Philip Larkin | |
Standing under the fobbed
Impendent belly of Time
Tell me the truth, I said,
Teach me the way things go.
All the other lads there
Were itching to have a bash,
But I thought wanting unfair:
It and finding out clash.
So he patted my head, booming Boy,
There's no green in your eye:
Sit here and watch the hail
Of occurence clobber life out
To a shape no one sees -
Dare you look at that straight?
Oh thank you, I said, Oh yes please,
And sat down to wait.
Half life is over now,
And I meet full face on dark mornings
The bestial visor, bent in
By the blows of what happened to happen.
What does it prove? Sod all.
In this way I spent youth,
Tracing the trite untransferable
Steve Kowit | |
Now that I've unplugged the phone,
no one can reach me--
At least for this one afternoon
they will have to get by without my advice
Now nobody else is going to call
& ask in a tentative voice
if I haven't yet heard that she's dead,
that woman I once loved--
nothing but ashes scattered over a city
that barely itself any longer exists.
Yes, thank you, I've heard.
It had been too lovely a morning.
That in itself should have warned me.
The sun lit up the tangerines
& the blazing poinsettias
like so many candles.
For one afternoon they will have to forgive me.
I am busy watching things happen again
that happened a long time ago.
as I lean back in Josephine's lawnchair
under a sky of incredible blue,
broken--if that is the word for it--
by a few billowing clouds,
all white & unspeakably lovely,
drifting out of one nothingness into another.
Katherine Mansfield | |
After all the rain, the sun
Shines on hill and grassy mead;
Fly into the garden, child,
You are very glad indeed.
For the days have been so dull,
Oh, so special dark and drear,
That you told me, "Mr.
Has forgotten we live here.
Dew upon the lily lawn,
Dew upon the garden beds;
Daintly from all the leaves
Pop the little primrose heads.
And the violets in the copse
With their parasols of green
Take a little peek at you;
They're the bluest you have seen.
On the lilac tree a bird
Singing first a little not,
Then a burst of happy song
Bubbles in his lifted throat.
O the sun, the comfy sun!
This the song that you must sing,
"Thank you for the birds, the flowers,
Thank you, sun, for everything.
John Matthew | |
When she smiles she sends happiness
A million pleasant thrills of the heart
To parched souls thirsting for love
In the vast desert of human affairs.
Oh, is there in this world such a heart?
So pure in its expression of joy, smiles
I know not how to thank you dear God
For this wonderful creation of yours.
What makes Muskan’s smile so beautiful?
Is it the deep pain and hurt she is hiding?
Wringing the joys from the sadness of life
Throwing away the bland fiber and rinds.
Alfonsina Storni | |
Teeth of flowers, hairnet of dew,
hands of herbs, you, perfect wet nurse,
prepare the earthly sheets for me
and the down quilt of weeded moss.
I am going to sleep, my nurse, put me to bed.
Set a lamp at my headboard;
a constellation; whatever you like;
all are good: lower it a bit.
Leave me alone: you hear the buds breaking through .
a celestial foot rocks you from above
and a bird traces a pattern for you
so you'll forget .
Oh, one request:
if he telephones again
tell him not to keep trying for I have left .
Robert William Service | |
The songs I made from joy of earth
In wanton wandering,
Are rapturous with Maytime mirth
And ectasy of Spring.
But all the songs I sing today
Take tediously the ear:
Novemberishly dark are they
With mortuary fear.
For half a century has gone
Since first I rang a rhyme;
And that is long to linger on
The tolerance of Time.
This blue-veined hand with which I write
Yet answers to my will;
Though four-score years I count to-night
I am unsilent still.
"Senile old fool!" I hear you say;
"Beside the dying fire
You huddle and stiff-fingered play
Your tired and tinny lyre.
Well, though your patience I may try,
Bear with me yet awhile,
And though you scorn my singing I
Will thank you with a smile.
For I such soul-delighting joy
Have found in simple rhyme,
Since first a happy-hearted boy
I coaxed a word to chime,
That ere I tryst with Mother Earth
Let from my heart arise
A song of youth and starry mirth .
