Wild Geese, by Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Logically, I know the Circus by Paige Lewis
exists to keep audiences
their mundane homelives, yet here
I am pacing my bedroom
and having serious
thoughts about trapeze
hands—and can you even
apply to be in a traveling act,
or do you need to be
discovered? I don’t want to be
famous, just remembered.
In high school I was
voted most likely to
ignore the demands
of men and gravity,
but it’s a difficult feat
when the two work together.
Like here, or
like in the flying trapeze:
man secures his hold,
gravity improves the swing.
Tr.: We will meet again someday,/ Maybe under the basil tree, or maybe we'll meet on the little wooden bridge.
~ Shankha Ghosh (1932-2021)
I’ve been skimming through a new poetry book today (it feels so summery!) I came across this one and thought of you, @sanguinarysanguinity :)
Geometry by Rita Dove
I prove a theorem and the house expands:
the windows jerk free to hover near the ceiling,
the ceiling floats away with a sigh.
As the walls clear themselves of everything
but transparency, the scent of carnations
leaves with them. I am out in the open
And above the windows have hinged into butterflies,
sunlight glinting where they've intersected.
They are going to some point true and unproven.
Now perhaps I have
a confession to make.
Perhaps I have lost myself
fallen so deep down the rabbit hole
that I can no longer see
light peeking through
i hope you live for a long time
and be the owner
of my heart
Tonight you're thinking of cities under crowns
of snow and I stare at you like I'm looking through a window,
[from richard siken's 'crush']
[a/n; i really am not as immersed in poetry as i'd like to be but this was one line that stuck with me through my adventures through poems lol i don't quite know why]
I am a widow, could be charleville could be anywhere,
move behind the plow, the fields, young arthur lurks
about the farmhouse (roche?) the pump the artesian
well, throws green glass alias crystal broken,
gets me in the eye.
I am upstairs, in the bedroom bandaging my wound, he
enters, leans against the four-poster, his ruddy cheeks,
contemptuous air big hands. I find him sexy as hell,
how did this happen he asks casually, too casually.
I lift the bandage, reveal my eye a bloodied mess;
a dream of Poe. he gasps.
I deliver it hard and fast, someone did it. you did it.
he falls prostrate, he weeps he clasps my knees. I grab
his hair, it all but burns my fingers, thick fox fire,
soft yellow hair, yet that unmistakable red tinge,
rubedo. red dazzle, hair of the One.
Oh jesus I desire him. filthy son of a bitch, he licks
my hand. I sober, leave quickly your mother waits, he
rises, he's leaving, but not without the glance, from
those cold blue eyes, that shatters, he who hesitates
is mine, we're on the bed. I have a knife to his smooth
throat. I let it drop, we embrace. I devour his scalp,
lice fat as baby thumbs, lice the skulls caviar.
Oh arthur arthur. we are in Abyssinia Aden, making love
smoking cigarettes, we kiss, but its much more, azure,
blue pool, oil slick lake, sensations telescope, animate,
crystalline gulf, balls of colored glass exploding,
seam of berber tent splitting, openings, open as a cave,
open wider, total surrender.
—patti smith, “dream of rimbaud”
The New Colussus by Emma Lazarus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
i just love how because emily dickinson’s poems are classified by their first lines, accidental little poems just appear all the time in indexes and the table of contents. for example:
What the Living Do by Marie Howe
Johnny, the kitchen sink has been clogged for days, some utensil probably fell down there.
And the Drano won't work but smells dangerous, and the crusty dishes have piled up
waiting for the plumber I still haven't called. This is the everyday we spoke of.
It's winter again: the sky's a deep, headstrong blue, and the sunlight pours through
the open living-room windows because the heat's on too high in here and I can't turn it off.
For weeks now, driving, or dropping a bag of groceries in the street, the bag breaking,
I've been thinking: This is what the living do. And yesterday, hurrying along those
wobbly bricks in the Cambridge sidewalk, spilling my coffee down my wrist and sleeve,
I thought it again, and again later, when buying a hairbrush: This is it. Parking. Slamming the car door shut in the cold. What you called that yearning.
What you finally gave up. We want the spring to come and the winter to pass. We want
whoever to call or not call, a letter, a kiss—we want more and more and then more of it.
But there are moments, walking, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the window glass,
say, the window of the corner video store, and I'm gripped by a cherishing so deep
for my own blowing hair, chapped face, and unbuttoned coat that I'm speechless:
I am living. I remember you.
Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you plann'd:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.
- “Remember,” by Christina Rossetti
Have you ever wanted something,
something so unobtainable,
so out of reach?
Have you ever been willing
to die for it?
I would rip out my heart
He told me not to let it
come to this.
I'm sorry that I let it
come to this.
I shouldn't be here,
but I can't remember how to run.
How do you escape the demons
if they live inside you?
you want to look
into my eyes
when we make love
but I am afraid
you’ll see that
I’m the haunted house
no one wants to visit
unless it’s halloween.
the forest green
of your eyes
is now the grass.
your skin is the
white picket fence.
your smile is the garden.
and painted them
with your kisses.
I don’t know
who I am anymore.
-k.y.robinson, the chaos of longing
With rue my heart is laden by A.E. Housman
With rue my heart is laden
For golden friends I had,
For many a rose-lipt maiden
And many a lightfoot lad.
By brooks too broad for leaping
The lightfoot boys are laid;
The rose-lipt girls are sleeping
In fields where roses fade.
the secret history > the goldfinch ;)
wreath for a lady (2014) - john s. glasby
“live slug reaction”