Those Winter Sundays | Poem| by Robert Hayden

Those Winter Sundays
by Robert Hayden

Sundays too my father got up early

And put his clothes on in the blueback cold,

then with cracked hands that ached

from labor in the weekday weather made

banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.

When the rooms were warm, he’d call,

and slowly I would rise and dress,

fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,

who had driven out the cold

and polished my good shoes as well.

What did I know, what did I know

of love’s austere and lonely offices?

The Lady of the Lake (excerpt) | Poem| by Sir Walter Scott

The Lady of the Lake (excerpt)
by Sir Walter Scott

CANTO SECOND – THE ISLAND (Part II)

Hail to the chief who in triumph advances!

Honoured and blessed be the ever-green pine!

Long may the tree in his banner that glances,

Flourish the shelter and grace of our line!

Heaven send it happy dew,

Earth lend it sap anew;

Gaily to burgeon, and broadly to grow,

While every Highland glen

Sends our shout back agen,

Roderigh Vich Alpine dhu, ho! ieroe!

Ours is no sapling, chance-sown by the fountain,

Blooming at Beltane, *** in winter to fade;

When the whirlwind has stripped every leaf on the mountain,

The more shall Clan Alpine exult in her shade.

Moored on the rifted rock,

Proof to the tempest’s shock,

Firmer he roots him the ruder it blow;

Menteith and Breadalbane, then

Echo his praise agen,

Roderigh Vich Alpine dhu, ho! ieroe!

Proudly our pibroch has thrilled in Glen Fruin,

And Banochar’s groans to our slogan replied:

Glen Luss and Ross-dhu, they are smoking in ruin,

And the best of Loch-Lomond lie dead on her side.

Widow and Saxon maid,

Long shall lament our raid,

Think of Glen-Alpine with fear and with woe;

Lennox and Leven-glen

Shake when they hear agen,

Roderigh Vich Alpine dhu, ho! ieroe!

Row, vassals, row, for the pride of the Highlands!

Stretch to your oars, for the ever-green pine!

O! that the rosebud that graces yon islands,

Were wreathed in a garland around him to twine!

O that some seedling gem

Worthy such noble stem,

Honoured and blessed in their shadow might grow!

Loud should Clan Alpine then

Ring from her deepmost glen,

Roderigh Vich Alpine dhu, ho! ieroe!

CANTO THIRD – THE GATHERING (Part II)

The heath this night must be my bed,

The bracken curtain for my head,

My lullaby the warder’s tread,

Far, far from love and thee, Mary

To-morrow eve, more stilly laid,

My couch may be my bloody plaid,

My vesper song, thy wail, sweet maid!

It will not waken me, Mary!

I may not, dare not, fancy now

The grief that clouds thy lovely brow;

I dare not think upon thy vow,

And all it promised me, Mary.

No fond regret must Norman know;

When bursts Clan Alpine on the foe,

His heart must be like bended bow,

His foot like arrow free, Mary.

A time will come with feeling fraught!

For, if I fall in battle fought,

Thy hapless lover’s dying thought

Shall be a thought on thee, Mary

And if returned from conquered foes,

How blithely will the evening close,

How sweet the linnet sing repose

To my young bride and me, Mary.

CANTO SIXTH – THE GUARD ROOM (Part II) – LAMENT

“And art thou cold and lowly laid,

Thy foeman’s dread, thy people’s aid,

Breadalbane’s boast, Clan Alpine’s shade!

For thee shall none a requiem say?

For thee, who loved the minstrel’s lay,

For thee, of Bothwell’s house the stay,

The shelter of her exiled line,

E’en in this prison-house of thine,

I’ll wail for Alpine’s honoured pine!

“What groans shall yonder valleys fill!

What shrieks of grief shall rend yon hill!

What tears of burning rage shall thrill,

When mourns thy tribe thy battles done,

Thy fall before the race was won,

Thy sword ungirt ere set of sun!

There breathes not clansman of thy line,

But would have given his life for thine!

But, woe for Alpine’s honoured pine!

“Sad was thy lot on mortal stage!

The captive thrush may brook the cage,

The prisoned eagle dies for rage.

Brave spirit, do not scorn my strain!

And, when its notes awake again,

Even she, so long beloved in vain,

Shall with my harp her voice combine,

And mix her woe and tears with mine,

To wail Clan Alpine’s honoured pine!”

5 Guru Poems by Christopher Barnes

(i)
 
An Unpaused Hour
 
Nine tings chase sanity.
Our guru twiddles
A crow’s sequined wings.
Passions jump off wheezes,
Dashed at the holdall’s flames.
Breath-sucks gyrate the room.
 
