A R Ammons | |
I don't know somehow it seems sufficient
to see and hear whatever coming and going is,
losing the self to the victory
of stones and trees,
of bending sandpit lakes, crescent
round groves of dwarf pine:
for it is not so much to know the self
as to know it as it is known
by galaxy and cedar cone,
as if birth had never found it
and death could never end it:
the swamp's slow water comes
down Gravelly Run fanning the long
hair and narrowing roils between
the shoulders of the highway bridge:
holly grows on the banks in the woods there,
and the cedars' gothic-clustered
spires could make
green religion in winter bones:
so I look and reflect, but the air's glass
jail seals each thing in its entity:
no use to make any philosophies here:
I see no
god in the holly, hear no song from
the snowbroken weeds: Hegel is not the winter
yellow in the pines: the sunlight has never
heard of trees: surrendered self among
unwelcoming forms: stranger,
hoist your burdens, get on down the road.
Robert Seymour Bridges | |
the history of melancholia
includes all of us.
me, I writhe in dirty sheets
while staring at blue walls
I have gotten so used to melancholia
I greet it like an old
I will now do 15 minutes of grieving
for the lost redhead,
I tell the gods.
I do it and feel quite bad
then I rise
even though nothing
that's what I get for kicking
religion in the ass.
I should have kicked the redhead
in the ass
where her brains and her bread and
but, no, I've felt sad
the lost redhead was just another
smash in a lifelong
I listen to drums on the radio now
there is something wrong with me
D A Levy | |
When i was a little kid
my parents never told me
i didn't find out until
i got out of high school
then when people asked me,
I ASKED THEM,
"Nationality or Religion?"
When i was a little kid
my parents brought me up as a christian
that when i discovered,
i was different
i wasnt THAT sick!
so at sixteen
still being a virgin forest
i must be a buddhist monk,
Then when people asked me
I TOLD THEM, i told them
"Not me, man, i don't belong to No-thing
In the navy
a swabby once asked me,
if i wanted to go to the
temple with him,
i told him
"NOt me, man, im the last
of the full blooded american indians.
it became confusing
so after a while
when people inquired
you arnt……are you?"
"with a name like levy,
what the hell do you think i am?"
A Ritz Cracker? A flying bathtub?
An arab? etc.
But now its getting pretty hip
to be a jew
and some of my best friend are
becoming converted to halavah,
even the crones who suddenly
became World War 2 catholics are
now praising bagels & lox
i still dont feel on ethnic things like
"Ok, we all niggers so lets hold hands.
"OK, we're all wops so lets support the
"Ok, we're all jews so lets weep on each
so now when people smile and say,
"Hey, you're one of us,"
i smile and say,
"Fuck you, man,
im still alive.
More great poems below...
Ben Jonson | |
E P I G R A M S .
— TO FRANCIS BEAUMONT.
How I do love thee, BEAUMONT, and thy Muse,
That unto me dost such religion use !
How I do fear myself, that am not worth
The least indulgent thought thy pen drops forth !
At once thou mak'st me happy, and unmak'st ;
And giving largely to me, more thou tak'st !
What fate is mine, that so itself bereaves ?
What art is thine, that so thy friend deceives ?
When even there, where most thou praisest me,
For writing better, I must envy thee.
