Wednesday, 29 February 2012

My Life with Rockstars by Pat Smith

I’m learning to play a stringed instrument
Shaped like an uprooted tree
For an outdoor drama about Keith Richards
Aging into the Statue of Liberty
The Beatles of course are my old pals
Lately we’ve been meeting up again
At school play practice and such
They seem a little down, at loose ends
I see my golden opportunity
I tell them they can do anything
You know, anything you want
What do you want to do?
We linger on a broken set
Bare frames and crumbled stone
Flowered bathrobe, cigarette
Empty ashes from my espadrille
John smirks, says he could call Yoko
Ringo says there is a requirement
First you have to have a feeling
Weave me a rug
That blossoms in winter
Grow flowering grasses
From a comfortable couch
Pull off the dead pine boughs
Shiver the plastic dolls and cars
Until the toys are shiny shards
George practices sirsasana
On a pile of dust
For all of us warriors
Scared and scarred
Who curse into our hands

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Bach, Winter by Jane Mead

Bach must have known
how something flutters away
when you turn to face the face
you caught sideways in a mirror
in a hall at dusk
and how the smell of apples
in a bowl can stop the heart
from beating, for an instant,
between sink and stove
in the dead of winter when stars
of ice have spread
across the windows and everything
is perfectly still
until you catch the sound
of something lost and shy
beating its wings
against those darkening stars.
And then: music.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Autumn Leaves - A T'ang Dynasty poem


The autumn leaves are falling like rain.
Although my neighbors are all barbarians,
And you, you are a thousand miles away,
There are always two cups at my table.

T'ang Dynasty poem

A Poet's Poem by Brenda Shaughnessy

If it takes me all day,
I will get the word freshened out of this poem.

I put it in the first line, then moved it to the second,
and now it won’t come out.

It’s stuck. I’m so frustrated,
so I went out to my little porch all covered in snow

and watched the icicles drip, as I smoked
a cigarette.

Finally I reached up and broke a big, clear spike
off the roof with my bare hand.

And used it to write a word in the snow.
I wrote the word snow.

I can’t stand myself

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Love Sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda

I do not love you as if you were a 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.