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Best Famous My Child Poems

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Written by Anne Sexton | Create an image from this poem

The Break Away

 Your daisies have come
on the day of my divorce:
the courtroom a cement box,
a gas chamber for the infectious Jew in me
and a perhaps land, a possibly promised land
for the Jew in me,
but still a betrayal room for the till-death-do-us—
and yet a death, as in the unlocking of scissors
that makes the now separate parts useless,
even to cut each other up as we did yearly
under the crayoned-in sun.
The courtroom keeps squashing our lives as they break into two cans ready for recycling, flattened tin humans and a tin law, even for my twenty-five years of hanging on by my teeth as I once saw at Ringling Brothers.
The gray room: Judge, lawyer, witness and me and invisible Skeezix, and all the other torn enduring the bewilderments of their division.
Your daisies have come on the day of my divorce.
They arrive like round yellow fish, sucking with love at the coral of our love.
Yet they wait, in their short time, like little utero half-borns, half killed, thin and bone soft.
They breathe the air that stands for twenty-five illicit days, the sun crawling inside the sheets, the moon spinning like a tornado in the washbowl, and we orchestrated them both, calling ourselves TWO CAMP DIRECTORS.
There was a song, our song on your cassette, that played over and over and baptised the prodigals.
It spoke the unspeakable, as the rain will on an attic roof, letting the animal join its soul as we kneeled before a miracle-- forgetting its knife.
The daisies confer in the old-married kitchen papered with blue and green chefs who call out pies, cookies, yummy, at the charcoal and cigarette smoke they wear like a yellowy salve.
The daisies absorb it all-- the twenty-five-year-old sanctioned love (If one could call such handfuls of fists and immobile arms that!) and on this day my world rips itself up while the country unfastens along with its perjuring king and his court.
It unfastens into an abortion of belief, as in me-- the legal rift-- as on might do with the daisies but does not for they stand for a love undergoihng open heart surgery that might take if one prayed tough enough.
And yet I demand, even in prayer, that I am not a thief, a mugger of need, and that your heart survive on its own, belonging only to itself, whole, entirely whole, and workable in its dark cavern under your ribs.
I pray it will know truth, if truth catches in its cup and yet I pray, as a child would, that the surgery take.
I dream it is taking.
Next I dream the love is swallowing itself.
Next I dream the love is made of glass, glass coming through the telephone that is breaking slowly, day by day, into my ear.
Next I dream that I put on the love like a lifejacket and we float, jacket and I, we bounce on that priest-blue.
We are as light as a cat's ear and it is safe, safe far too long! And I awaken quickly and go to the opposite window and peer down at the moon in the pond and know that beauty has walked over my head, into this bedroom and out, flowing out through the window screen, dropping deep into the water to hide.
I will observe the daisies fade and dry up wuntil they become flour, snowing themselves onto the table beside the drone of the refrigerator, beside the radio playing Frankie (as often as FM will allow) snowing lightly, a tremor sinking from the ceiling-- as twenty-five years split from my side like a growth that I sliced off like a melanoma.
It is six P.
M.
as I water these tiny weeds and their little half-life, their numbered days that raged like a secret radio, recalling love that I picked up innocently, yet guiltily, as my five-year-old daughter picked gum off the sidewalk and it became suddenly an elastic miracle.
For me it was love found like a diamond where carrots grow-- the glint of diamond on a plane wing, meaning: DANGER! THICK ICE! but the good crunch of that orange, the diamond, the carrot, both with four million years of resurrecting dirt, and the love, although Adam did not know the word, the love of Adam obeying his sudden gift.
You, who sought me for nine years, in stories made up in front of your naked mirror or walking through rooms of fog women, you trying to forget the mother who built guilt with the lumber of a locked door as she sobbed her soured mild and fed you loss through the keyhole, you who wrote out your own birth and built it with your own poems, your own lumber, your own keyhole, into the trunk and leaves of your manhood, you, who fell into my words, years before you fell into me (the other, both the Camp Director and the camper), you who baited your hook with wide-awake dreams, and calls and letters and once a luncheon, and twice a reading by me for you.
But I wouldn't! Yet this year, yanking off all past years, I took the bait and was pulled upward, upward, into the sky and was held by the sun-- the quick wonder of its yellow lap-- and became a woman who learned her own shin and dug into her soul and found it full, and you became a man who learned his won skin and dug into his manhood, his humanhood and found you were as real as a baker or a seer and we became a home, up into the elbows of each other's soul, without knowing-- an invisible purchase-- that inhabits our house forever.
We were blessed by the House-Die by the altar of the color T.
V.
and somehow managed to make a tiny marriage, a tiny marriage called belief, as in the child's belief in the tooth fairy, so close to absolute, so daft within a year or two.
The daisies have come for the last time.
And I who have, each year of my life, spoken to the tooth fairy, believing in her, even when I was her, am helpless to stop your daisies from dying, although your voice cries into the telephone: Marry me! Marry me! and my voice speaks onto these keys tonight: The love is in dark trouble! The love is starting to die, right now-- we are in the process of it.
The empty process of it.
I see two deaths, and the two men plod toward the mortuary of my heart, and though I willed one away in court today and I whisper dreams and birthdays into the other, they both die like waves breaking over me and I am drowning a little, but always swimming among the pillows and stones of the breakwater.
And though your daisies are an unwanted death, I wade through the smell of their cancer and recognize the prognosis, its cartful of loss-- I say now, you gave what you could.
It was quite a ferris wheel to spin on! and the dead city of my marriage seems less important than the fact that the daisies came weekly, over and over, likes kisses that can't stop themselves.
There sit two deaths on November 5th, 1973.
Let one be forgotten-- Bury it! Wall it up! But let me not forget the man of my child-like flowers though he sinks into the fog of Lake Superior, he remains, his fingers the marvel of fourth of July sparklers, his furious ice cream cones of licking, remains to cool my forehead with a washcloth when I sweat into the bathtub of his being.
For the rest that is left: name it gentle, as gentle as radishes inhabiting their short life in the earth, name it gentle, gentle as old friends waving so long at the window, or in the drive, name it gentle as maple wings singing themselves upon the pond outside, as sensuous as the mother-yellow in the pond, that night that it was ours, when our bodies floated and bumped in moon water and the cicadas called out like tongues.
Let such as this be resurrected in all men whenever they mold their days and nights as when for twenty-five days and nights you molded mine and planted the seed that dives into my God and will do so forever no matter how often I sweep the floor.


