Poem Try Again Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Poem Try Again. Here they are! All 104 of them:

And I want to play hide-and-seek and give you my clothes and tell you I like your shoes and sit on the steps while you take a bath and massage your neck and kiss your feet and hold your hand and go for a meal and not mind when you eat my food and meet you at Rudy's and talk about the day and type up your letters and carry your boxes and laugh at your paranoia and give you tapes you don't listen to and watch great films and watch terrible films and complain about the radio and take pictures of you when you're sleeping and get up to fetch you coffee and bagels and Danish and go to Florent and drink coffee at midnight and have you steal my cigarettes and never be able to find a match and tell you about the tv programme I saw the night before and take you to the eye hospital and not laugh at your jokes and want you in the morning but let you sleep for a while and kiss your back and stroke your skin and tell you how much I love your hair your eyes your lips your neck your breasts your arse your and sit on the steps smoking till your neighbour comes home and sit on the steps smoking till you come home and worry when you're late and be amazed when you're early and give you sunflowers and go to your party and dance till I'm black and be sorry when I'm wrong and happy when you forgive me and look at your photos and wish I'd known you forever and hear your voice in my ear and feel your skin on my skin and get scared when you're angry and your eye has gone red and the other eye blue and your hair to the left and your face oriental and tell you you're gorgeous and hug you when you're anxious and hold you when you hurt and want you when I smell you and offend you when I touch you and whimper when I'm next to you and whimper when I'm not and dribble on your breast and smother you in the night and get cold when you take the blanket and hot when you don't and melt when you smile and dissolve when you laugh and not understand why you think I'm rejecting you when I'm not rejecting you and wonder how you could think I'd ever reject you and wonder who you are but accept you anyway and tell you about the tree angel enchanted forest boy who flew across the ocean because he loved you and write poems for you and wonder why you don't believe me and have a feeling so deep I can't find words for it and want to buy you a kitten I'd get jealous of because it would get more attention than me and keep you in bed when you have to go and cry like a baby when you finally do and get rid of the roaches and buy you presents you don't want and take them away again and ask you to marry me and you say no again but keep on asking because though you think I don't mean it I do always have from the first time I asked you and wander the city thinking it's empty without you and want what you want and think I'm losing myself but know I'm safe with you and tell you the worst of me and try to give you the best of me because you don't deserve any less and answer your questions when I'd rather not and tell you the truth when I really don't want to and try to be honest because I know you prefer it and think it's all over but hang on in for just ten more minutes before you throw me out of your life and forget who I am and try to get closer to you because it's beautiful learning to know you and well worth the effort and speak German to you badly and Hebrew to you worse and make love with you at three in the morning and somehow somehow somehow communicate some of the overwhelming undying overpowering unconditional all-encompassing heart-enriching mind-expanding on-going never-ending love I have for you.
Sarah Kane (Crave)
When they bombed Hiroshima, the explosion formed a mini-supernova, so every living animal, human or plant that received direct contact with the rays from that sun was instantly turned to ash. And what was left of the city soon followed. The long-lasting damage of nuclear radiation caused an entire city and its population to turn into powder. When I was born, my mom says I looked around the whole hospital room with a stare that said, "This? I've done this before." She says I have old eyes. When my Grandpa Genji died, I was only five years old, but I took my mom by the hand and told her, "Don't worry, he'll come back as a baby." And yet, for someone who's apparently done this already, I still haven't figured anything out yet. My knees still buckle every time I get on a stage. My self-confidence can be measured out in teaspoons mixed into my poetry, and it still always tastes funny in my mouth. But in Hiroshima, some people were wiped clean away, leaving only a wristwatch or a diary page. So no matter that I have inhibitions to fill all my pockets, I keep trying, hoping that one day I'll write a poem I can be proud to let sit in a museum exhibit as the only proof I existed. My parents named me Sarah, which is a biblical name. In the original story God told Sarah she could do something impossible and she laughed, because the first Sarah, she didn't know what to do with impossible. And me? Well, neither do I, but I see the impossible every day. Impossible is trying to connect in this world, trying to hold onto others while things are blowing up around you, knowing that while you're speaking, they aren't just waiting for their turn to talk -- they hear you. They feel exactly what you feel at the same time that you feel it. It's what I strive for every time I open my mouth -- that impossible connection. There's this piece of wall in Hiroshima that was completely burnt black by the radiation. But on the front step, a person who was sitting there blocked the rays from hitting the stone. The only thing left now is a permanent shadow of positive light. After the A bomb, specialists said it would take 75 years for the radiation damaged soil of Hiroshima City to ever grow anything again. But that spring, there were new buds popping up from the earth. When I meet you, in that moment, I'm no longer a part of your future. I start quickly becoming part of your past. But in that instant, I get to share your present. And you, you get to share mine. And that is the greatest present of all. So if you tell me I can do the impossible, I'll probably laugh at you. I don't know if I can change the world yet, because I don't know that much about it -- and I don't know that much about reincarnation either, but if you make me laugh hard enough, sometimes I forget what century I'm in. This isn't my first time here. This isn't my last time here. These aren't the last words I'll share. But just in case, I'm trying my hardest to get it right this time around.
Sarah Kay
I would read the Shel Silverstein poems, Dr. Seuss, and I noticed early on that poetry was something that just stuck in my head and I was replaying those rhymes and try to think of my own. In English, the only thing I wanted to do was poetry and all the other kids were like, "Oh, man. We have to write poems again?" and I would have a three-page long poem. I won a national poetry contest when I was in fourth grade for a poem called "Monster In My Closet.
Taylor Swift
The first thing you notice about New Orleans are the burying grounds - the cemeteries - and they're a cold proposition, one of the best things there are here. Going by, you try to be as quiet as possible, better to let them sleep. Greek, Roman, sepulchres- palatial mausoleums made to order, phantomesque, signs and symbols of hidden decay - ghosts of women and men who have sinned and who've died and are now living in tombs. The past doesn't pass away so quickly here. You could be dead for a long time. The ghosts race towards the light, you can almost hear the heavy breathing spirits, all determined to get somewhere. New Orleans, unlike a lot of those places you go back to and that don't have the magic anymore, still has got it. Night can swallow you up, yet none of it touches you. Around any corner, there's a promise of something daring and ideal and things are just getting going. There's something obscenely joyful behind every door, either that or somebody crying with their head in their hands. A lazy rhythm looms in the dreamy air and the atmosphere pulsates with bygone duels, past-life romance, comrades requesting comrades to aid them in some way. You can't see it, but you know it's here. Somebody is always sinking. Everyone seems to be from some very old Southern families. Either that or a foreigner. I like the way it is. There are a lot of places I like, but I like New Orleans better. There's a thousand different angles at any moment. At any time you could run into a ritual honoring some vaguely known queen. Bluebloods, titled persons like crazy drunks, lean weakly against the walls and drag themselves through the gutter. Even they seem to have insights you might want to listen to. No action seems inappropriate here. The city is one very long poem. Gardens full of pansies, pink petunias, opiates. Flower-bedecked shrines, white myrtles, bougainvillea and purple oleander stimulate your senses, make you feel cool and clear inside. Everything in New Orleans is a good idea. Bijou temple-type cottages and lyric cathedrals side by side. Houses and mansions, structures of wild grace. Italianate, Gothic, Romanesque, Greek Revival standing in a long line in the rain. Roman Catholic art. Sweeping front porches, turrets, cast-iron balconies, colonnades- 30-foot columns, gloriously beautiful- double pitched roofs, all the architecture of the whole wide world and it doesn't move. All that and a town square where public executions took place. In New Orleans you could almost see other dimensions. There's only one day at a time here, then it's tonight and then tomorrow will be today again. Chronic melancholia hanging from the trees. You never get tired of it. After a while you start to feel like a ghost from one of the tombs, like you're in a wax museum below crimson clouds. Spirit empire. Wealthy empire. One of Napoleon's generals, Lallemaud, was said to have come here to check it out, looking for a place for his commander to seek refuge after Waterloo. He scouted around and left, said that here the devil is damned, just like everybody else, only worse. The devil comes here and sighs. New Orleans. Exquisite, old-fashioned. A great place to live vicariously. Nothing makes any difference and you never feel hurt, a great place to really hit on things. Somebody puts something in front of you here and you might as well drink it. Great place to be intimate or do nothing. A place to come and hope you'll get smart - to feed pigeons looking for handouts
Bob Dylan (Chronicles, Volume One)
If you ever try to change my memories again, I will slap you into next spring.” I took a breath, knees shaking as I felt small beside him, my white dress brushing against his black trousers. Some women get flowers or poems from their suitors. I get insults and threats.
Dawn Cook (Princess at Sea (Princess, #2))
My love has eyes blue as the sky. Her warm, bright smile makes me want to try To give her the world, And when she's curled Up in my arms where I can feel her touch, I realize again that I love her so much. My world has turned from black to white. Kissing in starlight, basking in sunlight, dancing at midnight.' ~John's poem for Belle
Julia Quinn (Dancing at Midnight (The Splendid Trilogy, #2))
Foolishness? No, It’s Not Sometimes I spend all day trying to count the leaves on a single tree. To do this I have to climb branch by branch and write down the numbers in a little book. So I suppose, from their point of view, it’s reasonable that my friends say: what foolishness! She’s got her head in the clouds again. But it’s not. Of course I have to give up, but by then I’m half crazy with the wonder of it — the abundance of the leaves, the quietness of the branches, the hopelessness of my effort. And I am in that delicious and important place, roaring with laughter, full of earth-praise.
Mary Oliver (A Thousand Mornings: Poems)
Determined, I rise and face the dawn with resolve. This time I will win.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year)
I love you," he writes again and again. "I can't bear to live without you. I'm counting the minutes until I see you." The words he uses are the idioms of popular songs and poems in the newspaper. And mine to him are no less cliched. I puzzle over the onionskin, trying to spill my heart onto the page. But I can only come up with the same words, in the same order, and hope the depth of feeling beneath them gives them weight and substance. I love you. I miss you. Be careful. Be safe.
Christina Baker Kline (Orphan Train)
Tonight I Can Write Tonight I can write the saddest lines. Write, for example, 'The night is starry and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance.' The night wind revolves in the sky and sings. Tonight I can write the saddest lines. I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too. Through nights like this one I held her in my arms. I kissed her again and again under the endless sky. She loved me, sometimes I loved her too. How could one not have loved her great still eyes. Tonight I can write the saddest lines. To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her. To hear the immense night, still more immense without her. And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture. What does it matter that my love could not keep her. The night is starry and she is not with me. This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance. My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her. My sight tries to find her as though to bring her closer. My heart looks for her, and she is not with me. The same night whitening the same trees. We, of that time, are no longer the same. I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her. My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing. Another's. She will be another's. As she was before my kisses. Her voice, her bright body. Her infinite eyes. I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her. Love is so short, forgetting is so long. Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her. Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer and these the last verses that I write for her.
Pablo Neruda (Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair)
Starlings in Winter I feel my boots trying to leave the ground, I feel my heart pumping hard. I want to think again of dangerous and noble things. I want to be light and frolicsome. I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing, as though I had wings.
Mary Oliver (Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays)
A story has come down about Rumi: a woman asks if he would say something to her young boy about his eating too much of a particular kind of white-sugar candy. Rumi tells her to come back in two weeks. She does, and he tells her again to come in two weeks. She does, and he advises the child to cut down on sweets. "Why did you not say this a month ago?" "Because I had to see if I could resist having that candy for two weeks. I couldn't. Then I tried again and was successful. Only now can I tell him to try not to have so much.
Coleman Barks (The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems)
Even the new things that I less than know, I keep trying, did again until perfect.
Alliah "Lenzkie" Tabaya (No Return Address: A collection of poems)
Know that...there's plenty of food and of course popcorn on the dining-room table. Just...help yourself. If that runs out just let me know. Don't panic. And there's coffee, both caff and decaf, and soft drinks and juice in the kitchen, and plenty of ice in the freezer so...let me know if you have any questions with that.' And lastly, since I have you all here in one place, I have something to share with you. Along the garden ways just now...I too heard the flowers speak. They told me that our family garden has all but turned to sand. I want you to know I've watered and nurtured this square of earth for nearly twenty years, and waited on my knees each spring for these gentle bulbs to rise, reborn. But want does not bring such breath to life. Only love does. The plain, old-fashioned kind. In our family garden my husband is of the genus Narcissus , which includes daffodils and jonquils and a host of other ornamental flowers. There is, in such a genus of man, a pervasive and well-known pattern of grandiosity and egocentrism that feeds off this very kind of evening, this type of glitzy generosity. People of this ilk are very exciting to be around. I have never met anyone with as many friends as my husband. He made two last night at Carvel. I'm not kidding. Where are you two? Hi. Hi, again. Welcome. My husband is a good man, isn't he? He is. But in keeping with his genus, he is also absurdly preoccupied with his own importance, and in staying loyal to this, he can be boastful and unkind and condescending and has an insatiable hunger to be seen as infallible. Underlying all of the constant campaigning needed to uphold this position is a profound vulnerability that lies at the very core of his psyche. Such is the narcissist who must mask his fears of inadequacy by ensuring that he is perceived to be a unique and brilliant stone. In his offspring he finds the grave limits he cannot admit in himself. And he will stop at nothing to make certain that his child continually tries to correct these flaws. In actuality, the child may be exceedingly intelligent, but has so fully developed feelings of ineptitude that he is incapable of believing in his own possibilities. The child's innate sense of self is in great jeopardy when this level of false labeling is accepted. In the end the narcissist must compensate for this core vulnerability he carries and as a result an overestimation of his own importance arises. So it feeds itself, cyclically. And, when in the course of life they realize that their views are not shared or thier expectations are not met, the most common reaction is to become enraged. The rage covers the fear associated with the vulnerable self, but it is nearly impossible for others to see this, and as a result, the very recognition they so crave is most often out of reach. It's been eighteen years that I've lived in service to this mindset. And it's been devastating for me to realize that my efforts to rise to these standards and demands and preposterous requests for perfection have ultimately done nothing but disappoint my husband. Put a person like this with four developing children and you're gonna need more than love poems and ice sculpture to stay afloat. Trust me. So. So, we're done here.
Joshua Braff (The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green)
When your heart starts to feel full again. I love FREE refills, and if a restaurant tries to double charge me, I refuse to write a love poem on their Yelp page. -Karen Quan and Jarod Kintz
Karen Quan (liQUID PROse QUOtes)
Perseverance.... It sometimes makes you look like a fool Working at something that that doesn't look cool. Never mind if people mock you from their stool When you are enthroned they will drool!
