Wednesday, 21 October 2015

poem for the day: An Autumn perspective by eric jong

Inge Look postcard 16 I'm moving house!:

Now, moving in, cartons on the floor,
the radio playing to bare walls,
picture hooks left stranded
in the unsoiled squares where paintings were,
and something reminding us
this is like all other moving days;
finding the dirty ends of someone else's life,
hair fallen in the sink, a peach pit,
and burned-out matches in the corner;
things not preserved, yet never swept away
like fragments of disturbing dreams
we stumble on all day. . .
in ordering our lives, we will discard them,
scrub clean the floorboards of this our home
lest refuse from the lives we did not lead
become, in some strange, frightening way, our own.
And we have plans that will not tolerate
our fears-- a year laid out like rooms
in a new house--the dusty wine glasses
rinsed off, the vases filled, and bookshelves
sagging with heavy winter books.
Seeing the room always as it will be,
we are content to dust and wait.
We will return here from the dark and silent
streets, arms full of books and food,
anxious as we always are in winter,
and looking for the Good Life we have made.

I see myself then: tense, solemn,
in high-heeled shoes that pinch,
not basking in the light of goals fulfilled,
but looking back to now and seeing
a lazy, sunburned, sandaled girl
in a bare room, full of promise
and feeling envious.

Now we plan, postponing, pushing our lives forward
into the future--as if, when the room
contains us and all our treasured junk
we will have filled whatever gap it is
that makes us wander, discontented
from ourselves.

The room will not change:
a rug, or armchair, or new coat of paint
won't make much difference;
our eyes are fickle
but we remain the same beneath our suntans,
pale, frightened,
dreaming ourselves backward and forward in time,
dreaming our dreaming selves.

I look forward and see myself looking back.

Friday, 24 July 2015

poem for the day: Nocturne by Edith Sodergran

~ A collection of CLICK ON THE PICTURE (gif) AN WATCH IT COME TO LIFE. ....♡♥♡♥♡♥Love★it

Moonlit evening, silver clear
and the night's blue billows,
sparkling waves, numberless,
follow one another.
Shadows fall along the path,
on the shore the bushes softly weep,
black giants guard its silver in their keep.
Silence deep in summer's midst,
sleep and dream, -
the moon glides out across the sea
white tender gleam.

Monday, 15 June 2015

poem for the day: the healing improvisation of hair by jay wright

The Healing Improvisation of Hair

Jay Wright, 1934

If you undo your do you wóuld 
be strange. Hair has been on my mind. 
I used to lean in the doorway 
and watch my stony woman wind 
the copper through the black, and play 
with my understanding, show me she cóuld 
take a cup of river water, 
and watch it shimmy, watch it change, 
turn around and become ash bone. 
Wind in the cottonwoods wakes me 
to a day so thin its breastbone 
shows, so paid out it shakes me free 
of its blue dust. I will arrange 
that river water, bottom juice. 
I conjure my head in the stream 
and ride with the silk feel of it 
as my woman bathes me, and shaves 
away the scorn, sponges the grit 
of solitude from my skin, laves 
the salt water of self-esteem 
over my feathering body. 
How like joy to come upon me 
in remembering a head of hair 
and the way water would caress 
it, and stress beauty in the flair 
and cut of the only witness 
to my dance under sorrow’s tree. 
This swift darkness is spring’s first hour. 

I carried my life, like a stone, 
in a ragged pocket, but I 
had a true weaving song, a sly 
way with rhythm, a healing tone.
Jay Wright

Thursday, 11 June 2015

poem for the day: the best time of day by raymond carver

"Summer Night" by AkagenoSaru. This is absolutely beautiful and captures a summer night perfectly.

Cool summer nights.
Windows open.
Lamps burning.
Fruit in the bowl.
And your head on my shoulder.
These the happiest moments in the day.
Next to the early morning hours,
of course. And the time
just before lunch.
And the afternoon, and
early evening hours.
But I do love
these summer nights.
Even more, I think,
than those other times.
The work finished for the day.
And no one who can reach us now.
Or ever

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

poem for the day: Lines written a few miles above Tintern Abbey by Wm. wordsworth

Five years have past; five summers, with the length
Of five long winters! and again I hear
These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs
With a sweet inland murmur.—Once again
Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs,
Which on a wild secluded scene impress
Thoughts of more deep seclusion; and connect
The landscape with the quiet of the sky.
The day is come when I again repose
Here, under this dark sycamore, and view
These plots of cottage-ground, these orchard-tufts,
Which, at this season, with their unripe fruits,
Among the woods and copses lose themselves,
Nor, with their green and simple hue, disturb
The wild green landscape. Once again I see
These hedge-rows, hardly hedge-rows, little lines
Of sportive wood run wild; these pastoral farms,
Green to the very door; and wreathes of smoke
Sent up, in silence, from among the trees,
With some uncertain notice, as might seem,
Of vagrant dwellers in the houseless woods,
Or of some hermit's cave, where by his fire
The hermit sits alone.

