Posts tagged ‘2015’

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Flies Like Thoughts by Innokenty Annensky

Flies, like black thoughts, have not quit me all day …
                                                                   A. N. Apukhtin (1840–1893)

I’ve grown weary of sleeplessness, dreams.
Locks of hair hang over my eyes:
I would like, with the poison of rhymes,
to drug thoughts I cannot abide.

I would like to unravel these knots …
Or is the whole thing a mistake?
In late autumn the flies are such pests –
their cold wings so horribly sticky.

Fly-thoughts crawl about, as in dreams,
they cover the paper in black …
Oh, how dead, and how dreadful they seem …
Tear them up, burn them up – quick!

From: Chandler, Robert, Dralyuk, Boris and Mashinski, Irina (eds.), The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry, 2015, Penguin Random House UK: London, p. 122.
(https://books.google.com.au/books/about/The_Penguin_Book_of_Russian_Poetry.html?id=V8xbBAAAQBAJ)

Date: 1904 (original in Russian); 2015 (translation in English)

By: Innokenty Annensky (1855-1909)

Translated by: Boris Dralyuk (19??- )

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Friday, 16 August 2019

Journey by Patricia Bamurangirwa

Always journey, which always hard
Journey is hard for us
This journey has no mercy to anyone
Except those who are lucky.
Let me call this journey
Journey of struggle
This journey has no respect, no fear of us.
It does not mind if you are a scholar,
Rich, young, wise, beautiful, just hold your breath.
It will take you up and down.
Many times to reach the end of it, you need to be still.
Hoping and waiting, what tomorrow brings.
Say tomorrow and wait for tomorrow
Sometimes the more you try,
The more you are disappointed
Then you ask yourself.
Why me? Why me?
The journey seems cruel
Cruel and painful
Especially when the journey carries you faraway
Away from your people,
When you lose your loved one
When you think that no one cares about you
Some few people are lucky ones
So lucky because they
Have everything needed in the world
The four important things in life
Good health, happy family, love and money
True enough, this journey.
Is the journey of life?
Journey of life means journey of struggle.

From: Bamurangirwa, Patricia, Patriotism, 2015, Matador: Leicestershire, p. 78.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=YvlSBgAAQBAJ)

Date: 2015

By: Patricia Bamurangirwa (1949- )

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

When We Say Knuckle Down by Todd Ryan Boss

we mean there’s torque to be
doubled, the way the quarter-
horse re-couples her shoe-heavy

hooves, head down, and throws
herself forward, we mean
the load in the sled demands a

hard haul ahead, the hill to be
taken as a problem not of moment
but momentum, we mean

the chili will taste better once
the bitter bread of winter’s eaten,
slashing our faces sheet on sheet,

just as in summer we mean
it matters not how hot the sun
if there are chores to be done.

The knuckles have nothing
to do with it really, not the ones
around reins or handles, not

the ones we wring like rags over
figures evenings—no we don’t
mean those—we mean the knuckles

of our wills, those folding bones
in there somewhere where our
lives have hold of the land—

we mean that the whole body,
the whole mind, the whole
damned soul is a goddamned hand.

From: https://www.terrain.org/2015/poetry/three-poems-by-todd-boss/

Date: 2015

By: Todd Ryan Boss (1968- )

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

On Transience by Gavrila Derzhavin

Time’s river in its rushing course
carries away all human things,
drowns in oblivion’s abyss
peoples and kingdoms and their kings.

And if the trumpet or the lyre
should rescue something, small or great,
eternity will gulp it down
and it will share the common fate.

(July 1816, written on a slate a few days or perhaps only hours before Derzhavin’s death)

From: Chandler, Robert; Dralyuk, Boris; and Mashinski, Irina (eds.), The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry, 2015, Penguin Random House UK: London, p. 28.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=V8xbBAAAQBAJ)

Date: 1816 (original in Russian); 2015 (translation in English)

By: Gavrila Derzhavin (1743-1816)

Translated by: Peter France (1935- )

Saturday, 22 June 2019

You May Have Heard of Me by Shazea Quraishi

My father was a bear.
He carried me through forest, sky
and over frozen sea. At night
I lay along his back
wrapped in fur and heat
and while I slept, he ran,
never stopping to rest, never
letting me fall.
He showed me how to be as careful as stone,
sharp as thorn and quick
as weather. When he hunted alone
he’d leave me somewhere safe – high up a tree
or deep within a cave.
And then a day went on …
He didn’t come.
I looked and looked for him.
The seasons changed and changed again.
Sleep became my friend. It even brought my father back.
The dark was like his fur,
the sea’s breathing echoed his breathing.
I left home behind, an empty skin.
Alone, I walked taller, balanced better.
So I came to the gates of this city
—tall, black gates with teeth.
Here you find me, keeping my mouth small,
hiding pointed teeth and telling stories,
concealing their truth as I conceal
the thick black fur on my back.