Then close my eyes.
Judith Viorst | |
I'm learning to say thank you.
And I'm learning to say please.
And I'm learning to use Kleenex,
Not my sweater, when I sneeze.
And I'm learning not to dribble.
And I'm learning not to slurp.
And I'm learning (though it sometimes really hurts me)
Not to burp.
And I'm learning to chew softer
When I eat corn on the cob.
And I'm learning that it's much
Much easier to be a slob.
Allen Ginsberg | |
Hey Father Death, I'm flying home
Hey poor man, you're all alone
Hey old daddy, I know where I'm going
Father Death, Don't cry any more
Mama's there, underneath the floor
Brother Death, please mind the store
Old Aunty Death Don't hide your bones
Old Uncle Death I hear your groans
O Sister Death how sweet your moans
O Children Deaths go breathe your breaths
Sobbing breasts'll ease your Deaths
Pain is gone, tears take the rest
Genius Death your art is done
Lover Death your body's gone
Father Death I'm coming home
Guru Death your words are true
Teacher Death I do thank you
For inspiring me to sing this Blues
Buddha Death, I wake with you
Dharma Death, your mind is new
Sangha Death, we'll work it through
Suffering is what was born
Ignorance made me forlorn
Tearful truths I cannot scorn
Father Breath once more farewell
Birth you gave was no thing ill
My heart is still, as time will tell.
July 8, 1976 (Over Lake Michigan)
Rg Gregory | |
(an ascetic poem for karen's birthday)
fancy having a birthday on a thursday
when you do the buying of the doughnuts
and others lick their sticky fingers
thinking good old karen letting
us share the eating of her birthday
not me of course - i sit at home (alone)
reflecting it is purification day
today and i do not have a doughnut
thank you karen for letting me have
a taste of self-denial on your birthday
and such a spiritual gain- in this way
you and i share the high-church position
while others lick the sugar off their lips
guzzling their souls away benightedly
with you great circe in your birthday play
luckily i have no envy of doughnuts
i sit here (alone) appreciating the pure
a step aside from doughy lust and greed
enjoying your birthday in its proper light
-a time of abstinence starvation longing
George Herbert | |
Sweetest of sweets, I thank you: when displeasure
Did through my body wound my mind,
You took me thence, and in your house of pleasure
A dainty lodging me assigned.
Now I in you without a body move,
Rising and falling with your wings:
We both together sweetly live and love,
Yet say sometimes, "God help poor Kings".
Comfort, I'll die; for if you post from me
Sure I shall do so, and much more:
But if I travel in your company,
You know the way to heaven's door.
Bob Hicok | |
Who cleaned up the Last Supper?
These would be my people.
Maybe hung over, wanting
desperately a better job,
standing with rags
in hand as the window
beckons with hills
of yellow grass.
In Da Vinci,
the blue robed apostle
gesturing at Christ
is saying, give Him the check.
What a mess they've made
of their faith.
would put a busboy
on earth to roam
among the waiters
and remind them to share
who finished one
half eaten olive
and scooped the rest
into her pockets,
walked her tiny pride home
to children who looked
at her smile and saw
the salvation of a meal.
All that week
at work she ignored
customers who talked
of Rome and silk
though she couldn't stop
thinking of this man
who said thank you
each time she filled
Randall Jarrell | |
The postman comes when I am still in bed.
"Postman, what do you have for me today?"
I say to him.
(But really I'm in bed.
Then he says - what shall I have him say?
"This letter says that you are president
Of - this word here; it's a republic.
Tell them I can't answer right away.
"It's your duty.
" No, I'd rather just be sick.
Then he tells me there are letters saying everything
That I can think of that I want for them to say.
I say, "Well, thank you very much.
He is ashamed, and turns and walks away.
If I can think of it, it isn't what I want.
I want .
I want a ship from some near star
To land in the yard, and beings to come out
And think to me: "So this is where you are!
" Except that they won't do,
I thought of them.
