Posts tagged ‘2009’

Monday, 2 January 2023

New Year’s Day by Michelle Dicinoski

I’m trying to write that last time with you     five hours into the new year
how we spilled from our tent     from our love-making
into pre-dawn light     to piss under tea-trees.
I’m trying to write the light     (was it blue or violet?)
supernatural on our skin     I could only look and look
inhale the day and its scents     and tell myself remember this

I’m trying to write the air     (do you remember?)
menthol and citrus so crisp     it fell on the tongue like a lozenge
until you gave me your mouthful of petals.

I’m trying to write the you     (if only you saw)
so holy in the half-light     when I saw you
for the first time     and knew it was the last.

I am trying to write the loss     five hours into the new year
how I found you in the space     between night and day
and lost you to the sun     among tea-trees.


Date: 2009

By: Michelle Dicinoski (1976- )

Wednesday, 24 August 2022

Hurriedly, in Premature Celebration by Timur Kibirov

The roses bloom! Oh this is Paradise!
And we shall see the infant Christ!
– Andersen, ‘The Snow Queen’

Hurriedly, in premature celebration,
the little boy bursts again from the crowd
and says, once more: ‘But the king isn’t wearing…’

then he clams up,
as he sees
that not only the king,
but all his retinue

(the ministers, Life Guards, ladies-in-waiting,
even the two con-men tailors themselves…)

are all naked!
All of them literally
in their birthday suits!

He spins in confusion
back to the gathered crowd
and beholds only naked bodies,
the denuded
woeful flesh of humanity.

And now, confused and fearful,
he senses his own naked,
goose-fleshed, bluish,
little boy’s skin,

and sees leafless trees in the distance,
sees how the forest has been stripped,
how the fields are bare,
how the naked earth is a desert

and winter is on its way…

Now who, who will wrap us up warm,
us, who have been stripped of everything?
Who, who will protect us,
the little naked soldiers
of a naked king?

For our leader is bare,
and his queen is the snow queen;
darkness and impenetrable snow!
And as for standing against him:
ay, ay, ay!

Oh dear. Oh wow.
Go and lie in the snow.

Make your mind up,
silly little Kay.

Run along now,
stupid little Gerda.

There, ahead of you:
the kingdom of death.

There, behind you:
the roses are blooming.

Well, maybe they’re not…
Maybe they’ve withered…
So what?

You’ll find out soon enough.
If you can get that far.


Date: 2009 (original in Russian); 2017 (translation in English)

By: Timur Kibirov (1955- )

Translated by: James Womack (1979- )

Sunday, 10 April 2022

[Overflowing with Love] by Shiimoto Saimaro

Overflowing with love
the cat as coquettish
as a courtesan.

From: Addiss, Stephen; Yamamoto, Fumiko; and Yamamoto, Akira (eds. and transls.), Haiku: An Anthology of Japanese Poems, 2009, Shambhala Library: Boston, p. 7.

Date: c1730 (original in Japanese); 2009 (translation in English)

By: Shiimoto Saimaro (1656-1737)

Translated by: Stephen Addiss (1935- ), Fumiko Yamamoto (1934- ) and Akira Yamamoto (19??- )

Saturday, 29 January 2022

Morning Knowledge by Kevin Hart

My gentle father died when day was young,
When there was very little left to take:
Gray face, a raft of bones, a bitter ache,
A word or two still living on my tongue.

There’s bread that only dying men can eat,
Worn words that only weary men can say.
Sometimes those wispy words just slip away,
Sometimes that gritty bread falls on a sheet.

In those last days my dad ate nothing much;
His words were mostly gnawing at warm air.
Dark One, I’ll be the one to smooth his hair.
You be the one who lets him know my touch.


Date: 2009

By: Kevin Hart (1954- )

Tuesday, 4 January 2022

January Drought by Conor O’Callaghan

It needn’t be tinder, this juncture of the year,
a cigarette second guessed from car to brush.

The woods’ parchment is given
to cracking asunder the first puff of wind.
Yesterday a big sycamore came across First
and Hawthorne and is there yet.

The papers say it has to happen,
if just as dribs and drabs on the asbestos siding.
But tonight is buckets of stars as hard and dry as dimes.

