Posts tagged ‘1970’

Friday, 29 April 2022

Rain by Hone Tuwhare

I can hear you
making small holes
in the silence

If I were deaf
the pores of my skin
would open to you
and shut

And I
should know you
by the lick of you
if I were blind

the something
special smell of you
when the sun cakes
the ground

the steady
drum-roll sound
you make
when the wind drops

But if I
should not hear
smell or feel or see

you would still
define me
disperse me
wash over me


Date: 1970

By: Hone Tuwhare (1922-2008)

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

More than Time by Patric Thomas Dickinson

Loving you more than time has time for,
Not starved of earthlife, certainly not
Wanting to sing part-songs in heaven
With those we loved and, so, keep on earth;
Lying awake planning for more of
Our lives as in our time, I reach
For my luminous watch. It’s stopped. How shall I
Set it?—No less a universe
Than is outside. But day will ‘break’
—A hard word for a new thing—
Then guess the time, wind up the springs
Of love, of darkness, for a start.

From: Dickinson, Patric, More than Time, 1970, Chatto and Windus: London, p. 10.

Date: 1970

By: Patric Thomas Dickinson (1914-1994)

Saturday, 1 May 2021

The Common Woman Poems, II. Ella, in a square apron, along Highway 80 by Judy Grahn

She’s a copperheaded waitress,
tired and sharp-worded, she hides
her bad brown tooth behind a wicked
smile, and flicks her ass
out of habit, to fend off the pass
that passes for affection.
She keeps her mind the way men
keep a knife—keen to strip the game
down to her size. She has a thin spine,
swallows her eggs cold, and tells lies.
She slaps a wet rag at the truck drivers
if they should complain. She understands
the necessity for pain, turns away
the smaller tips, out of pride, and
keeps a flask under the counter. Once,
she shot a lover who misused her child.
Before she got out of jail, the courts had pounced
and given the child away. Like some isolated lake,
her flat blue eyes take care of their own stark
bottoms. Her hands are nervous, curled, ready
to scrape.
The common woman is as common
as a rattlesnake.


Date: 1970

By: Judy Grahn (1940- )

Sunday, 4 April 2021

Easter Habits by Felice Holman

Around now,
they think of rabbits.
(I don’t know why.)

tend to think
of sprouting roots
of grasses blowing.

They think
of rabbit ears and rabbit tails.
(And I do, too, I guess.)

but not just now.
I think of rabbits running,
rabbits growing.

Yet, when the bells
start pealing in the steeple,
it is my habit
(since I’m a rabbit)
to think of people.

From: Livington, Myra Cohn (ed.), Easter Poems, 1985, Holiday House: New York, p. 11.

Date: 1970

By: Felice Holman (1919- )

Saturday, 27 March 2021

Western Civilisation by António Agostinho Neto

Tins fixed to stakes
driven in the earth
make the house

Rags complete
the intimate landscape

The sun piercing the cracks
awakens the inhabitant

After twelve hours of slave

Breaking stones
carrying stones
breaking stones
carrying stones
in the sun
in the rain
breaking stones
carrying stones

OId age comes fast

A reed mat on dark nights
enough for him to die on
and of hunger.

From: Neto, Agostinho, Sacred Hope, 1974, Tanzania Publishing House: Dar es Salaam, pp. 18-19.

Date: 1970 (original in Portugese); 1974 (translation in English)

By: António Agostinho Neto (1922-1979)

Translated by: Marga Holness (19??- )

Wednesday, 10 March 2021

The Zebra Goes Wild Where the Sidewalk Ends by Henry Dumas

Neon stripes tighten my wall
where my crayon landlord hangs
from a bent nail.

My black father sits crooked
in the kitchen
drunk on Jesus’ blood turned
to cheap wine.

In his tremor he curses
the landlord who grins
from inside the rent book.

My father’s eyes are
bolls of cotton.

He sits upon the landlord’s
operating table,
the needle of the nation
sucking his soul.

