japonisme: whoopee we're all gonna die

15 March 2011

whoopee we're all gonna die

awash in all they're (still) not telling us
yet bouyed by what they're not reporting.

it's seeming now that only rumi's right.

(above, film of the exact moment i walked through
the destroyed gates at woodstock.)


This we have now
is not imagination.

This is not
grief or joy.

Not a judging state,
or an elation,
or sadness.

Those come and go.
This is the presence that doesn't.

translated by Coleman Barks


At noon in the desert a panting lizard
waited for history, its elbows tense,
watching the curve of a particular road
as if something might happen.

It was looking for something farther off
than people could see, an important scene
acted in stone for little selves
at the flute end of consequences.

There was just a continent without much on it
under a sky that never cared less.
Ready for a change, the elbows waited.
The hands gripped hard on the desert.

William Stafford


Some people fleeing some other people.
In some country under the sun
and some clouds.

They leave behind some of their everything,
sown fields, some chickens, dogs,
mirrors in which fire now sees itself reflected.

On their backs are pitchers and bundles,
the emptier, the heavier from one day to the next.

Taking place stealthily is somebody's stopping,
and in the commotion, somebody's bread somebody's snatching
and a dead child somebody's shaking.

In front of them some still not the right way,
nor the bridge that should be
over a river strangely rosy.
Around them, some gunfire, at times closer, at times farther off,
and, above, a plane circling somewhat.

Some invisibility would come in handy,
some grayish stoniness,
or even better, non-being
for a little or a long while.

Something else is yet to happen, only where and what?
Someone will head toward them, only when and who,
in how many shapes and with what intentions?
Given a choice,
maybe he will choose not to be the enemy and
leave them with some kind of life.

Wislawa Szymborska
translated by Joanna Trzeciak

from Miracle Fair by Wislawa Szymborska,
translated by Joanna Trzeciak.
Copyright © 2001 by Joanna Trzeciak.

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Blogger lotusgreen said...

i haven't felt this way since the cuban missile crisis. at least this time i don't have to spend my time wondering if i'll ever lose my virginity.

15 March, 2011 21:13  
Blogger Sabine said...

Only positive thing about this major disaster: people start questioning the safety of nuclear power again.

16 March, 2011 02:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When japonism meets sufism. This is definitely not a passive blog.d

16 March, 2011 02:42  
Blogger David Apatoff said...

Lotusgreen, it took a long time but I finally found you in the background of that Woodstock film clip; you are the 4,738th from the left, 23rd down from the top. I like those jeans you were wearing.

I have not written recently, but that Yeats poem, the Second Coming, has been one of my favorites since I was transfixed by it as a teenage boy. The last section about a rough beast slouching toward Bethlehem to be born was enough to solidify Yeats as the greatest English speaking poet of the 20th century.

Be careful which bears you kiss; we've come to depend on your posts.

16 March, 2011 04:19  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

sabine -- one would only hope. with the media and the government now in the hands of the big energy guys, one can no longer be sure of anything.

d-- but maybe pacivist

david-- thanks, i embroidered them myself. i think more important is watching whose kiss i bear.

16 March, 2011 08:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hurray! We have a new war in the neighbourhood!d

19 March, 2011 10:56  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

yeah -- where's country joe when you really need him? wait. i know; he's here in berkeley. one runs into him all the time.

19 March, 2011 11:58  
Blogger dlregh said...

I still believe that somewhere in the stars/universe you and Mr. Aptoff have a connection that transcends the limitations of this format!

24 March, 2011 16:55  
Blogger lotusgreen said...


25 March, 2011 10:58  

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hi, and thanks so much for stopping by. i spend all too much time thinking my own thoughts about this stuff, so please tell me yours. i thrive on the exchange!

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