(ii)
 
Bar 64
 
A Jagger-lipped ox
Smirks in its float-bowl.
The lampstand’s crimsoning.
“Quirks,” underbreaths our tiddly guru,
“Aren’t without their suns”.
 
(iii)
 
Breakfast Ritual
 
Our guru tub-thumps Ouija learning
Into an atom that coggles.
The rubber shark’s dulceting
“Mack The Knife”.
 
The Ground Of Being’s egohood
Watusi’s tailwards.
High-muckety, we TLC our sanctified protocols.
 
(iv)
 
Financial Break, No Cheques
 
This megacosm flumps –
An undisplayable apparition.
We’re diluted by marvelment.
 
The journey’s butt is an oblivion-fresh
String-puppet butterfly
That coaxes dust
In the attic of our mind fuzz.
 
Our guru belches –
A pixie’s stage whisper.
 
(v)
 
The Mediator’s Art
 
You’ve unfolded these Vanity Fair bodies
Spanning into destiny’s lap.
Poppycock has no improving.
Thighs of our guru’s apostles
Shall be gunked
By Dolly, the sponge-puff mermaid.
 
Xanadu’s here, well-earthed.
 
 
 

 
 
In 1998 I won a Northern Arts writers award. In July 200 I read at Waterstones bookshop to promote the anthology ‘Titles Are Bitches’. Christmas 2001 I debuted at Newcastle’s famous Morden Tower doing a reading of my poems. Each year I read for Proudwords lesbian and gay writing festival and I partook in workshops. 2005 saw the publication of my collection LOVEBITES published by Chanticleer Press, 6/1 Jamaica Mews, Edinburgh.
 
On Saturday 16Th August 2003 I read at the Edinburgh Festival as a Per Verse poet at LGBT Centre, Broughton St.
 
Christmas 2001 The Northern Cultural Skills Partnership sponsored me to be mentored by Andy Croft in conjunction with New Writing North. I made a radio programme for Web FM community radio about my writing group. October-November 2005, I entered a poem/visual image into the art exhibition The Art Cafe Project, his piece Post-Mark was shown in Betty’s Newcastle. This event was sponsored by Pride On The Tyne. I made a digital film with artists Kate Sweeney and Julie Ballands at a film making workshop called Out Of The Picture which was shown at the festival party for Proudwords, it contains my poem The Old Heave-Ho. I worked on a collaborative art and literature project called How Gay Are Your Genes, facilitated by Lisa Mathews (poet) which exhibited at The Hatton Gallery, Newcastle University, including a film piece by the artist Predrag Pajdic in which I read my poem On Brenkley St. The event was funded by The Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Institute, Bio-science Centre at Newcastle’s Centre for Life. I was involved in the Five Arts Cities poetry postcard event which exhibited at The Seven Stories children’s literature building.
 
The South Bank Centre in London recorded my poem “The Holiday I Never Had”, I can be heard reading it on www.poetrymagazines.org.uk/magazine/record.asp?id=18456
 
REVIEWS: I have written poetry reviews for Poetry Scotland and Jacket Magazine and in August 2007 I made a film called ‘A Blank Screen, 60 seconds, 1 shot’ for Queerbeats Festival at The Star & Shadow Cinema Newcastle, reviewing a poem… On September 4 2010, I read at the Callander Poetry Weekend hosted by Poetry Scotland. I have also written Art Criticism for Peel and Combustus Magazines. I was involved in The Creative Engagement In Research Programme Research Constellation exhibitions of writing and photography which showed in London (march 13 2012) and Edinburgh (July 4 2013)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times his publications include All the Babble of the Souk and Cartoon Molecules collected poems and Key of Mist the recently published Tesserae translations from Spanish poets Guadalupe Grande and Carmen Crespo visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds) and his latest Collected Poems Volume at Next-Arrivals

We Are Made One with What We Touch and See | Poem| by Oscar Wilde

We Are Made One with What We Touch and See
by Oscar Wilde

We are resolved into the supreme air,

We are made one with what we touch and see,

With our heart’s blood each crimson sun is fair,

With our young lives each spring-impassioned tree

Flames into green, the wildest beasts that range

The moor our kinsmen are, all life is one, and all is change.

With beat of systole and of diastole

One grand great life throbs through earth’s giant heart,

And mighty waves of single Being roll

From nerve-less germ to man, for we are part

Of every rock and bird and beast and hill,

One with the things that prey on us, and one with what we kill. . . .

Not we alone hath passions hymeneal,

The yellow buttercups that shake for mirth

At daybreak know a pleasure not less real

Than we do, when in some fresh-blossoming wood

We draw the spring into our hearts, and feel that life is good. . . .