Manuela George-Izunwa
A Faint Music by Robert Hass Maybe you need to write a poem about grace. When everything broken is broken, and everything dead is dead, and the hero has looked into the mirror with complete contempt, and the heroine has studied her face and its defects remorselessly, and the pain they thought might, as a token of their earnestness, release them from themselves has lost its novelty and not released them, and they have begun to think, kindly and distantly, watching the others go about their days— likes and dislikes, reasons, habits, fears— that self-love is the one weedy stalk of every human blossoming, and understood, therefore, why they had been, all their lives, in such a fury to defend it, and that no one— except some almost inconceivable saint in his pool of poverty and silence—can escape this violent, automatic life’s companion ever, maybe then, ordinary light, faint music under things, a hovering like grace appears. As in the story a friend told once about the time he tried to kill himself. His girl had left him. Bees in the heart, then scorpions, maggots, and then ash. He climbed onto the jumping girder of the bridge, the bay side, a blue, lucid afternoon. And in the salt air he thought about the word “seafood,” that there was something faintly ridiculous about it. No one said “landfood.” He thought it was degrading to the rainbow perch he’d reeled in gleaming from the cliffs, the black rockbass, scales like polished carbon, in beds of kelp along the coast—and he realized that the reason for the word was crabs, or mussels, clams. Otherwise the restaurants could just put “fish” up on their signs, and when he woke—he’d slept for hours, curled up on the girder like a child—the sun was going down and he felt a little better, and afraid. He put on the jacket he’d used for a pillow, climbed over the railing carefully, and drove home to an empty house. There was a pair of her lemon yellow panties hanging on a doorknob. He studied them. Much-washed. A faint russet in the crotch that made him sick with rage and grief. He knew more or less where she was. A flat somewhere on Russian Hill. They’d have just finished making love. She’d have tears in her eyes and touch his jawbone gratefully. “God,” she’d say, “you are so good for me.” Winking lights, a foggy view downhill toward the harbor and the bay. “You’re sad,” he’d say. “Yes.” “Thinking about Nick?” “Yes,” she’d say and cry. “I tried so hard,” sobbing now, “I really tried so hard.” And then he’d hold her for a while— Guatemalan weavings from his fieldwork on the wall— and then they’d fuck again, and she would cry some more, and go to sleep. And he, he would play that scene once only, once and a half, and tell himself that he was going to carry it for a very long time and that there was nothing he could do but carry it. He went out onto the porch, and listened to the forest in the summer dark, madrone bark cracking and curling as the cold came up. It’s not the story though, not the friend leaning toward you, saying “And then I realized—,” which is the part of stories one never quite believes. I had the idea that the world’s so full of pain it must sometimes make a kind of singing. And that the sequence helps, as much as order helps— First an ego, and then pain, and then the singing
Robert Hass (Sun under Wood)
TOMORROW’S WILL Silent world, I find myself, Glad no one hears my thoughts. In dark cocoon, I hibernate, Yet spirit spills every thought. A second chance to try again. The risks I know too well. Two sunsets turning into six- Awaits tomorrow's will.
Giorge Leedy (Uninhibited From Lust To Love)
This modern deluge kneeing my dreams, twisting their blue, torturing my skies, tearing their chant and pouring grief streams trying again to bleed yearning’s eyes. They call it free world while smashing behind the light to adapt to their shadows’ kind.
Simona Prilogan (Love is Young: Poems)
He tried to measure his day by tallying the hours on his wrist. I wiped it off and called him a prisoner. He placed the hours on a scale with hours from former days to compare. I took a hammer and broke it all. He bent down and picked up the shards of minutes first then swept the seconds. I told him he’d missed a spot; there were some sparkling specks left. 'What are they?' he asked. 'Those are moments,' I said. 'What are they made of?' he asked. They are times, I thought, when you win a race or win a heart. They are times when you give birth or lay something, someone to rest. When you wake up in the morning with a smile because anything is possible. When someone compliments the thing you hate most about yourself. Times when you are embarrassed. Times when you are hurtful. Times when you relish in a hearty meal. Times when you service others and are content with a well-spent day. 'What are they made of?' he asked again. 'They are made up of times when we are fully present.' I picked up one of the specks with the tip of my finger. 'Do you remember this?' I asked. 'Of course,' he said, 'I was whistling in the kitchen that morning.' 'Why?' I asked. 'Because of the knowledge that I was loved.
Kamand Kojouri
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand.... nor look through the eyes of the dead.... nor feed on the spectres in books. I tramp a perpetual journey All goes onward and outward.... and nothing collapses, And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier. If no other in the world be aware I sit content, And if each and all be aware I sit content. The final three stanzas of 'Song of Myself" were also highlighted. I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love, If you want me again look for me under your bootsoles. You will hardly know who I am or what I mean, But I shall be good health to your nevertheless, And filter and fibre your blood. Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged, Missing me one places search another, I stop some where waiting for you It became a weekend of reading, of trying to see her in the fragments of the poem she'd left for me. I could never get anywhere with the lines, but I kepr thinking about them anyway, becase I didn't want to disappoint her. She wanted me to play out with the string, to find the place where she had stopped and was waiting for me, to follow the bread crumb trail until it dead-ended into her.
John Green (Paper Towns)
Exiled by death from people we have known, We are reduced again by years, and try To call them back and clothe the barren bone, Not to admit that people ever die. -from "Exile
Donald Hall (Old And New Poems)
VI. FINAL WARNING There are monsters in these pages, but as Ogden Nash pointed out in my first short-story collection, Smoke and Mirrors, where there’s a monster, there’s also a miracle. There are some long stories and some short ones. There are a handful of poems, which perhaps might need their own warning for the people who are frightened, disturbed, or terminally puzzled by poetry. (In my second short-story collection, Fragile Things, I tried to explain that the poems come free. They are bonuses for the kind of people who do not need to worry about sneaky and occasional poems lurking inside their short-story collections.) There. Consider yourself warned. There are so many little triggers out there, being squeezed in the darkness even as I write this. This book is correctly labeled. Now all we have to worry about is all the other books, and, of course, life, which is huge and complicated and will not warn you before it hurts you. Thank you for coming. Enjoy the things that never happened. Secure your own mask again after you read these stories, but do not forget to help others.
Neil Gaiman (Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances)
These ears aren't to be trusted. The keening in the night, didn't you hear? Once I believed all the stories didn’t have endings, but I realized the endings were invented, like zero, had yet to be imagined. The months come around again, and we are in the same place; full moons, cherries in bloom, the same deer, the same frogs, the same helpless scratching at the dirt. You leave poems I can’t read behind on the sheets, I try to teach you songs made of twigs and frost. you may be imprisoned in an underwater palace; I'll come riding to the rescue in disguise. Leave the magic tricks to me and to the teakettle. I've inhaled the spells of willow trees, spat them out as blankets of white crane feathers. Sleep easy, from behind the closet door I'll invent our fortunes, spin them from my own skin. (from, The Fox-Wife's Invitation)
Jeannine Hall Gailey
Rapture I can feel she has got out of bed. That means it is seven a.m. I have been lying with eyes shut, thinking, or possibly dreaming, of how she might look if, at breakfast, I spoke about the hidden place in her which, to me, is like a soprano’s tremolo, and right then, over toast and bramble jelly, if such things are possible, she came. I imagine she would show it while trying to conceal it. I imagine her hair would fall about her face and she would become apparently downcast, as she does at a concert when she is moved. The hypnopompic play passes, and I open my eyes and there she is, next to the bed, bending to a low drawer, picking over various small smooth black, white, and pink items of underwear. She bends so low her back runs parallel to the earth, but there is no sway in it, there is little burden, the day has hardly begun. The two mounds of muscles for walking, leaping, lovemaking, lift toward the east—what can I say? Simile is useless; there is nothing like them on earth. Her breasts fall full; the nipples are deep pink in the glare shining up through the iron bars of the gate under the earth where those who could not love press, wanting to be born again. I reach out and take her wrist and she falls back into bed and at once starts unbuttoning my pajamas. Later, when I open my eyes, there she is again, rummaging in the same low drawer. The clock shows eight. Hmmm. With huge, silent effort of great, mounded muscles the earth has been turning. She takes a piece of silken cloth from the drawer and stands up. Under the falls of hair her face has become quiet and downcast, as if she will be, all day among strangers, looking down inside herself at our rapture.
Galway Kinnell (A New Selected Poems)
I could take a walk with my wife and try to explain the ghosts I can't stop speaking to. Or I could read all those books piling up about the beginning of the end of understanding... Meanwhile, it's such a beautiful morning, the changing colors, the hypnotic light. I could sit by the window watching the leaves, which seem to know exactly how to fall from one moment to the next. Or I could lose everything and have to begin over again.
Philip Schultz (Failure)
And What Good Will Your Vanity Be When The Rapture Comes” says the man with a cart of empty bottles at the corner of church and lincoln while I stare into my phone and I say I know oh I know while trying to find the specific filter that will make the sun’s near-flawless descent look the way I might describe it in a poem and the man says the moment is already right in front of you and I say I know but everyone I love is not here and I mean here like on this street corner with me while I turn the sky a darker shade of red on my phone and I mean here like everyone I love who I can still touch and not pass my fingers through like the wind in a dream but I look up at the man and he is a kaleidoscope of shadows I mean his shadows have shadows and they are small and trailing behind him and I know then that everyone he loves is also not here and the man doesn’t ask but I still say hey man I’ve got nothing I’ve got nothing even though I have plenty to go home to and the sun is still hot even in its endless flirt with submission and the man’s palm has a small river inside I mean he has taken my hand now and here we are tethered and unmoving and the man says what color are you making the sky and I say what I might say in a poem I say all surrender ends in blood and he says what color are you making the sky and I say something bright enough to make people wish they were here and he squints towards the dancing shrapnel of dying light along a rooftop and he says I love things only as they are and I’m sure I did once too but I can’t prove it to anyone these days and he says the end isn’t always about what dies and I know I know or I knew once and now I write about beautiful things like I will never touch a beautiful thing again and the man looks me in the eyes and he points to the blue-orange vault over heaven’s gates and he says the face of everyone you miss is up there and I know I know I can’t see them but I know and he turns my face to the horizon and he says we don’t have much time left and I get that he means the time before the sun is finally through with its daily work or I think I get that but I still can’t stop trembling and I close my eyes and I am sobbing on the corner of church and lincoln and when I open my eyes the sun is plucking everyone who has chosen to love me from the clouds and carrying them into the light-drunk horizon and I am seeing this and I know I am seeing this the girl who kissed me as a boy in the dairy aisle of meijer while our parents shopped and the older boy on the basketball team who taught me how to make a good fist and swing it into the jaw of a bully and the friends who crawled to my porch in the summer of any year I have been alive they were all there I saw their faces and it was like I was given the eyes of a newborn again and once you know what it is to be lonely it is hard to unsee that which serves as a reminder that you were not always empty and I am gasping into the now-dark air and I pull my shirt up to wipe whatever tears are left and I see the man walking in the other direction and I chase him down and tap his arm and I say did you see it did you see it like I did and he turns and leans into the glow of a streetlamp and he is anchored by a single shadow now and he sneers and he says have we met and he scoffs and pushes his cart off into the night and I can hear the glass rattling even as I watch him become small and vanish and I look down at my phone and the sky on the screen is still blood red.
Hanif Abdurraqib
The Correspondence-School Instructor Says Goodbye to His Poetry Students Goodbye, lady in Bangor, who sent me snapshots of yourself, after definitely hinting you were beautiful; goodbye, Miami Beach urologist, who enclosed plain brown envelopes for the return of your very “Clinical Sonnets”; goodbye, manufacturer of brassieres on the Coast, whose eclogues give the fullest treatment in literature yet to the sagging breast motif; goodbye, you in San Quentin, who wrote, “Being German my hero is Hitler,” instead of “Sincerely yours,” at the end of long, neat-scripted letters extolling the Pre-Raphaelites: I swear to you, it was just my way of cheering myself up, as I licked the stamped, self-addressed envelopes, the game I had of trying to guess which one of you, this time, had poisoned his glue. I did care. I did read each poem entire. I did say everything I thought in the mildest words I knew. And now, in this poem, or chopped prose, no better, I realize, than those troubled lines I kept sending back to you, I have to say I am relieved it is over: at the end I could feel only pity for that urge toward more life your poems kept smothering in words, the smell of which, days later, tingled in your nostrils as new, God-given impulses to write. Goodbye, you who are, for me, the postmarks again of imaginary towns—Xenia, Burnt Cabins, Hornell— their solitude given away in poems, only their loneliness kept. Galway Kinnell
Galway Kinnell (Three Books: Body Rags; Mortal Acts, Mortal Words; The Past)
What rhymes with insensitive?” I tap my pen on the kitchen table, beyond frustrated with my current task. Who knew rhyming was so fucking difficult? Garrett, who’s dicing onions at the counter, glances over. “Sensitive,” he says helpfully. “Yes, G, I’ll be sure to rhyme insensitive with sensitive. Gold star for you.” On the other side of the kitchen, Tucker finishes loading the dishwasher and turns to frown at me. “What the hell are you doing over there, anyway? You’ve been scribbling on that notepad for the past hour.” “I’m writing a love poem,” I answer without thinking. Then I slam my lips together, realizing what I’ve done. Dead silence crashes over the kitchen. Garrett and Tucker exchange a look. An extremely long look. Then, perfectly synchronized, their heads shift in my direction, and they stare at me as if I’ve just escaped from a mental institution. I may as well have. There’s no other reason for why I’m voluntarily writing poetry right now. And that’s not even the craziest item on Grace’s list. That’s right. I said it. List. The little brat texted me not one, not two, but six tasks to complete before she agrees to a date. Or maybe gestures is a better way to phrase it... “I just have one question,” Garrett starts. “Really?” Tuck says. “Because I have many.” Sighing, I put my pen down. “Go ahead. Get it out of your systems.” Garrett crosses his arms. “This is for a chick, right? Because if you’re doing it for funsies, then that’s just plain weird.” “It’s for Grace,” I reply through clenched teeth. My best friend nods solemnly. Then he keels over. Asshole. I scowl as he clutches his side, his broad back shuddering with each bellowing laugh. And even while racked with laughter, he manages to pull his phone from his pocket and start typing. “What are you doing?” I demand. “Texting Wellsy. She needs to know this.” “I hate you.” I’m so busy glaring at Garrett that I don’t notice what Tucker’s up to until it’s too late. He snatches the notepad from the table, studies it, and hoots loudly. “Holy shit. G, he rhymed jackass with Cutlass.” “Cutlass?” Garrett wheezes. “Like the sword?” “The car,” I mutter. “I was comparing her lips to this cherry-red Cutlass I fixed up when I was a kid. Drawing on my own experience, that kind of thing.” Tucker shakes his head in exasperation. “You should have compared them to cherries, dumbass.” He’s right. I should have. I’m a terrible poet and I do know it. “Hey,” I say as inspiration strikes. “What if I steal the words to “Amazing Grace”? I can change it to…um…Terrific Grace.” “Yup,” Garrett cracks. “Pure gold right there. Terrific Grace.” I ponder the next line. “How sweet…” “Your ass,” Tucker supplies. Garrett snorts. “Brilliant minds at work. Terrific Grace, how sweet your ass.” He types on his phone again. “Jesus Christ, will you quit dictating this conversation to Hannah?” I grumble. “Bros before hos, dude.” “Call my girlfriend a ho one more time and you won’t have a bro.” Tucker chuckles. “Seriously, why are you writing poetry for this chick?” “Because I’m trying to win her back. This is one of her requirements.” That gets Garrett’s attention. He perks up, phone poised in hand as he asks, “What are the other ones?” “None of your fucking business.” “Golly gee, if you do half as good a job on those as you’re doing with this epic poem, then you’ll get her back in no time!” I give him the finger. “Sarcasm not appreciated.” Then I swipe the notepad from Tuck’s hand and head for the doorway. “PS? Next time either of you need to score points with your ladies? Don’t ask me for help. Jackasses.” Their wild laughter follows me all the way upstairs. I duck into my room and kick the door shut, then spend the next hour typing up the sorriest excuse for poetry on my laptop. Jesus. I’m putting more effort into this damn poem than for my actual classes.
