Posts tagged ‘2005’

Friday, 26 January 2018

Journey of Migration…the First Step by Ferit Berk

‘A Teacher Died in Australia’ headline news
spreads quickly to reach Ankara and beyond.
Saddened, my friends believe that I am dead
when the corpse of a teacher is sent home.

The end of 1979 and the beginning of 1980,
in Alitalia a different New Year and its celebration,
beloved ones with me only in my memory
as I celebrate the New Year among strangers.

A stormy day starts the journey to Australia
A cold weather, the temperature below zero
a thirty-eight hour flight with some breaks from Ankara
and I, unable to sleep from excitement and anxiety

While standing on the threshold of this New Year.
I am talking to myself… and asking questions:
What if Australia is never reached? Or
if reached, fails to take a hold on my emotions?
What if this new land does not meet expectations?


Date: 2005

By: Ferit Berk (1937- )

Monday, 16 October 2017

Speaking in Tongues by Mary Rose O’Reilley

I go to church every Sunday
though I don’t believe a word of it,
because the longing for God
is a prayer said in the bones.

When people call on Jesus
I move to a place in the body
where such words rise,
one of the valleys
where hope pins itself to desire;
we have so much landscape like that
you’d think we were made
to sustain a cry.

When the old men around me
lift their hands
as though someone has cornered them,
giving it all away,
I remember a dock on the estuary,
watching a heron get airborne against the odds.
It’s the transitional moment that baffles me—
how she composes her rickety
grocery cart of a body
to make that flight.

The pine siskin, stalled on a windy coast,
remembers the woods
she will long for when needs arise; so
the boreal forest composes itself in my mind:
first as a rift, absence,
then in a tumble of words
undone from sense, like the stutter
you hear  when somebody falls
over the cliff of language.  Call it a gift.


Date: 2005

By: Mary Rose O’Reilley (1944- )

Friday, 23 June 2017

Save Water, Prodike by Rufinus

Save water, Prodike-
bath with a friend!
We’ll crown each other with foam,
and knock back some champagne.
We haven’t all that long
before our wrinkles mean
we’re past our shag-by date –
not just that the water is too hot.


Date: ?3rd century (original in Greek); 2005 (translation in English)

By: Rufinus (?3rd century)

Translated by: Neil Philip (19??-)

Monday, 5 June 2017

The New York Poem by Sam Hamill

I sit in the dark, not brooding
exactly, not waiting for the dawn
that is just beginning, at six-twenty-one,
in gray October light behind the trees.
I sit, breathing, mind turning on its wheel.

Hayden writes, “What use is poetry
in times like these?” And I suppose
I understand when he says, “A poet
simply cannot comprehend
any meaning in such slaughter.”

Nevertheless, in the grip of horror,
I turn to poetry, not prose,
to help me come to terms—
such as can be— with the lies, murders
and breathtaking hypocrisies

of those who would lead a nation
or a church. “What use is poetry?”
I sat down September twelfth,
two-thousand-one in the Common Era,
and read Rumi and kissed the ground.

And now that millions starve
in the name of holy war? Every war
is holy. It is the same pathetic story
from which we derive
“biblical proportion.”

I hear Pilate’s footsteps ring
on cobblestone, the voice of Joe McCarthy
cursing in the senate, Fat Boy exploding
as the whole sky shudders.
In New York City, the crashes

and subsequent collapses
created seismic waves. To begin to speak
of the dead, of the dying… how
can a poet speak of proportion any more
at all? Yet as the old Greek said,

“We walk on the faces of the dead.”
The dark fall sky grows blue.
Alone among ash and bones and ruins,
Tu Fu and Basho write the poem.
The last trace of blind rage fades

and a mute sadness settles in,
like dust, for the long, long haul. But if
I do not get up and sing,
if I do not get up and dance again,
the savages will win.

I’ll kiss the sword that kills me if I must.


Date: 2005

By: Sam Hamill (1943- )

Friday, 3 February 2017

Moon in the Window by Dorianne Laux

I wish I could say I was the kind of child
who watched the moon from her window,
would turn toward it and wonder.
I never wondered. I read. Dark signs
that crawled toward the edge of the page.
It took me years to grow a heart
from paper and glue. All I had
was a flashlight, bright as the moon,
a white hole blazing beneath the sheets.


