Just A Little Time…


Just a little time,

moments, reason and laughter…

Just a little time is enough.

To make a familiar face fade away,

To forget what the fingers and toes felt like…

To put away the long hours and the shorter days,

Just a little time is enough.

To replace the red of the shirt with the red of a new dress…

To replace your music with my silence,

To replace and fill,

Just a little time is enough.

And still I wonder how ‘little’ is enough?

In the trees, in the busy streets, in your empire and in my home…

Just a little time is enough.

To make what was ours – into yours and mine…

Just a little time is enough.

The Lemons, by Eugene Montale


An excerpt from The Lemons, by Eugene Montale, a Nobel poet:

———-

Look, in these silences
which things sink into
and seem on the verge of
opening their closest secret,
you’d expect once in a while
to uncover some mistake
in nature, the world’s still point,
some weak link, the loose thread
that leads us at last
to the heart of truth. Eyes
rummage in every corner:
the mind seeks agrees argues
with itself in this perfume
that floats – as day fades –
over everything; a silence
in which, in every dwindling
human shadow, a troubled
divinity could be seen.

—-

Beautiful isn’t it?

Just Generally


Been a while since I wrote, I was getting tired of reading my own advice every time page popped up. I’m going to fill this post with some of my favourite lines of poetry. Here goes:

Between going and staying the day wavers,
in love with its own transparency.
The circular afternoon is now a bay
where the world in stillness rocks.

All is visible and all elusive,
all is near and can’t be touched.

Paper, book, pencil, glass,
rest in the shade of their names.

Time throbbing in my temples repeats
the same unchanging syllable of blood.

The light turns the indifferent wall
into a ghostly theater of reflections.

I find myself in the middle of an eye,
watching myself in its blank stare.

The moment scatters. Motionless,
I stay and go: I am a pause.

Octavio Paz

From those lemon flowers
Set free
By the light of the moon
From that
Odor of a love
Frustrated,
Sunken in fragrance,
There came
From the Lemon tree its yellow,
From its planetary system
The lemons came down to the earth.

Tender merchandise!
Our shores filled up with it,
The markets
Of light, of gold
From a tree,
And we open up
The two halves
Of a miracle,
Congealed acid
Which ran
From the hemispheres
Of a star
And the most profound liquor
In nature,
Unchanging, alive,
Indestructible,
Born from the freshness
Of the lemon,
From its fragrant house,
From its acid, secret symmetry.

Inside the lemon the knives
Cut
A small
Cathedral,
The window hidden behind the altars
Opened to the light its glassy acids,
And in drops
Like topazes they were dripped
Onto the altars
By the architecture of freshness.

So when your hand
Squeezes the hemisphere
Of the cut
Lemon onto your plate,
A universe of gold,
You have poured out
One
Yellow cup
Full of miracles
One of the sweet-smelling nipples
Of the breast of the earth,
A ray of light that became a fruit,
The diminutive fire of a planet

Pablo Neruda

We were riding through frozen fields in a wagon at dawn.
A red wing rose in the darkness.

And suddenly a hare ran across the road.
One of us pointed to it with his hand.

That was long ago. Today neither of them is alive,
Not the hare, nor the man who made the gesture.

O my love, where are they, where are they going
The flash of a hand, streak of movement, rustle of pebbles.
I ask not out of sorrow, but in wonder.

Czelaw Milosz

The world below the brine,

Forests at the bottom of the sea, the branches and leaves,

Sea-lettuce, vast lichens, strange flowers and seeds, the thick tangle openings, and pink turf,

Different colors, pale gray and green, purple, white, and gold, the play of light through the water,

Dumb swimmers there among the rocks, coral, gluten, grass, rushes, and the aliment of the swimmers,

Sluggish existences grazing there suspended, or slowly crawling close to the bottom,

The sperm-whale at the surface blowing air and spray, or disporting with his flukes,

The leaden-eyed shark, the walrus, the turtle, the hairy sea-leopard, and the sting-ray,

Passions there, wars, pursuits, tribes, sight in those ocean-depths, breathing that thick-breathing air, as so many do,

The change thence to the sight here, and to the subtle air breathed by beings like us who walk this sphere,

The change onward from ours to that of beings who walk other spheres.

Walt Whitman

Jesus Among the Neocons


            Had Jesus, the Shepherd of  sheperds,

            been a bodily traveler among us

            today, he might not have been able

            to ride any plane, or cruiser,  or bus

            into the United States,

            or to conquer any of its many hates.

            What with his Asiatic visage

            and sable skin,

            compounded by his Bin Laden beard,

            he would have had to dare

            more than the fates.

