Moon in virgo- James Lee Jobe

You are not beaten. The simple music rises up,

children's voices in the air, sound floating out

across the land and on to the river beyond,

over the valley's floor. No, you cannot go back

for those things you lost, the parts of yourself

that were taken, often by force. Like an animal

in the forest you must weep it all away at once,

violently, and then simply live on. The music here

is Bach, Vivaldi; a chorale of children, a piano,

a violin. Together, they have a certain spirit

that is light, that lets in light, joyful, ecstatic.

"Forgive," said The Christ, and why not? Every day

that you still breathe has all the joy

and murderous possibilities of your bravest dream.

Forgive. Breathe. Live. The moon has entered Virgo,

the wind shifts, blows up from the Delta, cools this valley,

and you are not beaten; the children sing, it is Bach,

and you are brave, alive, and human.

 

Richard the pheasant– James Lee Jobe!

Poem about a pheasant!

For 5 cold mornings in a row, the beautiful pheasant

has come to our patio to steal some of the dry catfood,

sometimes right in front of my cat.

The house is still, and I enjoy the Sunday newspaper

with strong, dark coffee; the smell of it dances

around in the early darkness.

Driving to church there is bright, eager sunshine,

and the shadows of bare winter oaks stripe the lane

like a zebra; shadow, light, shadow.

At church I pray for my favorite aunt, Anna, her clock

seems to be quickly winding down, dear lady, widow

of my favorite uncle, Richard; mostly I just pray

that she finds her center.

The pheasant is a male, strikingly colored,

so beautiful, in fact, that I’ve begun to scatter extra catfood

to draw him back; we have become his grocery store.

I tell my wife that if he comes a 6th day, I’ll give him a name,

Richard; but he never comes again.

James Lee Jobe

Federico García Lorca– Romance Sonambulo.

Those beautiful. Tuna cloud, trembling, tambourines… I think part of the poem is about drowning and loneliness, but he writes about it so that you feel there is much going on around that place, in the water, at the water, the trees and mountains are the same area.

Temblaban en los tejados
farolillos de hojalata.
Mil panderos de cristal
herían la madrugada.

Tin bell vines
were trembling on the roofs.
A thousand crystal tambourines
struck at the dawn light.

Federico García Lorca— Romance Sonambulo

Different translation by Nimms:

Over the roofs, a shimmer
like little tin lamps, and glassy
tambourines by the thousand
slitting the glitter of dawn.

Dejadme subir al menos
hasta las altas barandas;
¡dejadme subir!, dejadme,
hasta las verdes barandas.
Barandales de la luna
por donde retumba el agua.

–At least let me climb up,
up to the high balconies;
Let me climb up! Let me,
up to the green balconies.
Railings of the moon
through which the water crashes.

Verde que te quiero verde.
Grandes estrellas de escarcha
vienen con el pez de sombra
que abre el camino del alba.
La higuera frota su viento
con la lija de sus ramas,
y el monte, gato garduño,
eriza sus pitas agrias.
¿Pero quién vendra? ¿Y por dónde…?
Ella sigue en su baranda,
Verde came, pelo verde,
soñando en la mar amarga.

Green, how I desire you, green.
Big stars of frosted vapors
come with the fish of the shadows
that opens the path of daybreak.
The fig tree fondles its wind
with the sandpaper of its branches,
and the forest, cunning cat,
bristles its acrid thorns.
But who will come? And from where?
She remains on her veranda
green flesh, a green coat,
dreaming in the bitter sea.

Scott Horton translated that part.

Completely different translation by John Frederick Nims:

Green it’s your green I love.
The stars are frost, enormous;
a tuna cloud floats over
nosing off to the dawn.
The fig tree catches a wind
to grate in its emery branches;
the mountain’s a wildcat, sly,
bristling its acrid cactus.
But – who’s on the road? Which way?
She’s dreaming there on her terrace,
green of her cheek, green hair,
she dreams of the bitter sea.