Is the light vanished from our golden sun,

Or is this daedal-fashioned earth less fair,

That we are nature’s heritors, and one

With every pulse of life that beats the air?

Rather new suns across the sky shall pass,

New splendour come unto the flower, new glory to the grass.

And we two lovers shall not sit afar,

Critics of nature, but the joyous sea

Shall be our raiment, and the bearded star

Shoot arrows at our pleasure! We shall be

Part of the mighty universal whole,

And through all Aeons mix and mingle with the Kosmic Soul!

We shall be notes in that great Symphony

Whose cadence circles through the rhythmic spheres,

And all the live World’s throbbing heart shall be

One with our heart, the stealthy creeping years

Have lost their terrors now, we shall not die,

The Universe itself shall be our Immortality!

Paid For. A Poem by Mercy Eni Wandera

 
 
The way she moves, magnificently strutting with a purpose
No lazy strides in red bottoms
The way she sits her ample behind
as if posing for the Vogue cover
The way her darting tongue swirls from her bright cherry lips
On her straw sipping on her Bloody Mary
The way her aromatic aura wants for attention
Having doused herself in Femme Fatale, her signature lavender fragrance
The way she crosses her curvy legs and her skirt rides up her thighs to reveal grazed knees
Thighs so thick everybody’s uncomfortable
The way the summer breeze caresses her gleaming brown skin
She sits by the pier and pets her fluffy chihuahua with her painted stiletto nails
Her back is worn out, all in a day’s work though
Still her whisky raspy laughter punctuates the laden ocean shore
She removes her Dior sunglasses to reveal the most enchanting pair of eyes
Bewitching windows that tell of ensnared souls unwilling to escape the abyss
The way she gazes into the horizon with a grin and a hooded wink
And sighs with contentment
That she finessed the gullible and the cynics alike
Her happiness has been guaranteed
This queen’s chaff is worth more than other women’s (s)corn
 
 

 
 
I am a young and upcoming budding writer. My biggest accomplishments in my less than a year worth of active writing have been being published in some of the biggest literary magazines like African Writer, Jalada Africa, Poetry Life & Times, and The Kalahari Review where I have won the Igby Prize for Non-Fiction. I have also been highly favored to start my personal blog (mercyonmeweb.com), which is my canvas that is always being filled with juicy storytelling, poetry and reviews.
Additionally, I am a lover of the arts, travel and pop culture, and an unapologetic feminist.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times his publications include All the Babble of the Souk and Cartoon Molecules collected poems and Key of Mist the recently published Tesserae translations from Spanish poets Guadalupe Grande and Carmen Crespo visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds) and his latest Collected Poems Volume at Next-Arrivals

The Waste Land | Poem| by T. S. Eliot

The Waste Land
by T. S. Eliot

“Nam Sibyllam quidem Cumis ego ipse oculis meis

vidi in ampulla pendere, et cum illi pueri dicerent:

Sibylla ti theleis; respondebat illa: apothanein thelo.”

I. THE BURIAL OF THE DEAD

April is the cruellest month, breeding

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

Memory and desire, stirring

Dull roots with spring rain.

Winter kept us warm, covering

Earth in forgetful snow, feeding

A little life with dried tubers.

Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee

With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,

And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,

And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.

Bin gar keine Russin, stamm’ aus Litauen, echt deutsch.

And when we were children, staying at the archduke’s,

My cousin’s, he took me out on a sled,

And I was frightened. He said, Marie,

Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.

In the mountains, there you feel free.

I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.

What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow

Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,

You cannot say, or guess, for you know only

A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,

And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,

And the dry stone no sound of water. Only

There is shadow under this red rock,

(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),

And I will show you something different from either

Your shadow at morning striding behind you

Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;

I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

Frisch weht der Wind

Der Heimat zu

Mein Irisch Kind,

Wo weilest du?

“You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;

“They called me the hyacinth girl.”

––Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,

Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not

Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither

Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,

Looking into the heart of light, the silence.

Oed’ und leer das Meer.

Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante,

Had a bad cold, nevertheless

Is known to be the wisest woman in Europe,

With a wicked pack of cards. Here, said she,

Is your card, the drowned Phoenician Sailor,

(Those are pearls that were his eyes. Look!)

Here is Belladonna, the Lady of the Rocks,

The lady of situations.

Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel,

And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card,

Which is blank, is something he carries on his back,

Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find

The Hanged Man. Fear death by water.

I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring.

Thank you. If you see dear Mrs. Equitone,

Tell her I bring the horoscope myself:

One must be so careful these days.

