Posts tagged ‘2004’

Tuesday, 16 August 2022

Tiny Warrior by Sharmagne Leland-St. John

You never saw the spring, my love,
or the red-tailed hawk circling high above
on feathered wings, my love.
You only knew the snow.
You never saw the prairie grasses bend and blow
and undulate like the shimmering indigo sea.
You never saw me.
Your eyes were closed so tight,
they say you put up quite a fight.
Somehow your life was over before it had begun and
gently did I touch and kiss your tiny-fingered hand
born too soon.
You never saw the silver moon
or the light of a summer’s day.
Last night I dreamt a gathering of eagles
had come
to spirit you away.
Born too soon,
your tender heart
could not beat
to the pulsing rhythm
of life’s taut drum.

(for Nikolai 1982-1983)


Date: 2004

By: Sharmagne Leland-St. John (1946- )

Tuesday, 19 July 2022

The Halo That Lit Twice by Lucie Brock-Broido

Tell me where in what penultimate white
World do you imagine you can be quit

Of these
Blood-tied arteries which lead

Directly to the improbable thoracic
Cavity of me, what Department of Erotic

Wars, what Alexandria, what character-is-fate, what coven
Of intensive care, what raven-

Width, what upper GI bleed, what chamber
Of anatomy, what ice and vigory,

What breastplate, lymph, what coat
Of arms, what curious unspeakable, what one lmap left

On in the vaulted amber window of the Public Library
Where a cowled friar has been deep in study

Lucubrating like the patron saint of random births
And worthlessness.

An accidental light left all night
Long, pulsing slightly

Like the bundled one-ounce heart
Of an infant harvested, delivered here on ice,

Which began to flutter faintly
Like the halo that lit twice,

That lit and faltered, halted, lit
Once more, and then went out.

From: Brock-Broido, Lucie, “The Halo That Lit Twice” in The American Poetry Review, Vol. 33, No. 1 (January/February 2004), p. 3.

Date: 2004

By: Lucie Brock-Broido (1956-2018)

Thursday, 14 July 2022

Nyx by Catherine Marthe Louise Pozzi

For Louise also from Lyon and Italy

Oh you my nights, oh dark awaited
Oh country proud, oh secrets lasting
Oh long gazing, oh thundering clouds
Oh flight allowed beyond closed skies.

Oh great desire, oh wide surprise
Oh lovely traverse of the enchanted mind
Oh worst of worst, oh grace descended
Oh opened door none had passed through

I don’t know why I die and drown
Before I enter that eternal sojourn.
I don’t know of what I am the prey.
I don’t know of whom I am the love.


Date: 19?? (original in French); 2004 (translation in English)

By: Catherine Marthe Louise Pozzi (1882-1934)

Translated by: Mary Ann Caws (1933- )

Friday, 1 April 2022

April Fool’s Day by Peter Halstead

The vernal equinox again.
Not so vernal, this time,
As eternal. Not so equal, either,
As just another wintry sequel.
The divided sky, cut in half by sun and ice,
Riffles through the branches twice,
As the rime of history dies
And the summer slowly multiplies:
Woolly clouds resemble glaciers,
Undermined by warmer natures—
Time is cold and close today,
A solar cloisonné.

We are the hours we replace,
Not clock innards, but their face,
And the planet’s penduluming trips
Are more about its balanced drips:
The gist of the galactic chase
Leaps in us through empty space:
Not from any godly knack,
But from creation’s partial lack—
Not from the worlds growing here,
But because they disappear,
As far as I can see,
Springs the night’s equality.

Tippet Alley
April 1st, 1995

Rue de Varenne
September 19th, 2004; May 24th, 2005


Date: 1995, 2004, 2005

By: Peter Halstead (19??- )

Tuesday, 1 March 2022

The Black Spot by Hedd Wynn (Ellis Humphrey Evans)

We have no right to the stars,
Nor the homesick moon,
Nor the clouds edged with gold
In the centre of the long blueness.

We have no right to anything
But the old and withered earth
That is all in chaos
At the centre of God’s glory.


Date: 1917 (original in Welsh); 2004 (translation in English)

By: Hedd Wynn (Ellis Humphrey Evans) (1887-1917)

Translated by: Jim Finnis (19??- )

Friday, 4 February 2022

Merman by Marie Lecrivain

We spawn shadows
fooling ourselves into thinking absinthe-enhanced relations
are labors of love.

Comfort this night is nothing more than a yen for body heat.
You’ll get more honesty
and a sense of absolution from the fisherman’s hook,
than you can from me.