(On revisiting the banks of the Wye during a tour - July 13, 1798)

Monday, 8 June 2015

Poem for the day: the garden by andrew marvell

  • How vainly men themselves amaze
    To win the palm, the oak, or bays,
    And their uncessant labours see
    Crown’d from some single herb or tree,
    Whose short and narrow verged shade
    Does prudently their toils upbraid;
    While all flow’rs and all trees do close
    To weave the garlands of repose.

    Fair Quiet, have I found thee here,
    And Innocence, thy sister dear!
    Mistaken long, I sought you then
    In busy companies of men;
    Your sacred plants, if here below,
    Only among the plants will grow.
    Society is all but rude,
    To this delicious solitude.

    No white nor red was ever seen
    So am’rous as this lovely green.
    Fond lovers, cruel as their flame,
    Cut in these trees their mistress’ name;
    Little, alas, they know or heed
    How far these beauties hers exceed!
    Fair trees! wheres’e’er your barks I wound,
    No name shall but your own be found.

    When we have run our passion’s heat,
    Love hither makes his best retreat.
    The gods, that mortal beauty chase,
    Still in a tree did end their race:
    Apollo hunted Daphne so,
    Only that she might laurel grow;
    And Pan did after Syrinx speed,
    Not as a nymph, but for a reed.

    What wond’rous life in this I lead!
    Ripe apples drop about my head;
    The luscious clusters of the vine
    Upon my mouth do crush their wine;
    The nectarine and curious peach
    Into my hands themselves do reach;
    Stumbling on melons as I pass,
    Ensnar’d with flow’rs, I fall on grass.

    Meanwhile the mind, from pleasure less,
    Withdraws into its happiness;
    The mind, that ocean where each kind
    Does straight its own resemblance find,
    Yet it creates, transcending these,
    Far other worlds, and other seas;
    Annihilating all that’s made
    To a green thought in a green shade.

    Here at the fountain’s sliding foot,
    Or at some fruit tree’s mossy root,
    Casting the body’s vest aside,
    My soul into the boughs does glide;
    There like a bird it sits and sings,
    Then whets, and combs its silver wings;
    And, till prepar’d for longer flight,
    Waves in its plumes the various light.

    Such was that happy garden-state,
    While man there walk’d without a mate;
    After a place so pure and sweet,
       What other help could yet be meet!
    But ’twas beyond a mortal’s share
    To wander solitary there:
    Two paradises ’twere in one
    To live in paradise alone.

    How well the skillful gard’ner drew
    Of flow’rs and herbs this dial new,
    Where from above the milder sun
    Does through a fragrant zodiac run;
    And as it works, th’ industrious bee
    Computes its time as well as we.
    How could such sweet and wholesome hours
    Be reckon’d but with herbs and flow’rs!

    Friday, 5 June 2015

    poem for the day: There is pleasure in the pathless woods by george gordon byron

    “There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
    There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
    There is society, where none intrudes,
    By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
    I love not man the less, but Nature more…
    — Byron”

    Thursday, 4 June 2015

    poem for the day: loafing by raymond carver


    I looked into the room a moment ago,
    and this is what I saw—
    my chair in its place by the window,
    the book turned facedown on the table.
    And on the sill, the cigarette
    left burning in its ashtray.
    Malingerer! my uncle yelled at me
    so long ago. He was right.
    I’ve set aside time today,
    same as every day,
    for doing nothing at all. -Raymond Carver

    Raymond Carver in 1984, by Bob Adelman

    Wednesday, 3 June 2015

    poem for the day: Vanished Summers by Margaret Sackville

    Vanished Summers, passed and gone,
    Here find resurrection. -
    Each crowned corn-head closely filled,
    Packed and pressed with suns distilled
    Into lively sap which throws
    Rays of sunlight as it grows. -
    These enchanted, waving tall
    Golden ears contain them all:
    All the long delightful days,
    When June met us face to face;
    Light and laughing grace re-born
    In great fields of upright corn. -
    Earth's tremendous charity
    Full-accomplished here we see
    Who gives us for familiar food
    The lovely lilt of July's mood. -
    One minute, brown husk contains
    Summer's shadow, Autumn rains,
    Spring's delicious wayward green,
    Even Winter's pallid, lean
    Blood of mingled frost and snows
    Virtue on our sheaves bestows.
    So to give us daily bread
    The very sky's transfigured.