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
I get it, Will,” I finally whisper. “I get it. In the first line, when you said that death was the only thing inevitable in life…you emphasized the word death. But when you said it again at the end of the poem, you didn’t emphasize the word death, you emphasized the word life. You put the emphasis on life at the end. I get it, Will. You’re right. She’s not trying to prepare us for her death. She’s trying to prepare us for her life. For what she has left of it.
Colleen Hoover
I will take you down my own avenue of remembrance, which winds among the hazards and shadows of my single year as a plebe. I cannot come to this story in full voice. I want to speak for the boys who were violated by this school, the ones who left ashamed and broken and dishonored, who departed from the Institute with wounds and bitter grievances. I want also to speak for the triumphant boys who took everything the system could throw at them, endured every torment and excess, and survived the ordeal of the freshman year with a feeling of transformation and achievement that they never had felt before and would never know again with such clarity and elation. I will speak from my memory- my memory- a memory that is all refracting light slanting through prisms and dreams, a shifting, troubled riot of electrons charged with pain and wonder. My memory often seems like a city of exiled poets afire with the astonishment of language, each believing in the integrity of his own witness, each with a separate version of culture and history, and the divine essentional fire that is poetry itself. But i will try to isolate that one lonely singer who gathered the fragments of my plebe year and set the screams to music. For many years, I have refused to listen as his obsessive voice narrated the malignant litany of crimes against my boyhood. We isolate those poets who cause us the greatest pain; we silence them in any way we can. I have never allowed this furious dissident the courtesy of my full attention. His poems are songs for the dead to me. Something dies in me every time I hear his low, courageous voice calling to me from the solitude of his exile. He has always known that someday I would have to listen to his story, that I would have to deal with the truth or falsity of his witness. He has always known that someday I must take full responsibility for his creation and that, in finally listening to him, I would be sounding the darkest fathoms of myself. I will write his stories now as he shouts them to me. I will listen to him and listen to myself. I will get it all down. Yet the laws of recall are subject to distortion and alienation. Memory is a trick, and I have lied so often to myself about my own role and the role of others that I am not sure I can recognize the truth about those days. But I have come to believe in the unconscious integrity of lies. I want to record even them. Somewhere in the immensity of the lie the truth gleams like the pure, light-glazed bones of an extinct angel. Hidden in the enormous falsity of my story is the truth for all of us who began at the Institute in 1963, and for all who survived to become her sons. I write my own truth, in my own time, in my own way, and take full responsibility for its mistakes and slanders. Even the lies are part of my truth. I return to the city of memory, to the city of exiled poets. I approach the one whose back is turned to me. He is frail and timorous and angry. His head is shaved and he fears the judgment of regiments. He will always be a victim, always a plebe. I tap him on the shoulder. "Begin," I command. "It was the beginning of 1963," he begins, and I know he will not stop until the story has ended.
Pat Conroy (The Lords of Discipline)
It's getting bad, you weren't there again . . . Me trying to give the impression it isn't getting bad at least not yet
Margaret Atwood (Power Politics: Poems (A List))
I always had understood that dying of love was mere poetic license. That afternoon, back home again without the cat and without her, I proved that it was not only possible but that I myself, an old man without anyone, was dying of love. But I also realized that the contrary was true as well: I would not have traded the delights of my suffering for anything in the world. I had spent more than fifteen years trying to translate the poems of Leopardi, and only on that afternoon did I have a profound sense of them: Ah, me, if this is love, then how it torments.
Gabriel García Márquez (Memories of My Melancholy Whores)
America I’ve given you all and now I’m nothing. America two dollars and twentyseven cents January 17, 1956. I can’t stand my own mind. America when will we end the human war? Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb. I don’t feel good don’t bother me. I won’t write my poem till I’m in my right mind. America when will you be angelic? When will you take off your clothes? When will you look at yourself through the grave? When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites? America why are your libraries full of tears? America when will you send your eggs to India? I’m sick of your insane demands. When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I need with my good looks? America after all it is you and I who are perfect not the next world. Your machinery is too much for me. You made me want to be a saint. There must be some other way to settle this argument. Burroughs is in Tangiers I don’t think he’ll come back it’s sinister. Are you being sinister or is this some form of practical joke? I’m trying to come to the point. I refuse to give up my obsession. America stop pushing I know what I’m doing. America the plum blossoms are falling. I haven’t read the newspapers for months, everyday somebody goes on trial for murder. America I feel sentimental about the Wobblies. America I used to be a communist when I was a kid I’m not sorry. I smoke marijuana every chance I get. I sit in my house for days on end and stare at the roses in the closet. When I go to Chinatown I get drunk and never get laid. My mind is made up there’s going to be trouble. You should have seen me reading Marx. My psychoanalyst thinks I’m perfectly right. I won’t say the Lord’s Prayer. I have mystical visions and cosmic vibrations. America I still haven’t told you what you did to Uncle Max after he came over from Russia. I’m addressing you. Are you going to let your emotional life be run by Time Magazine? I’m obsessed by Time Magazine. I read it every week. Its cover stares at me every time I slink past the corner candystore. I read it in the basement of the Berkeley Public Library. It’s always telling me about responsibility. Businessmen are serious. Movie producers are serious. Everybody’s serious but me. It occurs to me that I am America. I am talking to myself again. ...
Allen Ginsberg (Howl and Other Poems)
PRAYER IS AN EGG On Resurrection Day God will say, "What did you do with the strength and energy your food gave you on earth? How did you use your eyes? What did you make with your five senses while they were dimming and playing out? I gave you hands and feet as tools for preparing the ground for planting. Did you, in the health I gave, do the plowing?" You will not be able to stand when you hear those questions. You will bend double, and finally acknowledge the glory. God will say, "Lift your head and answer the questions." Your head will rise a little, then slump again. "Look at me! Tell what you've done." You try, but you fall back flat as a snake. "I want every detail. Say!" Eventually you will be able to get to a sitting position. "Be plain and clear. I have given you such gifts. What did you do with them?" You turn to the right looking to the prophet for help, as though to say, I am stuck in the mud of my life. Help me out of this! They will answer, those kings, "The time for helping is past. The plow stands there in the field. You should have used it. "Then you turn to the left, where your family is, and they will say, "Don't look at us! This conversation is between you and your creator." Then you pray the prayer that is the essence of every ritual: God, I have no hope. I am torn to shreds. You are my first and last and only refuge. Don't do daily prayers like a bird pecking, moving its head up and down. Prayer is an egg. Hatch out the total helplessness inside.
Rumi (The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems)
We try a new drug, a new combination of drugs, and suddenly I fall into my life again   like a vole picked up by a storm then dropped three valleys and two mountains away from home.   I can find my way back. I know I will recognize the store where I used to buy milk and gas.   I remember the house and barn, the rake, the blue cups and plates, the Russian novels I loved so much,   and the black silk nightgown that he once thrust into the toe of my Christmas stocking.
Jane Kenyon (Collected Poems)
What a skeletal wreck of man this is. Translucent flesh and feeble bones, the kind of temple where the whores and villains try to tempt the holistic domes. Running rampid with free thought to free form, and the free and clear. When the matters at hand are shelled out like lint at a laundry mat to sift and focus on the bigger, better, now. We all have a little sin that needs venting, virtues for the rending and laws and systems and stems are ripped from the branches of office, do you know where your post entails? Do you serve a purpose, or purposely serve? When in doubt inside your atavistic allure, the value of a summer spent, and a winter earned. For the rest of us, there is always Sunday. The day of the week the reeks of rest, but all we do is catch our breath, so we can wade naked in the bloody pool, and place our hand on the big, black book. To watch the knives zigzag between our aching fingers. A vacation is a countdown, T minus your life and counting, time to drag your tongue across the sugar cube, and hope you get a taste. WHAT THE FUCK IS ALL THIS FOR? WHAT THE HELL’S GOING ON? SHUT UP! I can go on and on but lets move on, shall we? Say, your me, and I’m you, and they all watch the things we do, and like a smack of spite they threw me down the stairs, haven’t felt like this in years. The great magnet of malicious magnanimous refuse, let me go, and punch me into the dead spout again. That’s where you go when there’s no one else around, it’s just you, and there was never anyone to begin with, now was there? Sanctimonious pretentious dastardly bastards with their thumb on the pulse, and a finger on the trigger. CLASSIFIED MY ASS! THAT’S A FUCKING SECRET, AND YOU KNOW IT! Government is another way to say better…than…you. It’s like ice but no pick, a murder charge that won’t stick, it’s like a whole other world where you can smell the food, but you can’t touch the silverware. Huh, what luck. Fascism you can vote for. Humph, isn’t that sweet? And we’re all gonna die some day, because that’s the American way, and I’ve drunk too much, and said too little, when your gaffer taped in the middle, say a prayer, say a face, get your self together and see what’s happening. SHUT UP! FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU! I’m sorry, I could go on and on but their times to move on so, remember: you’re a wreck, an accident. Forget the freak, your just nature. Keep the gun oiled, and the temple cleaned shit snort, and blaspheme, let the heads cool, and the engine run. Because in the end, everything we do, is just everything we’ve done.
Stone Sour (Stone Sour)
Shubha let me sleep for a few moments in your violent silvery uterus Give me peace, Shubha, let me have peace Let my sin-driven skeleton be washed anew in your seasonal bloodstream Let me create myself in your womb with my own sperm Would I have been like this if I had different parents? Was Malay alias me possible from an absolutely different sperm? Would I have been Malay in the womb of other women of my father? Would I have made a professional gentleman of me like my dead brother without Shubha? Oh, answer, let somebody answer these Shubha, ah, Shubha Let me see the earth through your cellophane hymen Come back on the green mattress again As cathode rays are sucked up with the warmth of magnet's brilliance I remember the letter of the final decesion of 1956 The surroundings of your clitoris were being embellished with coon at that time Fine rib-smashing roots were descending into your bosom Stupid relationship inflted in the bypass of senseless neglect Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah I do not know whether I am going to die Squandering was roaring within heart's exhaustive impatience I'll disrupt and destroy I'll split all into pieces for the sake of Art There isn't any other way out for poetry except suicide Shubha Let me enter into the immemorial incontinence of your labia majora Into the absurdity of woeless effort In the golden chlorophyll of the drunken heart Why wasn't I lost in my mother's urethra? Why wasn't I driven away in my father's urine after his self-coition? Why wasn't I mixed in the ovum-flux or in the phlegm? With her eyes shut supine beneath me I felt terribly distressed when I saw comfort seize Shubha Women could be treacherous even after unfolding a helpless appeareance Today it seems there is nothing so treacherous as Women and Art Now my ferocious heart is rinning towards an impossible death Vertigoes of water are coming up to my neck from the pierced earth I will die Oh what are these happening within me? I am failing to fetch out my hand and my palm From the dried sperms on my trousers spreading wings 300000 children are gliding toward the district of Shubha's bosom Millions of needles are now running from my blood into Poetry Now the smuggling of my obstinate leg is trying to plunge Into the death killer sex-wig entangled in the hypnotic kingdom of words In violent mirrors on each wall of the room I am observing After letting loose a few naked Malay, his unestablished scramblings.
Malay Roy Choudhury (Selected Poems)
The Latin Church, which I constantly find myself admiring, despite its occasional astounding imbecilities, has always kept clearly before it the fact that religion is not a syllogism, but a poem. It is accused by Protestant dervishes of withholding the Bible from the people. To some extent this is true; to some extent the church is wise; again to the same extent it is prosperous. ... Rome indeed has not only preserved the original poetry of Christianity; it has also made capital additions to that poetry -- for example, the poetry of the saints, of Mary, and of the liturgy itself. A solemn high mass is a thousand times as impressive, to a man with any genuine religious sense in him, as the most powerful sermon ever roared under the big top by Presbyterian auctioneer of God. In the face of such overwhelming beauty it is not necessary to belabor the faithful with logic; they are better convinced by letting them alone. Preaching is not an essential part of the Latin ceremonial. It was very little employed in the early church, and I am convinced that good effects would flow from abandoning it today, or, at all events, reducing it to a few sentences, more or less formal. In the United States the Latin brethren have been seduced by the example of the Protestants, who commonly transform an act of worship into a puerile intellectual exercise; instead of approaching God in fear and wonder these Protestants settle back in their pews, cross their legs, and listen to an ignoramus try to prove that he is a better theologian than the Pope. This folly the Romans now slide into. Their clergy begin to grow argumentative, doctrinaire, ridiculous. It is a pity. A bishop in his robes, playing his part in the solemn ceremonial of the mass, is a dignified spectacle; the same bishop, bawling against Darwin half an hour later, is seen to be simply an elderly Irishman with a bald head, the son of a respectable police sergeant in South Bend, Ind. Let the reverend fathers go back to Bach. If they keep on spoiling poetry and spouting ideas, the day will come when some extra-bombastic deacon will astound humanity and insult God by proposing to translate the liturgy into American, that all the faithful may be convinced by it.
H.L. Mencken
Waiting for Icarus " He said he would be back and we’d drink wine together He said that everything would be better than before He said we were on the edge of a new relation He said he would never again cringe before his father He said that he was going to invent full-time He said he loved me that going into me He said was going into the world and the sky He said all the buckles were very firm He said the wax was the best wax He said Wait for me here on the beach He said Just don’t cry I remember the gulls and the waves I remember the islands going dark on the sea I remember the girls laughing I remember they said he only wanted to get away from me I remember mother saying : Inventors are like poets, a trashy lot I remember she told me those who try out inventions are worse I remember she added : Women who love such are the Worst of all I have been waiting all day, or perhaps longer. I would have liked to try those wings myself. It would have been better than this.
Muriel Rukeyser (The Collected Poems)
Read thought-provoking books. Give long hugs. Grow your own vegetables. Help a neighbor grow theirs. Grind your own coffee. Take a walk in the sunshine. Talk to strangers. Ask questions. Look deeply into people's eyes. Listen. Listen some more. Go somewhere alone. Listen to your own soul. Make something beautiful. Make something messy. Write a letter. Write a poem. Go to the park. Play with your children. Ask them questions. Listen. Listen some more. Make your life beautiful. Plant flowers. Chase dreams. Smile. Cry. Laugh. Hope. Try. Fail. Try again. And again. Peace and happiness come from you, not to you. Don't seek them. Create them. And then help others to do the same. You get one life. Live it well.
