Author Topic: Poems  (Read 30392 times)

« on: October 01, 2017, 01:25:33 AM »
I like tookish's poems that make your heart explode thread, but some poems I'd want to post stray too far from the topic. In this thread you can post poems that might not have an extreme emotional impact. I was surprised that nobody here posted anything when John Ashbery died. He was sort of the Bob Dylan or Thomas Pynchon of American poetry. Poetry is not very popular here let's face it.

"Edward Lear in February" by Christopher Middleton

Since last September I’ve been trying to describe
Two moonstone hills,
And an ochre mountain, by candlelight, behind,
But a lizard has been sick into the ink,
A cat keeps clawing at me, you should see my face,
I’m too intent to dodge.

Out of the corner of my eye,
An old man (he’s putting almonds into a bag)
Stoops in sunlight, closer than the hills.
But all the time these bats flick at me
And plop, like foetuses, all over the blotting paper.
Someone began playing a gong outside, once.
I liked that, it helped; but in a flash
Neighbours were pelting him with their slippers and things,
Bits of coke and old railway timetables.

I have come unstuck in this cellar. Help.
Pacing up and down in my own shadow
Has stopped me liking the weight it falls from.
That lizard looks like being sick again. The owls
Have built a stinking nest on the Eighteenth Century.

So much for two moonstone hills,
Ochre mountain, old man
Cramming all those almonds into a bag.


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Re: Poems
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2017, 02:09:01 AM »
Like Pynchon, Ashbery is one of those authors whose writing I like the idea of more than the writing itself, and it's not certainly not difficult to sell the idea of Ashbery to me. Perhaps I lean too hard on that old business of cut-and-dried meaning, or I'm just being intellectually lazy.

There are some fabulous gems in brief passages:

The night sheen takes over. A moon of cistercian pallor
Has climbed to the center of heaven, installed.
Finally involved with the business of darkness.
A sigh heaves from all the small things on earth,
The books, the papers, the old garters and union-suit buttons
Kept in a white cardboard box somewhere, and all the lower
Versions of cities flattened under the equalizing night.
The summer demands, and takes away too much,
But night, the reserved, the reticent, gives more than it takes.

Why not post the whole thing?

As One Put Drunk Into the Packet-Boat

I tried each thing, only some were immortal and free.
Elsewhere we are as sitting in a place where sunlight
Filters down, a little at a time,
Waiting for someone to come. Harsh words are spoken,
As the Sun yellows the green of the maple tree....

So this was all, but obscurely
I felt the stirrings of new breath in the pages
Which all winter long had smelled like an old catalogue.
New sentences were starting up. But the summer
Was well along, not yet past the mid-point
But full and dark with the promise of that fullness,
That time when one can no longer wander away
And even the least attentive fall silent
To watch the thing that is prepared to happen.

A look of glass stops you
And you walk on shaken: was I the perceived?
Did they notice me, this time, as I am,
Or is it postponed again? The children
Still at their games, clouds that arise with a swift
Impatience in the afternoon sky, then dissipate
As limpid, dense twilight comes.
Only in that tooting of a horn
Down there, for a moment, I thought
The great, formal affair was beginning, orchestrated,
Its colors concentrated in a glance, a ballade
That takes in the whole world, now, but lightly,
Still lightly, but with wide authority and tact.

The prevalence of those gray flakes failing?
They are sun motes. You have slept in the Sun
Longer than the sphinx, and are none the wiser for it.
Come in. And I thought a shadow fell across the door
But it was only her come to ask once more
If I was coming in, and not to hurry in case I wasn’t.

The night sheen takes over. A moon of cistercian pallor
Has climbed to the center of heaven, installed,
Finally involved with the business of darkness.
And a sigh heaves from all the small things on earth,
The books, the papers, the old garters and union-suit buttons
Kept in a white cardboard box somewhere, and all the lower
Versions of cities flattened under the equalizing night.
The summer demands and takes away too much,
But night, the reserved, the reticent, gives more than it takes.

Twit 2

Re: Poems
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2017, 07:36:55 PM »

Dex Sawash

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Re: Poems
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2017, 07:48:55 PM »
There's one about an ocelot who likes to eat applesauce a lot.
I like that one but ere I can not find it.

Re: Poems
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2017, 11:32:08 PM »
Like Pynchon, Ashbery is one of those authors whose writing I like the idea of more than the writing itself, and it's not certainly not difficult to sell the idea of Ashbery to me. Perhaps I lean too hard on that old business of cut-and-dried meaning, or I'm just being intellectually lazy.

