Archive for ‘General’

Thursday, 20 January 2022

Brush Turkey’s by Sue Watson

powerful claw
scrapes  leaves
into a metre high
incubator   eco-mound
for the eggs of many hens
it’s shoulder peak season
he has a Rolls Royce address
instinct outweighs his beauty
given an ugly head & neck
of the worst sunburnt hue
a goitre of bright yellow
ruffles the base of his throat
contrasts with the blue black
of his feathers   his walk is neither
swagger nor trot
he’s reclaimed his spot on the hill
in flannel flower cul-de-sac.


Date: 2010

By: Sue Watson (19??- )

Sunday, 9 January 2022

A Thunderstorm at Night by George Eric Mackay

The lightning is the shorthand of the storm
That tells of chaos; and I read the same
As one may read the writing of a name,—
As one in Hell may see the sudden form
Of God’s fore-finger pointed as in blame.
How weird the scene! The Dark is sulphur-warm
With hints of death; and in their vault enorme
The reeling stars coagulate in flame.
And now the torrents from their mountain-beds
Roar down uncheck’d; and serpents shaped of mist
Writhe up to Heaven with unforbidden heads;
And thunder-clouds, whose lightnings intertwist,
Rack all the sky, and tear it into shreds,
And shake the air like Titians that have kiss’d!

From: Mackay, Eric, Love Letters of a Violinist and Other Poems, 1894, Brentano’s: New York, p. 231.

Date: 1894

By: George Eric Mackay (1835-1898)

Friday, 10 December 2021

Myriad Stars, No. 34 by Bing Xin/Ping Hsin

The creators of the new continent
are not those roaring waves,
but the minuscule sands beneath them.

From: Lin, Julia C. (ed. and transl.), Twentieth-Century Chinese Women’s Poetry: An Anthology, 2009, Routledge: London and New York, p. 3.

Date: 1923 (original in Chinese); 2009 (translation in English)

By: Bing Xin/Ping Hsin (1900-1999)

Translated by: Julia Chang Lin (1928-2013)

Tuesday, 7 December 2021

Shelter in Place by Ron Silliman

Putting the pox
in apocalypse
the pudding in the skull
has a lemony taste
just a little
until you push through
to the richer
almost bitter
sweetness at the center

Yum is a corporate brand
encompassing multiple
fast-food franchise chains
he marched his co-workers
out of the restaurant
& into the woods
where he shot them

The angel of death
ambles in
from the memory gardens
It merely needs
to brush against
the hem of your gown

Goya’s peasants
against the wall
don’t look away

When help burst in
all armored up
they found a naked woman
alone in the shower
but couldn’t make out
her mumbled song

When this you see
geometry rising
to the surface
of a hypothetical world
in a 13-dimensional space
circulating an absence
where some sun should be

What time is it
in Zaragoza
by the old Roman wall
Modernism lurks
looking as dated
as the gravel garden
at the Soviet block apartments

She waits at the corner
for the bus to the campus
when the mayor’s son
pulls up in his car
to offer her a ride
from which she is never seen again

The first to commit suicide
is the class valedictorian
They rain from the bridge
like a festival of ornaments
like the couple holding hands
out of the south tower

No one remembers Ishi
in the Berkeley hills
or LoneCat Fuller’s
musical contraption

Holy Hubert shouting
from a text in which
all of the words
have been erased


Date: 2021

By: Ron Silliman (1946- )

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)