    Monday, 1 June 2015

    poem for the day: Life by Henry van dyke

    Let me but live my life from year to year,
    With forward face and unreluctant soul;
    Not hurrying to, nor turning from the goal;
    Not mourning for the things that disappear
    In the dim past, nor holding back in fear
    From what the future veils; but with a whole
    And happy heart, that pays its toll
    To Youth and Age, and travels on with cheer.
    So let the way wind up the hill or down,
    O'er rough or smooth, the journey will be joy:
    Still seeking what I sought when but a boy,
    New friendship, high adventure, and a crown,
    My heart will keep the courage of the quest,
    And hope the road's last turn will be the best.

    Saturday, 30 May 2015

    poem for the day: When death comes by mary oliver

    "When it's over, I want to say: all my life
    I was a bride married to amazement.
    I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

    When it's over, I don't want to wonder
    if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
    I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
    or full of argument.

    I don't want to end up simply having visited this world."

    -Mary Oliver

    Friday, 29 May 2015

    poem for the day: Notes for the Legend of Salad Woman by michael ondaatje

    Since my wife was born
    she must have eaten
    the equivalent of two-thirds
    of the original garden of Eden.
    Not the dripping lush fruit
    or the meat in the ribs of animals
    but the green salad gardens of that place.
    The whole arena of green
    would have been eradicated
    as if the right filter had been removed
    leaving only the skeleton of coarse brightness.

    All green ends up eventually
    churning in her left cheek.
    Her mouth is a laundromat of spinning drowning herbs.
    She is never in fields
    but is sucking the pith out of grass.
    I have noticed the very leaves from flower decorations
    grow sparse in their week long performance in our house.
    The garden is a dust bowl.

    On our last day in Eden as we walked out
    she nibbled the leaves at her breasts and crotch.
    But there's none to touch
    none to equal
    the Chlorophyll Kiss

    Thursday, 28 May 2015

    poem for the day: A song of enchantment by walter de la mare

    A song of Enchantment I sang me there,
    In a green-green wood, by waters fair,
    Just as the words came up to me
    I sang it under the wild wood tree.

    Widdershins turned I, singing it low,
    Watching the wild birds come and go;
    No cloud in the deep dark blue to be seen
    Under the thick-thatched branches green.

    Twilight came: silence came:
    The planet of Evening's silver flame;
    By darkening paths I wandered through
    Thickets trembling with drops of dew.

    But the music is lost and the words are gone
    Of the song I sang as I sat alone,
    Ages and ages have fallen on me -
    On the wood and the pool and the elder tree.

    Wednesday, 27 May 2015

    poem for the day: Late Fragment by Raymond Carver

    And did you get what
    you wanted from this life, even so?
    I did.
    And what did you want?
    To call myself beloved, to feel myself
    beloved on the earth.

    Let the sun shine through the darkest parts of your soul.

    Tuesday, 26 May 2015

    poem for the day: within the circuit of this plodding life by Henry david thoreau


    Within the circuit of this plodding life
    There enter moments of an azure hue,
    Untarnished fair as is the violet
    Or anemone, when the spring strews them
    By some meandering rivulet, which make
    The best philosophy untrue that aims
    But to console man for his grievances
    I have remembered when the winter came,
    High in my chamber in the frosty nights,
    When in the still light of the cheerful moon,
    On every twig and rail and jutting spout,
    The icy spears were adding to their length
    Against the arrows of the coming sun,
    How in the shimmering noon of summer past
    Some unrecorded beam slanted across
    The upland pastures where the Johnswort grew;
    Or heard, amid the verdure of my mind,
    The bee's long smothered hum, on the blue flag
    Loitering amidst the mead; or busy rill,
    Which now through all its course stands still and dumb
    Its own memorial,—purling at its play
    Along the slopes, and through the meadows next,
    Until its youthful sound was hushed at last
    In the staid current of the lowland stream;
    Or seen the furrows shine but late upturned,
    And where the fieldfare followed in the rear,
    When all the fields around lay bound and hoar
    Beneath a thick integument of snow.
    So by God's cheap economy made rich
    To go upon my winter's task again