Emanuel Xavier | |
knows the condom wrapped penetration
of strangers and lovers, deep inside
only a tear away from risk
knows bare minimum t-cell level counts,
replacing intoxicating cocktails
with jagged little pills
knows how to avoid a cure thanks to war
how to keep pharmaceutical corporations
and doctors in business
knows the weight loss desired
knows the fearless meaning of a friends genuine kiss or hug
converts non-believers to religion
values the support of luminaries
smiles at the solidarity
of single red ribbons
knows to dim the lights
to elude detection
how to shame someone into hiding
from the rest of the world
to be grateful for the gift of clothing
to remain silent, holding back the anger and frustration
knows that time on earth
is limited for all of us
that using lemons to make lemonade is better than drinking the Kool-Aid
but no matter how much you drink
you are always left dehydrated
knows working extensive hours
to pay hospital bills,
the choice of survival
or taking pleasure in what is left of life
knows the solid white walls
you want to crash through
and tear down
the thoughts of suicide
in the back of your head
knows the prosperous could be doing more with their wealth
and that everyone still thinks it is a deserving fate- for gays,
drug addicts, prostitutes,
and the unfortunate children of such
born into a merciless world of posh handbags and designer jewelry
knows how to be used as another percentage to profit politicians
knows it doesn’t only affect humans
but animals too, without bias
-providing fodder for art and something to be left behind
if there is a God
he has disregarded our prayers
left his angels behind to journey along with us
-none of us knowing exactly
where we are headed
Allama Iqbal | |
The soul of both of them is impatient and restless,
Both of them know not God, and deceive mankind.
One lives by production, the other by taxation,
And man is a glass caught between two stones.
The one puts to rout science, religion, art,
The other robs the body of soul, the hand of bread.
I have perceived both drowned in water and clay,
Both bodily burnished, but utterly dark of heart.
Life means a passionate burning, an urge to make,
To cast in the dead clay the seed of heart.
Anne Kingsmill Finch | |
Good Heav'n, I thank thee, since it was design'd
I shou'd be fram'd, but of the weaker kinde,
That yet, my Soul, is rescu'd from the Love
Of all those Trifles, which their Passions move.
Pleasures, and Praise, and Plenty haue with me
But their just value.
If allow'd they be,
Freely, and thankfully as much I tast,
As will not reason, or Religion wast.
If they're deny'd, I on my selfe can Liue,
And slight those aids, unequal chance does give.
When in the Sun, my wings can be display'd,
And in retirement, I can bless the shade.
G K Chesterton | |
Isaiah Bunter has disappeared into the interior of the Solomon Islands, and it is feared that he may have been devoured by the natives, as there has been a considerable revival of religious customs among the Polynesians.
--A real paragraph from a real Paper; only the names altered.
It was Isaiah Bunter
Who sailed to the world's end,
And spread religion in a way
That he did not intend.
He gave, if not the gospel-feast,
At least a ritual meal;
And in a highly painful sense
He was devoured with zeal.
And who are we (as Henson says)
That we should close the door?
And should not Evangelicals
All jump at shedding Gore?
And many a man will melt in man,
Becoming one, not two,
When smacks across the startled earth
The Kiss of Kikuyu.
When Man is the Turk, and the Atheist,
Essene, Erastian, Whig,
And the Thug and the Druse and the Catholic
And the crew of the Captain's gig.
Friedrich von Schiller | |
Which religion do I acknowledge? None that thou namest.
"None that I name? And why so?"--Why, for religion's own sake?
Friedrich von Schiller | |
Oh, nobly shone the fearful cross upon your mail afar,
When Rhodes and Acre hailed your might, O lions of the war!
When leading many a pilgrim horde, through wastes of Syrian gloom;
Or standing with the cherub's sword before the holy tomb.
Yet on your forms the apron seemed a nobler armor far,
When by the sick man's bed ye stood, O lions of the war!
When ye, the high-born, bowed your pride to tend the lowly weakness,
The duty, though it brought no fame, fulfilled by Christian meekness--
Religion of the cross, thou blend'st, as in a single flower,
The twofold branches of the palm--humility and power.
Philip Larkin | |
I work all day, and get half-drunk at night.
Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare.
In time the curtain-edges will grow light.
Till then I see what's really always there:
Unresting death, a whole day nearer now,
Making all thought impossible but how
And where and when I shall myself die.
Arid interrogation: yet the dread
Of dying, and being dead,
Flashes afresh to hold and horrify.
The mind blanks at the glare.
Not in remorse
-- The good not done, the love not given, time
Torn off unused -- nor wretchedly because
An only life can take so long to climb
Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never;
But at the total emptiness for ever,
The sure extinction that we travel to
And shall be lost in always.
