Posts tagged ‘2007’

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

In the Shadow of Turning: Throwing Salt by Carolyn Marie Rodgers

Salt is what
it all becomes.
Salt always did make me crave
sugar. If I could have turned and
looked back, like Lot’s wife,
I never would have.
Turning is for other memories.

Memories are actually seasons
of homeless dreams.
The main event in life is something
we think we can plan, but can’t.
A nest or fishnet of categories. Of hunger.
A need river, running wild in every
imaginable direction.

It would have all been salt, and me,
craving sugar.

From: https://www.makemag.com/poetry-rodgers_new/

Date: 2007

By: Carolyn Marie Rodgers (1940-2010)

Monday, 1 November 2021

All Saints Day by Amy Gerstler

The holiday arrives
quietly like phrases
of faint praise
in Braille. Famous
saints bow at the waist,
then step back, making
room for scores
of unknown saints,
to whom this day
also belongs. Not
a glamorous bunch,
these uncanonized,
unsung ones, shading
their eyes shyly
in the backs of the minds
of the few who knew them.
Hung-over, mute, confused,
hunched, clumsy, blue,
pinched, rigid or fidgety,
unable to look the radioactive,
well-dressed major saints
in the eye, they wonder
terrified: What (the fuck)
Am I Doing Here? Still
drenched, the tobacco
spitting fisherman who dove
after a dog swept downriver
looks in vain for a towel,
too timid to ask. (His dog
now sports a halo, too.)
Robed in volcanic ash,
a brave Pompeii matron
is mistaken by St. Catherine
for a sooty statue. An old
coot who serenaded
his dying wife with her
favorite ukulele tunes
is still trying to find her,
as his map of the afterlife
proved unreliable. What can
we offer these reticent saints
who lacked press agents?
Flowers? Lit candles? Floating
lanterns? The nerdy
fat whistle-blower from
the chemical plant
whose plaid slacks
made his coworkers
laugh behind his back
nervously jokes sotto
voce that he’d give
his soul for a Coke,
but no one can hear him.

From: http://jacketmagazine.com/32/holiday-album.shtml#gerstler

Date: 2007

By: Amy Gerstler (1956- )

Thursday, 13 May 2021

Music (from “Antigone”) by Sophocles

By Memory’s daughters,
the Muses,
Forgetting,
named Lethe, is hated
And not to be loved.
O for mortals, what
Power there is in songs,
What greatest happiness
That can make bearable this
Short narrow channel of life!

From: Sophocles, “Music” in Poetry, Issue 71437, March 2007, p. 462.
(https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/browse?contentId=49295)

Date: c441 BCE (original in Greek); 2007 (translation in English)

By: Sophocles (c497/6 BCE-406/5 BCE)

Translated by: Reginald Gibbons (1947- )

Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Work by Debbie Lustig

No words only our breathing — two people
in a garage. Workbenched, love-bolted.
Quiet flits like wood dust. Rough surfaces
catch small sounds. My father and me,
constructing memories. He glues,
mixing resins with medical art. I carve
aluminium, butter-soft, young.
My vice holds a Chinese pictogram
with a promise of luck. I urge my fretsaw
carefully through the maze.
The tools are a language
he will teach me to speak:
screwdriver-hammer-longnosepliers
unused like spices, twinned
to the wall, shadowing themselves.
I coast on a lull, the air sawdust-spattered.
Soon, I will lose the Chinese pendant
and he will finish building a boat.
He will leave me with a brass fob-watch that
has stopped then
turn his attention to a project with no name

From: Lustig, Debbie, “Work” in Eureka Street, Volume 17, Issue 23, 29 November 2007, p. 36.
(09 Oct 2008 – pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/64220/20081009-0014/www.eurekastreet.com.au/uploads/File/pdf/071129.pdf – Trove)

Date: 2007

By: Debbie Lustig (19??- )

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Lemons by Toh Hsien Min

When life gives me lemons, I make lemonade.
As a boy, I detested the taste of lemons,
that sharp sourness captured in a grimace,
but recently I have had so much citrus fruit
that I’ve adjusted to the attack of the acid.
The other day I found myself biting into
lemon wedges for the juice, as though
they were orange slices.  It made me think
how during our university days we bought
bags of lemons from Sainsbury’s because
they were cheap.  I squeezed yellow halves
till my hands tingled for an hour, while you
turned a heap of sugar into syrup.  No matter
what we felt about that white snowdrift of guilt,
we knew through trying that there was a point
at which a virtuous loss of sweetness
turned to an uncomfortable biting of tongues,
and if we were to let doubt cool all morning
in the fridge we would have the poor choice
of hot syrup or watering down painfully
squeezed lemonade.  We hadn’t learnt, though,
that the same applies to unheaped denials,
that belief sustains the unspoken like a wound,
and that even if the nice thing about lemons
is that unlike blood oranges they don’t stain
no matter how careless you are with them,
their invisible ink shows when you try
suspected surfaces with heat.  I suppose
you can’t compare lemons and oranges,
but if you know the only red nettings to end up
in my fruit compartment hold Valencia oranges,
you’ll understand my surprise, with the wedges,
to have discovered aftertaste, the lingering
in the mouth of a peculiarly silky sweetness
that is inestimable relief after the assault.