    Monday, 25 May 2015

    poem for the day: At night by amy lowell

    ...For peace comes dropping slow, Dropping from the veils of the morning / To where the cricket sings; / There midnight's all a glimmer, / And noon a purple glow, And evening full of the linnet's wings. ~W.B. Yeats


    Amy Lowell
    The wind is singing through the trees to-night,
    A deep-voiced song of rushing cadences
    And crashing intervals. No summer breeze
    Is this, though hot July is at its height,
    Gone is her gentler music; with delight
    She listens to this booming like the seas,
    These elemental, loud necessities
    Which call to her to answer their swift might.
    Above the tossing trees shines down a star,
    Quietly bright; this wild, tumultuous joy
    Quickens nor dims its splendour. And my mind,
    O Star! is filled with your white light, from far,
    So suffer me this one night to enjoy
    The freedom of the onward sweeping wind.

    Sunday, 24 May 2015

    poem for the day: Such stuff as dreams are made on from the tempest, act 4, scene 1 by william shakespeare

    Prospero: Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
    As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
    Are melted into air, into thin air:
    And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
    The cloud-capp'd tow'rs, the gorgeous palaces,
    The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
    Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
    And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
    Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
    As dreams are made on; and our little life
    Is rounded with a sleep.

    Saturday, 23 May 2015

    poem for the day: Touched by an angel by maya angelou

    We, unaccustomed to courage
    exiles from delight
    live coiled in shells of loneliness
    until love leaves its high holy temple
    and comes into our sight
    to liberate us into life.
    Love arrives
    and in its train come ecstasies
    old memories of pleasure
    ancient histories of pain.
    Yet if we are bold,

    love strikes away the chains of fear
    from our souls.
    We are weaned from our timidity
    In the flush of love's light
    we dare be brave
    And suddenly we see
    that love costs all we are
    and will ever be.
    Yet it is only love
    which sets us free.

    Friday, 22 May 2015

    poem for the day: Dreams by langston hughes

    Hold fast to dreams
    For if dreams die
    Life is a broken-winged bird
    That cannot fly.
    Hold fast to dreams
    For when dreams go
    Life is a barren field
    Frozen with snow.

    Wednesday, 20 May 2015

    poem for the day: happiness by raymond carver

    So early it's still almost dark out.
    I'm near the window with coffee,
    and the usual early morning stuff
    that passes for thought.
    When I see the boy and his friend
    walking up the road
    to deliver the newspaper.
    They wear caps and sweaters,
    and one boy has a bag over his shoulder.
    They are so happy  Men, you can do this too!  It's good for you!  Find a "manly way" to enjoy your friends!
    they aren't saying anything, these boys.
    I think if they could, they would take
    each other's arm.
    It's early in the morning,
    and they are doing this thing together.
    They come on, slowly.
    The sky is taking on light,
    though the moon still hangs pale over the water.
    Such beauty that for a minute
    death and ambition, even love,
    doesn't enter into this.
    Happiness. It comes on
    unexpectedly. And goes beyond, really,
    any early morning talk about it.

    Tuesday, 19 May 2015

    poem for the day: The peace of wild things by wendell berry

     When despair for the world grows in me
    and I wake in the night at the least sound
    in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
    I go and lie down where the wood drake
    rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
    I come into the peace of wild things
    who do not tax their lives with forethought
    of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
    And I feel above me the day-blind stars
    waiting with their light. For a time
    I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

    Monday, 18 May 2015

    picture for the day: getting lost in a good book



    Quote for the day

    quote 223 - 17th wed sep

    poem for the day: Rhythm of Life by Eileen Carney Hulme

    The clock is silent
    nowadays clocks no longer
    need to make
    that rhythmic sound of life.
    We have moved on
    and everything is changed
    I am no longer sad
    I don't weep for you.
    In still moments
    I see you solitary, reflective-
    running with the wind along the waterfront
    with your Walkman on.
    Radiowaves carry words
    of a song we shared
    and I am free to smile
    at the thought of you.
    Big and handsome
    the scent of you
    like a powerful beast lingers
    untamed by this world.
    I know you still swim with dolphins
    in the cold North Sea
    I know you still laugh
    and drink wine with friends.
    I know you live by the seasons
    and time is not your enemy,
    the clock is silent
    I don't weep for you, I weep for me.