A month’s supper things stacks in the sink.
Tea brews from water stoppered in the bath
and any thirst carried forward is quenched thinking you,
piece by piece, an Xmas gift hidden
and found weeks after: the ribbon, the box.

I have reservoirs of want enough
to freeze many nights over.


Date: 2009

By: Conor O’Callaghan (1968- )

Monday, 13 December 2021

First Light by Richard Bauckham

After all the false dawns,
who is this who unerringly paints
the first rays in their true colours?
We have kept vigil with owls
when the occult noises of the night
fell tauntingly silent
and a breeze got up
as if for morning.
This time the trees tremble.
Is it with a kind of reckless joy
at the gentle light
lapping their leaves
like the very first turn of a tide?
Timid creatures creep out of burrows
sensing kindness
and the old crow on the cattle-shed roof
folds his wings and dreams.


Date: 2009

By: Richard Bauckham (1946- )

Friday, 10 December 2021

Myriad Stars, No. 34 by Bing Xin/Ping Hsin

The creators of the new continent
are not those roaring waves,
but the minuscule sands beneath them.

From: Lin, Julia C. (ed. and transl.), Twentieth-Century Chinese Women’s Poetry: An Anthology, 2009, Routledge: London and New York, p. 3.

Date: 1923 (original in Chinese); 2009 (translation in English)

By: Bing Xin/Ping Hsin (1900-1999)

Translated by: Julia Chang Lin (1928-2013)

Friday, 25 June 2021

Think of Others by Mahmoud Darwish

As you prepare your breakfast, think of others
(do not forget the pigeon’s food).
As you conduct your wars, think of others
(do not forget those who seek peace).
As you pay your water bill, think of others
(those who are nursed by clouds).
As you return home, to your home, think of others
(do not forget the people of the camps).
As you sleep and count the stars, think of others
(those who have nowhere to sleep).
As you liberate yourself in metaphor, think of others
(those who have lost the right to speak).
As you think of others far away, think of yourself
(say: “If only I were a candle in the dark”).


Date: 2005 (original in Arabic); 2009 (translation in English)

By: Mahmoud Darwish (1941-2008)

Translated by: Mohammed Shaheen (19??- )

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Lingua Franca by Jay Snodgrass

I have always wanted to be blended. Biracial,
multilingual, polyglotal, some inner bead
in me seeking to unseem despite my fairly sturdy
keeping within the Caucasian chalk circle.

It could be that first time I drank
synthetic blended scotch made in Japan,
or in high school after I dropped a tab of LSD
then listened to two girls fight in Japanese
I could swear I understood every word.

Sunrise leaves me lonesome and univocal,
birdsong makes me furious like bass from a parked car.
The mockingbird! There’s my idol. Chattering
delirious nonsense, cutting up the morning with clatter.

Sometimes in the dark I hear owls and I feel
like Vikings finding Roman settlements
and thinking they were made by giants.
I proclaim the terrifying screech owl to be
my god, behemoth of imponderable darkness.

I drink sweating Gin and tonics in the summer
and listen to traffic on 95 punctuated by cat calls
and 747s landing just beyond the coal power plant.

With so many voices I feel unable to speak
but gin leases its tongue to me. I cut it out

with cranberry juice so it bloodies against the glass
like wood, with mysterious grains. The ice cubes swim
amongst the machines like teeth. I push them down,
drown it all with a solid tongue.


Date: 2009

By: Jay Snodgrass (19??- )

Saturday, 16 January 2021

I Take Away My Head by Paul Hoover

“I take away my hand, which writes and speaks much.”
—Jaime Sabines

I take away my mouth,
Which remembers nothing I say,
Though I speak loudly and often,
With everything on my mind.

I take away my heart,
Which never quite forgives me,
And I remove my ears,
Which have no feeling for song.

Moving between two lights,
Over white stones at midnight,
Past nine black boundaries,
I take away my shadow.

Here is history with its burning questions
And theory with its doubt—
I give them to a ridiculous man
Who smells of the sea and slow dancing.

How good it must be for the rain
To roll around on the street
And commingle with each surface.

The world is nothing much—
Grass and rubble and such.
I’ll put it into a camera
Filled with silver and potential.


Date: 2009

By: Paul Hoover (1946- )