Written by Ellis Parker Butler | Create an image from this poem

The Poor Boy's Christmas

 Observe, my child, this pretty scene,
And note the air of pleasure keen
With which the widow’s orphan boy
Toots his tin horn, his only toy.
What need of costly gifts has he? The widow has nowhere to flee.
And ample noise his horn emits To drive the widow into fits.
MORAL: The philosophic mind can see The uses of adversity.
Written by Jackie Kay | Create an image from this poem

The Mother Poem (two)

 I always wanted to give birth
Do that incredible natural thing
That women do-I nearly broke down
When I heard we couldn't
And then my man said to me
Well there's always adoption
(we didn't have test tubes and the rest
then) and well even in the early sixties there was something
Scandalous about adopting
Telling the world your secret failure
Bringing up an alien child
Who knew what it would turn out to be?

But I wanted a baby badly
Didn't need to come from my womb
Or his seed for me to love it
And I had sisters who looked just like me
Didn't need carbon copy features
Blueprints for generations
It was my baby a baby a baby I wanted

So I watched my child grow
Always the first to hear her in the night
All this umbilical knot business is
Nonsense-the men can afford deeper sleeps
That's all.
I listened to hear her talk And when she did I heard my voice under hers And now some of her mannerisms Crack me up All them stories could have really had me Believing unless you are breast fed You'll never be close and the rest My daughter's warmth spills over me Leaves a gap When she's gone I think of her mother.
She remembers how I read her All those newspaper and magazine Cuttings about adoption She says her head's an encyclopedia Of sob stories: the ones that were never Told and committed suicide on their wedding nights I always believed in the telling anyhow You can't keep something like that secret I wanted her to think of her other mother Out there thinking that child I had will be Eight today nine today all the way up to God knows when.
I told my daughter; I bet your mother's never missed your birthday How could she Now when people say ah but It's not like having your own child though is it I say of course it is what else is it She's my child I have brought her up Told her stories wept at losses Laughed at her pleasures she is mine.
Yes.
Well maybe that is why I don't Like all this talk about her being black I brought her up as my own As I would any other child Colour matters to the nuttters But she says my daughter says It matters to her.
I suppose there would have been things I couldn't have understood with any child We knew she was coloured They told us they had no babies at first And I chanced to say it didn't matter What colour it was and then they Said oh well are you sure in that case We have a baby for you To think she wasn't even thought of as a baby! My baby my baby.
Written by William Wordsworth | Create an image from this poem