From: http://mascarareview.com/toh-hsien-min/

Date: 2007

By: Toh Hsien Min (1975- )

Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Snowy Morning by Den Sutejo

snowy morning—
tracks of wooden sandals
two lines, two lines again

From: https://wkdhaikutopics.blogspot.com/2007/03/den-sutejo.html

Date: 1640 (original in Japanese); 2007 (translation in English)

By: Den Sutejo (1634-1698)

Translated by: Gabi Greve (1948- )

Monday, 15 June 2020

I’m Not the Indian You Had in Mind by Thomas King

I’m not the Indian you had in mind
I’ve seen him
Oh, I’ve seen him ride,
a rush of wind, a darkening tide
with Wolf and Eagle by his side
his buttocks firm and well defined
my god, he looks good from behind
But I’m not the Indian you had in mind.

I’m not the Indian you had in mind
I’ve heard him
Oh, I’ve heard him roar,
the warrior wild, the video store
the movies that we all adore
the clichés that we can’t rewind,
But I’m not the Indian you had in mind.

I’m not the Indian you had in mind
I’ve known him
Oh, I’ve known him well,
the bear-greased hair, the pungent smell
the piercing eye, the startling yell
thank God that he’s the friendly kind,
But I’m not the Indian you had in mind.

I’m that other one.
The one who lives just down the street.

the one you’re disinclined to meet
the Oka guy, remember me?
Ipperwash? Wounded Knee?

That other Indian.
the one who runs the local bar
the CEO, the movie star,
the elder with her bingo tales
the activist alone in jail

That other Indian.
The doctor, the homeless bum
the boys who sing around the drum
the relative I cannot bear
my father who was never there
he must have hated me, I guess
my best friend’s kid with FAS
the single mum who drives the bus
I’m all of these and they are us.

So damn you for the lies you’ve told
and damn me for not being bold
enough to stand my ground
and say
that what you’ve done is not our way

But, in the end the land won’t care
which one was rabbit, which one was bear
who did the deed and who did not
who did the shooting, who got shot
who told the truth, who told the lie
who drained the lakes and rivers dry
who made us laugh, who made us sad
who made the world Monsanto mad
whose appetites consumed the earth,
it wasn’t me, for what it’s worth.

Or maybe it was.
But hey, let’s not get too distressed
it’s not as bad as it might sound
hell, we didn’t make this mess.
It was given us
and when we’re gone
as our parents did
we’ll pass it on.

You see?
I’ve learned your lessons well
what to buy, what to sell
what’s commodity, what’s trash
what discount you can get for cash

And Indians, well, we’ll still be here
the Real One and the rest of us
we’ve got no other place to go
don’t worry, we won’t make a fuss

Well, not much.

Though sometimes, sometimes late at night
when all the world is warm and dead
I wonder how things might have been
had you followed, had we led.

So consider as you live your days
that we live ours under the gaze

of generations watching us
of generations still intact
of generations still to be
seven forward, seven back.

Yeah, it’s not easy.

Course you can always go ask that brave you like so much
the Indian you idolize
perhaps that’s wisdom on his face
compassion sparkling in his eyes.
He may well have a secret song
a dance he’ll share, a long-lost chant
ask him to help you save the world
to save yourselves.
Don’t look at me.
I’m not the Indian you had in mind.
I can’t.

I can’t.

From: https://www.facinghistory.org/stolen-lives-indigenous-peoples-canada-and-indian-residential-schools/chapter-2/i-m-not-indian-you-had-mind

Date: 2007

By: Thomas King (1943- )

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Prayer for Voice by Ari Berk

First Word
Sublunary Sound
Voices of delight
Tongue of telling
Feather song
Talon’s mark
Breath of bones
Murmur of loam
Heart of Earth and Sky
Sing in me
reside in me
shape my words
now
and make them
bright as suns.

From: https://www.mythicjourneys.org/newsletter_sep07_berk.html

Date: 2007

By: Ari Berk (1967- )

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Like a Prisoner of Soft Words by Carolyn Doris Wright

We walk under the wires and the birds resettle.
We know where we’re going but have not made up our mind
which way we will take to get there.
If we pass by the palmist’s she can read our wayward lines.
We may drop things along the way that substantiate our having been here.
We will not be able to transmit any of these feelings verbatim.
By the time we reach the restaurant one of us is angry.
Here a door gives in to a courtyard
overlooking a ruined pool.
We suspect someone has followed one or the other of us.
We touch the spot on our shirt where the ink has seeped.
The lonely outline of the host is discerned near an unlit sconce.
As guests we are authorized not to notice.
We drop some cash on the tablecloth.
We lack verisimilitude but we press on with intense resolve.
At the border, under a rim of rock, the footbridge.
Salt cedars have grown over the path.
The water table is down.
And we cannot see who is coming, the pollos and their pollero,
the migra, the mules, the Minutemen, the women
who wash for the other women al otro lado.
Or the murdered boy herding his goats after school. 6:27,
the fell of dark, not day.

From: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/07/02/like-a-prisoner-of-soft-words

Date: 2007

By: Carolyn Doris Wright (1949-2016)

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Everywhere the Desert Met the Wind by Stuart Dischell

Out west we lived in a view.
We could see forever was not far
Enough. The dinosaurs
Had walked across our valley.
You could see their footprints
Stuck in the mud.
Our volcano was extinct also.
Our mountains treeless.
Our slow-moving river sometimes dry.
(One evening we snuck out on the golf course
Near the rental house and I played the pennywhistle
And you and our daughter did a mouse dance
And a jack rabbit watched from behind a cactus
Where he thought we could not see him.)

From: http://www.storysouth.com/poetry/2007/02/four_poems_1.html

Date: 2007

By: Stuart Dischell (1954- )