japonisme: 3/21/10 - 3/28/10

27 March 2010

from The Real Poem • (the calendars)

Even now
I remember something

the way a flower
in a jar of water

remembers its life
in the perfect garden

the way a flower
in a jar of water

remembers its life
as a closed seed

the way a flower
in a jar of water

steadies itself
remembering itself

long ago
the plunging roots

the gravel the rain
the glossy stem

the wings of the leaves
the swords of the leaves

rising and clashing
for the rose of the sun

the salt of the stars
the crown of the wind

the beds of the clouds
the blue dream

the unbreakable circle.

from Mary Oliver, The Leaf and the Cloud

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25 March 2010

a man for all seasons: 1913


East of me, west of me, full summer.

How deeper than elsewhere the dusk is in your own yard.

Birds fly back and forth across the lawn
looking for home
As night drifts up like a little boat.

Day after day, I become of less use to myself.

Like this mockingbird,
I flit from one thing to the next.

What do I have to look forward to at fifty-four?

Tomorrow is dark.

Day-after-tomorrow is darker still.

The sky dogs are whimpering.

Fireflies are dragging the hush of evening
up from the damp grass.

Into the world's tumult, into the chaos of every day,
Go quietly, quietly.

-- Charles Wright

From Chickamauga, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
Copyright © 1995 by Charles Wright. All rights reserved.

I'm 62
Another day ignorant.
Here comes the sun anyway.
So beautiful I could just pee my pants.
Frost wore diapers after 70
his daughter told his biographer
he'd get so excited.
It doesn't get easier.
I just filleted a yellow perch
I caught an hour ago in the bay.
Its lone gut unfolded
like origami,
one sandshrimp after another.
You see what I mean?
I live alone to spare myself,
another, the intensity of feelings
even a little bird brings on
eating the bread crumbs
I put out the night before.

-- Tom Crawford
Orion Magazine

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24 March 2010

good this year too!

(and this also serves to illustrate the fact
that at the same time, the old
victorian stylings were still around)

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21 March 2010



As when far off in the middle of the ocean
A breast-shaped curve of wave begins to whiten
And rise above the surface, then rolling on
Gathers and gathers until it reaches land
Huge as a mountain and crashes among the rocks
With a prodigious roar, and what was deep
Comes churning up from the bottom in mighty swirls
Of sunken sand and living things and water —
So in the springtime every race of people
And all the creatures on earth or in the water,
Wild animals and flocks and all the birds
In all their painted colors, all rush to charge
Into the fire that burns them: love moves them all.


translated by Robert Pinsky
The Threepenny Review

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