Posts tagged ‘2015’

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

The Lights by Miriam Nash

It’s getting dark again,
a closer dark
that’s harder to shake off,
and I think of the lightkeepers
in their granite towers,
oiling bolts, winding weights
in the nineteenth century dark—
scrubbing dishes, writing the log,
testing the bulbs
of the twentieth century light—
the final keeper
climbing down his ladder
in 1998, at the end of the last shift—
the automated switch, the microchip,

monitored in Edinburgh
where two centuries before,
one Thomas Smith
manufacturer of street lamps

sat with an oil flame
and a Scottish map—
I strike a match over dark reefs
where ships would crack,
the year unhooks its old black hat
to have a go at vanishing
the human world.


Date: 2015

By: Miriam Nash (1985- )

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Woman the Barricades by Rachel Warriner

And so you say this
Like it means something
Those dark made words
Our left side
Much regarded
Oh my
Left none of that in

But then this was ever
About our reasons
Not made night broken
There is melancholy
She says proudly
Left boot

Pointing and pouting
We mark back friendly
Misjudging bores and idiots
There is nothing here
I can not strike it
No matter
too late for me now
Sigh, wail, yawn bed

Your people not mine
There is no fallacy
Our win leant
Scored and scoured
Feigning reluctance
So curly
Our more marks made lively
Our turn and tour.


Date: 2015

By: Rachel Warriner (19??- )

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Neither Imitation nor Resemblance by Laura Elliott

Back to my mother, abandonment is not
a word to use lightly, but deterritorialisation
in the most affective sense of the term.

To calculate, we owe her three years.
This piece of information, when relaxed
into the orchid template, plateaus.

Not seeing one has become increasingly
more deliberately an act of avoidance
than I ever intended.


Date: 2015

By: Laura Elliott (19??- )

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Exactly the Opposite of What One Wants by Oton de Granson

Surely, Love, it is a fitting thing
That you exact a high price for your goods:
Lying awake in bed and fasting at table,
Laughing while crying and singing while lamenting,
Lowering the eyes when one ought to look,
Often changing color and expression,
Lamenting while sleeping and dreaming at the dance,
Exactly the opposite of what one wants.

Jealousy is the mother of the devil.
She wants to see and listen to everything,
Nor does anyone do anything so reasonable
That she doesn’t want to turn it into evil.
Love, that’s how we have to pay for your gifts,
And you often give out arbitrarily
Grief enough and very little pleasure,
Exactly the opposite of what one wants.

For a short time, the game is agreeable,
But it is much too hard to keep it up,
And though to ladies it is honorable,
It is too painful for their servants to bear.
One must constantly suffer and endure,
Languish in hope without any certainty,
And receive many a harsh misfortune,
Exactly the opposite of what one wants.


Date: 14th century (original in French); 2015 (translation in English)

By: Oton de Granson (13??-1397)

Translated by: Joan Grenier-Winther (19??- )

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Long Sword by Martin Syber

Hereafter written is a new recital of the long sword and an extraction from the previous recital and many other good plays from other master’s hands were set together [by] Martin Syber and is partitioned in six courses.

And the ox and the plow named therein, together with other hews have another art and interpretation than in the previously illustrated recital and also approaches differently.

Now here begins the forward and lessons of the recital, thereafter the six courses.

Whoever wishes to acquire honor
Before princes and before lords
In fencing with the sword
That is good and proper.
That follow my lessons,
They triumph continually.
Hold the six courses in guard
They are quite praiseworthily good
In them is well understood
Many good masters’ wisdom
From Hungary, Bohemia, Italy,
From France, England, and Alamannia,
From Russia, Prussia, Greece,
Holland, Provence, and Swabia.
In them, you shall step left
Thereby remember the misguiding
Penetrate strongly in thrusting
So you may well succeed
If you see the window standing open,
It goes inside from there
Strike or thrust quickly
If you must fall hard
In the work, step around.
That makes-good the first-pass
If you now wish to undertake this,
You must have a strong spirit
Proper understanding is also good
Guard yourself from great wrath
To such, bring the parrying to them.
Through that, you may well succeed.
In all of your fencing, be swift.
This forward has an end.

The First Course Has Five Plays

Flick the weak to the right
Wind through in the fencing
With that, make the Flicker
To both sides twice.
Besiege his shield strongly
Strike the bowed thrust violently.
In all work, step around
With the right bowed thrust.

The Second Course Has Six Plays

Crook into the strong
With that remember to wind through
Wind running over
Ready the point and pommel
Thrust into his face
Fence with the work of the cross
Of the directed pommel, you should think of that
Upon the head, if you would like to harm him
In all work, step around
This makes-good the first-pass.

The Third Course Has Seven Plays

Squint whatever comes from-the-day
Thwart-through, do not go crooked
Therein dishonor his struggle
The half-squinter makes-good
Take away quite swiftly
Threaten the hew against him
Drive out his shield strongly
Defeat him with running-over
In the strong of his edge
In all work, step around
This makes-good the first-pass.

