Posts tagged ‘2009’

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??- )

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Crossing Iron Mountain River by Kyun Hŏ

Sunset. I arrive
at an old ferry.
A west wind blows—
alone, I cross.
Dark waves rush south,
the north, plentiful
with new autumn colors.
The year goes—
I’ve already said it all.
How are the gardens at home?
In mid-flow, the sudden grief
of disappointment—
on the river, songs
of fishermen drift.


Date: 1598 (original in Korean); 2009 (translation in English)

By: Kyun Hŏ (1569-1618)

Translated by: Ian Haight (19??- ) and T’ae-Yong Ho (19??- )

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Artifact by Frannie Lindsay

You came to put up with
the buxom peonies
Helga kept bringing.
First you asked them to stop
the prednisone, next the valium,
finally you waved away
even the laxatives
your bowel had so long given over to.
The white nun of morphine
tended you prayerlessly,
while all I could do
was spoon-feed you fewer
ice chips, tuck
the last gorgeous medicines
under your tongue.

After they come and take you,
the day is simple: the shade being raised,
room emptied, conversational
tones of voice in the hallway,
bathroom scrubbed echo-clean,
sky uninhabitably blue, no birds
moving across it, then one, then many,
while even the hospice Monday
grows busy with sheet-changing,
jokes getting told, time in the throes
of being ignored,
therapy dogs and friends
settling in for an hour or two,
hoping they’ll know
when to go.


Date: 2009

By: Frannie Lindsay (19??- )

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Lunaria by Katha Pollitt

Now that I am
all done with spring
rampant in purple
and ragged leaves

and summer too
its great green moons
rising through
the breathless air

pale dusted like
the Luna’s wings
I’d like to meet
October’s chill

like the silver moonplant
that bears toward winter
its dark seeds

a paper lantern
lit within
and shining in
the fallen leaves.


Date: 2009

By: Katha Pollitt (1949- )

Friday, 23 September 2016

If I Was by Mark Waldron

If I was,

I don’t know, walking down, say, a street
and I happened to come across

a group of, I don’t know, firemen
who were fighting, say, a fire,

then I might imagine, might I not,
their fire hose to be a long and beige salami.

And then I might imagine, might I not,
that I could take a slice of that salami,

that I could peel it of its ring of canvas skin
and then I’d have a lens,

the freshest monocle through which,
if I held it to my open eye, I’d probably see

a group of firemen with a cut hose
shouting angrily.


Date: 2009

By: Mark Waldron (1960 – )