Date: 2005

By: Dorianne Laux (1952- )

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Crossing Peng Ze Lake by Meng Jiao

the boat sighs in this lonely breeze
five willows no one has planted

thin ice on the lake
the rain too is thin

the empty boat
drifts home


Date: 8th century (original in Mandarin); 2005 (translation in English)

By: Meng Jiao (751-814)

Translated by: Christopher Kelen (1958- )

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

The Veil Dropped by Ziyad ibn Muawiyah (al-Nābighah al-Dhubiyānī)

The veil dropped, she did not mean to drop it.
She picked it up and shielded herself from us with her hand
With a tender, tinted palm as if its fingers
Were tendrils, on their boughs, which did not dry
And with profuse, curly, coal-black hair, its growth
Like a vine that leant against the propped trellis.
She looked at you with a need she could not express
The look of the patient at the faces of visitors.


Date: c580 (original in Arabic); 2005 (translation in English)

By: Ziyad ibn Muawiyah (al-Nābighah al-Dhubiyānī) (c535-c604)

Translated by: Walid Khazendar (1950- )

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

At One Glance by Mihri Khatun

At one glance
I loved you
With a thousand hearts

They can hold against me
No sin except my love for you
Come to me
Don’t go away

Let the zealots think
Loving is sinful
Never mind
Let me burn in the hellfire
Of that sin.

From: Halman, Talât Sait and Warner, Jayne L. (eds.), Nightingales & Pleasure Gardens: Turkish Love Poems, 2005, Syracuse University Press: Syracuse: New York, p. 35.

Date: c1480 (original); 2005 (translation)

By:Mihri Khatun (14??-1506)

Translated by: Talât Sait Halman (1931-2014)

Friday, 11 March 2016

A Picture by Brueghel: Landscape with Icarus Falling by Shane Rhodes

(contra Auden)

Brueghel was right—
everyone sees
nothing at least
once in the life
of a tragedy.
To the left,
in the painting,
a tenant farmer
walks behind a horse—
four centuries
of ploughing
and not once
has he dropped
his seed.
The light here
will be taken
without footnote
by Monet.
Yet the fallen
boy beating
the sea with
broken wings
is less
than the ship
sailing by
with its paint-thick hold
full of slaves
from Mozambique.
Or the shepherd
staring away so
intent at nothing
his eyes
gouge out.
Such private things
with public weight.
He was wrong,
the old master,
about suffering.
It does not ascend
beyond its human
like Icarus to myth—
but profits
beneath paint
(a scream through water)
in parenthesis.


Date: 2005

By: Shane Rhodes (1973- )

Friday, 8 January 2016

Hands by Melanie Challenger

On particular days, I hold my hands before me
and silently exalt their singular growth
like they are the rigid-nylon of a yew’s bark,
a thousand-years-old, here to witness my grandmother
and her grandmother and her grandmother.
I love the mini tree-rings of my fingertips,
how I leave stump-marks everywhere I go
like the imprints of galaxies, skimmings
of the universe’s flesh and blood.

There are forbidden
and unreachable places, invisible hems
between our separate worlds; child-hands
can dive into mouseholes and the unlit
backs of things,
while adult-hands stir dazzling fluids,
as if the body’s saps contain the colours
of nebulae, perhaps the vermilion, haemal gore
of an exploded star, or the pale rheuminess
of deep-space gases, sprays that flower slowly
on dark sheets, bud-stains of the nearly created.

There are little canyons that collect the alluvium
of our hours, flesh-coloured beaks
that build nests of scalp-grease, stucco-flake,
worm-tar. I love to inhale
my hands at the end of this exaltation,
draw inside me the amalgam of garlic
and cut-grass and dough. Or my lover’s
residue, the bitter scent
of his cock or the unguent of his cum.
I feel it as something furtive,
yet gleefully innocent, like a Chinese whisper,
the transferring of these mattery scents
from hand to hand throughout the day,
unspoken pact: here, carry the cells
from my inner thigh in your pocket,
tiny, glass marbles of new planets, or the grit
from my lover’s cock like the unglowing
coals of shooting stars.


Date: 2005

By: Melanie Challenger (19??- )