Rise from the pillow,
& swim from my bedside, your Piscean nature reasserting itself.
Scales bound twice for
penance and abjuration of mercy-
the tides are much easier to navigate
when the mind is not burdened with memories
of once being human…or nearly so.


Date: 2004

By: Marie Lecrivain (19??- )

Sunday, 26 December 2021

Just Doing My Job by Clare Bevan

I’m one of Herod’s Henchmen.
We don’t have much to say,
We just charge through the audience
In a Henchman sort of way.

We all wear woolly helmets
To hide our hair and ears,
And Wellingtons sprayed silver
To match our tinfoil spears.

Our swords are made of cardboard
So blood will not be spilled
If we trip and stab a parent
When the hall’s completely filled.

We don’t look very scary,
We’re mostly small and shy,
And some of us wear glasses,
But we give the thing a try.

We whisper Henchman noises
While Herod hunts for strangers,
And then we all charge out again
Like nervous Power Rangers.

Yet when the play is over
And Miss is out of breath
We’ll charge like Henchmen through the hall
And scare our mums to death.


Date: 2004

By: Clare Bevan (19??- )

Sunday, 5 December 2021

Scheherazade by Richard Siken

Tell me about the dream where we pull the bodies out of the lake
and dress them in warm clothes again.
How it was late, and no one could sleep, the horses running
until they forget that they are horses.
It’s not like a tree where the roots have to end somewhere,
it’s more like a song on a policeman’s radio,
how we rolled up the carpet so we could dance, and the days
were bright red, and every time we kissed there was another apple
to slice into pieces.
Look at the light through the windowpane. That means it’s noon, that means
we’re inconsolable.
Tell me how all this, and love too, will ruin us.
These, our bodies, possessed by light.
Tell me we’ll never get used to it.


Date: 2004

By: Richard Siken (1967- )

Friday, 13 August 2021

Some People Don’t Say Much by Han Dong

some people don’t say much
they are neither mute nor introverted
saying only what’s necessary
speaking only when courtesy demands it
floating on the surface of speech
this is how they are all their lives
summed up in a few phrases
some people live like epitaphs
long years reduced to a sentence or two
soberly like headstones they stand there
facing us.


Date: 2004 (original in Chinese); 2006 (translation in English)

By: Han Dong (1961- )

Translated by: Simon Patton (19??- )

Monday, 5 July 2021

Monuments by Myra Weisberg Sklarew

Today the moon sees fit to come between a parched earth
and sun, hurrying the premature darkness. A rooster in the yard
cuts off its crowing, fooled into momentary sleep.
And soon the Perseid showers, broken bits
of the ancient universe, will pass through the skin of our
atmosphere. Time and space are alive over our city.

Final eclipse of the sun, last of this millennium, our city’s
brightness broken off. We have known other dark hours:
Here, coffin that slowly passes, I give you my sprig
of lilac
—Lincoln’s death, winding procession toward sleep.
We have known slave coffles and holding pens in yards
not half a mile from our Capitol, wooden palings sunk in earth

to guarantee none would escape. In this freest city. Oh if earth
could talk. Earth does talk in the neatly framed yards
where death thinks to lay us down to rest. Asleep,
the marker stones. But not the voices, jagged bits
of memory, shards of poems. Sterling Brown. Our
human possessions and all they’ve left us. This whole city

sings their songs. Say their names. In this city
they are our monuments: Frederick Douglass, our
Rayford Logan, Alain Locke, Franklin Frazier, Georgia
Douglas Johnson, Paul Laurence Dunbar, May Miller: Not sleep
but garlands left to us. Montague Cobb, William Hastie. Yards
of names. And here, the place where we unearth

an immigrant father of seven. He leans down—no earthly
reason for his choice—to pick up his nearest child. A yard-long
rack of brooms behind him, a bin of apples. Not the sleep
of cold, but autumn in Washington. 1913 or a bit
later. He stands awkwardly on 4 1/2 Street, S. W. as our
street photographer, who’s just come by with his city

chatter, ducks beneath a dark cloth. Monuments of the city
behind him, he leans over his black box camera in time to capture
that moment when the child will play her bit
part, pushing away from her father like a boat from shore. In the sleep
of winter, years later, she will become my mother. What yardstick
by which to measure importance? To measure earthly

agency? Each of us has monuments in the bone case of memory. Earth-
bound, I take my sac of marble and carry it down lonely city streets where our
generals on horseback and a tall bearded man keep watch over all their citizens.


Date: 2004

By: Myra Weisberg Sklarew (1934- )