    Sunday, 17 May 2015

    poem for the day: a dream within a dream by Edgar Allan Poe

    Take this kiss upon the brow!
    And, in parting from you now,
    Thus much let me avow--
    You are not wrong, who deem
    That my days have been a dream;
    Yet if hope has flown away
    In a night, or in a day,
    In a vision, or in none,
    Is it therefore the less gone?
    All that we see or seem
    Is but a dream within a dream.
    I stand amid the roar
    Of a surf-tormented shore,
    And I hold within my hand
    Grains of the golden sand--
    How few! yet how they creep
    Through my fingers to the deep,
    While I weep--while I weep!
    O God! can I not grasp
    Them with a tighter clasp?
    O God! can I not save
    One from the pitiless wave?
    Is all that we see or seem
    But a dream within a dream?

    Saturday, 16 May 2015

    poem for the day: Sea Fever by John Masefield

    I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
    And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
    And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
    And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

    I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
    Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied'
    And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
    And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

    I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
    To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
    And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
    And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

    Friday, 15 May 2015

    Poem for the day: If you forget me by Pablo Neruda

    I want you to know
    one thing.

    You know how this is:
    if I look
    at the crystal moon, at the red branch
    of the slow autumn at my window,
    if I touch
    near the fire
    the impalpable ash
    or the wrinkled body of the log,
    everything carries me to you,
    as if everything that exists,
    aromas, light, metals,
    were little boats
    that sail
    toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

    Well, now,
    if little by little you stop loving me
    I shall stop loving you little by little.

    If suddenly
    you forget me
    do not look for me,
    for I shall already have forgotten you.

    If you think it long and mad,
    the wind of banners
    that passes through my life,
    and you decide
    to leave me at the shore
    of the heart where I have roots,
    that on that day,
    at that hour,
    I shall lift my arms
    and my roots will set off
    to seek another land.

    if each day,
    each hour,
    you feel that you are destined for me
    with implacable sweetness,
    if each day a flower
    climbs up to your lips to seek me,
    ah my love, ah my own,
    in me all that fire is repeated,
    in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
    my love feeds on your love, beloved,
    and as long as you live it will be in your arms
    without leaving mine.


    Thursday, 14 May 2015

    poem for the day: The Waking by Theodore Roethke

    I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
    I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
    I learn by going where I have to go.

    We think by feeling.  What is there to know?
    I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
    I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

    Of those so close beside me, which are you?
    God bless the Ground!  I shall walk softly there,
    And learn by going where I have to go.

    Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
    The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
    I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

    Great Nature has another thing to do
    To you and me; so take the lively air,
    And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

    This shaking keeps me steady.  I should know.
    What falls away is always. And is near.
    I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
    I learn by going where I have to go.

    Wednesday, 13 May 2015

    Poem for the day: Milkmaid by Laurie Lee

    The girl's far treble, muted to the heat,
    calls like a fainting bird across the field
    to where her flock lies panting for her voice,
    their black horns buried deep in marigolds.

    They climb awake, like drowsy butterflies,
    and press their red flanks through the tall branched grass,
    and as they go their wandering tongues embrace
    the vacant summer mirrored in their eyes.

    Led to the limestone shadows of a barn
    they snuff their past embalmed in the hay,
    while her cool hand, cupped to the udder's fount,
    distils the brimming harvest of their day.

    Look what a cloudy cream the earth gives out,
    fat juice of buttercups and meadow-rye;
    the girl dreams milk within her body's field
    and hears, far off, her muted children cry.

    Tuesday, 12 May 2015

    poem for the day: The Wind, One Brilliant Day by Antonio Machado

    The wind, one brilliant day, called
    to my soul with an odour of jasmine.
    'In return for the odour of my jasmine,
    I'd like all the odour of your roses.'
    'I have no roses; all the flowers
    in my garden are dead.'
    'Well then, I'll take the withered petals
    and the yellow leaves and the waters of the fountain.'
    The wind left.  And I wept.  And I said to myself:
    'What have you done with the garden that was entrusted to you?'