And yet somewhere there must be
Something that's different from everything.
All that I've never thought of - think of me!
Robert Herrick | |
Since to the country first I came,
I have lost my former flame;
And, methinks, I not inherit,
As I did, my ravish'd spirit.
If I write a verse or two,
'Tis with very much ado;
In regard I want that wine
Which should conjure up a line.
Yet, though now of Muse bereft,
I have still the manners left
For to thank you, noble sir,
For those gifts you do confer
Upon him, who only can
Be in prose a grateful man.
Emily Dickinson | |
If I shouldn't be alive
When the Robins come,
Give the one in Red Cravat,
A Memorial crumb.
If I couldn't thank you,
Being fast asleep,
You will know I'm trying
Why my Granite lip!
John Berryman | |
Maskt as honours, insult like behaving
I bow, & grunt 'Thank you.
I'm glad you could come
' All loves are gratified.
to screw a little thing I have to screw.
Good nature is over.
From a cozy grave
rainbow I scornful laughings.
Do not do,
Father, me down.
Let's shuck an obligation.
O I have
Is the inner-coffin burning blue
or did Jehovah frown?
It is marvellous that views so differay
(Father is a Jesuit)
can love so well each other.
We was had.
O visit in my last tomb me.
â€”Is a nice pit.
John Berryman | |
Henry, edged, decidedly, made up stories
lighting the past of Henry, of his glorious
present, and his hoaries,
all the bight heals he tampedâ€” â€”Euphoria,
Mr Bones, euphoria.
Fate clobber all.
â€”Hand me back my crawl,
Tighten into a ball
elongate & valved Henry.
Tuck him peace.
Render him sightless,
or ruin at high rate his crampon focus,
wipe out his need.
Reduce him to the rest of us.
â€”But, Bones, you is that.
â€”I cannot remember.
I am going away.
There was something in my dream about a Cat,
which fought and sang.
Something about a lyre, an island.
Linked to the land at low tide.
Thank you for everything.
John Betjeman | |
Cocooned in Time, at this inhuman height,
The packaged food tastes neutrally of clay,
We never seem to catch the running day
But travel on in everlasting night
With all the chic accoutrements of flight:
Lotions and essences in neat array
And yet another plastic cup and tray.
"Thank you so much.
Oh no, I'm quite all right".
At home in Cornwall hurrying autumn skies
Leave Bray Hill barren, Stepper jutting bare,
And hold the moon above the sea-wet sand.
The very last of late September dies
In frosty silence and the hills declare
How vast the sky is, looked at from the land.
Bertolt Brecht | |
Send me a leaf, but from a bush
That grows at least one half hour
Away from your house, then
You must go and will be strong, and I
Thank you for the pretty leaf.
Raymond Carver | |
Here in this dank, unfamiliar kitchen
I study my father's embarrassed young man's face.
Sheepish grin, he holds in one hand a string
of spiny yellow perch, in the other
a bottle of Carlsbad Beer.
In jeans and denim shirt, he leans
against the front fender of a 1934 Ford.
He would like to pose bluff and hearty for his posterity,
Wear his old hat cocked over his ear.
All his life my father wanted to be bold.
But the eyes give him away, and the hands
that limply offer the string of dead perch
and the bottle of beer.
Father, I love you,
yet how can I say thank you, I who can't hold my liquor either,
and don't even know the places to fish?
Maggie Estep | |
I'm all screwed up so
and take out the garbage
feed the cat and FUCK ME
you can do it, I know you can.
and theorize about
Sado Masochism's relationship
to classical philosophy
tell me how this stimulates
the fabric of most human relationships,
I love that kind of pointless intellectualism
so do it again and
Stop being logical
the origins of evil
and the beauty of death
this is not a TV movie about Plato sex life,
this is FUCK ME
so FUCK ME
It's the pause that refreshes
just add water and
I wrote this
so I'd have a good excuse to say "FUCK ME"
over and over
so I could get a lot of attention
and look, it worked!
So thank you
and fuck ME.