A Poem Thread

Discussion in 'Art & Culture' started by Angelus, Nov 9, 2002.

  1. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member


    "I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
    And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
    And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
    And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

    I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
    Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
    And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
    And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

    I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
    To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
    And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
    And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over."
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  3. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Reasons to Log Off
    by Kate Baer

    The girl who said she could never eat a second slice
    of pizza my senior year of college is doing really well.
    My cousin posts a photo of a loaded gun. Have I ever
    heard of the Second Amendment? Have I ever heard
    of this new recipe? Cauliflower, a hint of lemon, some
    chopped-up ginger root. Hey, do you want to lose
    weight in only thirty minutes? Hey, can I have just a
    moment of your time? Click here to receive a special
    invitation. Click here if you want to believe in God.
    Tomorrow there’s a Pride walk to support the right to
    marry. One comment says: I will pray for your affliction.
    Another says: I hope you trip, fall down, and die.
    Swipe up to find my new lip filler. Scroll down to read
    why these four girls were horribly afraid. Greg is
    asking for your number. Greg wants to send a
    big surprise.

    river and sculptor like this.
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  5. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    "The Ship of Death (1933)

    By D.H. Lawrence


    Now it is autumn and the falling fruit
    and the long journey towards oblivion.

    The apples falling like great drops of dew
    to bruise themselves an exit from themselves.

    And it is time to go, to bid farewell
    to one’s own self, and find an exit
    from the fallen self.


    Have you built your ship of death, O have you?
    O build your ship of death, for you will need it.

    The grim frost is at hand, when the apples will fall
    thick, almost thundrous, on the hardened earth.

    And death is on the air like a smell of ashes!
    Ah! can’t you smell it?

    And in the bruised body, the frightened soul
    finds itself shrinking, wincing from the cold
    that blows upon it through the orifices.


    And can a man his own quietus make
    with a bare bodkin?

    With daggers, bodkins, bullets, man can make
    a bruise or break of exit for his life;
    but is that a quietus, O tell me, is it quietus?

    Surely not so! for how could murder, even self-murder
    ever a quietus make?


    O let us talk of quiet that we know,
    that we can know, the deep and lovely quiet
    of a strong heart at peace!

    How can we this, our own quietus, make?


    Build then the ship of death, for you must take
    the longest journey, to oblivion.

    And die the death, the long and painful death
    that lies between the old self and the new.

    Already our bodies are fallen, bruised, badly bruised,
    already our souls are oozing through the exit
    of the cruel bruise.

    Already the dark and endless ocean of the end
    is washing in through the breaches of our wounds,
    already the flood is upon us.

    Oh build your ship of death, your little ark
    and furnish it with food, with little cakes, and wine
    for the dark flight down oblivion.


    Piecemeal the body dies, and the timid soul
    has her footing washed away, as the dark flood rises.

    We are dying, we are dying, we are all of us dying
    and nothing will stay the death-flood rising within us
    and soon it will rise on the world, on the outside world.

    We are dying, we are dying, piecemeal our bodies are dying
    and our strength leaves us,
    and our soul cowers naked in the dark rain over the flood,
    cowering in the last branches of the tree of our life.


    We are dying, we are dying, so all we can do
    is now to be willing to die, and to build the ship
    of death to carry the soul on the longest journey.

    A little ship, with oars and food
    and little dishes, and all accoutrements
    fitting and ready for the departing soul.

    Now launch the small ship, now as the body dies
    and life departs, launch out, the fragile soul
    in the fragile ship of courage, the ark of faith
    with its store of food and little cooking pans
    and change of clothes,
    upon the flood’s black waste
    upon the waters of the end
    upon the sea of death, where still we sail
    darkly, for we cannot steer, and have no port.

    There is no port, there is nowhere to go
    only the deepening black darkening still
    blacker upon the soundless, ungurgling flood
    darkness at one with darkness, up and down
    and sideways utterly dark, so there is no direction any more
    and the little ship is there; yet she is gone.
    She is not seen, for there is nothing to see her by.
    She is gone! gone! and yet
    somewhere she is there.


    And everything is gone, the body is gone
    completely under, gone, entirely gone.
    The upper darkness is heavy as the lower,
    between them the little ship
    is gone
    she is gone.

    It is the end, it is oblivion.


    And yet out of eternity a thread
    separates itself on the blackness,
    a horizontal thread
    that fumes a little with pallor upon the dark.

    Is it illusion? or does the pallor fume
    A little higher?
    Ah wait, wait, for there’s the dawn,
    the cruel dawn of coming back to life
    out of oblivion.

    Wait, wait, the little ship
    drifting, beneath the deathly ashy grey
    of a flood-dawn.

    Wait, wait! even so, a flush of yellow
    and strangely, O chilled wan soul, a flush of rose.

    A flush of rose, and the whole thing starts again.


