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2009 : A Ritual to Read to Each Other~

December 31st, 2009 — 11:01pm

The reason I stopped posting poems here for the last quarter of the year or so was mostly due to the start of school– but also because posting a poem every day became more of a chore than a joy. I guess I just didn’t … feel like it anymore, every single day. However, I did post a fair amount, and will leave them up here. :)

Here’s one last poem, to finish up the wonderful year of 2009: A Ritual to Read to Each Other, by William Stafford. Read it here… scroll horizontally to read each passage. And, as always, best viewed with Firefox. :)

Happy 2010 everyone!

P.S.- fun fact. did you know it’s a blue moon today?! that means there were two full moons this month!

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Two Years Later – Aug 17

September 17th, 2009 — 10:16pm

The hollow eyes of shock remain
Electric sockets burnt out in the

The beauty of men never disappears
But drives a blue car through the

-John Wieners

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The River-Merchant’s Wife: A Letter – Aug 16

September 17th, 2009 — 10:12pm

While my hair was still cut straight across my forehead
I played at the front gate, pulling flowers.
You came by on bamboo stilts, playing horse,
You walked about my seat, playing with blue plums.
And we went on living in the village of Chokan:
Two small people, without dislike or suspicion.

At fourteen I married My Lord you.
I never laughed, being bashful.
Lowering my head, I looked at the wall.
Called to, a thousand times, I never looked back.

At fifteen I stopped scowling,
I desired my dust to be mingled with yours
Forever and forever and forever.
Why should I climb the lookout?

At sixteen you departed,
You went into far Ku-to-yen, by the river of swirling eddies,
And you have been gone five months.
The monkeys make sorrowful noise overhead.

You dragged your feet when you went out,
By the gate now, the moss is grown, the different mosses,
Too deep to clear them away!
The leaves fall early this autumn, in wind.
The paired butterflies are already yellow with August
Over the grass in the West garden;
They hurt me. I grow older.
If you are coming down through the narrows of the river Kiang,
Please let me know beforehand,
And I will come out to meet you
                       As far as Cho-fu-Sa.

-Ezra Pound

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A Ritual To Read To Each Other – Aug 15

September 17th, 2009 — 10:07pm

If you don’t know the kind of person I am
and I don’t know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.

For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dyke.

And as elephants parade holding each elephant’s tail,
but if one wanders the circus won’t find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider–
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.

For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give–yes or no, or maybe–
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.

-William Stafford

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West Wall – Aug 14

September 17th, 2009 — 10:04pm

In the unmade light I can see the world
as the leaves brighten I see the air
the shadows melt and the apricots appear
now that the branches vanish I see the apricots
from a thousand trees ripening in the air
they are ripening in the sun along the west wall
apricots beyond number are ripening in the daylight.

Whatever was there
I never saw those apricots swaying in the light
I might have stood in orchards forever
without beholding the day in the apricots
or knowing the ripeness of the lucid air
or touching the apricots in your skin
or tasting in your mouth the sun in the apricots.

-W.S. Merwin

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Two Clouds (for Jennifer, March 20, 1997) – Aug 12

September 17th, 2009 — 9:53pm

Smallest breath
on the pillow, we counted
all the months,
first day of spring, first day
of summer, and each night now
as your silence
draws us back to you, here
where these soft leaves are leaning
over a little water
inside this circle
painted on your bed, and that cloud,
that aimless puff, goes on
floating through the same perfect sky.
If there’s a secret,
I won’t ask.
If there’s one good explanation,
I don’t want to know.
Your blue eyes
catch hold of everything
that pleases you,
and you know
what I mean when I say, Look at that!
That I mean, Look at me.
As if one more reckless smile
would rescue
the morning’s gray
indifferent weather, and nothing
would be left to speak of
but this
feathery branch of the willow,
or the shadow of the nest
lodged above it,
or the shadow of the cloud
that sweeps the grass and is gone.

-Lawrence Raab

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sitting in a tree – Aug 11

September 17th, 2009 — 9:46pm

(sitting in a tree-)
o small you
sitting in a tree-

sitting in a treetop

riding on a greenest

riding on a greener
(o little i)
riding on a leaf

o least who
sing small thing
dance little joy

(shine most prayer)

-E.E. Cummings

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Still – Aug 10

September 17th, 2009 — 9:45pm

In the fall, I believe again in poetry
if nothing else it is
a movement of the mind.
Summers ball together
into sticky lumps,
spring evenings are glass beads from one mould
for standard-size youth,
winter a smooth heaviness, not even cold.
But the mind trembles
here, on the brink
the mind trembles
there is life, after all,
there is life, still
unbelief left.

-Jaakko A. Ahokas (translated from Finnish)

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Autumn – Aug 9

September 17th, 2009 — 9:44pm

Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower.

-Albert Camus

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i like – Aug 8

September 17th, 2009 — 9:41pm

i like
to think that on
the flower you gave me when we

          the far-
departed mouth sweetly-saluted
            if one marvel

seeing the hunger of my
lips for a dead thing,
i shall instruct
him silently with becoming

steps to seek
your face     and i
entreat,by certain foolish perfect

         dead too,
if that he come receive
him as your lover sumptuously

because i trust him to
your grace,and for
in his own land

he is called death.

-E.E. Cummings

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