across the bay, fireworks punched
luminous bruises in the fog.
If only my body wasn’t borrowed from dust!


–Dean Young
Bender: New and Selected Poems




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David Chambon
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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

dissolved







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I was something that lay under the sun and felt it, like the pumpkins, and I did not want to be anything more. I was entirely happy.
Perhaps we feel like that when we die and become part of something entire, whether it is sun and air, or goodness and knowledge.
At any rate, that is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep.


—Willa Cather
from My Antonia





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