    The flood subsides, and the body, like a worn sea-shell
    emerges strange and lovely.
    And the little ship wings home, faltering and lapsing
    on the pink flood,
    and the frail soul steps out, into the house again
    filling the heart with peace.

    Swings the heart renewed with peace
    even of oblivion.

    Oh build your ship of death, oh build it!
    for you will need it.
    For the voyage of oblivion awaits you."
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  7. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    by Adélia Prado
    Issue no. 103 (Summer 1987)

    "Purple puts on the squeeze.
    Purple is tart and narrow.
    Tyrant purple goes straight for the heart,
    crazy for dawn.
    Jesus’s passion is purple and white,
    very close to joy.
    Purple is tart, it will ripen.
    Purple is handsome and I like him.
    Yellow likes him.
    The sky purples morning and evening,
    a red rose growing older.
    I gallop after purple,
    a sad memory, a four o’clock flower.
    I round up love to turn me purple with passion,
    I who choose and am chosen."
  8. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    Like a small grey
    sits the squirrel.
    He is not

    all he should be,
    kills by dozens
    trees, and eats
    his red-brown cousins.

    The keeper on the
    other hand,
    who shot him, is
    a Christian, and

    loves his enemies,
    which shows
    the squirrel was not
    one of those.
  9. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

    How to boil a lettuce

    "I'm going to boil a lettuce"
    My mother said to me
    "I'm going to boil a lettuce.
    We are having it for tea"

    "I'm not that partial to boiled lettuce"
    I replied in my disapproving voice
    "Are you only serving lettuce?
    Or do I have a choice?"

    "You always have a choice"
    My mother did reply
    "Eat a well done boiled lettuce,
    Or fill your mouth with nothing and die"

    "Would you prefer I die
    In the dinning room
    Or move into the lounge
    To pass away to my doom?"

    "I really don't care" said mother
    "How you conduct yourself"
    Said mother as she swept into the kitchen
    So here I am, by myself

    I peeked into the kitchen
    To see what was going on
    Mother had the lettuce placed in a pot
    The lettuce I had forgone

    At one time I mentioned "You boil a cabbage"
    Nearly started a riot
    " No no no you boil a lettuce.
    A cabbage on a diet"

    Water in the saucepan
    Put the lettuce in
    Heat the water to boiling
    Boil for about 10 min

    Not a lot to remember
    Not a lot required
    You could boil lettuce all day
    But your brain might get tired

    If you have come this far
    Now you know the method
    You can adapt the technique
    As long as not slipshod

    Go my friends
    I wish you luck
    But for me boiled lettuce
    Bah its just muck

    Messing about, to many spare moments

    I know it could be a lot better but was getting bored

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  10. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    “Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous
    to be understood.
    How grass can be nourishing in the
    mouths of the lambs.
    How rivers and stones are forever
    in allegiance with gravity
    while we ourselves dream of rising.
    How two hands touch and the bonds will
    never be broken.
    How people come, from delight or the
    scars of damage,
    to the comfort of a poem.
    Let me keep my distance, always, from those
    who think they have the answers.
    Let me keep company always with those who say
    “Look!” and laugh in astonishment,
    and bow their heads.”

    ~Mary Oliver, “Mysteries, Yes”
  11. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    "Dear Someone"

    by Deborah Landau

    Issue no. 192 (Spring 2010)

    "my emptiness has a lake in it deep and watery
    with several temperaments milk cola beer

    at night the selves are made of water
    all the openings flooded streaming with rain

    my emptiness has an aqueduct in it
    selves rushing through channels

    dissolving washing away in streaks

    my emptiness has a fish in it
    a piece of seaweed liferaft a rocky strait

    all night the selves are breaking themselves
    again and again on the sandbar

    you can’t get out from the drowning
    nightwatery the blacksparkling pools

    my emptiness has a nowhere reef an island
    at night the immersion comes deep-running and sudden

    the selves
    it washes us under and sudden"
  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Edward Thomas, 1916

    Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain
    On this bleak hut, and solitude, and me
    Remembering again that I shall die
    And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks
    For washing me cleaner than I have been
    Since I was born into this solitude.
    Blessed are the dead that the rain rains upon:
    But here I pray that none whom once I loved
    Is dying tonight or lying still awake
    Solitary, listening to the rain,
    Either in pain or thus in sympathy
    Helpless among the living and the dead,
    Like a cold water among broken reeds,
    Myriads of broken reeds all still and stiff,
    Like me who have no love which this wild rain
    Has not dissolved except the love of death,
    If love it be towards what is perfect and
    Cannot, the tempest tells me, disappoint.

  13. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member


    by Rainer Maria Rilke

    "What birds plunge through is not the intimate space
    in which you see all forms intensified.
    (Out in the Open, you would be denied
    your self and disappear into that vastness.)

    Space reaches from us and construes the world.
    To know a tree, in its true element,
    throw inner space around it, from that pure
    abundance in you. Surround it with restraint.
    It has no limits. Not till it is held
    in your renouncing is it truly there."
  14. Luchito Registered Senior Member

    The lyrics are from a song I wrote in my 20s. Had to use words with different meaning from original trying to keep the rhyme.

