Tuesday, December 29, 2015

"The Journey"

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.

// Mary Oliver

For this weather, wellybeans



Say to the sea,
Thus far shall you come, and no farther,
And here shall your proud waves be stayed.

No more. No farther.
(Not swallowed in the sea.)

Who shut in the sea when it burst out...
and prescribed limits for it and set bars and doors?


Daimotsu kaijō no tsuki (LOC)

Say to the sea,
Enough. You have swirled away enough.

Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?


Monday, December 28, 2015

Arise

there is no paralysis that You can't forgive away.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Heavy Bear Who Goes with Me

"the withness of the body"

The heavy bear who goes with me
A manifold honey to smear his face,
Clumsy and lumbering here and there, 
The central ton of every place,
The hungry beating brutish one
In love with candy, anger, and sleep,
Crazy factotum, dishevelling all,
Climbs the building, kicks the football,
Boxes his brother in the hate-ridden city. 
Breathing at my side, that heavy animal,
That heavy bear who sleeps with me,
Howls in his sleep for a world of sugar,
A sweetness intimate as the water's clasp,
Howls in his sleep because the tight-rope
Trembles and shows the darkness beneath.
––The strutting show-off is terrified,
Dressed in his dress-suit, bulging his pants,
Trembles to think that his quivering meat
Must finally wince to nothing at all. 
The inescapable animal walks with me,
Has followed me since the black womb held,
Moves where I move, distorting my gesture,
A caricature, a swollen shadow,
A stupid clown of the spirit's motive,
Perplexes and affronts with his own darkness,
The secret life of belly and bone,
Opaque, too near, my private, yet unknown,
Stretches to embrace the very dear
With whom I would walk without him near,
Touches her grossly, although a word
Would bare my heart and make me clear,
Stumbles, flounders, and strives to be fed
Dragging me with him in his mouthing care,
Amid the hundred million of his kind,
The scrimmage of appetite everywhere.

// Delmore Schwartz, 1938