            Supposing he had entered the place,

            aided by some technical subterfuge,

            would he have recognized the New World

            as love’s haven, or christian refuge?

            The born-again, beefy giant

            at the check-point tray

            might have slapped the cuffs

            on him even as he made his pliant

            in unintelligible Aramaic huffs;

            and no sooner than you think

            he might have landed in Guantanamo Bay.

            Once  secured there, O Jesus,

            answer me this:

            would you have pleaded anew

            ‘father, forgive them; 

            they know not what they do?’

            Or, would you, more realistically,

            (as Luke has you say) express

            your wrench and anguish thus:

            ‘father, why hast thou forsaken me’

            in a glittering, golden wilderness

            from whence the reigning evil one

            decrees to demonise Creation

            with dirty uranium and white phosphorus?

___________________________________________

Easter thoughts in a lovely poem, forwarded to me by e-mail.

Neruda


You are going to ask: and where are the lilacs?
and the poppy-petalled metaphysics?
and the rain repeatedly spattering
its words and drilling them full
of apertures and birds?
I’ll tell you all the news.

I lived in a suburb,
a suburb of Madrid, with bells,
and clocks, and trees.

From there you could look out
over Castille’s dry face:
a leather ocean.
My house was called
the house of flowers, because in every cranny
geraniums burst: it was
a good-looking house
with its dogs and children.
Remember, Raul?
Eh, Rafel? Federico, do you remember
from under the ground
my balconies on which
the light of June drowned flowers in your mouth?
Brother, my brother!
Everything
loud with big voices, the salt of merchandises,
pile-ups of palpitating bread,
the stalls of my suburb of Arguelles with its statue
like a drained inkwell in a swirl of hake:
oil flowed into spoons,
a deep baying
of feet and hands swelled in the streets,
metres, litres, the sharp
measure of life,
stacked-up fish,
the texture of roofs with a cold sun in which
the weather vane falters,
the fine, frenzied ivory of potatoes,
wave on wave of tomatoes rolling down the sea.

And one morning all that was burning,
one morning the bonfires
leapt out of the earth
devouring human beings —
and from then on fire,
gunpowder from then on,
and from then on blood.
Bandits with planes and Moors,
bandits with finger-rings and duchesses,
bandits with black friars spattering blessings
came through the sky to kill children
and the blood of children ran through the streets
without fuss, like children’s blood.

Jackals that the jackals would despise,
stones that the dry thistle would bite on and spit out,
vipers that the vipers would abominate!

Face to face with you I have seen the blood
of Spain tower like a tide
to drown you in one wave
of pride and knives!

Treacherous
generals:
see my dead house,
look at broken Spain :
from every house burning metal flows
instead of flowers,
from every socket of Spain
Spain emerges
and from every dead child a rifle with eyes,
and from every crime bullets are born
which will one day find
the bull’s eye of your hearts.

And you’ll ask: why doesn’t his poetry
speak of dreams and leaves
and the great volcanoes of his native land?

Come and see the blood in the streets.
Come and see
The blood in the streets.
Come and see the blood
In the streets!

Words


An upturned matress brought to me this relic on a yellowed bit of paper. Does anyone know who it is by? :

teach me how to
turn my face before the blow
strikes the hooded head
of the bound prisoner
like vinegar on the bleeding lips
of Christ
teach me how to
pretend pain is unfelt unless
I can feel it
blood spurts from
the nose of the deer
teach me the way
to drive hard and fast
into the stationary beast
imagining the sound of breaking bones
is freedom’s love song
teach me to
grind my heart into
sausage stuffing for
the next thanksgiving celebration
teach me to lie
looking you in the eye
while I slit your throat
teach me the devil’s
glorious way
teach me
that everything is useless
and everyone is nothing
teach me
about life
by feasting on death
teach me the secrets
of war

Orphic Dreams


If I were to try and fly
Would you push first?
If I were to fall
Would you let me go?
If I were to set ablaze all that I knew
Would you sit back and admire the burning orange?
Would you look into the shadows?
Cry out to ebony coloured embers?
Would you see a glimmer of hope?
A glimpse of pride?
A certain becoming
A lifetime?
A little golden orb that spun around time and time again
A silent spectator who never quite caught your eye
Tell my story to the young and new
So dust may never gather on my bones
So that the sun may shine many a time
While in an age old vault
A serpent winds itself around tiny vials of salt…

[Cross Posted on Taking The Brim]

Two sides


In the lights I notice the shadows
In the darkness the light
In blues the red
In submission the revolt
In peace the war
In tears the joy
In life death
In liberty the conformity
In love the pain
In sound the silence
In me you and in you me
Contrarian.