Chains of light race over
my stricken city.
Glittering web spun by
the white widow spider.

I see this wild arena
where we are harnessed
by alien electric shadows.

Even when the sun washes
the debris
I will recall my landlord
hanging in my room
and my father moaning in
Jesus’ tomb.

In America all zebras
are in the zoo.

I hear the piston bark
and ibm spark:
let us program rabies.
the madness is foaming now.

No wild zebras roam the American plain.
The mad dogs are running.
The African zebra is gone into the dust.

I see the shadow thieves coming
and my father on the specimen table.


Date: 1970

By: Henry Dumas (1934-1968)

Friday, 23 November 2018

NON-commitment by Chinua Achebe

Hurrah! to them who do nothing
see nothing feel nothing whose
hearts are fitted with prudence
like a diaphragm across
womb’s beckoning doorway to bar
the scandal of seminal rage. I’m
told the owl too wears wisdom
in a ring of defense round
each vulnerable eye securing it fast
against the darts of sight. Long ago
in the Middle East Pontius Pilate
openly washed involvement off his
white hands and became famous. (Of all
the Roman officials before him and after
who else is talked about
every Sunday in the Apostles’ Creed?) And
talking of apostles that other fellow
Judas wasn’t such a fool
either; though much maligned by
succeeding generations the fact remains
he alone in that motley crowd
had sense enough to tell a doomed
movement when he saw one
and get out quick, a nice little
packet bulging his coat pocket
into the bargain—sensible fellow.

September 1970


Date: 1970

By: Chinua Achebe (1930- )

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Minstrel’s Song by Edward James (Ted) Hughes

I’ve just had an astounding dream as I lay in the straw.
I dreamed a star fell on to the straw beside me
And lay blazing. Then when I looked up
I saw a bull come flying through a sky of fire
And on its shoulders a huge silver woman
Holding the moon. And afterwards there came
A donkey flying through that same burning heaven
And on its shoulders a colossal man
Holding the sun. Suddenly I awoke
And saw a bull and a donkey kneeling in the straw,
And the great moving shadows of a man and a woman –
I say they were a man and a woman but
I dare not say what I think they were. I did not dare to look.
I ran out here into the freezing world
Because I dared not look. Inside that shed.

A star is coming this way along the road.
If I were not standing upright, this would be a dream.
A star the shape of a sword of fire, point-downward,
Is floating along the road. And now it rises.
It is shaking fire on to the roofs and the gardens.
And now it rises above the animal shed
Where I slept till the dream woke me. And now
The star is standing over the animal shed.


Date: 1970

By: Edward James (Ted) Hughes (1930-1998)

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Girl on a Wing by Geoffrey Piers Henry Dutton

A child no more,
A child again, she swings
In autumn sunlight by the dahlias
Swaying like this hopeful season, through red
And green, through many yellow failures
Falling where fresh grass springs
From its hard bed.

All body she,
All loosed emotion, hair
Afloat as soft as smoke, her waist
As flexible as rope, and all her curves
Pressed tight as arcs that have no haste
Nor nerves but praise the air
On bending knee.

Her joy exists.
Such arcs describe her, no circle
Closes round her, nothing final,
Her rise and fall takes winter boughs to spring,
Sends out from each stiff vertical
Tremors from spine to wrists,
This girl on a swing.


Date: 1970

By: Geoffrey Piers Henry Dutton (1922-1998)

Friday, 13 March 2015

I Leave This At Your Ear by William Sydney Graham

For Nessie Dunsmuir

I leave this at your ear for when you wake,
A creature in its abstract cage asleep.
Your dreams blindfold you by the light they make.

The owl called from the naked-woman tree
As I came down by the Kyle farm to hear
Your house silent by the speaking sea.

I have come late but I have come before
Later with slaked steps from stone to stone
To hope to find you listening for the door.

I stand in the ticking room.  My dear, I take
A moth kiss from your breath.  The shore gulls cry.
I leave this at your ear for when you wake.


Date: 1970

By: William Sydney Graham (1918-1986)