THE COMPLAINT OF A FORSAKEN INDIAN WOMAN

[When a Northern Indian, from sickness, is unable to continue his journey with his companions; he is left behind, covered over with Deer-skins, and is supplied with water, food, and fuel if the situation of the place will afford it.
He is informed of the track which his companions intend to pursue, and if he is unable to follow, or overtake them, he perishes alone in the Desart; unless he should have the good fortune to fall in with some other Tribes of Indians.
It is unnecessary to add that the females are equally, or still more, exposed to the same fate.
See that very interesting work
, Hearne's Journey from Hudson's Bay to the Northern Ocean.
In the high Northern Latititudes, as the same writer informs us, when the Northern Lights vary their position in the air, they make a rustling and a crackling noise.
This circumstance is alluded to in the first stanza of the following poem.
]

THE COMPLAINT, etc.

  Before I see another day,
  Oh let my body die away!
  In sleep I heard the northern gleams;
  The stars they were among my dreams;
  In sleep did I behold the skies,
  I saw the crackling flashes drive;
  And yet they are upon my eyes,
  And yet I am alive.
  Before I see another day,
  Oh let my body die away!

  My fire is dead: it knew no pain;
  Yet is it dead, and I remain.
  All stiff with ice the ashes lie;
  And they are dead, and I will die.
  When I was well, I wished to live,
  For clothes, for warmth, for food, and fire;
  But they to me no joy can give,
  No pleasure now, and no desire.
  Then here contented will I lie;
  Alone I cannot fear to die.

  Alas! you might have dragged me on
  Another day, a single one!
  Too soon despair o'er me prevailed;
  Too soon my heartless spirit failed;
  When you were gone my limbs were stronger,
  And Oh how grievously I rue,
  That, afterwards, a little longer,
  My friends, I did not follow you!
  For strong and without pain I lay,
  My friends, when you were gone away.

  My child! they gave thee to another,
  A woman who was not thy mother.
  When from my arms my babe they took,
  On me how strangely did he look!
  Through his whole body something ran,
  A most strange something did I see;
  —As if he strove to be a man,
  That he might pull the sledge for me.
  And then he stretched his arms, how wild!
  Oh mercy! like a little child.

  My little joy! my little pride!
  In two days more I must have died.
  Then do not weep and grieve for me;
  I feel I must have died with thee.
  Oh wind that o'er my head art flying,
  The way my friends their course did bend,
  I should not feel the pain of dying,
  Could I with thee a message send.
  Too soon, my friends, you went away;
  For I had many things to say.

  I'll follow you across the snow,
  You travel heavily and slow:
  In spite of all my weary pain,
  I'll look upon your tents again.
  My fire is dead, and snowy white
  The water which beside it stood;
  The wolf has come to me to-night,
  And he has stolen away my food.
  For ever left alone am I,
  Then wherefore should I fear to die?

  My journey will be shortly run,
  I shall not see another sun,
  I cannot lift my limbs to know
  If they have any life or no.
  My poor forsaken child! if I
  For once could have thee close to me,
  With happy heart I then should die,
  And my last thoughts would happy be.
  I feel my body die away,
  I shall not see another day.