L.R. Knost
Arthur said brightly, “Actually I quite liked it.” Ford turned and gaped. Here was an approach that had quite simply not occurred to him. The Vogon raised a surprised eyebrow that effectively obscured his nose and was therefore no bad thing. “Oh good …” he whirred, in considerable astonishment. “Oh yes,” said Arthur, “I thought that some of the metaphysical imagery was really particularly effective.” Ford continued to stare at him, slowly organizing his thoughts around this totally new concept. Were they really going to be able to bareface their way out of this? “Yes, do continue …” invited the Vogon. “Oh … and, er … interesting rhythmic devices too,” continued Arthur, “which seemed to counterpoint the … er … er …” he floundered. Ford leaped to his rescue, hazarding “… counterpoint the surrealism of the underlying metaphor of the … er …” He floundered too, but Arthur was ready again. “… humanity of the …” “Vogonity,” Ford hissed at him. “Ah yes, Vogonity—sorry—of the poet’s compassionate soul”—Arthur felt he was on the homestretch now—“which contrives through the medium of the verse structure to sublimate this, transcend that, and come to terms with the fundamental dichotomies of the other”—he was reaching a triumphant crescendo—“and one is left with a profound and vivid insight into … into … er …” (which suddenly gave out on him). Ford leaped in with the coup de grace: “Into whatever it was the poem was about!” he yelled. Out of the corner of his mouth: “Well done, Arthur, that was very good.” The Vogon perused them. For a moment his embittered racial soul had been touched, but he thought no—too little too late. His voice took on the quality of a cat snagging brushed nylon. “So what you’re saying is that I write poetry because underneath my mean callous heartless exterior I really just want to be loved,” he said. He paused, “Is that right?” Ford laughed a nervous laugh. “Well, I mean, yes,” he said, “don’t we all, deep down, you know … er …” The Vogon stood up. “No, well, you’re completely wrong,” he said, “I just write poetry to throw my mean callous heartless exterior into sharp relief. I’m going to throw you off the ship anyway. Guard! Take the prisoners to number three airlock and throw them out!” “What?” shouted Ford. A huge young Vogon guard stepped forward and yanked them out of their straps with his huge blubbery arms. “You can’t throw us into space,” yelled Ford, “we’re trying to write a book.” “Resistance is useless!” shouted the Vogon guard back at him. It was the first phrase he’d learned when he joined the Vogon Guard Corps.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide, #1))
Man knows himself as body, and what he knows of spirit comes through grace. The poet would call it inspiration. But the spirit bloweth where it listeth. Man has no control over his inspiration. If a piece of music or a poem has moved him once, he can never be certain that it will happen again. But man hates to think that he has no control over the spirit. It would discourage him too much. He likes to believe that he can summon the spirit by some ordinary act. Instead of striving to prepare himself for it through discipline and prayer, he tries to summon it arbitrarily through some physical act—drinking Düsseldorf beer, for instance. . . Stein said, chuckling: Which is the way all good Düsseldorfers summon the spirit, since our Dunkelbier is the best in Germany. The priest laughed with him, and for a moment Sorme had a curious impression that he was listening to an argument between two undergraduates instead of two men in their late sixties. He shrank deeper into his armchair, wanting them to forget his presence. The priest stopped laughing first, and Sorme had a glimpse of the tiredness that always lay behind his eyes. Stein also became grave again. He said: Very well. But what has this to do with the murderer? It has to do with sex. For sex is the favourite human device for summoning the spirit. And since it is also God's gift of procreation, it nearly always works. . . unlike music and poetry. Or beer, Stein said. Quite. But even sex is not infallible. And man hates to think that he has no power over the spirit. The more his physical methods fail him, the more voraciously he pursues them. His attempts to summon the spirit become more and more frenzied. If he is a drinker, he drinks more, until he has more alcohol than blood in his veins. If he is a sensualist, he invents sexual perversions. Ah, Stein said. There are many other ways, of course—the lust for money and power, for instance. All depend upon man's refusal to face the fact that the spirit bloweth where it listeth, that no physical act can be guaranteed to summon it. . .
Colin Wilson (Ritual in the Dark (Visions))
I did it the hard way (a poem) ___________________ Many of the big dreams I dreamt, I dreamt, when I met a failed attempt. Life taught me to believe that Great ideas can start from a wretched hut. Many of the strongest steps I took, I took, when I was given the fiercest look. My passion pokes me to understand That people’s mockeries, I can withstand. Many of the fastest speeds I gained, I gained when I was bitterly stained. I first thought the only way was to quit As I tried again, I no longer have guilt. Many of the bravest decisions I made, I made, when my life was about to fade. I was frustrated and ripe to sink. But then I strive to release the ink. Many of the longest journeys I started, I started, having no resource; money parted I relied on God my creator all dawn long And at dusk He gave me a new song. Many of the hardest questions I tackled, I tackled, when I was heckled. They were very troublesome to settle But I make it happen little by little Yet, it was not I, but the Lord Jesus The saviour who gives me success. In Him, through Him and by Him I have the liberty to do everything with vim. I don’t want to enjoy this liberty alone. You too must step out of your comfort zone. It’s not easy, but you can do it anyway. Jesus is the life, the truth and the way.
Israelmore Ayivor (Become a Better You)
Letter Six To The One Who Left Too Soon Do you regret it? Does it hurt when you see my pictures? Does it hurt when you read my words? Do you wonder if my poems are about you? Do you sometimes write a long message to apologize, then delete it? Was it me? Was it you? Was it timing? Was I too hard to love? Were you too scared of loving again? It’s hard for me to believe that you’re a bad person because you were so kind to me. It’s hard for me to believe that it was all fake because it felt genuine. It’s hard for me to believe that you had that connection with everyone because I didn’t feel like you were pretending. I didn’t feel like you were acting. Was it so hard to ask me on a few more dates? Was it so hard to ask me a few more personal questions? Was it so hard to text me back to keep the conversation going? Was it so hard to like me? Why am I always the one who’s ready? The one who’s willing to stay, the one who’s willing to try against all odds and the only one who’s willing to fight? Why am I always the one dreaming and you’re the one waking me up? Why does it begin with smiles and end with tears? Why does it always have to be you against me? Why can’t it be us against the world? I hope one day you tell me why you left too soon. I hope one day you tell me the real reason. I hope one day you tell me the truth. Sometimes I wonder about you. What you’re doing, who you’re with, why you picked her and if you ever think about me. Sometimes I wonder if you will ever reach out, just to say you miss me, say sorry or just to hear my voice. And sometimes I wish you had stayed. I hope you learn how to stay. I hope you stop leaving. I hope you learn that staying is the only way to open your heart and stop running. I hope you learn that some people—like me—would’ve done anything for you to stay. I hope you learn that there’s so much more value in staying than leaving. I hope you learn that staying doesn’t always hurt.
Rania Naim (All the Letters I Should Have Sent)
Poem for My Father You closed the door. I was on the other side, screaming. It was black in your mind. Blacker than burned-out fire. Blacker than poison. Outside everything looked the same. You looked the same. You walked in your body like a living man. But you were not. would you not speak to me for weeks would you hang your coat in the closet without saying hello would you find a shoe out of place and beat me would you come home late would i lose the key would you find my glasses in the garbage would you put me on your knee would you read the bible to me in your smoking jacket after your mother died would you come home drunk and snore would you beat me on the legs would you carry me up the stairs by my hair so that my feet never touch the bottom would you make everything worse to make everything better i believe in god, the father almighty, the maker of heaven, the maker of my heaven and my hell. would you beat my mother would you beat her till she cries like a rabbit would you beat her in a corner of the kitchen while i am in the bathroom trying to bury my head underwater would you carry her to the bed would you put cotton and alcohol on her swollen head would you make love to her hair would you caress her hair would you rub her breasts with ben gay until she stinks would you sleep in the other room in the bed next to me while she sleeps on the pull-out cot would you come on the sheet while i am sleeping. later i look for the spot would you go to embalming school with the last of my mother's money would i see your picture in the book with all the other black boys you were the handsomest would you make the dead look beautiful would the men at the elks club would the rich ladies at funerals would the ugly drunk winos on the street know ben pretty ben regular ben would your father leave you when you were three with a mother who threw butcher knives at you would he leave you with her screaming red hair would he leave you to be smothered by a pillow she put over your head would he send for you during the summer like a rich uncle would you come in pretty corduroys until you were nine and never heard from him again would you hate him would you hate him every time you dragged hundred pound cartons of soap down the stairs into white ladies' basements would you hate him for fucking the woman who gave birth to you hate him flying by her house in the red truck so that other father threw down his hat in the street and stomped on it angry like we never saw him (bye bye to the will of grandpa bye bye to the family fortune bye bye when he stompled that hat, to the gold watch, embalmer's palace, grandbaby's college) mother crying silently, making floating island sending it up to the old man's ulcer would grandmother's diamonds close their heartsparks in the corner of the closet yellow like the eyes of cockroaches? Old man whose sperm swims in my veins, come back in love, come back in pain.
Toi Derricotte
O, weary angels, don’t look at me with those eyes. If that is your state then what of our cries? What can I tell you of goodness that you don’t already know? What can I tell you of faith, of hope and love that you yourselves bestow? O, angels, don’t pluck another feather, this isn’t the sky, it’s just the weather. Please, angels, try. We are one all together. Look up and listen, I’ll say it once and then put down my pen: We are sorry for our ignorance and even though we are worldly, it might happen again. We are sorry for your weariness and even though you aren’t worldly, we are no more than human.
Kamand Kojouri
Christopher . . . are these from you?” she asked at lunch, careful to make her tone light as she placed the two picture-poems on the table. Christopher’s eyes fell to them, and he smiled. “Yes.” He didn’t ask if she liked them, and he didn’t seem embarrassed. Sarah was flustered, and somewhat surprised by Christopher’s easy confidence. Even so, her natural suspicion surfaced. “Why?” “Because,” he answered seriously, “you make a good subject. Your hair, for one, is like a shimmering waterfall. It’s so fair that it catches the light. It makes you seem like you have a halo about you. And your eyes—they’re such a pure color, not washed out at all, deep as the ocean. And your expression . . . intense and yet somehow detached, as if you see more of the world than the rest of us.” Flustered, she could think of no way to respond. Did he just say this stuff from the top of his head? Only her strict Vida control kept her from blushing. Meanwhile Nissa entered the cafeteria. She started to sit, then glanced from the pictures, to Christopher, to Sarah. “Should I go somewhere else?” Christopher nodded to a chair, answering easily, “Sit down. We aren’t exchanging dark secrets—yet.” Nissa flashed a teasing look to her brother as she took a seat. “As his sister, I feel the need to inform you, Sarah, that Christopher has been talking about you incessantly.” Christopher smiled, unembarrassed. “I suppose I might have been.’ “Especially your eyes—he never shuts up about your eyes,” Nissa confided, and this time Christopher shrugged. “They’re beautiful,” he said casually. “Beauty should be looked at, not ignored. I try to capture it on paper, but that’s really impossible with eyes, because they have a life no still portrait can capture.” Sarah’s voice was tied up so tightly she thought she might be able to speak again sometime next year. No one had ever talked about her—or to her—with such admiration.
Amelia Atwater-Rhodes (Shattered Mirror (Den of Shadows, #3))
Beautiful words ruin your poetry. A touch of beauty enhances a dish, but you throw a hill of it inton the pot! No, the palate becomes nauseous. You belief a poem must be beautiful, or it can have no excellence. I am right? Sort of. Your "sort of" is annoying. A yes, or a no, or a qualification please. "Sort of" is an idle loubard, an ignorant vandale. "Sort of" says, "I am ashamed of clarity and precision." So we try again. You belief a poem must be beautiful or it is not a poem. I am right? Yes. Yes. Idiots labor in this misconception. Beauty is not excellence. Beauty is distraction, beauty is cosmetics, beauty is ultimately fatigue.
David Mitchell
A poet can take one word - maybe an abstraction, like love or fear or happiness, or an object, something concrete, like a flower or mountain or book - that feels for some reason full of potential energy, unexpressed meaning. The poet then gives herself the space and time and, most important, the freedom from any doctrine to try to allow her mind to leap, for no discernible reason, to another word. then she searches for a way to connect the two. Quite often it doesn't work - there is nothing there. Maybe she tries again, maybe many more times. Sometimes one element will change, or both. Eventually something clicks, an electrical connection is made, a way is found to connect the two things, and the poem begins.
Matthew Zapruder (Why Poetry)
Reflecting back on the journey to the “Great Outdoors” places me in a different tonal mood, filled up with hope and passion, not resentful, suppressed relics of anger unresolved Did you listen to the winds? What did you hear? Did you listen to the trees? What knowledge did they bring you? Did you listen to the birds? What songs did they sing to you? Did you listen to the Universe(s)? What messages did they bring you? Did you listen to the ancestors? What hope did they send you? Did you really listen? Close your eyes and open up your full heart and listen again Not for me Do it 4 UrSelf Do it 4 tha Future Look beyond UrSelf Open up UrSelf Love ThySelf Quiet the chatter of your mind, close the racing tracks and be still and quiet so that U can hear what they’re trying to say to U. Be appreciative for what U have been bestowed and blessed to be stewards of, please do not take this to mean: Destroy, dominate, and control. Let it mean be cognizant of the complexity, respect true biodiversity, respect and honor all Life, allow for balance, and recognize evolutionary adaptability in all of Creation. The winds are blowing good tidings and blessings in this here direction as this one poem comes to a close while striving for the rootedness of an ancient Sequoia so high up in the sky and deeply rooted in our common Mother. Listen to my woes of loneliness and see that will Life all around, NO one is truly lonely or alone.
Irucka Ajani Embry (Balancing the Rift: ReCONNECTualizing the Pasenture)
Phoenix Blood There are only two things I am sure of in this world: the first is, one day, this life will come to its final destination in death The second: people will try to obliterate you, and believe me, even the ones that once promised you forever will betray you, it never fails to happen when love turns dark. Do yourself a favour when this happens; reclaim yourself from them. I know you have been taught to slice out your own heart, hand it over again and again to selfish hands, because it is all you have known since you were a child. You are an open wound looking for someone to cure you. And when they see that, they will scratch at it, steal your voice, thinking your magic will go with it, hoping your core swallows itself up.
Nikita Gill (Fierce Fairytales: Poems and Stories to Stir Your Soul)
Ezra asked me to bring you this,' I said and handed him the jar. 'He said you would know what it was.' He took the jar and looked at it. Then he threw it at me. It struck me on the chest or the shoulder and rolled down the stairs. 'You son of a bitch,' he said. 'You bastard.' 'Ezra said you might need it,' I said. He countered that by throwing a milk bottle. 'You are sure you don't need it?' I asked. He threw another milk bottle. I retreated and he hit me with yet another milk bottle in the back. Then he shut the door. I picked up the jar which was only slightly cracked and put it in my pocket. 'He did not seem to want the gift of Monsieur Pound," I said to the concierge. 'Perhaps he will be tranquil now,' she said. 'Perhaps he has some of his own,' I said. 'Poor Monsieur Dunning,' she said. The lovers of poetry that Ezra organized rallied to Dunning's aid again eventually. My own intervention and that of the concierge had been unsuccessful. The jar of alleged opium which had been cracked I stored wrapped in waxed paper and carefully tied in one of an old pair of riding boots. When Evan Shipman and I were removing my personal effects from that apartment some years later the boots were still there but the jar was gone. I do not know why Dunning threw the milk bottles at me unless he remembered my lack of credulity the night of his first dying, or whether it was only an innate dislike of my personality. But I remember the happiness that the phrase 'Monsieur Dunning est monté sur le toit et refuse catégoriquement de descendre' gave to Evan Shipman. He believed there was something symbolic about it. I would not know. Perhaps Dunning took me for an agent of evil or of the police. I only know that Ezra tried to be kind to Dunning as he was kind to so many people and I always hoped Dunning was as fine a poet as Ezra believed him to be. For a poet he threw a very accurate milk bottle. But Ezra, who was a very good poet, played a good game of tennis too. Evan Shipman, who was a very fine poet and who truly did not care if his poems were ever published, felt that it should remain a mystery. 'We need more true mystery in our lives, Hem,' he once said to me. 'The completely unambitious writer and the really good unpublished poem are the things we lack most at this time. There is, of course, the problem of sustenance.
