Posts tagged ‘2007’

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- )

Monday, 9 September 2019

Change by Ann Beard

Our world forever changes every second every day.
Nothing halts the pass of time; old age will have its way.
each mighty cliff or ancient tree will suffer the same fate
life seems just an experiment, a transitory state.

The planet earth its fertile soil, the mysteries of heaven,
all forever changing in more ways known to man.
From the wonder of first breath to surrender of the last,
Time becomes the enemy devours all moments past.

Nothing is more fragile than the spirit of mankind,
as good and evil battle in each subconscious mind.
change is hardly noticed until friends or lover’s die,
then we weep and fear mortality while we say goodbye.

Change has made us who we are, a visitor, a guest
we dine on nature’s beauty babies suckle at the breast.
A child will learn and grow maybe someday take my place
But in a very different world, for I alone lived in this space.

From: https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/change-78/

Date: 2007

By: Ann Beard (1944- )

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

The Golden Chain that Set Me Free by Mir Mahfuz Ali

Anna decorated my bare neck
with a golden chain
for my birthday
and confirmed
her admiration for me
her appreciation
of me being
in her life.
Then she said,
in a caveat tongue,
if I ever took it off
or tried to leave her
she would tie me
with icy shackles.
That is not going to happen,
I reassured her
with an easing tone,
I’d keep the gift
where she wanted it
to be for good.
Promising her
with a huge hug
and a long, slow kiss.

I woke the next day
with a swollen neck
thick as a banana trunk
and scratched myself
until I bled.
Still I did not
snap the frond,
my bond with her
which proved
my honest love
that still wrinkles
every stream.
But she broke
the link with me
by moving
the golden pledge
from my neck
on to her own
declaring she was
setting me free.

From: https://www.exiledwriters.co.uk/portfolio-items/mir-mahfuz-ali/

Date: 2007

By: Mir Mahfuz Ali (1958- )

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

The Page-turner by Michael George Laskey

He sits in her shadow, keeps still,
as if he would be as invisible
to us as we are to him,
just his eyes imperceptibly moving

till the end of the page approaches,
when, rising from his chair, he reaches
forward, left-handed, and works
a single sheet free, then waits

for the moment to flip it over.
Pressing it flat with his palm
from below so it won’t lift up,
already he’s pushed himself back

out of consideration. Again and again.
Till the pianist bows, and he stands
apart disclaiming applause,
head down, holding the music.

From: https://www.poetryarchive.org/poem/page-turner

Date: 2007

By: Michael George Laskey (1944- )

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Just Now by Peter Campion

a ladybug, its carapace blown open
so a translucent trace of orange gleams
from its body, has ascended link by link
the smudgy silver curve of my watch band.
It must have helicoptered past the sill
while I was slumped here squinting in the paper
at the ashen packaging another bombing’s
made of a minivan. Made available
in the photo like the homeless in a poem.
The pain is far away. But then for moments
utterly clear: molten metal guttering
down from the Milky Way to fall on us.
And sometimes, God, it lands with all its will.
My spluttered prayer for it to hold its distance:
how ludicrous to blurt it from this comfort.
Still it impels itself from me. Please stay
away from me. Please stay away from this
insectile soul who only weeks ago
was wind and shit and jasmine leaves and rain.

From: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/49895/just-now-56d22c76e360d

Date: 2007

By: Peter Campion (1976- )

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Tao Te Ching: 4 by Laozi (Lao Tzu)

Tao is empty—
Its use never exhausted.
Bottomless—
The origin of all things.

It blunts sharp edges,
Unties knots,
Softens glare,
Becomes one with the dusty world.

Deeply subsistent—
I don’t know whose child it is.

It is older than the Ancestor.

From: Lao-Tzu, Addiss, Stephen and Lombardo, Stanley (transl.), Tao Te Ching, 2007, Shambhala: Boston and London, p. [unnumbered].
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=hXoEv5WpqukC)

Date: 6th century BCE (original); 2007 (translation)

By: Laozi (Lao Tzu) (601 BCE-c531 BCE)

Translated by: Stephen L. Addiss (1935- ) and Stanley F. Lombardo (1943- )

Monday, 25 February 2019

Send Your Spirit by Solomon ibn Gabirol

Send your spirit
to revive our corpses,
and ripple the longed-for
land again.

The crops come from you;
you’re good to all—
and always return
to restore what has been.

From: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/146848/send-your-spirit

Date: c1035 (original in Hebrew); 2007 (translation in English)

By: Solomon ibn Gabirol (c1021-c1070)

Translated by: Peter Cole (1957- )

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Love’s Torch is Dead, His Dart Broken by Barbara Torelli

Love’s torch is dead, his dart broken,
as are his bow, quiver, and every other power,
since cruel Death has shaken the plant
under whose quiet shadow I used to sleep.

Alas, why can’t I enter the shallow
grave with him, where destiny has taken him,
he who thirteen days ago
was bound by love just before the fateful blow?

I would like to warm that ice with my great
fire, reform his dust with
tears and create a new life:

and after I’d like, boldly and openly,
to show him to the one who set the dear snare,
telling him, “Love, you cruel monster, can overcome!”

From: Cirigliano, Marc A. (ed. and transl.), Melancolia Poetica: A Dual Language Anthology of Italian Poetry 1160-1560, 2007, Troubador Publishing Ltd: Leicester, p. 331.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=p_k8szlje7YC)

Date: 1508 (original in Italian); 2007 (translation in English)

By: Barbara Torelli (1475-1533)

Translated by: Marc A. Cirigliano (19??- )

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Appeal to the Grammarians by Paul Randolph Violi

We, the naturally hopeful,
Need a simple sign
For the myriad ways we’re capsized.
We who love precise language
Need a finer way to convey
Disappointment and perplexity.
For speechlessness and all its inflections,
For up-ended expectations,
For every time we’re ambushed
By trivial or stupefying irony,
For pure incredulity, we need
The inverted exclamation point.
For the dropped smile, the limp handshake,
For whoever has just unwrapped a dumb gift
Or taken the first sip of a flat beer,
Or felt love or pond ice
Give way underfoot, we deserve it.
We need it for the air pocket, the scratch shot,
The child whose ball doesn’t bounce back,
The flat tire at journey’s outset,
The odyssey that ends up in Weehawken.
But mainly because I need it—here and now
As I sit outside the Caffe Reggio
Staring at my espresso and cannoli
After this middle-aged couple
Came strolling by and he suddenly
Veered and sneezed all over my table
And she said to him, “See, that’s why
I don’t like to eat outside.”

From: https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/appeal-grammarians

Date: 2007

By: Paul Randolph Violi (1944-2011)