    Monday, 11 May 2015

    poem for the day: Not to Sleep by Robert Graves

    Not to sleep all the night long, for pure joy,
    Counting no sheep and careless of chimes
    Welcoming the dawn confabulation
    Of birds, her children, who discuss idly
    Fanciful details of the promised coming -
    Will she be wearing red, or russet, or blue,
    Or pure white? - whatever she wears, glorious:
    Not to sleep all the night long, for pure joy,
    This is given to few but at last to me,
    So that when I laugh and stretch and leap from bed
    I shall glide downstairs, my feet brushing the carpet
    In courtesy to civilized progression,
    Though, did I wish, I could soar through the open window
    And perch on a branch above, acceptably ally
    Of the birds still alert, grumbling gently together.

    Sunday, 10 May 2015

    poem for the day: Woodniche by Aidan Carl Matthews

    The dragonflies were here before us, friend:
    Cupboard of branch and bramble, woodniche
    Where the sun tumbles, foxgloves are gorgeous.
    Children tore their knees among these thorns,

    Fleshed their pullovers with raspberries.
    orange peel made ripples in the brown water,
    Pebbles explored beyond our peering.  I
    Chewed dandelions and the sun brothered me.
    Huge as policemen, sombre as soutanes,

    The kind trees whispered in the long watch
    And I used wonder in tremendous shadow
    And be afraid of where the wonder led.

    Summer was wealthy with a daze of suntraps,
    Daffodil-spitting, sumptuous. Everywhere
    Ours for the taking.  Whoever has said
    It is time to go home is an adult.

    Saturday, 9 May 2015

    poem for the day: I Am by John Clare

    I am: yet what I am none cares or knows,
    My friends forsake me like a memory lost;
    I am the self-consumer of my woes,
    They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
    Like shades in love and death's oblivion lost;
    And yet I am, and live with shadows tost

    Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
    Into the living sea of waking dreams,
    Where there is neither sense of life nor joys,
    But the vast shipwreck of my life's esteems;
    And een the dearest-that I loved the best-
    Are strange-nay, rather stranger than the rest.

    I long for scenes where man has never trod;
    A place where woman never smiled or wept;
    There to abide with my Creator, GOD,
    And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept:
    Untroubling and untroubled where I lie;
    The grass below-above the vaulted sky.

    "If life had a second edition," wrote Clare, "how I would correct the proofs."  He spent the last 22 years of his life in a lunatic asylum in Northampton, forsaken by his former friends and family.

    Friday, 8 May 2015

    poem for the day: Good-bye by Walter de la Mare

    Walter de La Mare

    The last of last words spoken is, Good-bye -
    The last dismantled flower in the weed-grown hedge,
    The last thin rumour of a feeble bell far ringing,
    The last blind rat to spurn the mildewed rye.

    A hardening darkness glasses the haunted eye,
    Shines into nothing the watcher's burnt-out candle,
    Wreathes into scentless nothing the wasting incense,
    Faints in the outer silence the hunting-cry.

    Love of its muted music breathes no sigh,
    Thought in her ivory tower gropes in her spinning,
    Toss on in vain the whispering trees of Eden,
    Last of all last words spoken is, Good-bye.

    De la Mare approached death with great serenity. "My days are getting shorter," he told Joyce Grenfell.   "But there is more and more magic.  More than in all poetry.  Everything is increasingly wonderful and beautiful."

    Thursday, 7 May 2015

    poem for the day: absence by elizabeth jennings

    I visited the place where we last met.
    Nothing was changed, the gardens were well-tended,
    The fountains sprayed their usual steady jet;
    There was no sign that anything had ended
    And nothing to instruct me to forget.

    The thoughtless birds that shook out of the trees,
    Singing an ecstasy I could not share,
    Played cunning in my thoughts.  Surely in these
    Pleasures there could not be a pain to bear
    Or any discord shake the level breeze.

    It was because the place was just the same
    That made your absence seem a savage force,
    For under all the gentleness there came
    an earthquake tremor: fountain, birds and grass
    Were shaken by my thinking of your name.