Ernest Hemingway (A Moveable Feast)
A True Account Of Talking To The Sun On Fire Island" The Sun woke me this morning loud and clear, saying "Hey! I've been trying to wake you up for fifteen minutes. Don't be so rude, you are only the second poet I've ever chosen to speak to personally so why aren't you more attentive? If I could burn you through the window I would to wake you up. I can't hang around here all day." "Sorry, Sun, I stayed up late last night talking to Hal." "When I woke up Mayakovsky he was a lot more prompt" the Sun said petulantly. "Most people are up already waiting to see if I'm going to put in an appearance." I tried to apologize "I missed you yesterday." "That's better" he said. "I didn't know you'd come out." "You may be wondering why I've come so close?" "Yes" I said beginning to feel hot wondering if maybe he wasn't burning me anyway. "Frankly I wanted to tell you I like your poetry. I see a lot on my rounds and you're okay. You may not be the greatest thing on earth, but you're different. Now, I've heard some say you're crazy, they being excessively calm themselves to my mind, and other crazy poets think that you're a boring reactionary. Not me. Just keep on like I do and pay no attention. You'll find that people always will complain about the atmosphere, either too hot or too cold too bright or too dark, days too short or too long. If you don't appear at all one day they think you're lazy or dead. Just keep right on, I like it. And don't worry about your lineage poetic or natural. The Sun shines on the jungle, you know, on the tundra the sea, the ghetto. Wherever you were I knew it and saw you moving. I was waiting for you to get to work. And now that you are making your own days, so to speak, even if no one reads you but me you won't be depressed. Not everyone can look up, even at me. It hurts their eyes." "Oh Sun, I'm so grateful to you!" "Thanks and remember I'm watching. It's easier for me to speak to you out here. I don't have to slide down between buildings to get your ear. I know you love Manhattan, but you ought to look up more often. And always embrace things, people earth sky stars, as I do, freely and with the appropriate sense of space. That is your inclination, known in the heavens and you should follow it to hell, if necessary, which I doubt. Maybe we'll speak again in Africa, of which I too am specially fond. Go back to sleep now Frank, and I may leave a tiny poem in that brain of yours as my farewell." "Sun, don't go!" I was awake at last. "No, go I must, they're calling me." "Who are they?" Rising he said "Some day you'll know. They're calling to you too." Darkly he rose, and then I slept.
Frank O'Hara
A Walk in the Country" To walk anywhere in the world, to live now, to speak, to breathe a harmless breath: what snowflake, even, may try today so calm a life, so mild a death? Out in the country once, walking the hollow night, I felt a burden of silver come: my back had caught moonlight pouring through the trees like money. That walk was late, though. Late, I gently came into town, and a terrible thing had happened: the world, wide, unbearably bright, had leaped on me. I carried mountains. Though there was much I knew, though kind people turned away, I walked there ashamed— into that still picture to bring my fear and pain. By dawn I felt all right; my hair was covered with dew; the light was bearable; the air came still and cool. And God had come back there to carry the world again. Since then, while over the world the wind appeals events, and people contend like fools, like a stubborn tumbleweed I hold, hold where I live, and look into every face: Oh friends, where can one find a partner for the long dance over the fields?
William Stafford (Stories that Could Be True: New and Collected Poems)
A Poetry Reading at West Point I read to the entire plebe class, in two batches. Twice the hall filled with bodies dressed alike, each toting a copy of my book. What would my shrink say, if I had one, about such a dream, if it were a dream? Question and answer time. “Sir,” a cadet yelled from the balcony, and gave his name and rank, and then, closing his parentheses, yelled “Sir” again. “Why do your poems give me a headache when I try to understand them?” he asked. “Do you want that?” I have a gift for gentle jokes to defuse tension, but this was not the time to use it. “I try to write as well as I can what it feels like to be human,” I started, picking my way care- fully, for he and I were, after all, pained by the same dumb longings. “I try to say what I don’t know how to say, but of course I can’t get much of it down at all.” By now I was sweating bullets. “I don’t want my poems to be hard, unless the truth is, if there is a truth.” Silence hung in the hall like a heavy fabric. My own head ached. “Sir,” he yelled. “Thank you. Sir.
Anthony Holden (Poems That Make Grown Men Cry: 100 Men on the Words That Move Them)
I Never Told You You can fill a book with everything I never said Or the lines of a poem Or an Empty pool Or an empty bedroom, the candles all blown out I never told you how the reflection of myself in your eyes Was the only mirror I could bear to look at Or how I fought every day To transfuse the girl I saw there with the girl I am I tried to breathe in the words you made me: beautiful good brave I tried to be them for you even though they were weighted with impossibility I never told you how I always feared the rough edges of myself were too sharp for you and how I fought everyday to blunt them To bring down the walls To let you in without cutting you because I could never bear to hurt you like the others did Every day a fierce pride roared in me I was so lucky to know the truth I was the beneficiary of your radiance I basked in it and felt special And if not for the pain of your solitude I would have been content to be the only one I never told you How your touch made me feel like laughing and crying and singing all at once How your hand passing over my skin where atrocities Had not yet sloughed off, Skin cells remembering the worst touches Was like a tide washing over the ruddy sand And leaving it whole and smooth You made my skin forget Gave me new memories New sensations that didn't drag the shadows from the past In your arms I could start again, Start over. There is no greater gift in all the world Than you to the wreckage that is me... I never told you How I longed to kiss away your every bruise until there was no evidence No ghosts of your own suffering To put your pieces back together Seal the cracks Vanish them like they never were And never, ever Leave a scar I never told you I would take your pain if I could I would drink it down And take my comfort In making you ache a little less For a little while Did I? I'll never know because I never told you that I loved you I love you I love you It's too lat to say it now The time has passed for words How pathetic and small and weak On the phone Or on a piece of paper Starving Without the force of my own vitality My voice My breath My blood singing n my veins for you To give them power They are lost I love you It's too late but I love you And I'm sorry I never told you.
Emma Scott (How to Save a Life (Dreamcatcher, #1))
I did it the hard way Many of the big dreams I dreamt, I dreamt, when I met a failed attempt. Life taught me to believe that Great ideas can start from a wretched hut. Many of the strongest steps I took, I took, when I was given the fiercest look. My passion pokes me to understand That people’s mockeries, I can withstand. Many of the fastest speeds I gained, I gained when I was bitterly stained. I first thought the only way was to quit As I tried again, I no longer have guilt. Many of the bravest decisions I made, I made, when my life was about to fade. I was frustrated and ripe to sink. But then I strive to release the ink. Many of the longest journeys I started, I started, having no resource; money parted I relied on God my creator all dawn long And at dusk He gave me a new song. Many of the hardest questions I tackled, I tackled, when I was heckled. They were very troublesome to settle But I make it happen little by little Yet, it was not I, but the Lord Jesus The saviour who gives me success. In Him, through Him and by Him I have the liberty to do everything with vim. I don’t want to enjoy this liberty alone. You too must step out of your comfort zone. It’s not easy, but you can do it anyway. Jesus is the life, the truth and the way.
Israelmore Ayivor (Become a Better You)
A VALEDICTION: OF THE BOOK I'll tell thee now (dear love) what thou shalt do To anger destiny, as she doth us; How I shall stay, though she eloign me thus, And how posterity shall know it too; How thine may out-endure Sibyl's glory, and obscure Her who from Pindar could allure, And her, through whose help Lucan is not lame, And her, whose book (they say) Homer did find, and name. Study our manuscripts, those myriads Of letters, which have past 'twixt thee and me; Thence write our annals, and in them will be To all whom love's subliming fire invades, Rule and example found; There the faith of any ground No schismatic will dare to wound, That sees, how Love this grace to us affords, To make, to keep, to use, to be these his records. This book, as long-lived as the elements, Or as the world's form, this all-graved tome In cypher writ, or new made idiom; We for Love's clergy only are instruments; When this book is made thus, Should again the ravenous Vandals and Goths invade us, Learning were safe; in this our universe, Schools might learn sciences, spheres music, angels verse. Here Love's divines—since all divinity Is love or wonder—may find all they seek, Whether abstract spiritual love they like, Their souls exhaled with what they do not see; Or, loth so to amuse Faith's infirmity, they choose Something which they may see and use; For, though mind be the heaven, where love doth sit, Beauty a convenient type may be to figure it. Here more than in their books may lawyers find, Both by what titles mistresses are ours, And how prerogative these states devours, Transferred from Love himself, to womankind; Who, though from heart and eyes, They exact great subsidies, Forsake him who on them relies; And for the cause, honour, or conscience give; Chimeras vain as they or their prerogative. Here statesmen, (or of them, they which can read) May of their occupation find the grounds; Love, and their art, alike it deadly wounds, If to consider what 'tis, one proceed. In both they do excel Who the present govern well, Whose weakness none doth, or dares tell; In this thy book, such will there something see, As in the Bible some can find out alchemy. Thus vent thy thoughts; abroad I'll study thee, As he removes far off, that great heights takes; How great love is, presence best trial makes, But absence tries how long this love will be; To take a latitude Sun, or stars, are fitliest viewed At their brightest, but to conclude Of longitudes, what other way have we, But to mark when and where the dark eclipses be?
John Donne (The Love Poems)
Phoenix Blood There are only two things I am sure of in this world: the first is, one day, this life will come to its final destination in death The second: people will try to obliterate you, and believe me, even the ones that once promised you forever will betray you, it never fails to happen when love turns dark. Do yourself a favour when this happens; reclaim yourself from them. I know you have been taught to slice out your own heart, hand it over again and again to selfish hands, because it is all you have known since you were a child. You are an open wound looking for someone to cure you. And when they see that, they will scratch at it, steal your voice, thinking your magic will go with it, hoping your core swallows itself up. This is where you remember the lava of the volcano you come from, your ancestors were made from fire and it runs like hum that sings through your own vein-rivers of blood. You are not an open wound, they just want you to think you are. They have done this to every woman before you, yet women were made to endure; they become the earth, they adapt like water, they turn into diamonds to survive as who they are. This is how we become magic, we walk through fire and become more holy. They try to break us, we do not accept defeat. They try to devastate us, we still discover how to be happy. They banish us to the depths of hell, we just absorb and master the heat.
Nikita Gill (Fierce Fairytales: Poems and Stories to Stir Your Soul)
I have taken a different approach. One that I hope is more easily accessible to the reader’s emotional imagination, though less analytically systematic. I have summoned back into life again—through my own translations from a selection of popular Chinese novel sand poems—some of the imagined worlds in which Chinese have passed their daily reality during the last two hundred years. I have tried to convey something of what it felt like to be a Chinese, living in Chinese society, in different settings of status, age, and gender, and how this has changed over time. For reasons of method, I have looked at a small number of organically coherent emotional spaces, contained in individual works or parts of works, and considered them in detail. ... It would be pretending to more wisdom than I have to claim that the selection I have made is the result of a rigorous intellectual winnowing process from a harvest of widespread reading in late-imperial and modern Chinese literature. Honesty compels the admission that it is more the outcome of chance, serendipity, and whatever happened to catch my imagination, for reasons that I am probably in no position to do more than guess at. ... In so far as there has been a guiding principle behind my choices it has been the desire to show as much as the constraints of space allow of the contrasts among those in different social position, different periods, and different ideologies.
Mark Elvin (Changing Stories in the Chinese World)
A beautiful child sat playing in the sand And finger-writing: Who? Where from? Where to? I answered, O beautiful child, tell me, is Interrupting me: I am two children, hand in hand, I wanted to know: O beautiful child who finds it so easy to talk, tell me, where does the grass-tree grow, where does the grass flower, the wind and the breath of the wind, the strawberry, the leaf of grass, the rose? Again, it broke in: I am not at one with myself, I am full of contraries, I talk about anything, I am a boy and a girl, one and two, and you, are you night and day? I said: I am a poor robber, a productive consumer looking for honest labour, I want to go back to where I was born, either/or or and/or the board-panelling of the outside walls either horizontal or vertical or/or not, I want to be silent, there. It shouted: But first you have to calm down the wind, the walking wind, the dense tree-growing wind! And l: O syntax, that has only a few exceptions. You, slyness of sincerity, you rule. It wanted to know: Why are you praising the language that rules? I would like to teach this poem a lesson, I said, I can' t get rid of it, this breath has grown trees. . . I came from there, I took the road through the forest, but oh, it was stormy weather, autumn weather... That child then said: But, if it gives way why shouldn't you try to be free, to walk through the night. and look for someone whom it would fit, . that uninhabited breath?
Paavo Haavikko (Selected poems)
We are each of us the result of billions of years of the universe evolving toward its own splendor. And evolution builds: the very mitochondria that power our cells and give us life once existed as separate organisms that first infected our pre–pre–human ancestors and then became one with them. We each contain not only the slime mold and the worm, the fish and amphibian and reptile, but the pig and the ape and the barely human. If we look hard enough, we can discern hundreds of parts: kings and queens, warriors and troubadours, mages, bullies, and saints. And hustlers, adventurers, survivors, rebels, reactionaries, and rogues. And the part of us that wants to be more than human, or rather more fully human. I believe that we need to enlist all these separate selves into a single army of free companions who respect each other and love each other to the death. And who are willing to devote their lives to fight together in order to win a shared splendor. I will return to this theme of integration again and again, for it is key to everything. All of my characters struggle with themselves, and face as well external obstacles such as exploding stars or dragons or icy wastelands cold enough to freeze the breath. Maram, who writes poems glorifying his second chakra (the body’s sexual center), pants like a dog after every enticing woman he sees. Even as he resists his essential nobility and destiny as a hero, he insists that every man deserves at least one vice. When it is pointed out to him that he also drinks, gambles, gluttonizes, and whores, he declares that he is still trying to decide which vice will be his.
David Zindell (Splendor)
This living hand, now warm and capable Of earnest grasping, would, if it were cold And in the icy silence of the tomb, So haunt thy days and chill thy dreaming nights That thou would wish thine own heart dry of blood So in my veins red life might stream again, And thou be conscience-calmed—see here it is— I hold it towards you. These lines were written by someone who knew, at the moment of writing, that the “warm” hand with which he could touch another person would soon be “cold” and unable to grasp anyone, anything. He reaches out for contact because he can’t stand it. He is distraught, enraged, terrified. He would prove to you, whoever “you” are, that he still exists: “see here it is,” he declares, interrupting himself, urgently holding out his hand: “I hold it towards you.” The fury behind this gesture is immense—the fury of the desire to live, the fury of the consciousness of death, the fury that some love might have assuaged all this suffering. Keats keeps the desperation going in this lyric: he embodies it in a Shakespearean rhetoric. The desperation gives voltage to the well-wrought lines, almost lifting them off the page, almost scorching them. I hear it in the beseeching, agonized, infuriated voice. I feel it incarnated in the physical image of his once-living hand. He holds his hand toward you—toward each of us—in a fierce and plaintive gesture of poetry that tries to go beyond poetry. One imagines his hand moving furiously across the page and then suddenly stopping. The truth was intolerable. The reality that his actual hand would be replaced by these living lines of poetry seems to have given him no comfort. Still, these lines must carry as much of him as possible now; they are all that is left. The poet perceived this in advance. He gave his word for it.