Charles Bukowski- The Night I Was Going To Die.

The Night I Was Going To Die

Written by: Charles Bukowski

 
 the night I was going to die
I was sweating on the bed
and I could hear the crickets 
and there was a cat fight outside
and I could feel my soul dropping down through the 
mattress
and just before it hit the floor I jumped up
I was almost too weak to walk
but I walked around and turned on all the lights
and then I went back to bed
and dropped it down again and
I was up
turning on all the lights
I had a 7-year-old daughter
and I felt sure she wouldn't want me dead
otherwise it wouldn't have
mattered
but all that night
nobody phoned
nobody came by with a beer
my girlfriend didn't phone
all I could hear were the crickets and it was
hot
and I kept working at it
getting up and down
until the first of the sun came through the window
through the bushes
and then I got on the bed
and the soul stayed
inside at last and
I slept.
now people come by
beating on the doors and windows
the phone rings
the phone rings again and again
I get great letters in the mail
hate letters and love letters.
everything is the same again.

Jane Kenyon: cat died. The Blue Bowl.

The Blue Bowl

Like primitives we buried the cat
with his bowl. Bare-handed
we scraped sand and gravel
back into the hole.
They fell with a hiss
and thud on his side,
on his long red fur, the white feathers
between his toes, and his
long, not to say aquiline, nose.

We stood and brushed each other off.
There are sorrows keener than these.

Silent the rest of the day, we worked,
ate, stared, and slept. It stormed
all night; now it clears, and a robin
burbles from a dripping bush
like the neighbor who means well
but always says the wrong thing.

Jane Kenyon

Eamon Grennan: Cat listening.

I am watching Cleo listening, our cat
listening to Mozart’s Magic Flute. What
can she be hearing? What
can the air carry into her ears like that,
her ears swivelling like radio dishes that
are tuned to all the noise of the world, flat
and sharp, high and low, a scramble of this and that
she can decode like nobody’s business, acrobat
of random airs as she is? Although of course a bat
is better at it, sifting out of its acoustic habitat
the sound of the very shape of things automat-
ically– and on the wing, at that. The Magic Flute! What
a joy it is, I feel, and wonder (to the end this little scat)
does , or can, the cat.

Eamon Grennan

We Aint Got No Money Honey But We Got Rain! Charles Bukowski.

We Aint Got No Money Honey But We Got Rain!

I particularly remember the rains of the 
depression era.
there wasn’t any money but there was
plenty of rain.

and the jobless men stood
looking out the windows
at the old machines dying
like living things out there.
the jobless men,
failures in a failing time
were imprisoned in their houses with their
wives and children
and their
pets.

“I’ll kill you,” I screamed
at him. “You hit her again
and I’ll kill you!”
“Get that son-of-a-bitching
kid out of here!”
“no, Henry, you stay with
your mother!”
all the households were under 
seige but I believe that ours
held more terror than the
average.
and at night
as we attempted to sleep
the rains still came down
and it was in bed
in the dark
watching the moon against 
the scarred window
so bravely
holding out 
most of the rain,
I thought of Noah and the
Ark
and I thought, it has come
again.
we all thought
that.
and then, at once, it would 
stop.
and it always seemed to 
stop
around 5 or 6 a.m.,
peaceful then,
but not an exact silence
because things continued to
drip
drip
drip

the the recess bells rang 
and we all waited for the 
fun.
then Mrs. Sorenson told us:
“now, what we are going to
do is we are going to tell
each other what we did 
during the rainstorm!
we’ll begin in the front row
and go right around!
now, Michael, you’re first!. . .”
well, we all began to tell
our stories, Michael began
and it went on and on,
and soon we realized that
we were all lying, 

one boy said he stuck
his fishing pole
out the window
and caught a little
fish
and fed it to his
cat.
almost everybody told
a lie.
the truth was just
too awful and
embarassing to tell.
then the bell rang
and recess was 
over.

Charles Bukowski