    Wednesday, 6 May 2015

    poem for the day: Song by John McGrath

    And when our streets are green again
    When metalled roads are green
    And girls walk barefoot through the weeds
    Of Regent Street, Saint Martin's Lane

    And children hide in factories
    Where burdock blooms and vetch and rust,
    And elms and oaks and chestnut trees
    Are tall again and hope is lost

    When up the Strand the foxes glide
    And hedgehogs sniff and wildcats yell
    And golden orioles come back
    To flash through Barnes and Clerkenwell

    When governments and industries
    Lie choked by weeds in fertile rain
    For sure the few who stay alive
    Will laugh and grow to love again

    Tuesday, 5 May 2015

    poem for the day: This is just to say by William Carlos Williams

    This is just to say
    I have eaten
    the plums
    that were in
    the icebox

    and which
    you were probably
    for breakfast

    Forgive me
    they were delicious
    so sweet
    and so cold

    Monday, 4 May 2015

    poem for the day: Home from Abroad by Laurie Lee

    Far-fetched with tales of other worlds and ways,
    My skin well-oiled with wines of the Levant,
    I set my face into a filial smile
    To greet the pale, domestic kiss of Kent.

    But shall I never learn?  That gawky girl,
    Recalled so primly in my foreign thoughts,
    Becomes again the green-haired queen of love
    Whose wanton form dilates as it delights.

    Her rolling tidal landscape floods the eye
    And drowns Chianti in a dusky stream;
    The flower-flecked grasses swim with simple horses,
    The hedges choke with roses fat as cream.

    So do I breathe the hayblown airs of home,
    And watch the sea-green elms drip birds and shadows,
    And as the twilight nets the plunging sun
    My heart's keel slides to rest among the meadows.

    Sunday, 3 May 2015

    poem for the day: one flesh by elizabeth jennings

    Lying apart now, each in a separate bed,
    He with a book, keeping the light on late,
    She like a girl dreaming of childhood,
    All men elsewhere - it is as if they wait
    Some new event:  the book he holds unread,
    Her eyes fixed on the shadows overhead.

    Tossed up like flotsam from a former passion,
    How cool they lie.  They hardly ever touch,
    Or if they do it is like a confession
    Of having little feeling - or too much.
    Chastity faces them, a destination
    For which their whole lives were a preparation.

    Strangely apart, yet strangely together,
    Silence between them like a thread to hold
    And not wind in.  And time itself's a feather
    Touching them gently.  Do they know they're old,
    These two who are my father and my mother
    Whose fire, from which I came, has now grown cold?

    Saturday, 2 May 2015

    poem for the day: The lake isle of innisfree by William Butler Yeats

    I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
    And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
    Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
    And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
    And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
    Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
    There midnight's all a-glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
    And evening full of the linnet's wings.

    I will rise and go now, for always night and day
    I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
    While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
    I hear it in the deep heart's core.

    Friday, 1 May 2015

    poem for the day: Sunlight by Seamus Heaney

    There was a sunlit absence.
    The helmeted pump in the yard
    heated its iron,
    water honeyed

    in the slung bucket
    and the sun stood
    like a griddle cooling
    against the wall

    of each long afternoon.
    So, her hands scuffled
    over the bakeboard,
    the reddening stove

    sent its plaque of heat
    against her where she stood
    in a floury apron
    by the window.

    Now she dusts the board
    with a goose's wing,
    now sits, broad-lapped,
    with whitened nails

    and measling shins:
    here is a space
    again, the since rising
    to the tick of two clocks.

    And here is love
    like a tinsmith's scoop
    sunk past its gleam
    in the meal-bin.

    Thursday, 30 April 2015

    poem for the day: landscapes of the mind by Dawna markova


    I will not die an unlived life.
    I will not live in fear
    of falling or catching fire.
    I choose to inhabit my days,
    to allow my living to open me,
    to make me less afraid,
    more accessible;
    to loosen my heart
    until it becomes a wing,
    a torch, a promise.
    I choose to risk my significance,
    to live so that which came to me as seed
    goes to the next as blossom,
    and that which came to me as blossom,
    goes on as fruit.

    Wednesday, 29 April 2015

    poem for the day: Love and sleep by Algernon Swinburne

    Lying asleep between the strokes of night
    I saw my love lean over my sad bed,
    Pale as the duskiest lily's leaf or head,
    Smooth-skinned and dark, with bare throat made to bite,
    Too wan for blushing and too warm for white.
    But perfect-coloured without white or red.
    And her lips opened amorously, and said -
    I wish not what, saving one word - Delight.
    And all her face was honey to my mouth,
    And all her body pasture to mine eyes;
    The long lithe arms and hotter hands than fire
    The quivering flanks, hair smelling of the south,
    The bright light feet, the splendid supple thighs
    And glittering eyelids of my soul's desire.