John Keats (Complete Poems and Selected Letters)
My mother made me into the type of person who is at ease standing in the middle of moving traffic, the type of person who ends up having more adventures and making more mistakes. Mum never stopped encouraging me to try, fail and take risks. I kept pushing myself to do unconventional things because I liked the reaction I got from her when I told her what I'd done. Mum's response to all my exploits was to applaud them. Great, you're living your life, and not the usual life prescribed for a woman either. Well done! Thanks to her, unlike most girls at the time, I grew up regarding recklessness, risk-taking and failure as laudable pursuits. Mum did the same for Vida by giving her a pound every time she put herself forward. If Vida raised her hand at school and volunteered to go to an old people's home to sing, or recited a poem in assembly, or joined a club, Mum wrote it down in a little notebook. Vida also kept a tally of everything she'd tried to do since she last saw her grandmother and would burst out with it all when they met up again. She didn't get a pound if she won a prize or did something well or achieved good marks in an exam, and there was no big fuss or attention if she failed at anything. She was only rewarded for trying. That was the goal. This was when Vida was between the ages of seven and fifteen, the years a girl is most self-conscious about her voice, her looks and fitting in, when she doesn't want to stand out from the crowd or draw attention to herself. Vida was a passive child – she isn't passive now. I was very self-conscious when I was young, wouldn't raise my voice above a whisper or look an adult in the eye until I was thirteen, but without me realizing it Mum taught me to grab life, wrestle it to the ground and make it work for me. She never squashed any thoughts or ideas I had, no matter how unorthodox or out of reach they were. She didn't care what I looked like either. I started experimenting with my clothes aged eleven, wearing top hats, curtains as cloaks, jeans torn to pieces, bare feet in the streets, 1930s gowns, bells around my neck, and all she ever said was, 'I wish I had a camera.
Viv Albertine (To Throw Away Unopened)
We have not begun to live’, Yeats writes, ‘until we conceive life as a tragedy.’ Newman confessed that he considered most men to be irretrievably damned, although he spent his life ‘trying to make that truth less terrible to human reason’. Goethe could call his life ‘the perpetual rolling of a rock that must be raised up again forever’. Martin Luther told a woman who wished him a long life: ‘Madam, rather than live forty more years, I would give up my chance of paradise.’ No, the Outsider does not make light work of living; at the best, it is hard going; at the worst (to borrow a phrase from Eliot) ‘an intolerable shirt of flame’, It was this vision that made Axel declare: ‘As for living, our servants will do that for us.’ Axel was a mystic; at least, he had the makings of a mystic. For that is just what the mystic says: ‘I refuse to Uve.’ But he doesn’t intend to die. There is another way of living that involves a sort of death: ‘to die in order to Uve’. Axel would have locked himself up in his castle on the Rhine and read Hermetic philosophy. He saw men and the world as Newman saw them, as Eliot saw them in ‘Burnt Norton’: ... strained, time-ridden faces Distracted from distraction by distraction Filled with fancies and empty of meaning Tumid apathy with no concentration Men and bits of paper, whirled by the cold wind That blows before and after time But he was not willing to regard himself as hopelessly damned merely because the rest of the world seems to be. He set out to find his own salvation; and although he did it with a strong romantic bias for Gothic castles and golden-haired girls, he still set out in the right direction. And what are the clues in the search for self-expression? There are the moments of insight, the glimpses of harmony. Yeats records one such moment in his poem ‘Vacillation’: My fiftieth year had come and gone I sat, a solitary man In a crowded London shop An open book and empty cup On the marble table-top While on the shop and street I gazed My body of a sudden blazed And twenty minutes more or less It seemed, so great my happiness That I was blessed, and could bless It is an important experience, this moment of Yea-saying, of reconciliation with the ‘devil-ridden chaos’, for it gives the Outsider an important glimpse into the state of mind that the visionary wants to achieve permanently.
Colin Wilson
Red wine and Hennessy She fell out of her bottle when she fell into love, cup running over, overflowing emotions in glass- red stained palet, on a pallet on the grass, to a quilt on the floor -affixed between lips and red lipstick on a shirt that he wore. A familiar place, she know she's been here before Reminiscent of the evening On his shirt that she tore ............ Drop by drop, puddle in glass getting lower- impressions in her gut, rim of her glass, hour glass figure moves counter clockwise - while absorbing the contents of merlot. Hard liquor and fine wine ............. Red Wine and Hennessy A wicked twist on some champagne tips French nails, manicures over grapes Whoever said wine and liquor don't mix? Last night I had six Bottle caps, corks, bedazzled juice Merlot was her name - slim waist - good taste slinger neck, red lace. Long stem, pedestal - hands embraced her face ............. room temperature, her body temperature ... personality of two, she's mellow and chill... aged to perfection- pop the seal- watch the erection ... splatters on the floor- covers the rug, Residue of red lipstick- Merlot stained lips match the kiss on his neck ............ Chasing fantasy through the Red Sea While chasing that with a white BC How much will she pour- how much will she drink How much more before her ship sinks ........... A full body lush, blackberry crush Medium sized Bordeaux Intense velvety plum I asked her where she's from She said she's international She's longer thinking rational .......... Sips in sync with blinking eyes She sips too much to realize Every time you pour into me, my bottle gets more empty- Glass falling to the floor She staggers to the door Glass shatters her feet She stumbles to her seat She's still asking for more But she falls to the floor Red lipstick in the mud She covers up the blood ............ She lays in her wine She forgot about the time Clock on the wall Footsteps in the hall Pounding in her head She rushes to the bed ......... She lays motionless ... but her head is racing Her heart is pacing Her lungs are gasping - air, she needs air Rolls to her side, brings her self to sit up She gags and gags until She throws it all up- ........... Wakes up the next morning Dazed and confused She's laying in a bed That she's not used to She moves slowly, where did everyone go? She checks the time- it's a quarter pass 4 sounds on the other side of the door Are Muffled by the sound of a knock at the door ........... Looks around for her little red dress Notices a blotch - a red stain on her breast Lipstick smeared an accessory to her mess She reached for her clothes and saw a note on the desk. .......... Dearly beloved, I want to see you again I'd love to have to back I think we make a great blend I tried to wake you Because I had to go And Oh by the way, my name is merlot "Little Black Bird
Niedria Dionne Kenny (Love, Lust and Regrets: While the lights were off)
So laced and lush is this ecosystem that we walk our several miles through it today without making a footfall, only scuffs. Carol tells me that these Olympic rain forests and the rough coast to their west provide her the greatest calm of any place she has been. That she can walk in this rain forest and only be walking in this rain forest, moving in simple existence. Surprising, that, because neither of us thinks we are at all mystic. Perhaps, efficient dwellers we try to be, we simply admire the deft fit of life systems in the rain forest. The flow of growth out of growth, out of death . . . I do not quite ease off into beingness as she can. Memories and ideas leap to mind. I remember that Callenbach’s young foresters of Ecotopia would stop in the forest to hug a fir and murmur into its bark, brother tree. . . . This Hoh forest is not a gathering of brothers to humankind, but of elders. The dampness in the air, patches of fog snagged in the tree tops above, tells me another story out of memory, of having read of a visitor who rode through the California redwood forest in the first years of this century. He noted to his guide that the sun was dissipating the chilly fog from around them. No, said the guide looking to canyon walls of wood like these, no, “The trees is drinkin’ it. That’s what they live on mostly. When they git done breakfast you’ll git warm enough.” For a time, the river seduces me from the forest. This season, before the glacier melt begins to pour from the Olympic peaks, the water of the Hoh is a painfully lovely slate blue, a moving blade of delicate gloss. The boulder-stropped, the fog-polished Hoh. Question: why must rivers have names? Tentative answer: for the same reason gods do. These Peninsula rivers, their names a tumbled poem of several tongues—Quinault, Quillayute, Hoh, Bogashiel, Soleduck, Elwha, Dungeness, Gray Wolf—are as holy to me as anything I know. Forest again. For comparison’s sake I veer from the trail to take a look at the largest Sitka spruce along this valley bottom. The Park Service has honored it with a sign, giving the tree’s dimensions as sixteen feet four inches in diameter, one hundred eighty feet in height, but now the sign is propped against the prone body of the giant. Toppled, it lies like a huge extracted tunnel bore. Clambering onto its upper surface I find that the Sitka has burls, warts on the wood, bigger around than my body. For all that, I calculate that it is barely larger, if any, than the standard nineteenth-century target that Highpockets and his calendar crew are offhandedly devastating in my writing room. Evening, and west to Kalaloch through portals of sawed-through windfalls, to the campground next to the ocean. In fewer than fifty miles, mountain and ocean, arteried by this pulsing valley.
Ivan Doig (Winter Brothers: A Season at the Edge of America)
A sweet little baby girl sleeping just next to me. Her attractive brows on the eyes are like rainbow in the skies. Seeing repeatedly her Cute little face, which is undoubtedly full of grace. Ofcourse I am trying to sleep, but out of sheet again and again prefering to peep. Stopping myself in continuity, thought of writing the experience once properly awake But I Can’t doze sound, since I wanna jot it down right away without any mistake Lucky I am, to have this small yet best blessing everyday on my side A proud father is rhyming today for his beloved daughter which he consider his pride A sweet little baby girl sleeping just next to me. Endless Gratitude lord for reminding to rhyme even when I am half asleep !!
Harpreet Gaba
You might even say there is a tree for every mood and every moment. When you have something precious to give to the universe, a song or a poem, you should first share it with a golden oak before anyone else. If you are feeling discouraged and defenceless, look for a Mediterranean cypress or a flowering horse chestnut. Both are strikingly resilient, and they will tell you about all the fires they have survived. And if you want to emerge stronger and kinder from your trials, find an aspen to learn from – a tree so tenacious it can fend off even the flames that aim to destroy it. If you are hurting and have no one willing to listen to you, it might do you good to spend time beside a sugar maple. If, on the other hand, you are suffering from excessive self-esteem, do pay a visit to a cherry tree and observe its blossoms, which, though undoubtedly pretty, are no less ephemeral than vainglory. By the time you leave, you might feel a bit more humble, more grounded. To reminisce about the past, seek out a holly to sit under; to dream about the future, choose a magnolia instead. And if it is friends and friendships on your mind, the most suitable companion would be a spruce or a ginkgo. When you arrive at a crossroads and don’t know which path to take, contemplating quietly by a sycamore might help. If you are an artist in need of inspiration, a blue jacaranda or a sweetly scented mimosa could stir your imagination. If it is renewal you are after, seek a wych elm, and if you have too many regrets, a weeping willow will offer solace. When you are in trouble or at your lowest point, and have no one in whom to confide, a hawthorn would be the right choice. There is a reason why hawthorns are home to fairies and known to protect pots of treasure. For wisdom, try a beech; for intelligence, a pine; for bravery, a rowan; for generosity, a hazel; for joy, a juniper; and for when you need to learn to let go of what you cannot control, a birch with its white-silver bark, peeling and shedding layers like old skins. Then again, if it’s love you’re after, or love you have lost, come to the fig, always the fig.
Elif Shafak (The Island of Missing Trees)
A Note to Thomas Wolfe It turns out that you can go home again. And once home there will be things that will poke at your memory. Doors will open ... harder than you remember. But the floors will have forgotten you and the walls painted over a dozen times, will speak in unfamiliar colors. Trees where there were none, grown to ten times a man will nod politely. There's something familiar about the way you walk, they'll whisper to each other. But they've seen too much and lived through storms. It's hard for them to remember details. And when you stop to listen as if the breeze that carries their words were some ghost calling, it's something that they've seen before. I tried to write it down once. But it didn't want to be a poem. You can go home again, Mr. Wolfe. But no one will be waiting.
Gil Arzola (The Death of a Migrant Worker)
We're foot—slog—slog—slog—sloggin’ over Africa! Foot—foot—foot—foot—sloggin’ over Africa— (Boots—boots—boots—boots—movin’ up and down again!) There’s no discharge in the war! Seven—six—eleven—five—nine-an’-twenty mile to-day— Four—eleven—seventeen—thirty-two the day before— (Boots—boots—boots—boots—movin’ up and down again!) There’s no discharge in the war! Don’t—don’t—don’t—don’t—look at what’s in front of you. (Boots—boots—boots—boots—movin’ up an’ down again!) Men—men—men—men—men go mad with watchin’ ’em, And there’s no discharge in the war! Try—try—try—try—to think o’ something different— Oh—my—God—keep—me from goin’ lunatic! (Boots—boots—boots—boots—movin’ up an’ down again!) There’s no discharge in the war! Count—count—count—count—the bullets in the bandoliers. If—your—eyes—drop—they will get atop o’ you (Boots—boots—boots—boots—movin’ up and down again!) There’s no discharge in the war! We—can—stick—out—’unger, thirst, an’ weariness, But—not—not—not—not the chronic sight of ’em— Boots—boots—boots—boots—movin’ up an’ down again! An’ there’s no discharge in the war! ’Tain’t—so—bad—by—day because o’ company, But—night—brings—long—strings—o’ forty thousand million Boots—boots—boots—boots—movin’ up an’ down again. There’s no discharge in the war! I—’ave—marched—six—weeks in ’Ell an’ certify It—is—not—fire—devils—dark or anything, But boots—boots—boots—boots—movin’ up an’ down again, An’ there’s no discharge in the war!
Rudyard Kipling (The Five Nations)
the woman who comes after me will be a bootleg version of who i am. she will try and write poems for you to erase the ones i’ve left memorized on your lips but her lines could never punch you in the stomach the way mine did. she will then try to make love to your body. but she will never lick, caress, or suck like me. she will be a sad replacement of the woman you let slip. nothing she does will excite you and this will break her. when she is tired of falling apart for a man that doesn’t give back what he takes she will recognize me in your eyelids staring at her with pity and it’ll hit her. how can she love a man who is busy loving someone he can never get his hands on again.
Rupi Kaur (Milk and Honey)
Each time I try, I lose my aim. And the pain starts all over again. It's not an easy target. It's hopeless. But after a while I start again.
Bhuwan Thapaliya (Safa Tempo: Poems New & Selected)
THE TRUTH In summer there was something in the selfhood of the wasps that wanted to get inside the screened-in porch. It sent them buzzing against the wire mesh, probing under the eaves, crawling into the cracks between the boards. Each day we’d find new bodies on the sill: little failures, like struck matches: shrunken in death, the yellow color of cider or old varnish. The blue self of the sky looked down on the self of the wooden house where the wasps were perishing. The wind swept them to the ground. The wasps seemed to be extensions of one big thing making the same effort again and again. I can remember that feeling of being driven by some longing I could not understand to look for the passage through, —trying again and again to get inside. I must have left a lot of dead former selves scattered around behind me while I kept pushing my blunt head at a space that prevented my entering —and by that preventing delivered me to where I live now, still outside; still flying around in the land of the unfinished.