From: https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2015/may/18/poem-of-the-week-shazea-quraishi

Date: 2015

By: Shazea Quraishi (19??- )

Friday, 21 June 2019

Saving Daylight by C. M. Davidson-Pickett

Suppose for a moment you live in a land,
Amazed at what happens during summer solstice.
Very strange things begin to occur,
Instantly, there is little darkness,
Night that we are so used to
Gone; what is left is the brilliant colors.

Daylight from dusk to dawn to dusk again,
Alight in all its energy and brightness.
Yes, we are north of the sixtieth parallel;
Land of the midnight sun.
I have been here before and seen things,
Gazed upon the horizon, waiting for darkness to reappear,
Holding on to summer in all its life, love and beauty;
To see it ebb once more as daylight fades to night.

From: https://www.poetrysoup.com/poem/saving_daylight_638838

Date: 2015

By: C. M. Davidson-Pickett (19??- )

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Cormorants by Alan Feldman

The colder the wind, the more they seem to perch
in clusters, like a small minion
of hasids, or like Puritans at a burial.
And when they rise in fright,
they head off different ways,
a survival tactic programmed into their genes
from back when they were dinosaurs.

They eat and eat,
without the gaucherie of chewing,
fish as large as they can swallow.
And in China, where they may fish for decades,
wearing a ring constricting their necks,
they are honored in old age with a pension,
living with imprinted loyalty with their human families,
and eating any sized fish they want.

Look at their long necks as they fly:
like living crosses. And notice how,
when they ride amidst the waves,
they dive all the way under, at home
in an element that isn’t theirs.
Watch them dry their wings in the breeze
like laundry––black laundry––
lest, having no oil in their feathers,
they grow logy and drown.

Can you say they are really of the devil?
Part of the bargain we make
to live on this hostile and abundant sea?
When we see them perched
amidst the stench of whatever boat they meet on,
fouling their resting place with vital abandon,
their wings stretched wide in the sun,
we have to remember they are birds,
hoisting the same black flag
of survival that we hoist,
hungry beings that we are.

From: https://acrossthemargin.com/three-poems-by-alan-feldman/

Date: 2015

By: Alan Feldman (19??- )

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Summer Solstice by Rose Burgunder Styron

Suddenly,
there’s nothing to do
and too much—
the lawn, paths, woods
were never so green
white blossoms of every
size and shape—hydrangea,
Chinese dogwood, mock orange
spill their glistening—

Inside, your photographs
and books stand guard
in orderly array. Your
half of the bed is smooth,
the pillows plump, the phone
just out of reach beyond it.

No one calls early—they
remember your late hours.
The shades are down, so
sunlight’s held at bay
though not the fabulous winged
song of summer birds
waking me as ever, always in our
favorite room, our season.
Yesterday’s mail on the desk
newspaper, unread. Plans for the day
hover bright out all our doors—

Don’t think of evening.

From: https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/summer-solstice

Date: 2015

By: Rose Burgunder Styron (1928- )

Monday, 10 December 2018

Elijah Versus Santa by Richard Michelson

Weight advantage: Santa. Sugar and milk
at every stop, the stout man shimmies
down one more chimney, sack of desire
chuting behind, while Elijah, skinny
and empty-handed, slips in invisible as
a once favored, since disgraced uncle,
through the propped open side door.
Inside, I’ve been awaiting a miracle
since 1962, my 9 year-old self slouching
on this slip-covered sofa, Manischewitz
stashed beneath the cushion. Where
are the fire-tinged horses, the chariots
to transport me? Where is the whirlwind
and brimstone? Instead, our dull-bladed
sleigh rusts in the storage bin beneath
the building’s soot-covered flight
of cellar stairs. Come back to me father,
during December’s perfect snowfall
and pull me once more up Schenck
and down Pitkin, where the line wraps
around Church Hall. Show me, again,
the snapshot of the skull-capped boy
on Santa’s lap. Let me laugh this time
and levitate like a magician’s assistant,
awed by my own weightlessness. Give me
the imagination to climb the fire escape
and look up toward the Godless Heavens
and to marvel at the ordinary sky.

From: Michelson, Richard, More Money than God, 2015, University of Pittsburgh Press: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, p. [unnumbered].
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=b1izBgAAQBAJ)

Date: 2015

By: Richard Michelson (1953- )

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Bujold by Annie Freud

She marries him in a ‘marriage blanc’
so that he can stay in the country.
He is a fugitive whose visa has run out
and there is every kind of impediment:

the ambitious local cop in dark glasses
and leather jacket, determined to hound them,
the provocative younger sister, the absurd mother
giving a huge white wedding nobody wants.

An explosion of debauchery, revelry and waste
saw the church lose its hold on the medieval world,
she tells her class of docile undergraduates,
and feels the need for a full-time man.

At forty, she is ravishing in a haggard way
and he looks seedy with his too-long hair.
There are some good jokes about lonely, frightened
people trapped in forced proximity.

I know this place is a mess, but don’t touch anything.
I know where everything is. The cafetière is complicated.
Love prevails in the end. We never see them
in bed and they only ever kiss at the wedding.

From: http://poems.poetrysociety.org.uk/poets/annie-freud/

Date: 2015

By: Annie Freud (1948- )