There are some fabulous gems in brief passages

I know what you mean. I read Frank O'Hara more often of the New York poets. Thanks for picking out a favourite part of the poem.

Denise Riley - A Part Song

I like this. I think you might have posted it before in another thread. Here are some poor quality shadowy images of Riley's "Versions of six poems by Friedrich Hölderlin (1770-1843)" published in Dry Air (1985). She uses fewer words than most other translations. I think you could find some affinity with Hölderlin's voices in her other poems.

Two more short poems from Dry Air:

Re: Poems
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2017, 01:45:57 AM »
Even long after my death by Maria

Even long after my death
Long after your death
I want to torture you.
I want the thought of me
to coil around your body like a serpent of fire
without burning you.

I want to see you lost, asphyxiated, wander
in the murky haze
woven by my desires.

For you, I want long sleepless nights
filled by the roaring tom-tom of storms
Far away, invisible, unknown.
Then, I want the nostalgia of my presence
to paralyse you.

I picked up a book of surrealist love poems expecting lines like 'the earth is blue like an orange'. "Even long after my death" is one of the more direct poems from that collection. It was written by the Brazlian sculptor Maria Martins, in this case known as Maria. Here's one of the poems by Joyce Mansour, an Egyption-French surrealist poet (translated by the editor Mary Ann Caws):

The storm sketches a silver margin

The storm sketches a silver margin
In the sky
And bursts in a great sticky spasm
On the ground.
The floating foam
Cast up by the receding sea
Comes to cool our tired faces
And our bodies hiding
In the tepid dark of our sleeping desires
Stand up straight.
Our nap the lice have plagued
And the brief lapping of the waves
On the beach where the azure dances
Has fallen quiet, my love,
And it's raining.

Twit 2

Re: Poems
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2017, 06:58:49 AM »
I like those Holderlin translations, very nice.

The surrealist ones are ok, remind me of Rimbaud. I think the movement took a lot from him, especially The Drunken Boat, which is as good a surrealist poem as any.

I’ll type up an RF Langley favourite at some point.

Re: Poems
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2017, 08:47:52 PM »
Do you have a favourite translation of "The Drunken Boat"?

Here's Samuel Beckett's version. I think whether you like it or not depends on whether you enjoy Beckett's poetry, which I do.

And here's John Ashbery's translation of "Après le déluge" from his collected French translations.

Twit 2

Re: Poems
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2017, 12:21:11 AM »
Wow, that Beckett translation is stonking. Very different to others, but I think when a great poet does a translation they have POETIC LICENCE LOL to change it. I love Derek Mahon’s Raw Material for that reason, where funnily enough his translation of Neruda’s Antarctica is more Rimbaud than the actual Rimbaud in the book!

As for my favourite translation of TDB, I’m not sure I have one because, like with that Beckett one, they all tend to have their merits. I seem to remember a pretty good one from CD liner notes to a Dawn Upshaw CD, funnily enough. I must dig out a nice Cioran aphorism about TDB too.

Lost Oliver

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Re: Poems
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2017, 12:54:53 PM »
Just wanted to post to say that I always enjoy reading your posts Smeraldina Rima.

Oh and here's a short one for us all. It's by Margaret Atwood. Apologies if it has already been posted:

you fit into me
like a hook into an eye

a fish hook
an open eye

Re: Poems
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2017, 10:43:49 PM »
Thanks Lost Oliver.

Having spent some time reading John Clare lately I thought that with it being Autumn it would be a good time for his Autumn poems.

This one you can have read to you by Richard Burton if you like:


The thistledown's flying, though the winds are all still,
On the green grass now lying, now mounting the hill,
The spring from the fountain now boils like a pot;
Through stones past the counting it bubbles red-hot.

The ground parched and cracked is like overbaked bread,
The greensward all wracked is, bents dried up and dead.
The fallow fields glitter like water indeed,
And gossamers twitter, flung from weed unto weed.

Hill-tops like hot iron glitter bright in the sun,
And the rivers we're eying burn to gold as they run;
Burning hot is the ground, liquid gold is the air;
Whoever looks round sees Eternity there.

