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.