Unreal City,

Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,

A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,

I had not thought death had undone so many.

Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,

And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.

Flowed up the hill and down King William Street,

To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours

With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine.

There I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying “Stetson!

“You who were with me in the ships at Mylae!

“That corpse you planted last year in your garden,

“Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?

“Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?

“Oh keep the Dog far hence, that’s friend to men,

“Or with his nails he’ll dig it up again!

“You! hypocrite lecteur! – mon semblable, – mon frere!”

II. A GAME OF CHESS

The Chair she sat in, like a burnished throne,

Glowed on the marble, where the glass

Held up by standards wrought with fruited vines

From which a golden Cupidon peeped out

(Another hid his eyes behind his wing)

Doubled the flames of sevenbranched candelabra

Reflecting light upon the table as

The glitter of her jewels rose to meet it,

From satin cases poured in rich profusion;

In vials of ivory and coloured glass

Unstoppered, lurked her strange synthetic perfumes,

Unguent, powdered, or liquid – troubled, confused

And drowned the sense in odours; stirred by the air

That freshened from the window, these ascended

In fattening the prolonged candle-flames,

Flung their smoke into the laquearia,

Stirring the pattern on the coffered ceiling.

Huge sea-wood fed with copper

Burned green and orange, framed by the coloured stone,

In which sad light a carved dolphin swam.

Above the antique mantel was displayed

As though a window gave upon the sylvan scene

The change of Philomel, by the barbarous king

So rudely forced; yet there the nightingale

Filled all the desert with inviolable voice

And still she cried, and still the world pursues,

“Jug Jug” to dirty ears.

And other withered stumps of time

Were told upon the walls; staring forms

Leaned out, leaning, hushing the room enclosed.

Footsteps shuffled on the stair.

Under the firelight, under the brush, her hair

Spread out in fiery points

Glowed into words, then would be savagely still.

“My nerves are bad to-night. Yes, bad. Stay with me.

“Speak to me. Why do you never speak. Speak.

“What are you thinking of? What thinking? What?

“I never know what you are thinking. Think.”

I think we are in rats’ alley

Where the dead men lost their bones.

“What is that noise?”

The wind under the door.

“What is that noise now? What is the wind doing?”

Nothing again nothing.

“Do

“You know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember

“Nothing?”

I remember

Those are pearls that were his eyes.

“Are you alive, or not? Is there nothing in your head?”

But

O O O O that Shakespeherian Rag –

It’s so elegant

So intelligent

“What shall I do now? What shall I do?”

I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street

“With my hair down, so. What shall we do to-morrow?

“What shall we ever do?”

The hot water at ten.

And if it rains, a closed car at four.

And we shall play a game of chess,

Pressing lidless eyes and waiting for a knock upon the door.

When Lil’s husband got demobbed, I said –

I didn’t mince my words, I said to her myself,

HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME

Now Albert’s coming back, make yourself a bit smart.

He’ll want to know what you done with that money he gave you

To get yourself some teeth. He did, I was there.

You have them all out, Lil, and get a nice set,

He said, I swear, I can’t bear to look at you.

And no more can’t I, I said, and think of poor Albert,

He’s been in the army four years, he wants a good time,

And if you don’t give it him, there’s others will, I said.

Oh is there, she said. Something o’ that, I said.

Then I’ll know who to thank, she said, and give me a straight look.

HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME

If you don’t like it you can get on with it, I said.

Others can pick and choose if you can’t.

But if Albert makes off, it won’t be for lack of telling.

You ought to be ashamed, I said, to look so antique.

(And her only thirty-one.)

I can’t help it, she said, pulling a long face,

It’s them pills I took, to bring it off, she said.

(She’s had five already, and nearly died of young George.)

The chemist said it would be alright, but I’ve never been the same.

You are a proper fool, I said.

Well, if Albert won’t leave you alone, there it is, I said,

What you get married for if you don’t want children?

HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME

Well, that Sunday Albert was home, they had a hot gammon,

And they asked me in to dinner, to get the beauty of it hot –

HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME

HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME

Goonight Bill. Goonight Lou. Goonight May. Goonight.

Ta ta. Goonight. Goonight.

Good night, ladies, good night, sweet ladies, good night, good night.

III. THE FIRE SERMON

The river’s tent is broken: the last fingers of leaf

Clutch and sink into the wet bank. The wind

Crosses the brown land, unheard. The nymphs are departed.

Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.

The river bears no empty bottles, sandwich papers,

Silk handkerchiefs, cardboard boxes, cigarette ends

Or other testimony of summer nights. The nymphs are departed.