Clare wrote another poem on the same theme, though I don't think it's quite as good:

To Autumn

Come, pensive Autumn, with thy clouds, and storms,
And falling leaves, and pastures lost to flowers;
A luscious charm hangs on thy faded forms,
More sweet than Summer in her loveliest hours,
Who, in her blooming uniform of green,
Delights with samely and continued joy:
But give me, Autumn, where thy hand hath been,
For there is wildness that can never cloy, -
The russet hue of fields left bare, and all
The tints of leaves and blossoms ere they fall.
In thy dull days of clouds a pleasure comes,
Wild music softens in thy hollow winds;
And in thy fading woods a beauty blooms,
That's more than dear to melancholy minds.

I recently posted Clare's imitation of a nightingale in tetrameters from "The Progress of Rhyme." Here's the same part again:

'Chew-chew chew-chew,' and higher still:
'Cheer-cheer cheer-cheer,' more loud and shrill
'Cheer-up cheer-up cheer-up,' and dropt
Low: 'tweet tweet jug jug jug,' and stopt
One moment just to drink the sound
Her music made, and then a round
Of stranger witching notes was heard:
'Wew-wew wew-wew, chur-chur chur-chur,
Woo-it woo-it ': could this be her?
'Tee-rew tee-rew tee-rew tee-rew,
Chew-rit chew-rit,' and ever new,
'Will-will will-will, grig-grig grig-grig.'
The boy stopt sudden on the brig
To hear the 'tweet tweet tweet' so shrill,
The 'jug jug jug,' and all was still
A minute, when a wilder strain
Made boys and woods to pause again;
Words were not left to hum the spell.
Could they be birds that sung so well?

I'd like to see Andrew Kötting's John Clare film By Our Selves with Toby Jones, his father Freddie Jones (reading the poems from a previous television film where he had played Clare), Alan Moore and Iain Sinclair. It looks interesting from the trailer, following Clare's journey from Epping Forest to Northamptonshire. Stewart Lee is a fan.

Thinking of Autumn poems and walking in the footsteps of late romantic poets, last year I went to Winchester hoping to retrace the steps of Keats's great Autumn ode (which is perhaps impossible not only because the poem is not a perfect map for walking tours but because it comprises different parts of Autumn early and late). After spending a long time at the cathedral it was too late to pick up the official leaflet so I had to wander around aimlessly to get the rough idea of Autumn before it got dark. I think that was good enough but I wouldn't mind going back this Autumn to try again guided more rigorously by the tourist information.

To Autumn

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
   Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
   With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
   And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
      To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
   With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
      For summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
   Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
   Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
   Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
      Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
   Steady thy laden head across a brook;
   Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
      Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?
   Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
   And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
   Among the river sallows, borne aloft
      Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
   Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
   The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
      And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Re: Poems
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2017, 11:18:22 PM »
More John Clare

Poems of the Northborough Period 1832-1837

Morris Dancers

Deckt out in ribbons gay and papers cut
Fine as a maidens fancy off they strut
And act the morris dance from door to door
Their highest gains a penny nothing more
The childern leave their toys to see them play
And laughing maidens lay their work away
The stolen apple in her apron lies
To give her lover in his gay disguise
Een the old woman leaves her knitting off
And lays the bellows in her lap to laugh
Upon the floor the stool made waggons lie
And playing scholars lay the lesson bye
The cat and dog in wonder run away
And hide beneath the table from the fray

Autumn Birds

The wild duck startles like a sudden thought
And heron slow as if it might be caught
The flopping crows on weary wing go bye
And grey beard jackdaws noising as they fly
The crowds of starnels wiz and hurry bye
And darken like a cloud the evening sky
The larks like thunder rise and suthy round
Then drop and nestle in the stubble ground
The wild swan hurrys high and noises loud
With white necks peering to the evening cloud
The weary rooks to distant woods are gone
With length of tail the magpie winnows on
To neighbouring tree and leaves the distant crow
While small birds nestle in the hedge below

Re: Poems
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2017, 10:18:58 PM »
An R. S. Thomas poem from An Acre of Land collected in Song at the Year's Turning:

Re: Poems
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2017, 09:35:39 PM »

Re: Poems
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2017, 07:07:09 AM »
And here's Dylan Thomas's "Poem in October" written in syllabics rather than a stress meter.

Poem in October

    It was my thirtieth year to heaven
Woke to my hearing from harbour and neighbour wood
    And the mussel pooled and the heron
            Priested shore
        The morning beckon
With water praying and call of seagull and rook
And the knock of sailing boats on the net webbed wall
        Myself to set foot
            That second
In the still sleeping town and set forth.