Written by Sylvia Plath | Create an image from this poem

Lesbos

 Viciousness in the kitchen!
The potatoes hiss.
It is all Hollywood, windowless, The fluorescent light wincing on and off like a terrible migraine, Coy paper strips for doors -- Stage curtains, a widow's frizz.
And I, love, am a pathological liar, And my child -- look at her, face down on the floor, Little unstrung puppet, kicking to disappear -- Why she is schizophrenic, Her face is red and white, a panic, You have stuck her kittens outside your window In a sort of cement well Where they crap and puke and cry and she can't hear.
You say you can't stand her, The bastard's a girl.
You who have blown your tubes like a bad radio Clear of voices and history, the staticky Noise of the new.
You say I should drown the kittens.
Their smell! You say I should drown my girl.
She'll cut her throat at ten if she's mad at two.
The baby smiles, fat snail, From the polished lozenges of orange linoleum.
You could eat him.
He's a boy.
You say your husband is just no good to you.
His Jew-Mama guards his sweet sex like a pearl.
You have one baby, I have two.
I should sit on a rock off Cornwall and comb my hair.
I should wear tiger pants, I should have an affair.
We should meet in another life, we should meet in air, Me and you.
Meanwhile there's a stink of fat and baby crap.
I'm doped and thick from my last sleeping pill.
The smog of cooking, the smog of hell Floats our heads, two venemous opposites, Our bones, our hair.
I call you Orphan, orphan.
You are ill.
The sun gives you ulcers, the wind gives you T.
B.
Once you were beautiful.
In New York, in Hollywood, the men said: 'Through? Gee baby, you are rare.
' You acted, acted for the thrill.
The impotent husband slumps out for a coffee.
I try to keep him in, An old pole for the lightning, The acid baths, the skyfuls off of you.
He lumps it down the plastic cobbled hill, Flogged trolley.
The sparks are blue.
The blue sparks spill, Splitting like quartz into a million bits.
O jewel! O valuable! That night the moon Dragged its blood bag, sick Animal Up over the harbor lights.
And then grew normal, Hard and apart and white.
The scale-sheen on the sand scared me to death.
We kept picking up handfuls, loving it, Working it like dough, a mulatto body, The silk grits.
A dog picked up your doggy husband.
He went on.
Now I am silent, hate Up to my neck, Thick, thick.
I do not speak.
I am packing the hard potatoes like good clothes, I am packing the babies, I am packing the sick cats.
O vase of acid, It is love you are full of.
You know who you hate.
He is hugging his ball and chain down by the gate That opens to the sea Where it drives in, white and black, Then spews it back.
Every day you fill him with soul-stuff, like a pitcher.
You are so exhausted.
Your voice my ear-ring, Flapping and sucking, blood-loving bat.
That is that.
That is that.
You peer from the door, Sad hag.
'Every woman's a whore.
I can't communicate.
' I see your cute décor Close on you like the fist of a baby Or an anemone, that sea Sweetheart, that kleptomaniac.
I am still raw.
I say I may be back.
You know what lies are for.
Even in your Zen heaven we shan't meet.
Written by Aleister Crowley | Create an image from this poem