The Fourth Course Has Five Plays

Thrust through the Ox
With two great steps
Wind and counter wind
The scalper-hew just as violently
Strike the hitter quickly
In the belly and upon the neck
In all work, step around
This makes-good the first-pass.

The Fifth Course Has Five Plays

Thrust through the long point
Yank, thrust again, then kill
Allow the blind-hew to bounce
So you may go careening well
Hang against, also quickly
Step behind, rebound
Upon the head, into the belly
So you make a right fool out of him
In all work, step around
This makes-good the first-pass.

The Sixth Course has Four Plays

From-the-Day Drive-through long
Protect yourself with besieging.
Thwart-through him immediately
Rebound the blind-hew
The point-hew into his chest
According to all of your desire.
In all work, step around
This makes-good the first-pass.

Here the new recital has an end.


Date: 1491 (original in High German); 2015 (translation in English)

By: Martin Syber (15th century)

Translated by: Christian Trosclair (19??- )

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Ordinary Women by Stephanie M. Wytovich

Ordinary women are
they are the epitome,
the definition,
the classification
of the underestimated
and that is what makes them

because no one expects an
ordinary woman to
stab her boyfriend in
the throat, to castrate him
with gardening shearers,
or set the house on fire he sleeps.

Ordinary women
are a hazard, a loose cannon
of psychopathy waiting
for the precise moment
to go off, because ordinary
is camouflage and that’s
what makes them a


Date: 2015

By: Stephanie M. Wytovich (19??- )

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Wolf by Carina Bissett

I’ll never forget the first moment I saw you
flying across field and fallow
in a wild ride to grandmother’s house—
scarlet cape streaming out behind you,
white hands urging that black steed
to madness, to death, to certain ruin.

Like one of the furies you appeared,
a creature not of this tame green place
but of my land,
where the lamia creep in crags and caves
and the bogey haunt misty borderlands.
A country where ghouls devour the sun
and the whirlwind stirs the fog on a whim.

I watched and waited.
And when I realized nothing pursued you,
not a demon’s furious hunt or a spurned lover.
I smiled
and followed quietly on the forest fringe.

And now as the darkness approaches,
my appetite whetted by the rising moon,
ravenous thoughts consuming me,
forcing me to madness at the lush pain of it all
I raise my voice to the stars
and surrender.

I can’t stand the fierce seduction a moment more—
that thick, dark pelt of sable hair and scarlet hood
hiding the heat of your throbbing pulse
from my ears, eyes and mouth.
I can’t bear the torment, the bliss,
the fear of your savage secrets.

I love you so.
I’ll gobble you up.


Date: 2015

By: Carina Bissett (19??- )

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Like Two Negative Numbers Multiplied by Rain by Jane Hirshfield

Lie down, you are horizontal.
Stand up, you are not.

I wanted my fate to be human.

Like a perfume
that does not choose the direction it travels,
that cannot be straight or crooked, kept out or kept.

Yes, No, Or
—a day, a life, slips through them,
taking off the third skin,
taking off the fourth.

And the logic of shoes becomes at last simple,
an animal question, scuffing.

Old shoes, old roads—
the questions keep being new ones.
Like two negative numbers multiplied by rain
into oranges and olives.


Date: 2015

By: Jane Hirshfield (1953- )

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Camera Obscura by Simon Robert Armitage

Eight-year-old sitting in Bramhall’s field,
shoes scuffed from kicking a stone,
too young for a key but old enough now
to walk the short mile back from school.

You’ve spied your mother down in the village
crossing the street, purse in her fist.
In her other hand her shopping bag nurses
four ugly potatoes caked in mud,

a boiling of peas, rags of meat, or a tail of fish
in grease-proof paper, the price totted up
in penciled columns of shillings and pence.
How warm must she be in that winter coat?

On Old Mount Road the nearer she gets
the smaller she shrinks, until you reach out
to carry her home on the flat of your hand
or your fingertip, and she doesn’t exist.


Date: 2015

By: Simon Robert Armitage (1963- )

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Insomnia by Tara Bergin

It means habitual sleeplessness
but I’m going to use it anyway.
I’m going to use it while I have my say:

I bit their hands,
I looked into their mouths –
do you know what I’m saying?
I made a mistake –
I took Christ’s Tears
and placed them with the peelings
and the bones.
Yes. That’s how it was:
in the one hand I had a flower,
and in the other hand I had a flower,
and I didn’t know what to do.

And then the radio’s biblical news
and the breaking voice of a man:
we will fight on the Mountain
the tears of the Messiah
will not have been shed in vain

and then –
it’s not too late!

And out behind the gate I sank my hands
amongst the peelings and the bones
and found at last Christ’s bruised and stinking tears.
I laid them out to dry upon the stones.

And then the radio still speaking,
explaining that the meaning of hope,
in their language,
is bound up with waiting.
What a sentence!
Do they know what they are saying?
Do they know how they are keeping us awake?

Of course they know.
They have experience of life.
We do too, but not so much.


Date: 2015

By: Tara Bergin (19??-)