    My birthday began with the water-
Birds and the birds of the winged trees flying my name
    Above the farms and the white horses
            And I rose
        In rainy autumn
And walked abroad in a shower of all my days.
High tide and the heron dived when I took the road
        Over the border
            And the gates
Of the town closed as the town awoke.

    A springful of larks in a rolling
Cloud and the roadside bushes brimming with whistling
    Blackbirds and the sun of October
        On the hill's shoulder,
Here were fond climates and sweet singers suddenly
Come in the morning where I wandered and listened
        To the rain wringing
            Wind blow cold
In the wood faraway under me.

    Pale rain over the dwindling harbour
And over the sea wet church the size of a snail
    With its horns through mist and the castle
            Brown as owls
        But all the gardens
Of spring and summer were blooming in the tall tales
Beyond the border and under the lark full cloud.
        There could I marvel
            My birthday
Away but the weather turned around.

    It turned away from the blithe country
And down the other air and the blue altered sky
    Streamed again a wonder of summer
            With apples
        Pears and red currants
And I saw in the turning so clearly a child's
Forgotten mornings when he walked with his mother
        Through the parables
            Of sun light
And the legends of the green chapels

    And the twice told fields of infancy
That his tears burned my cheeks and his heart moved in mine.
    These were the woods the river and sea
            Where a boy
        In the listening
Summertime of the dead whispered the truth of his joy
To the trees and the stones and the fish in the tide.
        And the mystery
            Sang alive
Still in the water and singingbirds.

    And there could I marvel my birthday
Away but the weather turned around. And the true
    Joy of the long dead child sang burning
            In the sun.
        It was my thirtieth
Year to heaven stood there then in the summer noon
Though the town below lay leaved with October blood.
        O may my heart's truth
            Still be sung
On this high hill in a year's turning.

Yes it helps to be called Thomas if you want to be a famous twentieth century Welsh poet.

On reflection I should really have chosen an October poem for R. S. Thomas, so here is one and then we can move on:

The out of focus word is "LAND".

Re: Poems
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2017, 10:06:24 PM »
Imagist poetry is about a hundred years old now. It's hard to imagine Imagism without Autumn and falling leaves. I'll post some Autumn poems from this book:

The introduction by Peter Jones says that 'the poems "Autumn" and "A City Sunset" by [T. E.] Hulme, which the Poets' Club printed in January 1909 in a booklet called For Christmas MDCCCCVIII, may reasonably be termed the first imagist poems, although the word itself was not yet in use.' I think this poem suffers from using the word 'ruddy' which now infects the whole thing with accidental Partridge.

The introduction also points out that in May Sinclair's reply to Harold Monro's criticism of imagist poetry, published in consecutive numbers of the Egoist, Sinclair drew attention to the vehicle of Autumn leaves in Dante's description of lost souls:

I am trying to state the Imagist position as far as I understand it. But there are difficulties. Who is to say where the Image ends and Imagery begins? When Dante says he saw the souls of the damned falling like leaves down the banks of Acheron:

    Comme d’autonno si levan le foglie
    L’una appresso dell’ altra, infin che’l ramo
    Rende alla terra tutte le sue spoglie,

it is an image, and it is also imagery. It makes no difference whether he says they are leaves or merely like leaves. The flying leaves are the perfect image of the damned souls. Only the identity is incomplete.

Going through the small Imagist Poetry collection above, there are several other Autumn leaf poems, including D.H. Lawrence's "Autumn Rain" which begins: 'The plane leaves/ fall black and wet/ on the lawn' and William Carlos Williams's "Autumn".

The poems selected for Amy Lowell circle around images of maple and vine leaves in Autumn:

chocolate teapot

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Re: Poems
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2017, 10:24:14 PM »
Wow I absolutely love the last one.

Re: Poems
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2017, 10:39:57 PM »

Absolute Beginners by David Bowie

I've nothing much to offer
There's nothing much to take
I'm an absolute beginner
And I'm absolutely sane
As long as we're together
The rest can go to hell
I absolutely love you
But we're absolute beginners
With eyes completely open
But nervous all the same

If our love song
Could fly over mountains
Could laugh at the ocean
Just like the films
There's no reason
To feel all the hard times
To lay down the hard lines
It's absolutely true

Nothing much could happen
Nothing we can't shake
Oh we're absolute beginners
With nothing much at stake
As long as you're still smiling
There's nothing more I need
I absolutely love you
But we're absolute beginners
But if my love is your love
We're certain to succeed

If our love song
Could fly over mountains
Sail over heartaches
Just like the films
If there's reason
To feel all the hard times
To lay down the hard lines
It's absolutely true

Re: Poems
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2017, 11:10:54 PM »
On The Farm by R.S. Thomas

There was Dai Puw. He was no good.
They put him in the fields to dock swedes,
And took the knife from him, when he came home
At late evening with a grin
Like the slash of a knife on his face.

