Carol Ann Duffy
This is the word tightrope.
a man, inching across it in the space
between our thoughts.
He holds our breath.
There is no word net.
You want him to fall, don't you?
I guessed as much; he teeters but succeeds.
The word applause is written all over him.
I am alone, in spite of love,
In spite of all I take and give—
In spite of all your tenderness,
Sometimes I am not glad to live.
I am alone, as though I stood
On the highest peak of the tired gray world,
About me only swirling snow,
Above me, endless space unfurled;
With earth hidden and heaven hidden,
And only my own spirit's pride
To keep me from the peace of those
Who are not lonely, having died.
But outer Space,
At least this far,
For all the fuss
Of the populace
Stays more popular
Andrew Barton Paterson
In this war we're always moving,
When we make a friend another friend has gone;
Should a woman's kindly face
Make us welcome for a space,
Then it's boot and saddle, boys, we're
In the hospitals they're moving,
They're here today, tomorrow they are gone;
When the bravest and the best
Of the boys you know "go west",
Then you're choking down your tears and
A few grains of dust more or less
On ancient shoulders
Locks of weakness on weary foreheads
This theatre of honey and faded roses
Where incalcuable flies
Reply to the black signs that misery makes to them
Despairing girders of a bridge
Thrown across space
Thrown across every street and every house
Heavy wandering madnesses
That we shall end by knowing by heart
Mechanical appetites and uncontrolled dances
That lead to the regret of hatred
Nostalgia of justice
All the huskies are eaten.
There is no space
left in the diary And the beads of quick
words scatter over his spouse's sepia-shaded face
adding the date in question like a mole to her lovely cheek.
Next the snapshot of his sister.
He doesn't spare his kin:
what's been reached is the highest possible latitude!
And like the silk stocking of a burlesque half-nude
queen it climbs up his thigh: gangrene.
Entering a cell, penetrating deep
As a flying saucer
To find a new galaxy
Would be an honorable task
For a new scientist interested
More in the inner state of the soul
Than in outer space.
Here is my philosophy:
Everything changes (the word "everything"
has just changed as the
word "change" has: it now
means "no change") so
quickly that it literally surpasses my belief,
charges right past it
like some of the giant
ideas in this area.
I had no beginning and I shall have
no end: the beam of light
stretches out before and behind
and I cook the vegetables
for a few minutes only,
the fewer the better.
Here is my
philosophy: butter and serve.
Lie on the ground and listen to the grass,
Hear the silent signals from outer space,
Dream by making and make by dreaming,
Feel what the trees bathed in sunlight feel,
Gaze far to see the sea-gull emerging from the sea,
Imagine that today is the birth of the world and greet it,
Greet the old bird.
we were young
it was a most
makes each word
shot in the eye
shot in the brain
shot in the ass
shot like a flower in the dance
amazing how death wins hands down
amazing how much credence is given to idiot forms of life
amazing how laughter has been drowned out
amazing how viciousness is such a constant
I must soon declare my own war on their war
I must hold to my last piece of ground
I must protect the small space I have made that has allowed me life
my life not their death
my death not their death.
There is a solitude of space
A solitude of sea
A solitude of death, but these
Society shall be
Compared with that profounder site
That polar privacy
A soul admitted to itself --
there is always that space there
just before they get to us
that fine relaxer
flopping on a bed
thinking of nothing
pouring a glass of water from the
while entranced by
just to scratch your neck
while looking out the window at
a bare branch
before they get to us
when they do
get it all
Young are our dead
Like babies they lie
The wombs they blest once
Not healed dry
And yet - too soon
Into each space
A cold earth falls
On colder face.
Quite still they lie
These fresh-cut reeds
Clutched in earth
Like winter seeds
But they will not bloom
When called by spring
To burst with leaf
They sleep on
In silent dust
As crosses rot
And helmets rust.
A spirit sped
Through spaces of night;
And as he sped, he called,
He went through valleys
Of black death-slime,
From crevice and cavern
"God! God! God!"
Fleetly into the plains of space
He went, ever calling,
Eventually, then, he screamed,
Mad in denial,
"Ah, there is no God!"
A swift hand,
A sword from the sky,
And he was dead.
Today as the news from Selma and Saigon
poisons the air like fallout,
I come again to see
the serene, great picture that I love.
Here space and time exist in light
the eye like the eye of faith believes.
The seen, the known
dissolve in iridescence, become
illusive flesh of light
that was not, was, forever is.
O light beheld as through refracting tears.
Here is the aura of that world
each of us has lost.
Here is the shadow of its joy.
From whence arrived the praying mantis?
From outer space, or lost Atlantis?
glimpse the grin, green metal mug
at masks the pseudo-saintly bug,
Orthopterous, also carnivorous,
And faintly whisper, Lord deliver us.
Rainer Maria Rilke
A sudden softness
has replaced the meadows' wintry grey.
Little rivulets of water changed
their singing accents.
hesitantly, reach toward the earth
from space, and country lanes are showing
these unexpected subtle risings
that find expression in the empty trees.
Alfred Lord Tennyson
Love is and was my Lord and King,
And in his presence I attend
To hear the tidings of my friend,
Which every hour his couriers bring.
Love is and was my King and Lord,
And will be, tho' as yet I keep
Within his court on earth, and sleep
Encompass'd by his faithful guard,
And hear at times a sentinel
Who moves about from place to place,
And whispers to the worlds of space,
In the deep night, that all is well.
GLIDING o’er all, through all,
Through Nature, Time, and Space,
As a ship on the waters advancing,
The voyage of the soul—not life alone,
Death, many deaths I’ll sing.
Walter de la Mare
At the edge of All the Ages
A Knight sate on his steed,
His armor red and thin with rust
His soul from sorrow freed;
And he lifted up his visor
From a face of skin and bone,
And his horse turned head and whinnied
As the twain stood there alone.
No bird above that steep of time
Sang of a livelong quest;
No wind breathed,
"Lone for an end!" cried Knight to steed,
Loosed an eager rein--
Charged with his challenge into space:
And quiet did quiet remain.
Edgar Lee Masters
Out of a cell into this darkened space --
The end at twenty-five!
My tongue could not speak what stirred within me,
And the village thought me a fool.
Yet at the start there was a clear vision,
A high and urgent purpose in my soul
Which drove me on trying to memorize
The Encyclopedia Britannica!
Ralph Waldo Emerson
What care I, so they stand the same,—
Things of the heavenly mind,—
How long the power to give them fame
Tarries yet behind?
Thus far to-day your favors reach,
O fair, appeasing Presences!
Ye taught my lips a single speech,
And a thousand silences.
Space grants beyond his fated road
No inch to the god of day,
And copious language still bestowed
One word, no more, to say.
It is not heaven: bitter seed
Leavens its entrails with despair
It is a star where dragons breed:
Devils have a footing there.
The sky has bent it out of shape;
The sun has strapped it to his wheel;
Its course is crooked to escape
Traps and gins of stone and steel.
It balances on air, and spins
Snared by strong transparent space;
I forgive it all its sins;
I kiss the scars upon its face.
Spinning like a ghost
on the bottom of a
I'm haunted by all
the space that I
will live without