The Wizard Way

 [Dedicated to General J.
C.
F.
Fuller] Velvet soft the night-star glowed Over the untrodden road, Through the giant glades of yew Where its ray fell light as dew Lighting up the shimmering veil Maiden pure and aery frail That the spiders wove to hide Blushes of the sylvan bride Earth, that trembled with delight At the male caress of Night.
Velvet soft the wizard trod To the Sabbath of his God.
With his naked feet he made Starry blossoms in the glade, Softly, softly, as he went To the sombre sacrament, Stealthy stepping to the tryst In his gown of amethyst.
Earlier yet his soul had come To the Hill of Martyrdom, Where the charred and crooked stake Like a black envenomed snake By the hangman's hands is thrust Through the wet and writhing dust, Never black and never dried Heart's blood of a suicide.
He had plucked the hazel rod From the rude and goatish god, Even as the curved moon's waning ray Stolen from the King of Day.
He had learnt the elvish sign; Given the Token of the Nine: Once to rave, and once to revel, Once to bow before the devil, Once to swing the thurible, Once to kiss the goat of hell, Once to dance the aspen spring, Once to croak, and once to sing, Once to oil the savoury thighs Of the witch with sea-green eyes With the unguents magical.
Oh the honey and the gall Of that black enchanter's lips As he croons to the eclipse Mingling that most puissant spell Of the giant gods of hell With the four ingredients Of the evil elements; Ambergris from golden spar, Musk of ox from Mongol jar, Civet from a box of jade, Mixed with fat of many a maid Slain by the inchauntments cold Of the witches wild and old.
He had crucified a toad In the basilisk abode, Muttering the Runes averse Mad with many a mocking curse.
He had traced the serpent sigil In his ghastly virgin vigil.
Sursum cor! the elfin hill, Where the wind blows deadly chill From the world that wails beneath Death's black throat and lipless teeth.
There he had stood - his bosom bare - Tracing Life upon the Air With the crook and with the flail Lashing forward on the gale, Till its blade that wavereth Like the flickering of Death Sank before his subtle fence To the starless sea of sense.
Now at last the man is come Haply to his halidom.
Surely as he waves his rod In a circle on the sod Springs the emerald chaste and clean From the duller paler green.
Surely in the circle millions Of immaculate pavilions Flash upon the trembling turf Like the sea-stars in the surf - Millions of bejewelled tents For the warrior sacraments.
Vaster, vaster, vaster, vaster, Grows the stature of the master; All the ringed encampment vies With the infinite galaxies.
In the midst a cubic stone With the Devil set thereon; Hath a lamb's virginal throat; Hath the body of a stoat; Hath the buttocks of a goat; Hath the sanguine face and rod Of a goddess and a god! Spell by spell and pace by pace! Mystic flashes swing and trace Velvet soft the sigils stepped By the silver-starred adept.
Back and front, and to and fro, Soul and body sway and flow In vertiginous caresses To imponderable recesses, Till at last the spell is woven, And the faery veil is cloven That was Sequence, Space, and Stress Of the soul-sick consciousness.
"Give thy body to the beasts! Give thy spirit to the priests! Break in twain the hazel rod On the virgin lips of God! Tear the Rosy Cross asunder! Shatter the black bolt of thunder! Suck the swart ensanguine kiss Of the resolute abyss!" Wonder-weft the wizard heard This intolerable word.
Smote the blasting hazel rod On the scarlet lips of God; Trampled Cross and rosy core; Brake the thunder-tool of Thor; Meek and holy acolyte Of the priestly hells of spite, Sleek and shameless catamite Of the beasts that prowl the night! Like a star that streams from heaven Through the virgin airs light-riven, From the lift there shot and fell An admirable miracle.
Carved minute and clean, a key Of purest lapis-lazuli More blue than the blind sky that aches (Wreathed with the stars, her torturing snakes), For the dead god's kiss that never wakes; Shot with golden specks of fire Like a virgin with desire.
Look, the levers! fern-frail fronds Of fantastic diamonds, Glimmering with ethereal azure In each exquisite embrasure.
On the shaft the letters laced, As if dryads lunar-chaste With the satyrs were embraced, Spelled the secret of the key: Sic pervenias.
And he Went his wizard way, inweaving Dreams of things beyond believing.
When he will, the weary world Of the senses closely curled Like a serpent round his heart Shakes herself and stands apart.
So the heart's blood flames, expanding, Strenuous, urgent, and commanding; And the key unlocks the door Where his love lives evermore.
She is of the faery blood; All smaragdine flows its flood.
Glowing in the amber sky To ensorcelled porphyry She hath eyes of glittering flake Like a cold grey water-snake.
She hath naked breasts of amber Jetting wine in her bed-chamber, Whereof whoso stoops and drinks Rees the riddle of the Sphinx.
She hath naked limbs of amber Whereupon her children clamber.
She hath five navels rosy-red From the five wounds of God that bled; Each wound that mothered her still bleeding, And on that blood her babes are feeding.
Oh! like a rose-winged pelican She hath bred blessed babes to Pan! Oh! like a lion-hued nightingale She hath torn her breast on thorns to avail The barren rose-tree to renew Her life with that disastrous dew, Building the rose o' the world alight With music out of the pale moonlight! O She is like the river of blood That broke from the lips of the bastard god, When he saw the sacred mother smile On the ibis that flew up the foam of Nile Bearing the limbs unblessed, unborn, That the lurking beast of Nile had torn! So (for the world is weary) I These dreadful souls of sense lay by.
I sacrifice these impure shoon To the cold ray of the waning moon.
I take the forked hazel staff, And the rose of no terrene graff, And the lamp of no olive oil With heart's blood that alone may boil.
With naked breast and feet unshod I follow the wizard way to God.
Wherever he leads my foot shall follow; Over the height, into the hollow, Up to the caves of pure cold breath, Down to the deeps of foul hot death, Across the seas, through the fires, Past the palace of desires; Where he will, whether he will or no, If I go, I care not whither I go.
For in me is the taint of the faery blood.
Fast, fast its emerald flood Leaps within me, violent rude Like a bestial faun's beatitude.
In me the faery blood runs hard: My sires were a druid, a devil, a bard, A beast, a wizard, a snake and a satyr; For - as my mother said - what does it matter? She was a fay, pure of the faery; Queen Morgan's daughter by an aery Demon that came to Orkney once To pay the Beetle his orisons.
So, it is I that writhe with the twitch Of the faery blood, and the wizard itch To attain a matter one may not utter Rather than sink in the greasy splutter Of Britons munching their bread and butter; Ailing boys and coarse-grained girls Grown to sloppy women and brutal churls.
So, I am off with staff in hand To the endless light of the nameless land.
Darkness spreads its sombre streams, Blotting out the elfin dreams.
I might haply be afraid, Were it not the Feather-maid Leads me softly by the hand, Whispers me to understand.
Now (when through the world of weeping Light at last starrily creeping Steals upon my babe-new sight, Light - O light that is not light!) On my mouth the lips of her Like a stone on my sepulchre Seal my speech with ecstasy, Till a babe is born of me That is silent more than I; For its inarticulate cry Hushes as its mouth is pressed To the pearl, her honey breast; While its breath divinely ripples The rose-petals of her nipples, And the jetted milk he laps From the soft delicious paps, Sweeter than the bee-sweet showers In the chalice of the flowers, More intoxicating than All the purple grapes of Pan.
Ah! my proper lips are stilled.
Only, all the world is filled With the Echo, that drips over Like the honey from the clover.
Passion, penitence, and pain Seek their mother's womb again, And are born the triple treasure, Peace and purity and pleasure.
- Hush, my child, and come aloft Where the stars are velvet soft!
Written by William Butler Yeats | Create an image from this poem