Tony Hoagland (Priest Turned Therapist Treats Fear of God: Poems)
Autumn Psalm To understand a fraction of what they mean. The writings in the world’s most spoken language across from one that can barely get a minyan. Sick of lanzmen, the yidden are trying to engage the guys across the aisle in some conversation: How, for example, do you squeeze an image into so few words, respectfully asks Glatstein. Wang Wei, at first, doesn’t understand the problem but then he shrugs his shoulders, mumbles Zen ... but, please, I, myself, overheard a poem, in the autumn rain, once, on a mountain. How do you do it? I believe it’s called a psalm? Glatstein’s cronies all crack up in unison. Okay, groise macher, give him an answer. But Glatstein dons his yarmulke (who knew he had one?) and starts the introduction to the morning prayer, Pisukei di zimrah, psalm by psalm. Wang Wei is spellbound, the stacks’ stale air suddenly a veritable balm and I’m so touched by these amazing goings-on that I’ve forgotten all about the autumn staring straight at me: still alive, still golden. What’s gold, anyway, compared to poetry? a trick of chlorophyll, a trick of sun. True. It was something, my changing tree with its perfect complement: a crimson vine, both thrown into panic by a Steller’s jay, but it’s hard to shake the habit of digression. Wandering has always been my people’s way whether we’re in a desert or narration. It’s too late to emulate Wang Wei and his solitary years on that one mountain though I’d love to say what I set out to say just once. Next autumn, maybe. What’s the occasion? Glatstein will shout over to me from the bookcase (that is, if he’s paying any attention) and, finally, I’ll look him in the face. Quick. Out the window, Yankev. It’s here again. Part 2
Jacqueline Osherow
The Nomad by Henry Shore When our ancestors found that wheat Was a good bread to eat They settled in Jericho. All of us are settled now, But in our souls there is a great woe: We don’t know where to go. I am settled in a fine place I own a house, I live in grace, I have a patio But late at night when the wind laments And the garden shivers—my soul is rent: I don’t know where to go. One day when I say good-bye To life and wife, and die and fly Somewhere in a great flow I shall be free to roam again I’ll try to find but try in vain Where to go, where to go.
Henry Shore
I don’t think she’s really gone…’ Robert hesitates. ‘I just think we can’t see her any more.’ ‘What do you mean?’ He straightens up, then hunches forward on his knees. ‘I was reading this thing by St Augustine…’ ‘I didn’t know you’re religious.’ ‘I’m not, really. But he wrote some pretty good stuff. There’s this bit where he’s talking about time, and how it’s just an illusion.’ Ella frowns. ‘Then what are clocks doing?’ ‘They’re measuring the teeth on a cog, or the number of times a pendulum has gone back and forth…’ He looks at Ella’s frown. ‘I don’t know, it’s hard to explain. But what he’s saying is, there’s no such thing as the past or the future, just this big, eternal now.’ Ella tries to get her head around this, craning her neck so she’s looking right up through the gaps in the clouds. The stars flicker. ‘Nope, I don’t get it.’ ‘Well, he compares it to a poem…but you could imagine it like a record.’ ‘A record?’ ‘Yeah, imagine a seventy-eight.’ Ella closes her eyes and pictures the record. ‘So, you put it on the turntable and listen to the first verse of the song, then there’s a chorus, then another verse. While you’re listening to the second verse, the first verse is still there, spinning around on the record, but you’re not listening to it any more. St Augustine said that the record is like a human life, or all of human history.’ Ella thinks for a moment. The idea is starting to take shape in her head as she imagines the shiny black disc, spinning on its axis. She’s not sure if it makes sense or not, but the idea is attractive. She thinks of all the people who have gone before them, their lives still spinning through infinity like silent songs. ‘So where’s Rene, in this metaphor?’ ‘She’s like…’ Robert thinks for a moment. ‘She’s like a clarinet solo in the first verse. A beautiful solo, harmonizing with the melody. And then she stops, and she doesn’t repeat again for the rest of the song…but she’s still there, on the record.
Joe Heap (When the Music Stops)
At night I look up into the stars, Well the moon looks shining, Glint of light blimp my eyes, I seem to be flying in the air, Whenever I fly I feel like I touched the sky. Whenever I fly I feel like I touched the sky. It's okay to fly, instead of worrying I could die, In the air I use to travel over half million mile, My eyes seems to be blind, Whenever I fly I feel like I touched the sky. Whenever I fly I feel like I touched the sky. It scares me to fly, It often makes me nervous, Again I try light blimp my eye, Whenever I fly I feel like I touched the sky. Whenever I fly I feel like I touched the sky. I far, far more likely to fly, I breathe closely, to the sky, If there were no light, I could feel bright, Whenever I fly I feel like I touched the sky. Whenever I fly I feel like I touched the sky. Sometimes I breathe, breathe, Sometimes I close my eyes, I felt like touching the sky, Whenever I fly I feel like I touched the sky. Whenever I fly I feel like I touched the sky.
Santosh Kumar
the woman who comes after me will be a bootleg version of who i am. she will try and write poems for you to erase the ones i've left memorized on your lips but her lines could never punch you in the stomach the way mine did. she will then try to make love to your body. but she will never lick, caress, or suck like me. she will be a sad replacement of the woman you let slip. nothing she does will excite you and this will break her. when she is tired of falling apart for a man that doesn't give back what he takes she will recognize me in your eyelids staring at her with pity and it'll hit her. how can she love a man who is busy loving someone he can never get his hands on again.
Rupi Kaur (milk and honey)
Before she made any decisions, perhaps she should travel abroad. Italy, Germany, Spain, Greece, China, Egypt... She could visit the seven wonders of the world and keep a journal. What were the seven wonders? She tried to recall a poem a governess once taught her to help remember them. How did it go?... The pyramids first, which in Egypt were laid... Next Babylon's garden, which Amytis made... Now that she thought of it, who had made the list in the first place? In a world full of wonders, seven seemed an awfully stingy number. Gloom started to creep back over her again. I’ll compile my own list of wonders, she decided, far more than seven. She would become an adventuress. She might even try mountain climbing. Not a large, life-threatening mountain, but a friendly mountain, with a nearby resort that served afternoon tea. Being an adventuress didn’t mean one had to suffer, after all.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Disguise (The Ravenels, #7))
Our Generation Our generation will be known for nothing.
 Never will anybody say,
 We were the peak of mankind.
 That is wrong, the truth is
 Our generation was a failure.
 Thinking that
 We actually succeeded 
Is a waste. And we know 
Living only for money and power 
Is the way to go.
 Being loving, respectful, and kind 
Is a dumb thing to do.
 Forgetting about that time,
 Will not be easy, but we will try.
 Changing our world for the better 
Is something we never did. 
Giving up
 Was how we handled our problems.
 Working hard
 Was a joke.
 We knew that
 People thought we couldn’t come back
 That might be true, 
Unless we turn things around. Now read the poem again… backwards.
Jordan Nichols
And how unfair it would be to torture your heart in never feeling again, because of a feeling you haven't even tried to understand yet.
Nikki Rowe
This is my very own Composition in Poems in my publication YOUR TIME IS NOW. THE FUTURE WORLD DESCRIBED BY DANIEL [Daniel Chapter 2] Nebuchadnezzar had a dream which he was unable to cipher, A statue with a head made of fine gold, with chest and arms of silver. Belly and thighs of bronze, and legs of iron displayed, Its feet combined of iron and clay had Nebuchadnezzar amazed. A mighty rock smashed the statue’s feet causing it to sway And after shattering it to bits the wind blew the bits away. The rock covered the earth and Nebuchadnezzar awoke He pondered on this dream and his thoughts were provoked. Magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers were consulted. But all scratched their heads and Nebuchadnezzar felt insulted. Because the meaning of this dream was beyond their imagination And Nebuchadnezzar felt mad and ordered their execution. But Daniel a captive from Judah offered an explanation, That brought Nebuchadnezzar great jubilation. Daniel said that Nebuchadnezzar was the head of gold His kingdom was strong and he would be bold. But after his kingdom had reached its end. An inferior one would rule again. And yet another would rise after the second had fallen. A kingdom of bronze would be the third to have risen. Following that kingdom there would be a fourth, strong as iron, That kingdom would crush previous empires. It would be divided however as clay and iron cannot mix, But the kingdom of God would rise in its midst. The kingdom of God will be as solid as a rock. No one can crush it, whoever tries will be out of luck. The dream was true and its meaning was certain. The kingdom of God would stand forever unending
Brenda C. Mohammed
I did it the hard way ( a poem) _________________________ Many of the big dreams I dreamt, I dreamt, when I met a failed attempt. Life taught me to believe that Great ideas can start from a wretched hut. Many of the strongest steps I took, I took, when I was given the fiercest look. My passion pokes me to understand That people’s mockeries, I can withstand. Many of the fastest speeds I gained, I gained when I was bitterly stained. I first thought the only way was to quit As I tried again, I no longer have guilt. Many of the bravest decisions I made, I made, when my life was about to fade. I was frustrated and ripe to sink. But then I strive to release the ink. Many of the longest journeys I started, I started, having no resource; money parted I relied on God my creator all dawn long And at dusk He gave me a new song. Many of the hardest questions I tackled, I tackled, when I was heckled. They were very troublesome to settle But I make it happen little by little Yet, it was not I, but the Lord Jesus The saviour who gives me success. In Him, through Him and by Him I have the liberty to do everything with vim. I don’t want to enjoy this liberty alone. You too must step out of your comfort zone. It’s not easy, but you can do it anyway. Jesus is the life, the truth and the way. ___________________________ Israelmore Ayivor
Israelmore Ayivor (Become a Better You)
XX. Tonight I Can Write" Tonight I can write the saddest lines. Write, for example, 'The night is starry and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance.' The night wind revolves in the sky and sings. Tonight I can write the saddest lines. I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too. Through nights like this one I held her in my arms. I kissed her again and again under the endless sky. She loved me, sometimes I loved her too. How could one not love her great still eyes. Tonight I can write the saddest lines. To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her. To hear the immense night, still more immense without her. And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture. What does it matter that my love could not keep her. The night is starry and she is not with me. This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance. My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her. My sight tries to find her as though to bring her closer My heart looks for her, and she is not with me. The same night whitening the same trees. We, of that time, are no longer the same. I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her. My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing. Another's. She will be another's. As she was before my kisses. Her voice, her bright body. Her infinite eyes. I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her. Love is so short, forgetting is so long. Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her. Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer and these the last verses that I write for her.
Pablo Neruda (Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair)
Poem for Vows Hello beautiful talented dark semi-optimists of June, from far off I send my hopes Brooklyn is sunny, and the ghost of Whitman who loved everyone is there to see you say what can never be said, something like partly I promise my whole life to try to figure out what it means to stand facing you under a tree, and partly no matter how angry I get I will always remember we met before we were born, it was in a village, someone had just cast a spell, it was in the park, snow everywhere, we were slipping and laughing, at last we knew the green secret, we were sea turtles swimming a long time together without needing to breathe, we were two hungry owls silently hunting night, our terrible claws, I don’t want to sound like I know, I’m just one who worries all night about people in a lab watching a storm in a glass terrarium perform lethal ubiquity, tiny black clouds make the final ideogram above miniature lands exactly resembling ours, what is happening happens again, they cannot stop it, they take off their white coats, go outside, look up and wonder, only we who promise everything despite everything can tell them the solution, only we know.
Matthew Zapruder
Consider Edgar Allen Poe’s famous poem, “The Raven.” Here we have a first-person narrator whose wife or lover, Lenore, has recently died. He is in his library searching through his books to find a way to make her death meaningful—or even understandable. When a raven enters the library, the narrator takes it as a sign and asks a series of increasingly desperate questions. The raven, of course, has long been a symbol for death, and the questions that the narrator asks the raven are all really questions about death. Is there a heaven? Does death come from God or the Devil? Will he ever get over her death? Will he see her again? These are likely the same things he was trying to find out from his books. But while the books may have tried to give answers, the raven—death itself—says only one word: “Nevermore.” So this is a poem that makes claims—or, more specifically, it is a poem that rejects claims. It rejects the notion that anyone can know anything about death, or what happens after death, except that a person who has died no longer exists. All that death “says” to us is “Nevermore.” If we try to go beyond this, we will eventually suffer the narrator’s fate and become insane. Many people would disagree vigorously with this premise. Some people believe that the spirits of the dead become ghosts that we can still communicate with. Others believe in heaven, hell, reincarnation, Nirvana, or some knowable final destination for the soul. I can imagine a number of different ways that one might go about rebutting Poe’s metaphysical truth claims. But it makes no difference whether or not ravens can talk. Nothing about Poe’s poem can be supported, or refuted, by scientific knowledge about the vocalization mechanisms of the Corvus corax. Nor does it matter whether or not Edgar Allen Poe ever knew anybody named Lenore, or owned a “bust of Pallas,” or did or said any of the things described in the poem. “The Raven” makes metaphysical truth claims that we can isolate and evaluate. But these claims do not depend on either the history or the science of the poem turning out to be true.
Michael Austin (Re-reading Job: Understanding the Ancient World's Greatest Poem)
Will I stick to the eternity Of never trying? Or will I challenge the uncertainty Of what can happen If I see you again?
Jazalyn (Loving with the Senses)
The Lord Sits With Me Out in Front" The Lord sits with me out in front watching a sweet darkness begin in the fields. We try to decide whether I am lonely. I tell about waking at four a.m. and thinking of what the man did to the daughter of Louise. And there being no moon when I went outside. He says maybe I am getting old. That being poor is taking too much out of me. I say I am fine. He asks for the Brahms. We sit and watch the sea fade. The tape finishes again and we sit on. Unable to find words.
Jack Gilbert (Collected Poems)
Misty again today. A freakish mist lies over the land. My clothes are out on the clothesline, and they have been there for two days and they've started to get that wet-too-long smell. Now, if I were a nineteenth-century poet, I would say that the freakish mist lay 'o'er' the land. And that's one of those words, 'o'er,' that makes a modern reader feel ill. So what I do, to make the old poems feel true again - the good old poems - is very simple. This is another little tip for you, so get ready. I just pronounce 'o'er' as 'over,' but I do it very fast, so you're gliding o'er the V, not really adding another syllable. Because that's what it was, I think: it was a crude, printed representation of a subtle spoken elision that might well have had some of the vocal ghost of the V left in it. There are rare times when it's absolutely necessary to say 'o'er' without any V - as when, say, Macaulay rhymes it with 'yore.' But a lot of the time you can fudge it. This trick will also work for ''tis' and 'ne'er' - the other painful bits of poetic diction. When I'm reading a poem to myself, I just mentally change all the instances of ''tis' to 'it's.' And I give 'ne'er' the 'o'er' treatment - I just barely graze my teeth with my lower lip, while thinking V. It's like waving the vermouth bottle over the glass of gin. Try it, it may work for you. After all, we don't want some mere convention of spelling to block our connection with the oldies. We want to hear them now as if they're being said now. And that tailcoated diction can really get in the way. It's bad. Not to mention the exclamation points everywhere. Lo! Great God! Just ignore them. If you say the poem aloud, they disappear.