There was Llew Puw, and he was no good.
Every evening after the ploughing
With the big tractor he would sit in his chair,
And stare into the tangled fire garden,
Opening his slow lips like a snail.

There was Huw Puw, too. What shall I say?
I have heard him whistling in the hedges
On and on, as though winter
Would never again leave those fields,
And all the trees were deformed.

And lastly there was the girl;
Beauty under some spell of the beast.
Her pale face was the lantern
By which they read in life’s dark book
The shrill sentence: God is love.

Re: Poems
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2017, 02:36:16 PM »
Happy to see more R. S. Thomas. I hope you keep posting poems. Here's a short documentary called A Rare Bird, in which Thomas reads "Seawatching" and "In a Country Church". This is from his first volume, The Stones of the Field, translating a traditional Welsh poem called "Nos a Bore":

Re: Poems
« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2017, 04:27:53 AM »
A few of Sean Hughes's poems have been posted around after his death. The one here is called "Death":

This one I've typed out from his Alibis for Life album, where he reads it with some music:

A Young Friend Died

A young friend of mine died last year

Which was obviously very sad but er

At the funeral when we went outside

Cars drove by beeping their horns going good luck good luck

Cos they thought it was someone getting married obviously

And even though it was kind of funny

It was beautiful to have a collective memory that we could all share

Cos we had so few memories of our friend

And it made me think I wish funerals were more like weddings

Cos at a wedding the priest or the vicar will say

Does anyone here object to this couple getting married

Speak now or forever hold your peace

I desperately wanted that to happen during the funeral

I desperately wanted the priest to say does anyone here object to this death

Speak now or forever hold your peace

I object

Lost Oliver

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Re: Poems
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2017, 01:05:45 PM »
Can't tell you how raw this makes me feel.

the crunch
Charles Bukowski

Too much
too little
or not enough

too fat
too thin
or nobody

laughter or
or immaculate


armies running through streets of blood
waving winebottles
bayoneting and fucking virgins

or an old guy in a cheap room
with a photograph of Marilyn Monroe

many old guys in cheap rooms without
any photographs at all

many old women rubbing rosaries
when they'd prefer to be rubbing cocks

there is a loneliness in this world so great
that you can see it in the slow movements of
the hands of a clock

there is a loneliness in this world so great
that you can see it blinking in neon signs
in Vegas, in Baltimore, in Munich

there are people so tired
so strafed
so mutilated by love or no
that buying a bargain can of tuna
in a supermarket
is their greatest moment
their greatest victory

we don't need new governments
new revolutions
we don't need new men
new women
we don't need new ways
good Columbian
water pipes
rubbers with corkscrew stems
watches that give you the date

people are not good to each other
one on one.
Marx be damned
the sin is not the totality of certain systems.
Christianity be damned
the sin is not the killing of a God.

people are just not good to each other.

we are afraid
we think that hatred means strength
we think that New York City is the greatest
city in America.

what we need is less brilliance
what we need is less instruction

what we need are less poets
what we need are less Bukowskies
what we need are less Billy Grahams

what we need is more
a typist
more finches
more green-eyed whores who don't eat your heart
like a vitamin pill

we don't think about the terror of one person
aching in one place

unspoken to
watering a plant
being without a telephone that will never
because there isn't one.

more haters than lovers

slices of doom like taffeta

people are not good to each other
people are not good to each other
people are not good to each other

and the beads swing and the clouds cloud
and the dogs piss upon the roses
and the killer beheads the child like taking a bite
out of an ice cream cone
and the ocean comes in and out
in and out
under the direction of a senseless moon

and people are not good to each other.

Twit 2

Re: Poems
« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2017, 07:13:44 PM »

Re: Poems
« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2017, 10:15:11 PM »
Ancient Monuments

for Alexander Thom

They bide their time of serpentine
Green lanes, in fields, with railings
Round them and black cows; tall, pocked
And pitted stones, grey, ochre-patched
With moss, lodgings for lost spirits.

