Posts tagged ‘2011’

Sunday, 30 January 2022

War Poem by Yvonne Green

There are no heroic deaths in war,
if you round people up they cry like stuck pigs,
if you run with a bayonet you wet your pants
if you kill with a drone, computer games
make you crazy when your kids play them.

For evil not to triumph good people
need do nothing but advocate, negotiate, react,
be diplomatic, watchful, mindful.

They need to listen, hear,
answer not placate, resist not fight,
determine not dominate, be dutiful not expectant.
And ramparts will give way to borders,
wars will be averted before
they grow tired, seed poppies,
make mounds, cinders of macheted limbs,
empty boy’s bowels, girl’s wombs.


Date: 2011

By: Yvonne Green (1957- )

Sunday, 18 April 2021

[Even in Daylight] by Constance Campbell

even in daylight, these shadows find me


Date: 2011

By: Constance Campbell (19??- )

Monday, 26 October 2020

Mother Doesn’t Bite by Terese Svoboda

I bite instead and she needs salt,
a little more time on the grill.
Young men are coming,
they’ll want her.

Her head is an oyster
turned out of a shell.
She needs her rocks,
and wave after wave.

I’m riding this dream,
her claws position me, specimen
ready for the knife. But who
holds the light?

The young men laugh.
It’s a game, it’s fun, it’s everyday.
I run across the beach,
a toll at last tolling.

Gulls rise with her eyes,
They shriek, night
iced under their wings,
its salt falling.


Date: 2011

By: Terese Svoboda (1950- )

Friday, 21 August 2020

Seaside Canon, for Douglas Hofstadter by Julia Galef

The ocean was still.
In an empty sky, two gulls turned lazy arcs, and
their keening cries echoed
off the cliff and disappeared into the sea.
When the child, scrambling up the rocks, slipped
out of her parents’ reach,
they called to her. She was already
so high, but those distant peaks beyond —
they called to her. She was already
out of her parents’ reach
when the child, scrambling up the rocks, slipped
off the cliff and disappeared into the sea.
Their keening cries echoed
in an empty sky. Two gulls turned lazy arcs, and
the ocean was still.


Date: 2011

By: Julia Galef (1983- )

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Reflections on the Sparrow by Celia Gilbert

Matins in the morning and evensong at dusk,
in French called moineaux: little monks, shabby, humble,
more than a bit agitated, twittering prayers
as if time were running out to save the world;
not too proud to forage in the dust,
certain that God looks out
for each and every one
for he takes care of his own.

Lear complains “The lecherous sparrows do couple in my sight.”

They rear three broods in a season,
invade other nests,
attack chickadee, thrush, and robin.

“Who killed Cock Robin?”
“I,” said the sparrow,
I shot him with my little bow and arrow.”

If I were a shaman I would take the sparrow’s cloak,
brown and coca buff,
and whirl and whirl about,
my black eye no bigger than
a pepper seed over my curved beak,
and I would dance the dance of humility and lust,
of friendship and enmity,
I, my chest pounding,
I, in my lowly, kingly robes.


Date: 2011

By: Celia Gilbert (1932- )

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Night Work by Rowyda Amin

From your bed, noctilucent paths
are rambling, one of which could lead
through the Tudor knot of yew hedge
to that rose arbour at its centre
where white-slippered sleep is breathing.

Simple to untangle one path after the next
if you still had all night, but fat mice
are eating through the blue and green wool
with which the maze is tapestried.

Though tawny owls, silver-beaked, dive
to unpick the plump bodies, bursting
every pink and yellow cross-stitch,
you’re still awake at dawn, tattered
in your threadbare nest of bones.


Date: 2011

By: Rowyda Amin (19??- )

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

To Poems by Arseny Alexandrovich Tarkosky

My poems: fledglings, heirs,
Plaintiffs and executors,
The silent ones, the loud,
The humble and the proud.

As soon as the shovel of time
Threw me onto the potter’s wheel—
Myself without kith or kin—
I grew beneath the hand, a miracle.

Something stretched out my long neck
And hollowed round my soul
And marked on my back
Legends of flowers and leaves.

I stoked the birch in the fire
As Daniel commanded
And blessed my red temper
Until I spoke as a prophet.

I had long been the earth—
Arid, ochre, forlorn since birth—
But you fell on my chest by chance
From beaks of birds, from eyes of grass.


Date: 1983 (original in Russian); 2011 (translation in English)

By: Arseny Alexandrovich Tarkovsky (1907-1989)

Translated by: Philip J. Metres III (1970- )

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Love Song by Sinéad Morrissey

I see light everywhere
Over the bus driver the woman
With her trolley in the street
I see dusk

I hear the clock at four
I hear the silence in cupboards
Backwater dawn

I taste drier than flour

I smell the roots of trees
Before I see their arms
On the skyline

I feel diamonds pushed into
The bloodstream
Self-generated, a gift,
Making for the head I feel my head

Thrust into
A bucketful of stars
And all my senses


Date: 2011

By: Sinéad Morrissey (1972- )

Friday, 2 August 2019

Leaving Abyssinia by Denise Saul

A foghorn sounds: I notice the distance
between houses and the shore
as the ship pulls away from a pillar:
strata of limestone, clay and granite.
A wall of fog drifts towards the coast;
gulls peck at moss behind a stone ledge.
I sit in a cabin without windows,
unable to tell if I’m moving or not.

I cannot hear what grandfather shouts
from the pier – goodbye – perhaps.
The wind billows in the smell of mackerel.
At night, nothing is certain when I leave
this land where morning and night
come so close together that fishermen
who return boats at sunset
hail those who sail theirs out at dawn.

An hour later, the clock ticks the same way.
It’s 1.30 a.m. and as I’m still
awake, I light an oil-lamp to read a book.
I packed books which were needed:
World Dress by Frances Burnett,
Oxford English Reference Dictionary
and Greek Myths by Robert Graves.

Here, there is no Odysseus to let passengers know
that the ship’s motion is ‘uniform’.
I recall that phrase from a lesson at school
as that formula was rote learnt:
every body continues… in its state
of rest or of uniform motion… in a right line
unless it is compelled… to change
that state by forces impressed upon it.
I leaf through the story of the Clashing Rocks;
all the sun returns to the underworld.


Date: 2011

By: Denise Saul (19??- )

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Take From My Palms Some Sun to Bring You Joy by Osip Emilyevich Mandelstam

Take from my palms some sun to bring you joy
and take a little honey – so the bees
of cold Persephone commanded us.

No loosing of the boat that is not moored,
no hearing of the shadow shod in fur,
no overcoming fear in life’s dense wood.

And kisses are all that’s left us now,
kisses as hairy as the little bees
who perish if they fly out of the hive.

They rustle in transparent depths of night,
their home dense forests on Taigetos’ slopes,
their food is honeysuckle, mint and time.

So for your joy receive my savage gift,
a dry and homely necklace of dead bees
who have transmuted honey into sun.

November 1920


Date: 1920 (original in Russian); 2011 (translation in English)

By: Osip Emilyevich Mandelstam (1891-1938)

Translated by: Peter France (1935- )