Posts tagged ‘2009’

Friday, 11 May 2018

A Poem by Subo Acharya

Men do live and men do die
good men live and bad men too
bad men die and good men live
good men die and bad men live
how men come to harm and what is harm
the secret fever rises in my heart
my empty skull is crooked and tired
bones in my cracked skin also crack
men do live and men do die.


Date: ?1963 (original in Bengali); 2009 (translation in English)

By: Subo Acharya (19??- )

Translated by: Jyotirmoy Datta (1936- )

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

The Lilac Thief by Young Dawkins

She is aghast
as I explain that once each year,
just about now,
I drive slowly through the neighborhoods casing likely targets,
and when I find one,
I park just across the street and walk over
with a great inner calm.
I use the very sharpest snips possible,
and cut one, two, but never more than three
clumps of perfectly bloomed purple lilacs,
then move on until the lead-heavy scent
inside the car makes me almost dopey.
I bring them home and arrange them in vases,
place them where they will find afternoon light.
But, she cries, that is just wrong!
Lilacs belong to all the people.

Yes, I say. Yes.
And I am one of the people.


Date: 2009

By: Young Dawkins (19??- )

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Another Easter by Hayden Saunier

The bones of the buck lie where he lay
by the creek last fall, wounded, licking water.
Small mound of carcass in the meadow’s sweep
sunken, smaller now, undistinguishable

from the wrack of winter wheat.
No flag left, spine bare, stiff fringe across the ribs,
his strong legs stripped and milk-pod pale.
Seeds of his last meal deep in rot.

And so it is with our grief.
Extended exhalations, slow dissolves,
the stubborn skull protecting memory,
like last meat, in a bony cave.

And something rooting down
inside, ready to rise.


Date: 2009

By: Hayden Saunier (19??- )

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Meanwhile by Jack Gilbert

It waits. While I am walking through the pine trees
along the river, it is waiting. It has waited a long time.
In southern France, in Belgium, and even Alabama.
Now it waits in New England while I say grace over
almost everything: for a possum dead on someone’s lawn,
the single light on a levee while Northampton sleeps,
and because the lanes between houses in Greek hamlets
are exactly the width of a donkey loaded on each side
with barley. Loneliness is the mother’s milk of America.
The heart is a foreign country whose language none
of us is good at. Winter lingers on in the woods,
but already it looks discarded as the birds return
and sing carelessly; as though there never was the power
or size of December. For nine years in me it has waited.
My life is pleasant, as usual. My body is a blessing
and my spirit clear. But the waiting does not let up.


Date: 2009

By: Jack Gilbert (1925-2012)

Thursday, 21 December 2017

The Longest Day of the Year by Michael Harlow

One word one word and then another,
one word and another, waiting for the
light to come stealing in, you ask what
is it that love dares the self to do?

All he wanted was to put his shoes out
in the moonlight.  To hear music be the
saint of laughter again.  And all that
time rehearsing his lines in the dark;

the love-mess of it all – when so much
forgetting is always about remembering;
on the long walk backwards to meet
himself coming the other way, but didn’t

It’s just that I’m made of clouds, he said,
so many of my words have lost their
happiness. That endless dream of being
awake forever and there is no one there

How the longest day of the year keeps
getting shorter.  And I am too much alone;
if you love me will I love you too, will you?
It seemed to matter that there was no
marvellous music anymore:  all that he

could hear one word one word and then
another, waiting for the light to come
stealing in, all that he could hear was
how he lives in the buried talk of others;
inside the long history of goodbye.

From: Harlow, Michael, The Tram Conductor’s Blue Cap, 2013, Auckland University Press: Auckland, pp. [unnumbered].

Date: 2009

By: Michael Harlow (1937- )

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Term by William Stanley Merwin

At the last minute a word is waiting
not heard that way before and not to be
repeated or ever be remembered
one that always had been a household word
used in speaking of the ordinary
everyday recurrences of living
not newly chosen or long considered
or a matter for comment afterward
who would ever have thought it was the one
saying itself from the beginning through
all its uses and circumstances to
utter at last that meaning of its own
for which it had long been the only word
though it seems now that any word would do.


Date: 2009

By: William Stanley Merwin (1927- )

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Learning a New Language by Afzal Ahmed Syed

In a building near the shore
Where no one reaches alone
Except me and a neighborhood dog
I am learning a new language
To converse with


Date: 2009 (original in Urdu); 2016 (translation in English)

By: Afzal Ahmed Syed (1946- )

Translated by: Taimoor Shahid (19??- )

Friday, 29 September 2017

Morning News in the Big Horn Mountains by William Notter

The latest movie star is drunk just out of rehab,
two or three cities had extraordinary killings,
and expensive homes are sliding off the hills
or burning again. There’s an energy crisis on,
and peace in the Middle East is close as ever.
In Wyoming, just below timberline,
meteors and lightning storms
keep us entertained at night. Last week,
a squirrel wrecked the mountain bluebirds’ nest.
I swatted handfuls of moths in the cabin
and set them on a stump each day,
but the birds would not come back to feed.
It snowed last in June, four inches
the day before the solstice. But summer
is winding down—frost on the grass
this morning when we left the ranger station.
Yellow-bellied marmots are burrowing
under the outhouse vault, and ravens leave the ridges
to gorge on Mormon crickets in the meadows.
Flakes of obsidian and red flint
knapped from arrowheads hundreds of years ago
appear in the trails each day,
and the big fish fossil in the limestone cliff
dissolves a little more with every rain.


Date: 2009

By: William Notter (19??- )

Monday, 11 September 2017

Soon Summer Will Be Over and the Bugs Will Be Gone by Daniel Donaghy

Soon summer will be over and the bugs will be gone,
Marguerite says, skipping into the overgrown
field of goldenrod and yarrow,
so far from the Y’s other counselors
and kids that when I look back
I can’t see the building or the playground,
and I can’t help thinking
it must have been a scene like this
from which a man abducted her last year,
dyed her hair red and called her
by his dead daughter’s name,
and about all that might one day flood
into her consciousness, how
even though doctors told her mother
it might take years, might never come back,
I hold her hand knowing if it does
there will be nothing anyone
can do to end her grief,
and that if it all came back now,
there would be nothing more
I could do than what I’m doing.
As we head down a trail, I ask
if she’s having fun, and she says yes
and snatches a few more ladybugs,
making over twenty for the hour,
some big with spots on each wing,
others tiny with no spots at all,
their shells flawless as her face,
her cupped hands scooping them
one by one into our bowl before
she opens the lid and sets them free.


Date: 2009

By: Daniel Donaghy (19??- )

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Trestle Crossing by Ian Haight

Coal tar reek in August heat,
we watch carp and fronds weave
in water.  Dropped rocks move
so slow fish don’t care.  Dreams
of train whistles forcing
a thirty foot jump, or loping
the wooden tracks, tripping:
a train rush over us.  We find
flattened pennies other boys
forget to claim.  Cattails,
mosquito swarms in weeds,
spider webs between rocks,
thunder sounds at sundown.

At home, heat lightening
and jitterbug huzzz.  Cats
eat moths by porch light,
and fire, fire against
the woods.  Walk the moonlit
grass, catch earth smells—
horse dung in collapsed barn stalls.

An Indian is buried here somewhere.


Date: 2009

By: Ian Haight (19??- )