Sometimes you have to ask their
Whereabouts. A bent figure, in a hamlet
Of three houses and a barn, will point
Towards the moor. You will find them there,
Aloof lean markers, erect in mud.

Long Meg, Five Kings, Nine Maidens,
Twelve Apostles: with such familiar names
We make them part of ordinary lives.
On callow pasture-land
The Shearers and The Hurlers.

Sometimes they keep their privacy
In public places: nameless slender slabs
Disguised as gate-posts in a hedge; and some,
For centuries on duty as scratching posts,
Are screened by ponies on blank uplands.

Search out the furthest ones, slog on
Through bog, bracken, bramble: arrive
At short granite footings in a plan
Vaguely elliptical, alignments sunk
In turf strewn with sheep's droppings;

And wonder whether it was this shrunk place
The guide-book meant, or whether
Over the next ridge the real chamber,
Accurate by the stars, begins its secret
At once to those who find it.

Turn and look back. You'll see horizons
Much like the ones they saw,
The tomb-builders, millennium ago;
The channel scratched by rain, the same old
Sediment of dusk, winter returning.

Dolerite, porphyry, gabbro fired
At the earth's young heart: how those men
Handled them. Set on back-breaking
Geometry, the symmetries of solstice,
What they awaited we, too, still wait.

Looking for something else, I came once
To a cromlech in a field of barley,
Whoever framed that field had real
Priorities. He sowed good grain
To the tomb's doorstep. No path

Led to the ancient death. The capstone,
Set like a cauldron on three legs,
Was marooned by the swimming crop.
A gust and the cromlech floated,
Motionless at time's moorings.

Hissing dry sibilance, chafing
Loquacious thrust of seed
This way and that, in time and out
Of it, would have capsized
The tomb. It stayed becalmed.

The bearded foam, rummaged
By wind from the westerly sea-track,
Broke short not over it. Skirted
By squalls of that year's harvest,
That tomb belonged in that field.

The racing barley, erratically-bleached
Bronze, cross-hatched with gold
And yellow, did not stop short its tide
In deference. It was the barley's
World. Some monuments move.

John Ormond

Re: Poems
« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2017, 03:22:03 AM »

Re: Poems
« Reply #25 on: October 20, 2017, 02:18:43 PM »

I've included the poem on the right in case someone can tell me what poem it reminds me of - initially mistaking one bird for another or for something else.

Re: Poems
« Reply #26 on: October 25, 2017, 09:46:37 AM »

Kenneth White

Re: Poems
« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2017, 03:06:02 AM »

Claude de Burine (thanks for introducing a more discreet format, Cursus)

Re: Poems
« Reply #28 on: October 26, 2017, 11:29:18 PM »


  • STOP being afraid
Re: Poems
« Reply #29 on: January 01, 2018, 08:38:01 PM »

Ted Hughes

He loved her and she loved him.
His kisses sucked out her whole past and future or tried to
He had no other appetite
She bit him she gnawed him she sucked
She wanted him complete inside her
Safe and sure forever and ever
Their little cries fluttered into the curtains

Her eyes wanted nothing to get away
Her looks nailed down his hands his wrists his elbows
He gripped her hard so that life
Should not drag her from that moment
He wanted all future to cease
He wanted to topple with his arms round her
Off that moment's brink and into nothing
Or everlasting or whatever there was

Her embrace was an immense press
To print him into her bones
His smiles were the garrets of a fairy palace
Where the real world would never come
Her smiles were spider bites
So he would lie still till she felt hungry
His words were occupying armies
Her laughs were an assassin's attempts
His looks were bullets daggers of revenge
His glances were ghosts in the corner with horrible secrets
His whispers were whips and jackboots
Her kisses were lawyers steadily writing
His caresses were the last hooks of a castaway
Her love-tricks were the grinding of locks
And their deep cries crawled over the floors
Like an animal dragging a great trap
His promises were the surgeon's gag
Her promises took the top off his skull
She would get a brooch made of it
His vows pulled out all her sinews
He showed her how to make a love-knot
Her vows put his eyes in formalin
At the back of her secret drawer
Their screams stuck in the wall

Their heads fell apart into sleep like the two halves
Of a lopped melon, but love is hard to stop

In their entwined sleep they exchanged arms and legs
In their dreams their brains took each other hostage

In the morning they wore each other's face