Posts in "Poems" Category

There is a pain — so utter —

There is a pain — so utter —
It swallows substance up —
Then covers the Abyss with Trance —
So Memory can step
Around — across — opon it —
As One within a Swoon —
Goes safely — where an open eye —
Would drop Him — Bone by Bone —
~Emily Dickinson

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My Worst Habit

My worst habit is I get so tired of winter
I become a torture to those I’m with.

If you are not here, nothing grows.
I lack clarity. My words
tangle and knot up.

How to cure bad water? Send it back to the river.
How to cure bad habits? Send me back to you.

When water gets caught in habitual whirlpools,
dig a way out through the bottom
to the ocean. There is a secret medicine
given only to those who hurt so hard
they can’t hope.

The hopers would feel slighted if they knew.

Look as long as you can at the friend you love,
no matter whether that friend is moving away from you
or coming back toward you.

~Rumi

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Made-to-order

Cascading pain. The terrible is yet magnificent.
Can one being bear so much lost?
Maybe.
But, can she bear it if she is the one who has relinquished all?

I asked.
God granted to the detail; twin turtles lazing in the cascading fountain.
As always, he enters, devil disguised as helpmate.
The tub is teeny tiny. What about the money? Potential pool party hubbub.
The feeling just isn’t quite right.

As always, she folds. Drops her dream, made-to-order.

There was never any hope.

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Loneliness

Loneliness is like the rain.
It rises from the sea toward evening
and from distant plains moves into sky
where it ever belongs.
And from the sky it falls upon us in the city.

It rains here below in the twilight hours
when alleyways wind toward morning
and when lovers, finding nothing,
leave the failure of each other’s arms,
and when two who loathe each other
must share the same bed:

Then loneliness flows with the rivers….

~Rainer Maria Rilke, Book of Images

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Musee des Beaux Arts

About suffering they were never wrong,
The old Masters: how well they understood
Its human position: how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer’s horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.

In Breughel’s Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water, and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

~W. H. Auden

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