W S Merwin | |
Every year without knowing it I have passed the day
When the last fires will wave to me
And the silence will set out
Like the beam of a lightless star
Then I will no longer
Find myself in life as in a strange garment
Surprised at the earth
And the love of one woman
And then shamelessness of men
As today writing after three days of rain
Hearing the wren sing and the falling cease
And bowing not knowing to what
Audre Lorde | |
Time collapses between the lips of strangers
my days collapse into a hollow tube
soon implodes against now
like an iron wall
my eyes are blocked with rubble
a smear of perspectives
blurring each horizon
in the breathless precision of silence
One word is made.
Once the renegade flesh was gone
fall air lay against my face
sharp and blue as a needle
but the rain fell through October
and death lay a condemnation
within my blood.
The smell of your neck in August
a fine gold wire bejeweling war
all the rest lies
illusive as a farmhouse
on the other side of a valley
vanishing in the afternoon.
Day three day four day ten
the seventh step
a veiled door leading to my golden
flameproofed free-paper shredded
in the teeth of a pillaging dog
never to dream of spiders
and when they turned the hoses upon me
a burst of light.
Robert William Service | |
"This bunch of violets," he said,
"Is for my daughter dear.
Since that glad morn when she was wed
It is today a year.
She lives atop this flight of stairs--
Please give an arm to me:
If we can take her unawares
How glad she'll be!"
We climbed the stairs; the flight was four,
Our steps were stiff and slow;
But as he reached his daughter's door
His eyes were all aglow.
Joylike he raised his hand to knock,
Then sore distressed was I,
For from the silence like a shock
I heard a cry.
A drunken curse, a sob of woe .
His withered face grew grey.
"I think," said he, "we'd better go
And come another day.
And as he went a block with me,
Walking with weary feet,
His violets, I sighed to see,
Bestrewed the street.
Katherine Mansfield | |
Baby Babbles--only one,
Now to sit up has begun.
Little Babbles quite turned two
Walks as well as I and you.
And Miss Babbles one, two, three,
Has a teaspoon at her tea.
But her Highness at four
Learns to open the front door.
And her Majesty--now six,
Can her shoestrings neatly fix.
Babbles, babbles, have a care,
You will soon put up your hair!
Dylan Thomas | |
The sky is torn across
This ragged anniversary of two
Who moved for three years in tune
Down the long walks of their vows.
Now their love lies a loss
And Love and his patients roar on a chain;
From every tune or crater
Carrying cloud, Death strikes their house.
Too late in the wrong rain
They come together whom their love parted:
The windows pour into their heart
And the doors burn in their brain.
Emily Dickinson | |
One Year ago -- jots what?
God -- spell the word! I -- can't --
Was't Grace? Not that --
Was't Glory? That -- will do --
Spell slower -- Glory --
Such Anniversary shall be --
Thomas Hardy | |
(The 110th anniversary of the completion of the "Decline and Fall" at the same hour and place)
A spirit seems to pass,
Formal in pose, but grave and grand withal:
He contemplates a volume stout and tall,
And far lamps fleck him through the thin acacias.
Anon the book is closed,
With "It is finished!" And at the alley's end
He turns, and soon on me his glances bend;
And, as from earth, comes speech--small, muted, yet composed.
"How fares the Truth now?--Ill?
--Do pens but slily further her advance?
May one not speed her but in phrase askance?
Do scribes aver the Comic to be Reverend still?
"Still rule those minds on earth
At whom sage Milton's wormwood words were hurled:
'Truth like a bastard comes into the world
Never without ill-fame to him who gives her birth'?"
Anna Akhmatova | |
Celebrate our anniversary – can’t you see
tonight the snowy night of our first winter
comes back again in every road and tree -
that winter night of diamantine splendour.
Steam is pouring out of yellow stables,
the Moika river’s sinking under snow,
the moonlight’s misted as it is in fables,
and where we are heading – I don’t know.
There are icebergs on the Marsovo Pole.
The Lebyazh’ya’s crazed with crystal art.
Whose soul can compare with my soul,
if joy and fear are in my heart? -
And if your voice, a marvellous bird’s,
quivers at my shoulder, in the night,
and the snow shines with a silver light,
warmed by a sudden ray, by your words?