    No One's Land

    Now I wish you with lean passion and I smile
    I'm feeling your skin soft and delicious
    you are all I want... my Lyle
    cheerful... vain... and capricious.

    The afternoon deceives us the sense
    night comes and you wake up my sleep
    to stay with you, you ask so tense
    you want to always be mine, to me your life to keep

    I go outside to breathe some air, I can do no more
    you call me and I answer, I'll be there... ma'am
    slowly in silence I rather walk the back door
    my love, I leave you, because no one's land... I am.
  15. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    My Favorite Poets
    by Adam Zagajewski

    My favorite poets
    never met
    They lived in different countries
    and different ages
    surrounded by ordinariness
    by good people and bad
    they lived modestly
    like an apple in an orchard
    They loved clouds
    they lifted their heads
    a great armada
    of light and shade
    sailed above them
    a film was playing
    that still hasn’t ended
    Moments of bitterness
    passed swiftly
    likewise moments of joy
    Sometimes they knew
    what the world was
    and wrote hard words
    on soft paper
    Sometimes they knew nothing
    and were like children
    on a school playground
    when the first drop
    of warm rain

    Translated by Clare Cavanagh
  16. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Georgia Douglas Johnson

    I know you love me better, cold—
    Strange as the pyramids of old,
    But I am frail, am spent and weak
    With surging torrents that bespeak
    A living fire!
    So, like a veil, my poor disguise
    Is draped to save me from your eyes'
    Deep challenges.
    Fain would I fling this robe aside
    And from you, in your bosom hide
    You love me better cold,
    Like frozen pyramids of old,

    [via Poems.org↱]
    RainbowSingularity likes this.
  17. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    The Snowy Egret
    by Nancy Keating, 2021

    Give me another word for regret,
    something more like forget
    only better, more effective,​

    since in fact we really don’t forget
    the bad things we did
    or caused. I read in a letter​

    to The Sun Magazine where a man
    will always remember the egret
    lying, a silent heap of cirrus clouds,​

    at his 12-year-old feet. It was his first
    and last time shooting a gun.
    His confession stabbed me​

    into a memory of unremembered shame
    and the ache in my stomach telling me
    I had joined humanity.​

  18. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    by Toi Derricotte

    "Maybe it’s a bat’s wings
    at the corner of your eye, right
    where the eyeball swivels
    into its pocket. But when
    the brown of your eye turns
    where you thought the white saw,
    there’s only air & gold light,
    reality—as your mother defined it—
    (milk/no milk). Not for years
    did you learn the word longing,
    and only then did you see the bat—
    just the fringe of its wings
    beating, its back in a heavy
    black cloak."
  19. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    We are All God's Poems
    Phillip Metres, 2021

    all I crave is light & yet
    sky is busy imitating milk
    frozen in an upturned bowl

    to be a person is a sounding
    host of breath​
    rehoused & rib scribbled inside

    you there above
    the page​
    casting your gaze over us
    wanting us to be your mouth

    & what would you say
    with my body​
    bowed to bear the weight
    of a line so taut it sings

    [via Poets.org↱]
  20. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    The Solstice
    by W. S. Merwin

    "They say the sun will come back
    at midnight
    after all
    my one love

    but we know how the minutes
    fly out into
    the dark trees
    and vanish

    like the great ‘ohias and the honey creepers
    and we know how the weeks
    walk into the
    shadows at midday

    at the thought of the months I reach for your hand
    it is not something
    one is supposed
    to say

    we watch the red birds in the morning
    we hope for the quiet
    daytime together
    the year turns into air

    but we are together in the whole night
    with the sun still going away
    and the year
    coming back."
  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    by James Baldwin (ca. 1983)

    when you send the rain,
    think about it, please,
    a little?​
    not get carried away
    by the sound of falling water,
    the marvelous light
    on the falling water.​
    am beneath that water.
    It falls with great force
    and the light​
    me to the light.​

    [via Poets.org↱]
  22. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    Me and Trees

    Trees speak to me;
    Their language is full of silent tones, bare whispers.

    They almost forget that I know what they're saying, which is kind of cute.
    When I was young, I climbed trees to see what they had to say about it.
    The world was full of sound and light up there, and the view was to die for.
  23. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    "Dusk fell
    and the cold came creeping,
    came prickling into our hearts.
    As we tucked beaks
    into feathers and settled for sleep,
    our wings knew.
    That night, we dreamed the journey:
    ice-blue sky and the yodel of flight,
    the sun's pale wafer,
    the crisp drink of clouds.
    We dreamed ourselves so far aloft
    that the earth curved beneath us
    and nothing sang but
    a whistling vee of light.
    When we woke, we were covered with snow.
    We rose in a billow of white.”
    ― Joyce Sidman, Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold

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