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When I was younger I had a dream about a rock that emerged from the middle of a lake. It was night and a bit hard to see so I swam out to look at it. It was the face of Alice. Her eyes were closed and her expression was one of sleep. I climbed onto the rock and laid my entire body on top of it. I could still feel the days heat radiating from some deep hidden Source like a granite sun. I told her(almost like a promise) I will never be the same again. 

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season of burning leaves

by raphael dagold

He is looking for something perfect
in the vacant lot full of voices.

We are knives made of a diamond,
say shards of plate glass edged like water
beside dead crowns of August goldenrod.

I am as big as your head,
nods the dull rock squatting
like a dumb frog in the glass.

I am still perfect, says a half marble
bedded in dirt. What isn’t?

Halved, quartered, split in a hundred
sharpnesses each with its own whole summer
glittering, as from the articulated eyes
of the green fly shining like gasoline in oil,
each perfect thing:

there’s the imagined part, mythic,
library book driven, whole beings
popping from one milky solidity

into the next, face of a pomegranate,
face of a leopard, face of a dove’s tail,
face of the chain-link fence
with a hole at the level of his knee,
face in the forearm of his fake leather jacket
where a broken girl put out her cigarette

ten times slow. Face out of black holes.
But August again evaporates
into particles of something else,
a whole head out of the lot:
ears of a rusted hinge,
brow of a broken wheel,

throat out of glass and cracked rubber,
nape of a Nike sole,
skull of the frog stone, eyes,

eyes of the sweet smell
of locust leaves eaten by oxygen.
Let’s go, says the head. Let’s go.

I see more and more that the happiest -wait no let me rephrase – the most meaningful lives are ones in which you are committed to that which is larger than you and fills you with moments of awe and transparency and  joy. That is not to say these meaningful lives are not punctuated with loneliness doubt pain or anxiety. No we can’t avoid the debt that comes with living but to live a meaningful life is to sacrifice yourself-  your small ego with its daily wants and pedestrian cares to that of something greater. People find this in marriage in children in a cause in a career in music and language and research and science. We dedicate ourselves to something that is larger than ourselves because it has something important to tell us and teach us. And that is why we are here. To give our entire self to this search for meaning. To live in the daily life and to feel the heartbeat of that which moves us which is invisible and great and by every means of a life lived, transformative.

Rain Light

All day the stars watch from long ago
my mother said I am going now
when you are alone you will be all right
whether or not you know you will know
look at the old house in the dawn rain
all the flowers are forms of water
the sun reminds them through a white cloud
touches the patchwork spread on the hill
the washed colors of the afterlife
that lived there long before you were born
see how they wake without a question
even though the whole world is burning

— W.S. Merwin, from his Pulitzer-Prize winning book The Shadow of Sirius (Copper Canyon Press, 2009)

Possibilities

By Wisława Szymborska

I prefer the cinema.
I prefer cats.
I prefer oak-trees by the Warta.
I prefer Dickens to Dostoyevsky.
I prefer myself liking humans
to myself loving humanity.
I prefer having a thread with a needle close at hand.
I prefer green.
I prefer not claiming that
the intellect should be blamed for everything.
I prefer exceptions.
I prefer leaving before.
I prefer talking to doctors about something else.
I prefer old marked illustrations.
I prefer being laughable because of writing poems
to being laughable because of not writing them.
I prefer odd anniversaries in love life,
to be celebrated every day.
I prefer moralists
who do not promise me anything.
I prefer calculated goodness to goodness that is too gullible.
I prefer the earth in civvy street.
I prefer conquered countries to the conquering ones.
I prefer having my objections.
I prefer the hell of chaos to the hell of order.
I prefer Grimm tales to the first pages of newspapers.
I prefer leaves without flowers to flowers without leaves.
I prefer dogs with their tails unclipped.
I prefer fair eyes since mine are dark.
I prefer drawers.
I prefer many things I have not listed above
to many others unlisted here.
I prefer noughts that are loose
to those queueing for a digit.
I prefer insect time to stellar time.
I prefer touching wood.
I prefer not asking how much longer and when.
I prefer considering even such a possibility
that existence has its reasons.

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Another September

Dreams fled away, this country bedroom, raw
With the touch of the dawn, wrapped in a minor peace,
Hears through an open window the garden draw
Long pitch black breaths, lay bare its apple trees,
Ripe pear trees, brambles, windfall-sweetened soil,
Exhale rough sweetness against the starry slates.
Nearer the river sleeps St. John’s, all toil
Locked fast inside a dream with iron gates.

Domestic Autumn, like an animal
Long used to handling by those countrymen,
Rubs her kind hide against the bedroom wall
Sensing a fragrant child come back again
– Not this half-tolerated consciousness
That plants its grammar in her yielding weather
But that unspeaking daughter, growing less
Familiar where we fell asleep together.

Wakeful moth wings blunder near a chair,
Toss their light shell at the glass, and go
To inhabit the living starlight. Stranded hair
Stirs on still linen. It is as though
The black breathing that billows her sleep, her name,
Drugged under judgement, waned and – bearing daggers
And balances–down the lampless darkness they came,
Moving like women : Justice, Truth, such figures.
– Thomas Kinsella

ph: via Lita Bosch