Nicholson Baker (The Anthologist (The Paul Chowder Chronicles #1))
Tanto gentile e tanto onesta pare la donna mia,” he whispered, the words from Dante’s La Vita Nuova flooding from his lips. “Quand’ella altrui saluta, ch’ogne lingua deven tremando muta, e li occhi no l’ardiscon di guardare.” His voice was breathy from anticipation as he tried to soothe her, her body relaxing more with each word. He moved again and sparks flew through his body at the sensation. “That was beautiful,” she said. “The poem or the penetration?” he asked, not thinking before saying the words. “Shit, I shouldn’t have said that.” “I meant the poem, but the other part’s nice so far too,” she said shyly. “And you should’ve said that, because that’s who you are.
J.M. Darhower (Sempre (Sempre, #1))
The Great Poem" The great poem is always possible. Think of Keats and his odes. But we shouldn’t have to be dying, What I’m writing now is not the great poem. After a few lines I could tell. It may not even be a particularly good poem, although it’s too early to decide about that. Keep going, I say. See what happens. But trying hard is one of the problems. since it shows in the lines as a strain or struggle that reminds the reader too much of the writer, whereas most readers want to listen alone. The great poem, I think, will arrive when I no longer care. Perhaps I’ll have abandoned art altogether, and I won’t even want to write the poem down. But then I’ll remember what I once would have given for this moment, and I’ll go back to my desk. And I’ll write the poem as though I were another person, someone I will never be again.
Lawrence Raab (The History of Forgetting)
Theres a metaphor beyond the fallen paradise in the circumstance most intellectuals find themselves in the maze they tried every waking second trying to escape. For a poet, deranged and in love with plants and planets, there is no time for thinking so let us scream truth beyond the fall all over again. Internally rising if impossible to have full faith in, the flow could crash us back into disappearance.
Brandon Villasenor (Prima Materia (Radiance Hotter than Shade, #1))
Practice: Make Words Your Own From the list of words you marked, pick a few. Now use those words, and any others you might need (not necessarily from your list) to make a sentence, a line of a poem, or a line of dialogue. Let yourself just fool around with these words, play with them as if they were bits of clay, and see what you can make. You can make sense, if you like, or you can make nonsense. For instance, I could choose the words blue and ceiling and elephant from my list, and make this sentence: The blue elephant is on the ceiling. Don’t obsess about the sentences you construct; they don’t have to be perfect. (Remember, no one will ever see this material unless you choose to show it.) You might want to see how many different sentences you can make using the same chosen words. Or you might want to pick three or four new words from your list and see what you can make from them (again, adding any words you need to make a complete sentence). When you have had enough of this little game, for now, take a few moments to read your sentences out loud. Try to listen to them without judgment. What do you notice? If you get any ideas for new sentences, or new ways to write the ones you created, by all means jot them down.
Barbara Baig (Spellbinding Sentences: A Writer's Guide to Achieving Excellence and Captivating Readers)
Fragmented memories, lost or not lost are holding me back.  But aren’t they just memories? What am I? Not a memory. Small tiny memories not quite remembered, are keeping me bound to this world.  Why do they come up now? I was so near, everything was so calm.  Everything was so clear. And now I’m up in the mind again, trying to find solutions to the non-existing problem.  The jigsaw puzzle doesn’t want to be solved,  doesn’t want to be put together, doesn’t want to reveal the whole picture.  But does it really matter?
Nanne Nyander (The Way Back Home: Poems)
CHASING YOU IN MY DREAMS written by: Zaki Ansari @zakiashkim With this truth, that, you have gone out of my life that is also true you never left my heart and my mind always walking with me every step, side by my side And each moment I feel you beside You left in my soul dark seams And every night I’m chasing you in my dreams Not to blame you. Not questioning you Neither want to show anger or insulting you Just to feel your love again one more time hold me in your hug for a while if it’s last time let me see your face in moonbeams And every night I’m chasing you in my dreams Let’s come sit down together and compose again Let’s try to write our story this time without pain There was only last note misplayed in our love song Otherwise yet after all just to each other, we belong. I’m getting tired, enough is enough, leave me bloody pain, let’s come to the end nothing going to change it clearly seems So to die in your embrace Every night I’m chasing you in my dreams So to die in your embrace Every night I’m chasing you in my dreams
Mohammed Zaki Ansari ("Zaki's Gift Of Love")
Circles Circles, small, large and many circles, That is what our lives are like, Always moving and pacing in circles, Circles of love, circles of desire, circles of passion , too many circles, but none alike. Situations, circumstances presenting themselves in circles, With infinite loops, where we always end up where we began, With the only difference that we change circles, but never can we leave these circles, Even if we tried hard and we desperately ran. We always end up in a circle within many circles, But be assured these loops have been created on purpose by someone, Who enjoys watching us going in circles because for him/her life is a circus of circles, There is no regard for emotions, sentiments and human sensitivities, because this entity seems to care for no one. And casts us mercilessly and relentlessly in these vicious circles, Where the race begins never to end, because in a circle the end is unmarked, And ah the agony of living in ceaseless pain and its ever extending circles, Who shall we accuse, our fate or our destiny that we always get marked. To be a part of circles, in relentless motion and desperation, only to create new circles, And be cast in them remorselessly by this unknown entity, It has nothing to offer us, no joys, no celebrations, just the ceaseless circles, Where we always lie in the centre like a loathed deity! And if ever our circle intersects with a cluster of happy circles, We are cast away and shunned like a managed dog, Till there are no more happy circles left in our constellation of endless circles, And we get recast by fate once again , in the infinite circle of life where we belong. We, our circle, our lives, our pain, a little blend of joy, and our live’s moments going in circles, Often question us in our wakeful state, “What are we and who are we without these circles?” And the answer, “ a motion within a circle seeking its eternal kinetic state !” To love in a circle, to feel joy in a circle, to confront life within circles, And tread in a state of constantly moving inertia, Where the quantum of everything is defined by these ceaselessly evolving circles, With the purpose to attain panacea! And I have loved you even in these circles, Where the feelings of my mind and heart are these constantly geminating circles, Your circles, my circles, our circles, life’s circles, circles within circles, To be a part of that final circle, we call “life’s circles!” So, I have plucked this rose with infinite red petals, For when we enter the circle of life together, I shall shower these scented petals, In all our circles to create that quintessential and romantic weather. where we shall enjoy our life in these circles, without feeling their drag, For being with you in the life’s endless sequence of circles, Will be a moment of joy, where I would wish that time developed a perpetual lag, So that you and I , could feel the symphony of our rhythmically moving circles!
Javid Ahmad Tak (They Loved in 2075!)
If only he could say what is true!” said Totochabo. Marcellin and I looked at him. He went on: “You heard. If only you could stop dreaming for a minute, we could talk perhaps. But talk about what?” And with a shrug of the spine, he made as if to go. Marcellin held him back by the tail of his coat, and declared: “Now listen. I’m very much aware that I can’t think. I’m a poet. But I cannot think. I was never shown how. I’m always being teased about it. When I hear my friends holding philosophical discussions, I’d like to join in too, but they always go too fast for me. They tell me to read Plato, the Upanishads, Kierkegaard, Spinoza, Hegel, Benjamin Fondane, the Tao-Teh, Karl Marx, and even the Bible. I’ve had many goes at reading all of them, except the Bible, because (Bible indeed!) they must be having me on. It’s all crystal clear as I read the stuff, but afterwards I forget, or can’t talk about it, or come up with contradictory ideas which I can’t choose between, in a word, it doesn’t work.” “My dear Marcellin,” I began, “first, you should …” “Shut up, I said!” the old man shouted again and the superior smile blooming on my lips slid down into my stomach. “Carry on!” he said to Marcellin who proceeded to finish what he was saying: “Well, now. I want you to tell me once and for all if I am an idiot and, if I’m not, what you have to do in order to think.” “Think about what?” Totochabo said wearily and he turned away. This time, we were both too dismayed to try and stop him. But, more important, we were thirsty and it did not take us too long to discover a small demijohn which fitted the bill very nicely. As we drank, lounging like ancient Romans, we recited convoluted poems. Just before my eyes closed, I had a vague twinge of conscience just as you do sometimes when you take a few steps back and rise onto the tips of your woes so as to get a good run at sleep and I remarked to Marcellin that I was much more of an idiot than he believed but a much less of one than I thought, which was almost true.
René Daumal (A Night of Serious Drinking)
with heart that pounds i try to sleep to close eyes and imagine something nice but i can’t hold back the bad anxiety fuels stress my heart then burns everything burns why is it so hot it’s dead of winter heart again pounds to dream of sweet release just wanting peaceful sleep
Amie James (Maybe I'm Bad: Poems and Thoughts)
I exist through you! An existence like a fluid, Where everything assumes the shape of desires, The heart keeps beating and thoughts keep arising, While passions do not settle and rage like wildfires, Dreams float in an ocean of fluid imaginations, Mountains gaze at the stars tirelessly, Hoping they would fall somehow and tumble over its edges, And in hope of the stars, and the mountain peaks, I climb the mountains of my life relentlessly, The moonlight shines over the summit, But in a while the summit vanishes and the mountain is gone, In this fluid world only your thoughts have a reliable permanence, Desires in the ocean of imagination take dips of hope all alone, To retrieve the wet feelings of your kiss and those wet moments of romance, The sky sometimes looks at me and feels sad and develops an unknown urge, Maybe, it is just a false impression of my mind, But it is true in your absence the ocean of fluid desires tends to get deeper and feels like a dirge, And over its ripples, waves, and million whirling cones they try to unwind, But then fluidity comes with inherent uncertainty, And a desire that exists as a memory of summer or anything that is not bound to you Irma, eventually tends to fuse with your memories too, And in this vast and deep ocean of fluidity, Then you and your memories spread everywhere, They now govern the principles of fluid desires in the ocean of fluid wishes, Where every desire begins with you only to end with you, And as waves of my fluid existence cascade through the unknown plains of life where everything perishes, My mountains of desires and your memories Irma, always remind them of you, Those wet feelings, our feelings, that sank to the bottom of this ocean, Raise its volume of sentiment and emotional viscosity, Then the fluid motion somehow stops to move and everything gets stranded in this still state of the ocean, But I get carried to the middle of this world of our desires, our wishes, our kisses and they engulf me in their enormity, And I gradually spread my arms wide, To let this fluid world of existence circle me, The moon disappears, the stars turn fainter and the night turns dark in this still ocean wide, As these wet kisses, wet desires stir again, they flow through me, And I become a fluid entity myself in this fluid world of desires, Then the mountains fall, stars tumble and the sky collapses too, Because now it is just you and only you, in this world of fluid desires, Where I exist, but now only through you! The ocean of fluid imaginations finally enters into a restive state, As my fluid existence bonds with your wet kisses and wet desires, The wet kisses splash over me in this tempest of fluid desires and now neither you nor I am a desire innate!
Javid Ahmad Tak (They Loved in 2075!)
Passing Through Her Mirror! When the time was right, And there was light and delight, But now nothing can undo her present plight, Unless she bows a bit and ruffles the curtains to allow in some graceful light! She seems to try but only to fail, Because she still wears the past like an invisible veil, But today it is midsummer day again, And the rose is peeping through the window glass again, Alas the mirror with just the black base can’t reflect its colours now, And the old lady lies lifeless with a bent back and a fallen head in a perfect bow! Time has won yet again, But the eternal question remains “who lost her life to time and who was slain?
Javid Ahmad Tak (They Loved in 2075!)
You and my destiny! When was the last time I tried something for the first time? I thought about it for sometime, Then something reminded me of you, And I recalled the days spent together with you, The mornings were smooth, the days passed by without the unnecessary care, Everything seemed beautiful and fair, just because you were with me everywhere, And we did things silly and wise as well, and there were many acts we tried for the first time, I remember that, for example climbing a mountain and staring at the forest in silence as we lost every sense of time, It surely was first time, when I felt time was such an unwanted invention of the Universe, Because it loses its every existential value when two hearts learn how to converse, It was first time that I felt this when I was with you, Hearts in conversation, when everything was silent, even I, and even you, Yes, it was first time when I attempted many things for the first time, The sky looked clearer and truly blue, you stared into my eyes for hours and ah the beauty of the stillness of time, It was something I experienced first time then, but since you have left, it never happened again, Now the time is permanently still, and for me it is like the tired pendulum of the clock oscillating to and fro again and again, But nothing else except the pendulum moves, nothing else except the transition of days into nights takes place, Because everything is the same, the same days, the same nights, the same pendulum and the same place, Where nothing new happens and nothing at all for the first time happens either, Like a flower that is frozen in time, experiences no change in seasons and it hangs there in pain, longing to wither, So that new could seize its opportunity and seasons could render everything fresh, Alas it is a wish that exists forever as an imagination because time is strangely still and there is nothing alive and fresh, And when people ask me when was the last time you did something for the first time, I simply look at them, smile at their curiosity, and I tell them, well it was when I was with her, because that was a beautiful time, Where time hung as moments over everything, even our wishes and desires, And the world seemed a huge projection of our wishes and our beautiful desires. Maybe you would not understand because for you the moving pendulum represents time, But to me the spontaneous germination of feelings, the rhythmic movement of two conversing hearts is the actual signature of time, So you keep gazing at the oscillating pendulum of the clock on the wall, While I dwell with her, our memories, in the time’s eternal hall, Where it weaves moments of infinity around both of us as our hearts resume their conversation, Because two lovers are interested in destiny and not the destination!
Javid Ahmad Tak (They Loved in 2075!)
The poems in this collection were short and terse except for the last one, about his father’s death, which spanned nearly seven pages. I read it quickly, my eyes tripping over the page, gulping it down so fast it stuck in my throat. When I finished, I read it again, slowly, trying to see how he had done it, captured something so ineffable, that moment when you pass from one state to another. But also how he had managed to describe the terror and ugliness of death so beautifully. It seemed impossible and yet he had done it. His words brought me back to my mother’s last moments, the hospital room, the incessant beeping of machines, the smells appalling and vile. My mother terrified and desperate and out of her mind with pain. “This isn’t supposed to happen,” Abe kept saying as though he had a say in things, as though the world made sense. Toward the end of the poem, Connelly wondered if his father would have wanted his son to witness his body making its final, horrifying turn against itself and if it would be wrong to leave. He wrote about wanting so desperately for it all to be over and then, when it was, his shame at having wished it. It was exactly how I had felt when my mother died, but I’d never told anyone because it felt wrong. How could you not want to spend every last second you could with someone you loved? But here Connelly was, not just talking about it but writing it. It was true what he told us in class: you could write anything, say anything. There were no rules. This poem was proof. I’d once read that writing is a conversation you have with an invisible reader and that is exactly how it felt to read his poem. It was as if he had written it so I might read it one day, sitting on the floor of a library in New Hampshire, as if he had moved across time and space and spoken directly to me.
Daisy Alpert Florin (My Last Innocent Year)