Not to be here,
Not to be anywhere,
And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true.
This is a special way of being afraid
No trick dispels.
Religion used to try,
That vast moth-eaten musical brocade
Created to pretend we never die,
And specious stuff that says No rational being
Can fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing
That this is what we fear -- no sight, no sound,
No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with,
Nothing to love or link with,
The anaesthetic from which none come round.
And so it stays just on the edge of vision,
A small unfocused blur, a standing chill
That slows each impulse down to indecision.
Most things may never happen: this one will,
And realisation of it rages out
In furnace-fear when we are caught without
People or drink.
Courage is no good:
It means not scaring others.
Lets no one off the grave.
Death is no different whined at than withstood.
Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape.
It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know,
Have always known, know that we can't escape,
Yet can't accept.
One side will have to go.
Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring
In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring
Intricate rented world begins to rouse.
The sky is white as clay, with no sun.
Work has to be done.
Postmen like doctors go from house to house.
Philip Larkin | |
If I were called in
To construct a religion
I should make use of water.
Going to church
Would entail a fording
To dry, different clothes;
My liturgy would employ
Images of sousing,
A furious devout drench,
And I should raise in the east
A glass of water
Where any-angled light
Would congregate endlessly.
Katherine Philips | |
Come, my Lucasia, since we see
That miracles Men's Faith do move,
By wonder and by prodigy
To the dull angry World let's prove
There's a Religion in our Love.
For Though we were design'd t'agree,
That Fate no liberty destroys,
But our Election is as free
As Angels, who with greedy choice
Are yet determin'd to their joys.
Our hearts are doubled by the loss,
Here Mixture is Addition grown;
We both diffuse, and both ingross:
And we whose minds are so much one,
Never, yet ever are alone.
We court our own Captivity
Than Thrones more great and innocent:
`Twere banishment to be set free,
Since we wear fetters whose intent
Not Bondage is but Ornament
Divided joys are tedious found,
And griefs united easier grow:
We are our selves but by rebound,
And all our Titles shuffled so,
Both Princes, and both Subjects too.
Our Hearts are mutual Victims laid,
While they (such power in Friendship lies)
Are Altars, Priests, and Off'rings made:
And each Heart which thus kindly dies,
Grows deathless by the Sacrifice.
John Milton | |
Vane, young in yeares, but in sage counsell old,
Then whome a better Senatour nere held
The helme of Rome, when gownes not armes repelld
The feirce Epeirot & the African bold,
Whether to settle peace, or to unfold
The drift of hollow states, hard to be spelld,
Then to advise how warr may best, upheld,
Move by her two maine nerves, Iron & Gold
In all her equipage: besides to know
Both spirituall powre & civill, what each meanes
What severs each thou hast learnt, which few have don
The bounds of either sword to thee wee ow.
Therfore on thy firme hand religion leanes
In peace, & reck'ns thee her eldest son.
Les Murray | |
Religions are poems.
our daylight and dreaming mind, our
emotions, instinct, breath and native gesture
into the only whole thinking: poetry.
Nothing's said till it's dreamed out in words
and nothing's true that figures in words only.
A poem, compared with an arrayed religion,
may be like a soldier's one short marriage night
to die and live by.
But that is a small religion.
Full religion is the large poem in loving repetition;
like any poem, it must be inexhaustible and complete
with turns where we ask Now why did the poet do that?
You can't pray a lie, said Huckleberry Finn;
you can't poe one either.
It is the same mirror:
mobile, glancing, we call it poetry,
fixed centrally, we call it a religion,
and God is the poetry caught in any religion,
caught, not imprisoned.
Caught as in a mirror
that he attracted, being in the world as poetry
is in the poem, a law against its closure.
There'll always be religion around while there is poetry
or a lack of it.
Both are given, and intermittent,
as the action of those birds - crested pigeon, rosella parrot -
who fly with wings shut, then beating, and again shut.