Archive for ‘General’

Thursday, 7 October 2021

Sonnet by Aaron Novick

Listen: you can hear
the silent thunder gathering
before the clouds unload the loud, rude ring
that stupefies the ear.

Not yet insensate, here
in the slurred rain, you feel each thing
that cannot be becoming, thickening
from nothing, drawing near.

What world is this, that streams
with solid fog? What empty glut
of all just as it seems?

And, when real thunder fills
the sky, and these things vanish—what?
It is your mind that stills.


Date: 2020

By: Aaron Novick (19??- )

Saturday, 14 August 2021

Sulphur-crested Cockatoos by Simon Patton

Disobey Cockatoodle-doo
― Skipping song

They rip strips of sky starkly in two
with their rasping shriek, yet its depth —
for all their violence — is rendered
more subtly blue, offset spectacularly
by sulphur. A flock in a dead December paddock
Christmas-lights tree branches
with immaculate, ice-cream ikons.
They never like the seagull,
like the crow, like the sacred ibis
scavenge guttered cities. In a joyfully
vicious streak, they throw the still beauty
of haunting European and Asian poems
fatally off balance, avenging human nature,
the child-mind. They are: beautifully
undamaged by habit,
savage with wild-open living.
Their gently unbowed fierce Australian heads
gaze steadily at the sun
and other starlights, out of this world
and back.


Date: 2017

By: Simon Patton (19??- )

Saturday, 7 August 2021

Papermill by Joseph Anthony Kalar

Not to be believed, this blunt savage wind
Blowing in chill empty rooms, this tornado
Surging and bellying across the oily floor
Pushing men out in streams before it;
Not to be believed, this dry fall
Of unseen fog drying the oil
And emptying the jiggling greasecups;
Not to be believed, this unseen hand
Weaving a filmy rust of spiderwebs
Over these turbines and grinding gears,
These snarling chippers and pounding jordans;
These fingers placed to lips saying shshsh:
Keep silent, keep silent, keep silent;
Not to be believed hardly, this clammy silence
Where once feet stamped over the oily floor,
Dinnerpails clattered, voices rose and fell
In laughter, curses, and songs. Now the guts
Of this mill have ceased and red changes to black,
Steam is cold water, silence is rust, and quiet
Spells hunger. Look at these men, now,
Standing before the iron gates, mumbling,
“Who could believe it? Who could believe it?”


Date: 1931

By: Joseph Anthony Kalar (1906-1972)

Friday, 30 July 2021

Ars Poetica by Archibald MacLeish

A poem should be palpable and mute
As a globed fruit

As old medallions to the thumb

Silent as the sleeve-worn stone
Of casement ledges where the moss has grown –

A poem should be wordless
As the flight of birds

A poem should be motionless in time
As the moon climbs

Leaving, as the moon releases
Twig by twig the night-entangled trees,

Leaving, as the moon behind the winter leaves,
Memory by memory the mind –

A poem should be motionless in time
As the moon climbs

A poem should be equal to:
Not true

For all the history of grief
An empty doorway and a maple leaf

For love
The leaning grasses and two lights above the sea –

A poem should not mean
But be.


Date: 1926

By: Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982)

Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Mirabeau Bridge by Guillaume Apollinaire (Wilhelm Albert Włodzimierz Apolinary Kostrowicki)

Under the Mirabeau Bridge there flows the Seine
Must I recall
Our loves recall how then
After each sorrow joy came back again

Let night come on bells end the day
The days go by me still I stay

Hands joined and face to face let’s stay just so
While underneath
The bridge of our arms shall go
Eternal gazes in their weary flow

Let night come on bells end the day
The days go by me still I stay

All love goes by as water to the sea
All love goes by
How slow life seems to me
How violent the hope of love can be

Let night come on bells end the day
The days go by me still I stay

The days the weeks pass by beyond our ken
Neither time past
Nor love comes back again
Under the Mirabeau Bridge there flows the Seine

Let night come on bells end the day
The days go by me still I stay


Date: 1912 (original in French); 1981 (translation in English)

By: Guillaume Apollinaire (Wilhelm Albert Włodzimierz Apolinary Kostrowicki) (1880-1918)

Translated by: Richard Purdy Wilbur (1921-2017)

Friday, 9 April 2021

To a Butterfly by Emily Howson Taylor

Go, go in thy beauty,
Bright child of a day!
Go, catch the Sun’s splendour —
His beans oass away,
I sigh as I watch thee;
For never again
My eye shall behold thee
Thus skim o’er the plain.