A Prayer For My Daughter

 Once more the storm is howling, and half hid
Under this cradle-hood and coverlid
My child sleeps on.
There is no obstacle But Gregory's wood and one bare hill Whereby the haystack- and roof-levelling wind.
Bred on the Atlantic, can be stayed; And for an hour I have walked and prayed Because of the great gloom that is in my mind.
I have walked and prayed for this young child an hour And heard the sea-wind scream upon the tower, And-under the arches of the bridge, and scream In the elms above the flooded stream; Imagining in excited reverie That the future years had come, Dancing to a frenzied drum, Out of the murderous innocence of the sea.
May she be granted beauty and yet not Beauty to make a stranger's eye distraught, Or hers before a looking-glass, for such, Being made beautiful overmuch, Consider beauty a sufficient end, Lose natural kindness and maybe The heart-revealing intimacy That chooses right, and never find a friend.
Helen being chosen found life flat and dull And later had much trouble from a fool, While that great Queen, that rose out of the spray, Being fatherless could have her way Yet chose a bandy-leggèd smith for man.
It's certain that fine women eat A crazy salad with their meat Whereby the Horn of plenty is undone.
In courtesy I'd have her chiefly learned; Hearts are not had as a gift but hearts are earned By those that are not entirely beautiful; Yet many, that have played the fool For beauty's very self, has charm made wisc.
And many a poor man that has roved, Loved and thought himself beloved, From a glad kindness cannot take his eyes.
May she become a flourishing hidden tree That all her thoughts may like the linnet be, And have no business but dispensing round Their magnanimities of sound, Nor but in merriment begin a chase, Nor but in merriment a quarrel.
O may she live like some green laurel Rooted in one dear perpetual place.
My mind, because the minds that I have loved, The sort of beauty that I have approved, Prosper but little, has dried up of late, Yet knows that to be choked with hate May well be of all evil chances chief.
If there's no hatred in a mind Assault and battery of the wind Can never tear the linnet from the leaf.
An intellectual hatred is the worst, So let her think opinions are accursed.
Have I not seen the loveliest woman born Out of the mouth of plenty's horn, Because of her opinionated mind Barter that horn and every good By quiet natures understood For an old bellows full of angry wind? Considering that, all hatred driven hence, The soul recovers radical innocence And learns at last that it is self-delighting, Self-appeasing, self-affrighting, And that its own sweet will is Heaven's will; She can, though every face should scowl And every windy quarter howl Or every bellows burst, be happy Still.
And may her bridegroom bring her to a house Where all's accustomed, ceremonious; For arrogance and hatred are the wares Peddled in the thoroughfares.
How but in custom and in ceremony Are innocence and beauty born? Ceremony's a name for the rich horn, And custom for the spreading laurel tree.


