The Bagel & Rescue The Dead, Ignatow #poem

The Bagel

I stopped to pick up the bagel
rolling away in the wind,
annoyed with myself
for having dropped it
as if it were a portent.
Faster and faster it rolled,
with me running after it
bent low, gritting my teeth,
and I found myself doubled over
and rolling down the street
head over heels, one complete somersault
after another like a bagel
and strangely happy with myself.

 

And this weird, ridiculous, desperate and lovely poem…He sounds so depressed. Obviously  everything that he describes as not being love, can be love. Love of the small things in your day. A commitment not to draw attention to drama- which is fine, if you work through the drama at some point. Anyway. It is interesting to see his muted style.

Rescue the Dead

Finally, to forgo love is to kiss a leaf,
is to let rain fall nakedly upon your head,
is to respect fire,
is to study man’s eyes and his gestures
as he talks,
is to set bread upon the table
and a knife discreetly by,
is to pass through crowds
like a crowd of oneself.
Not to love is to live.

To love is to be led away
into a forest where the secret grave
is dug, singing, praising darkness
under the trees.

To live is to sign your name,
is to ignore the dead,
is to carry a wallet
and shake hands.

To love is to be a fish.
My boat wallows in the sea.
You who are free,
rescue the dead.

—David Ignatow

From: Contemporary American Poetry edited by Donald Hall

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Wind is a Cat! By Ethel Romig Fuller #Christmas

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Photo by WildSherkin islander.

Wind is a cat
That prowls at night,
Now in a valley,
Now on a height,

Pouncing on houses
Till folks in their beds
Draw all the covers
Over their heads.

It sings to the moon,
It scratches at doors;
It lashes its tail
Around chimneys and roars.

It claws at the clouds
Till it fringes their silk;
It laps up the dawn
Like a saucer of milk;

Then, chasing the stars
To the tops of the firs,
Curls down for a nap
And purrs and purrs.

by Ethel Romig Fuller

 

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#BlackHistoryMonth #poem i am running into a new year by Lucille Clifton

i am running into a new year by Lucille Clifton

i am running into a new year
and the old years blow back
like a wind
that i catch in my hair
like strong fingers like
all my old promises and
it will be hard to let go
of what i said to myself
about myself
when i was sixteen and
twentysix and thirtysix
even thirtysix but
i am running into a new year
and i beg what i love and
i leave to forgive me

—Lucille Clifton, Good Woman: Poems and A Memoir 1969-1980

From: The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry.
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“The trees were attitudes in black” #Snow Advent by Auslander #ChristmasEve #Wintersolstice #WinterWonderland

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Photos by Theresaurus.

Snow advent

The clouds were all brushed up and back
The wrong way by the wind;
The trees were attitudes in black;
The brooks were disciplined.

Then soft as spider on a shelf,
Or satin mouse at birth,
Or as a pigeon lends itself
Reluctantly to earth —

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No louder than a silken sound
Of the web’s silver wheel,
Spraying the darkness all around
With spokes of silken steel —

As soft and softer than all these
Parted the sky at noon;
And the air stood up league-deep in bees,
The white bees of the moon.

 

-Joseph Auslander in All the Silver Pennies

E.J. Scovell Geese on the Park Water #CanadaReads

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Photographer unknown.

The Geese on the Park Water

1
The Canada geese
Pose in the light and dark of ripples,
And in and out of narrow shadows
Pose, compose, improvising
Their endless eloquent line.

 

The Swan’s Feet

Who is this whose feet
Close on the water,
Like muscled leaves darker than ivy
Blown back and curved by unwearying wind?
They, that thrust back the water,
Softly crumple now and close, stream in his wake.

These dank weeds are also
Part and plumage of the magnolia-flowering swan.
He puts forth these too—
Leaves of ridged and bitter ivy
Sooted in towns, coal-bright with rain.
He is not moved by winds in air
Like the vain boats on the lake.

Lest you think him too a flower of parchment,
Scentless magnolia,
See his living feet under the water fanning.
In the leaves’ self blows the efficient wind
That opens and bends closed those leaves.

 

Edith Joy Scovell, called Joy, was born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, in 1907 and she went up to Somerset College, the women’s college founded at Oxford University in 1879.

Scovell accompanied her husband, the distinguished Oxford ecologist and naturalist Charles Elton, to Central and South America and the West Indies as a recorder and field researcher.

Old #Transit poem by famous Canadian poet Margaret Avinson

Transit

Blowing hard at the bus stop: southbound, NW corner.
Barometer falling.
Stars falling, but in that
blue sky who marks it, they fall all over out there.

Wind’s off the Barren Straits.
But the sun is blowing too.
Rearing high out of the nest snakeheads flap in it till the
tear ducts crackle.

The whole geste unrolls; black cars,
poles, black-and-white headlines,
dentist’s floss, wire mesh,
heads spinning, and
a thorn needle for every solitary tune even though there’s no
automatic arm. And it’s
all plugged in
and everything is coming.
But the bus isn’t coming.

Noon keeps swallowing.

New Year’s Poems. Happy 2015! 3/3

New Year’s Eve

“I have finished another year,” said God,
“In grey, green, white, and brown;
I have strewn the leaf upon the sod,
Sealed up the worm within the clod,
And let the last sun down.”

“And what’s the good of it?” I said.
“What reasons made you call
From formless void this earth we tread,
When nine-and-ninety can be read
Why nought should be at all?

[…]

“Strange that ephemeral creatures who
By my own ordering are,
Should see the shortness of my view,
Use ethic tests I never knew,
Or made provision for!”

She sank to raptness as of yore,
And opening New Year’s Day
Wove it by rote as theretofore,
And went on working evermore
In her unweeting way.

The Darkling Thrush

I read this poem not in its original form but in different order. The numbers are what their place really is (see below for full correct poem).

BEST: “In blast-beruffled plume”

3.
At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.

2.
The land’s sharp features seemed to be
The Century’s corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervourless as I.

4.
So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware.

1.
I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-gray,
And Winter’s dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.

Thomas Hardy

I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-gray,
And Winter’s dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.

The land’s sharp features seemed to be
The Century’s corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware.

Thomas Hardy