And where lives the heartless,
Who gazing his last
On the bright light of beauty,
Can smile at the sadness
That springs to the eye,
As the fairest of creatures
Thus breathes but to die?

Go, go, thou gay being!
The pride and the joy
Of thy transient existence
No reasonings destroy.
To see thee, and ponder
The brief written line
Of thy. life and extinction—-
That sorrow is mine.

From: Taylor, Emily, The Vision of Las Casas, and Other Poems, 1825, Taylor and Hessey: London, pp. 85-86.

Date: 1825

By: Emily Howson Taylor (1795-1872)

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Time of Tyranny, 49 by Lyn Hejinian

We live in toppled times under a feat of tyranny; let’s not
fake getting lost, let’s do it, let’s not do it intermittently, let’s be
lost, disoriented and never to be bound so all can hear
the hiss of the adverbs we shoot into tyrants’ eyes, quivering
shafts slippery from limbs and aimed by eyes under feathered
lids. Our features are like stale bread, my headache bad
as a blueprint for butter. Windows: how stupidly the intensity
of glass returns to us the terror of love. Things diverge, separate
like the forks of the Eel River to which the competing lies
of two tyrants are but split stones shaken by earthquakes
of stupefying times, of minutes through a glorious forest, of women
who are personal friends, the flanks of a prevented rabbit: to scatter
and ambiguate, obviate, surreptitiously
flesh and hurry to find things to recombine.


Date: 2019

By: Lyn Hejinian (1941- )

Thursday, 1 April 2021

April Fools by Lewis Brockman

My Celia hath so sweet a way,
‘Neath trembling lids the bright dew lies,
She listens to each word I say
With pensive grace;
Her breast is big with amorous sighs,
The gathering tears she scarce can stay,
Her bosom’s quickened fall and rise
With joy I trace;
Fool!—see’st thou not the mirthful ray
That ripples o’er those dewy eyes?—
Lo! Celia, like an April day,
Laughs in thy face.

My Delia hath a soul so bright
She laugheth all the day, and sings
Till sunshine fills the heart of night
From her full throat;
I marvel heaven hath found no wings
For her, that in her tuneful flight
To listening worlds her carollings
Might downward float.
I press my love; when, lo! her light
Dissolves ’mid sighs and murmurings
In April showers, and ceases quite
Her soft sweet note.

From Celia’s laugh and Delia’s tears,
From Delia’s song and Celia’s sighs,
From two such maids, in two such spheres,
Who bear such rule,
Happy the swain and sage who flies,
Nor lingereth ‘mid hopes and fears,
With Delia’s lips and Celia’s eyes
To go to school!
In Delia, laughing, Love appears;
The rogue in Celia pants and dies;
And I, poor wight, of both these dears
Am made a fool!

From: Brockman, Lewis, Poems, 1894, Horace Cox: London, pp. 152-153.

Date: 1894

By: Lewis Brockman (fl. 1894) April Fools (1 April 2021)

Thursday, 18 February 2021

The Naked Mole Rat by Liz Brownlee

(Heterocephalus glaber)

Yes, we’re
We have no clothes,
we have no hair,
and we don’t care.

We’re NUDE.
the BUFF.
be honest, love,
we just can’t get
STARKERS enough.

the RAW.
the absolute PINK.
And we’re gorgeous!
Don’t you think?


Date: 2012

By: Liz Brownlee (19??- )

Friday, 12 February 2021

No Jewelled Beauty is My Love by Gerald Massey

No jewell’d Beauty is my Love,
Yet in her earnest face
There ‘s such a world of tenderness,
She needs no other grace.
Her smiles, and voice, around my life
In light and music twine,
And dear, O very dear to me.
Is this sweet Love of mine.

O joy! to know there ‘s one fond heart
Beats ever true to me:
It sets mine leaping like a lyre,
In sweetest melody:
My soul up-springs, a Deity!
To hear her voice divine;
And dear, O very dear to me,
Is this sweet Love of mine.

If ever I have sigh’d for wealth,
‘T was all for her, I trow;
And if I win Fame’s victor-wreath,
I’ll twine it on her brow.
There may be forms more beautiful,
And souls of sunnier shine,
But none, O none, so clear to me,
As this sweet Love of mine.

From: Massey, Gerald, Poems, 1863, Ticknor and Fields: Boston, pp. 34-35.

Date: 1854

By: Gerald Massey (1828-1907)