Written by Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi | Create an image from this poem

Be Lost In The Call

Lord, said David, since you do not need us, why did you create these two worlds?

Reality replied: O prisoner of time, I was a secret treasure of kindness and generosity, and I wished this treasure to be known, so I created a mirror: its shining face, the heart; its darkened back, the world; The back would please you if you’ve never seen the face.

Has anyone ever produced a mirror out of mud and straw? Yet clean away the mud and straw, and a mirror might be revealed.

Until the juice ferments a while in the cask, it isn’t wine.
If you wish your heart to be bright, you must do a little work.

My King addressed the soul of my flesh: You return just as you left.
Where are the traces of my gifts?

We know that alchemy transforms copper into gold.
This Sun doesn’t want a crown or robe from God’s grace.
He is a hat to a hundred bald men, a covering for ten who were naked.

Jesus sat humbly on the back of an ***, my child! How could a zephyr ride an ***? Spirit, find your way, in seeking lowness like a stream.
Reason, tread the path of selflessness into eternity.

Remember God so much that you are forgotten.
Let the caller and the called disappear; be lost in the Call.

 

 

- Rumi

Written by Ellis Parker Butler | Create an image from this poem

The Golf Walk

 Behold, my child, this touching scene,
The golfer on the golfing-green;
Pray mark his legs’ uncanny swing,
The golf-walk is a gruesome thing!

See how his arms and shoulders ride
Above his legs in haughty pride,
While over bunker, hill and lawn
His feet, relentless, drag him on.
And does the man walk always so? Nay! nay I my child, and eke, oh! no! It is a gait he only knows When he has on his golfing clothes.
Blame not the man for that strange stride He could not help it if he tried; It is his timid feet that try From his obstreperous clothes to fly.
Written by Alfred Lord Tennyson | Create an image from this poem

