Posts tagged ‘2011’

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

From: http://www.stosvet.net/12/france/

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

By: Osip Emilyevich Mandelstam (1891-1938)

Translated by: Peter France (1935- )

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Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Instruction, Final: To Brown Poets from Black Girl with Silver Leica by Nikky (Lynn Carol) Finney

Be camera, black-eyed aperture. Be diamondback terrapin, the only animal
that can outrun a hurricane. Be 250 million years old. Be isosceles. Sirius.
Rhapsody. Hogon. Dogon. Hubble. Stay hot. Create a pleasure that can stir
up the world. Study the moon with a pencil. Drink the ephemerides. Lay with
the almanacs. Become the lunations. Look up the word southing before you
use it in a sentence. Know southing is not a verb. Imitate them remarkable
days. Locate all your ascending nodes. Chew eight times before you swallow
the lyrics and silver Lamentations of James Brown, Abbey Lincoln, Al Green,
Curtis Mayfield, and Aretha. Hey! Watch your language! Two and a Quarter
is not the same as Deuce and a Quarter. Two-fisted is not two-faced. Remember:
One monkey don’t stop no show. Let your fat belly be quilts of quietus. Pass
on what the great winemakers know: The juice is not made in the vats but in
the vineyard. Keep yourself rooted in the sun, rain, and darkly camphored air.
Grow until you die, but before you do, leave your final kiss: Lay mint or orange
eucalyptus garland, double tuck these lips. Careful to the very end what you
deny, dismiss, & cut away.

I have spoken the best I know how.

From: https://womensvoicesforchange.org/poetry-sunday-instruction-final-to-brown-poets-from-black-girl-with-silver-leica-by-nikky-finney.htm

Date: 2011

By: Nikki (Lynn Carol) Finney (1957- )

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Piano by Dan Howell

Her wattled fingers can’t
stroke the keys with much
grace or assurance anymore,
and the tempo is always
rubato, halting, but still
that sound—notes quivering
and clear in their singularity,
filing down the hallway—
aches with pure intention, the
melody somehow prettier
as a remnant than
whatever it used to be.

From: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/54918/piano-56d235d90a017

Date: 2011

By: Dan Howell (19??- )

Monday, 25 March 2019

Sue Speaks to Me in the Swan Room by Malika Booker

Now we’re old parrots, who have lost their flair,
we’ve no stories to tell. Back then we were red
breasted robins; bright Dolly, chirpy Chrissie,
flighty Stella and me. No boys on our horizons then.
We were children thinking ourselves grown up, in love
with Shakespeare, this stage, the actors, the dust.
Back then we were blue tits, bright turtle-necks,
A-line mini skirts and knee length boots.
Back then we stood by roadsides, fists mid-air,
thumbs cocked up hitching rides. Back then
we hoarded pocket money for tickets, too poor
to take the bus.We’d ride from Coventry
in Ford Austins, Mini Minors or Cortinas.
Back then it was safe. At the Theatre we queued
for hours, flasks of tea warming our palms,
bare knees cold, for one & sixpence tickets,
then stood at the back for a three hour play.
If our money stretched to two seats we sat
on each other’s knees the entire time.
After we’d camp in a tent by the river,
cold little nesting birds, squeezed. Back then
I loved Olivier. His voice, slicked back hair.
Oh he was tall, could charm the pants off me
any day. No man ever measured up to that one,
not even my husband. All these years
we’ve migrated to return each new season,
until Dolly flew away. It was sudden flight.
That cup of tea and empty chair is Dolly’s.
We’re old parrots now with no stories to tell.

From: https://www.poetryinternationalweb.net/pi/site/poem/item/28093/

Date: 2011

By: Malika Booker (1970- )

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Glass Slipper Sonnet by Angela Alaimo O’Donnell

Pity the poor step-sister those big feet
she’ll never stuff in a size-six sonnet,

her flesh so fulsome the slipper seems effete,
unworthy of the labor spent on it.

But try she must, and so she makes a pass,
jams four fat toes in the narrow throat,

the fifth pig smarting, pressed against the glass
(though pain’s no stranger—she knows it by rote.)

The other shoe drops—as it is wont to do—
a second foot is squeezed into the vamp.

She stands up straight and takes a stride towards you,
her footfall heavy as a farmgirl’s tramp.

The slipper strains against those excess feet.
She hobbles onward—she has a prince to meet.

From: https://www.tweetspeakpoetry.com/2011/08/08/glass-slipper-sonnets/

Date: 2011

By: Angela Alaimo O’Donnell (19??- )

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Beginnings by Janet Kofi-Tsekpo

When we were hungry
we tore the waves
and pulled out fish, enough to feed a family
of seals. The raw flesh
excited us. We hunted for more on land,
rabbits and voles,
ripped goats’ heads from bristling necks.
We watched the birds
and navigated the air with wood and bone.
At times, we wore
the skins of beasts.

From: https://www.pnreview.co.uk/cgi-bin/scribe?item_id=8409

Date: 2011

By: Janet Kofi-Tsekpo (19??- )

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Bitter Lake by William Wenthe

But for all its gesture
to the wild, nothing
comes more human

than this: “refuge,”
an oblong of mercy sliced
from the map.

Where hosts and dominions
of snow geese
billow and gleam

by water’s edge,
I think of Lear, dead
Cordelia in his arms.

From: https://orionmagazine.org/poetry/bitter-lake/

Date: 2011

By: William Wenthe (1957- )

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Getting By by David Harris Ebenbach

At boring jobs I used to calculate
how much I made per minute, keeping track
of the day, twelve cents by twelve cents, as it
deposited its small worth in the bank.
Once, doing temp work, I passed this along
to my equally bored supervisor,
who did her own math, compared it to mine,
and stomped off to the office manager.
She came back with a raise, and somehow I
wasn’t fired. We got back to the work of
ordering envelopes by zip code, by
a labor of something other than love.
A labor of minutes, and here’s the thing
about minutes: they just keep on passing.

From: https://workmagazinearchives.wordpress.com/back-issues/davidharrisebenbach4172011/

Date: 2011

By: David Harris Ebenbach (1972- )

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Mother’s Day by David Young

 —for my children

I see her doing something simple, paying bills,
or leafing through a magazine or book,
and wish that I could say, and she could hear,

that now I start to understand her love
for all of us, the fullness of it.

It burns there in the past, beyond my reach,
a modest lamp.

From: https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/mothers-day

Date: 2011

By: David Young (1936- )

Thursday, 31 May 2018

The Dream by Aracelis Girmay

Last night, all night
the dream, the dead
mother, my small sister,
tiny, her mouth
over my shoulder
(screaming) like a knapsack
when she heard the news,
& my brother playing
the stereo. I howled
like the coyotes; myself.
& saw the light outside
below the window, my mother,
young, playing with me
at a rock, in some sunlight
falling over us. I was small.
An old & famous woman
asked her questions:
Who wrote this dream?
I wanted to know.
My brother thought
it was our mother
who wrote it
when she was old.
She did not die, he thought.
But I knew, & called down
to the cotton-head of her then, when
she could not see or hear me.
She would never hear me.
I was not capable of talking
then, yet, & she had died,
after all, & the mother
I call to tell the dream
will not remember, after all
she was not born then, yet,
& needed the first mother to die
before she could use her name
& feed her children.

From: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/56718/the-dream-56d2397aea737

Date: 2011

By: Aracelis Girmay (1977- )