Demeter And Persephone

 Faint as a climate-changing bird that flies
All night across the darkness, and at dawn
Falls on the threshold of her native land,
And can no more, thou camest, O my child,
Led upward by the God of ghosts and dreams,
Who laid thee at Eleusis, dazed and dumb,
With passing thro' at once from state to state,
Until I brought thee hither, that the day,
When here thy hands let fall the gather'd flower,
Might break thro' clouded memories once again
On thy lost self.
A sudden nightingale Saw thee, and flash'd into a frolic of song And welcome; and a gleam as of the moon, When first she peers along the tremulous deep, Fled wavering o'er thy face, and chased away That shadow of a likeness to the king Of shadows, thy dark mate.
Persephone! Queen of the dead no more -- my child! Thine eyes Again were human-godlike, and the Sun Burst from a swimming fleece of winter gray, And robed thee in his day from head to feet -- "Mother!" and I was folded in thine arms.
Child, those imperial, disimpassion'd eyes Awed even me at first, thy mother -- eyes That oft had seen the serpent-wanded power Draw downward into Hades with his drift Of fickering spectres, lighted from below By the red race of fiery Phlegethon; But when before have Gods or men beheld The Life that had descended re-arise, And lighted from above him by the Sun? So mighty was the mother's childless cry, A cry that ran thro' Hades, Earth, and Heaven! So in this pleasant vale we stand again, The field of Enna, now once more ablaze With flowers that brighten as thy footstep falls, All flowers -- but for one black blur of earth Left by that closing chasm, thro' which the car Of dark Aidoneus rising rapt thee hence.
And here, my child, tho' folded in thine arms, I feel the deathless heart of motherhood Within me shudder, lest the naked glebe Should yawn once more into the gulf, and thence The shrilly whinnyings of the team of Hell, Ascending, pierce the glad and songful air, And all at once their arch'd necks, midnight-maned, Jet upward thro' the mid-day blossom.
No! For, see, thy foot has touch'd it; all the space Of blank earth-baldness clothes itself afresh, And breaks into the crocus-purple hour That saw thee vanish.
Child, when thou wert gone, I envied human wives, and nested birds, Yea, the cubb'd lioness; went in search of thee Thro' many a palace, many a cot, and gave Thy breast to ailing infants in the night, And set the mother waking in amaze To find her sick one whole; and forth again Among the wail of midnight winds, and cried, "Where is my loved one? Wherefore do ye wail?" And out from all the night an answer shrill'd, "We know not, and we know not why we wail.
" I climb'd on all the cliffs of all the seas, And ask'd the waves that moan about the world "Where? do ye make your moaning for my child?" And round from all the world the voices came "We know not, and we know not why we moan.
" "Where?" and I stared from every eagle-peak, I thridded the black heart of all the woods, I peer'd thro' tomb and cave, and in the storms Of Autumn swept across the city, and heard The murmur of their temples chanting me, Me, me, the desolate Mother! "Where"? -- and turn'd, And fled by many a waste, forlorn of man, And grieved for man thro' all my grief for thee, -- The jungle rooted in his shatter'd hearth, The serpent coil'd about his broken shaft, The scorpion crawling over naked skulls; -- I saw the tiger in the ruin'd fane Spring from his fallen God, but trace of thee I saw not; and far on, and, following out A league of labyrinthine darkness, came On three gray heads beneath a gleaming rift.
"Where"? and I heard one voice from all the three "We know not, for we spin the lives of men, And not of Gods, and know not why we spin! There is a Fate beyond us.
" Nothing knew.
Last as the likeness of a dying man, Without his knowledge, from him flits to warn A far-off friendship that he comes no more, So he, the God of dreams, who heard my cry, Drew from thyself the likeness of thyself Without thy knowledge, and thy shadow past Before me, crying "The Bright one in the highest Is brother of the Dark one in the lowest, And Bright and Dark have sworn that I, the child Of thee, the great Earth-Mother, thee, the Power That lifts her buried life from loom to bloom, Should be for ever and for evermore The Bride of Darkness.
" So the Shadow wail'd.
Then I, Earth-Goddess, cursed the Gods of Heaven.
I would not mingle with their feasts; to me Their nectar smack'd of hemlock on the lips, Their rich ambrosia tasted aconite.
The man, that only lives and loves an hour, Seem'd nobler than their hard Eternities.
My quick tears kill'd the flower, my ravings hush'd The bird, and lost in utter grief I fail'd To send my life thro' olive-yard and vine And golden grain, my gift to helpless man.
Rain-rotten died the wheat, the barley-spears Were hollow-husk'd, the leaf fell, and the sun, Pale at my grief, drew down before his time Sickening, and Aetna kept her winter snow.
Then He, the brother of this Darkness, He Who still is highest, glancing from his height On earth a fruitless fallow, when he miss'd The wonted steam of sacrifice, the praise And prayer of men, decreed that thou should'st dwell For nine white moons of each whole year with me, Three dark ones in the shadow with thy King.
Once more the reaper in the gleam of dawn Will see me by the landmark far away, Blessing his field, or seated in the dusk Of even, by the lonely threshing-floor, Rejoicing in the harvest and the grange.
Yet I, Earth-Goddess, am but ill-content With them, who still are highest.
Those gray heads, What meant they by their "Fate beyond the Fates" But younger kindlier Gods to bear us down, As we bore down the Gods before us? Gods, To quench, not hurl the thunderbolt, to stay, Not spread the plague, the famine; Gods indeed, To send the noon into the night and break The sunless halls of Hades into Heaven? Till thy dark lord accept and love the Sun, And all the Shadow die into the Light, When thou shalt dwell the whole bright year with me, And souls of men, who grew beyond their race, And made themselves as Gods against the fear Of Death and Hell; and thou that hast from men, As Queen of Death, that worship which is Fear, Henceforth, as having risen from out the dead, Shalt ever send thy life along with mine From buried grain thro' springing blade, and bless Their garner'd Autumn also, reap with me, Earth-mother, in the harvest hymns of Earth The worship which is Love, and see no more The Stone, the Wheel, the dimly-glimmering lawns Of that Elysium, all the hateful fires Of torment, and the shadowy warrior glide Along the silent field of Asphodel.
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