And their friends, the loitering heirs of city directors;

Departed, have left no addresses.

By the waters of Leman I sat down and wept . . .

Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song,

Sweet Thames, run softly, for I speak not loud or long.

But at my back in a cold blast I hear

The rattle of the bones, and chuckle spread from ear to ear.

A rat crept softly through the vegetation

Dragging its slimy belly on the bank

While I was fishing in the dull canal

On a winter evening round behind the gashouse

Musing upon the king my brother’s wreck

And on the king my father’s death before him.

White bodies naked on the low damp ground

And bones cast in a little low dry garret,

Rattled by the rat’s foot only, year to year.

But at my back from time to time I hear

The sound of horns and motors, which shall bring

Sweeney to Mrs. Porter in the spring.

O the moon shone bright on Mrs. Porter

And on her daughter

They wash their feet in soda water

Et O ces voix d’enfants, chantant dans la coupole!

Twit twit twit

Jug jug jug jug jug jug

So rudely forc’d.

Tereu

Unreal City

Under the brown fog of a winter noon

Mr. Eugenides, the Smyrna merchant

Unshaven, with a pocket full of currants

C.i.f. London: documents at sight,

Asked me in demotic French

To luncheon at the Cannon Street Hotel

Followed by a weekend at the Metropole.

At the violet hour, when the eyes and back

Turn upward from the desk, when the human engine waits

Like a taxi throbbing waiting,

I Tiresias, though blind, throbbing between two lives,

Old man with wrinkled female breasts, can see

At the violet hour, the evening hour that strives

Homeward, and brings the sailor home from sea,

The typist home at teatime, clears her breakfast, lights

Her stove, and lays out food in tins.

Out of the window perilously spread

Her drying combinations touched by the sun’s last rays,

On the divan are piled (at night her bed)

Stockings, slippers, camisoles, and stays.

I Tiresias, old man with wrinkled dugs

Perceived the scene, and foretold the rest –

I too awaited the expected guest.

He, the young man carbuncular, arrives,

A small house agent’s clerk, with one bold stare,

One of the low on whom assurance sits

As a silk hat on a Bradford millionaire.

The time is now propitious, as he guesses,

The meal is ended, she is bored and tired,

Endeavours to engage her in caresses

Which still are unreproved, if undesired.

Flushed and decided, he assaults at once;

Exploring hands encounter no defence;

His vanity requires no response,

And makes a welcome of indifference.

(And I Tiresias have foresuffered all

Enacted on this same divan or bed;

I who have sat by Thebes below the wall

And walked among the lowest of the dead.)

Bestows one final patronising kiss,

And gropes his way, finding the stairs unlit . . .

She turns and looks a moment in the glass,

Hardly aware of her departed lover;

Her brain allows one half-formed thought to pass:

“Well now that’s done: and I’m glad it’s over.”

When lovely woman stoops to folly and

Paces about her room again, alone,

She smoothes her hair with automatic hand,

And puts a record on the gramophone.

“This music crept by me upon the waters”

And along the Strand, up Queen Victoria Street.

O City city, I can sometimes hear

Beside a public bar in Lower Thames Street,

The pleasant whining of a mandoline

And a clatter and a chatter from within

Where fishmen lounge at noon: where the walls

Of Magnus Martyr hold

Inexplicable splendour of Ionian white and gold.

The river sweats

Oil and tar

The barges drift

With the turning tide

Red sails

Wide

To leeward, swing on the heavy spar.

The barges wash

Drifting logs

Down Greenwich reach

Past the Isle of Dogs.

Weialala leia

Wallala leialala

Elizabeth and Leicester

Beating oars

The stern was formed

A gilded shell

Red and gold

The brisk swell

Rippled both shores

Southwest wind

Carried down stream

The peal of bells

White towers

Weialala leia

Wallala leialala

“Trams and dusty trees.

Highbury bore me. Richmond and Kew

Undid me. By Richmond I raised my knees

Supine on the floor of a narrow canoe.”

“My feet are at Moorgate, and my heart

Under my feet. After the event

He wept. He promised ‘a new start’.

I made no comment. What should I resent?”

“On Margate Sands.

I can connect

Nothing with nothing.

The broken fingernails of dirty hands.

My people humble people who expect

Nothing.”

la la

To Carthage then I came

Burning burning burning burning

O Lord Thou pluckest me out

O Lord Thou pluckest

burning

IV. DEATH BY WATER

Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,

Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep sea swell

And the profit and loss.

A current under sea

Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell

He passed the stages of his age and youth

Entering the whirlpool.

Gentile or Jew

O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,

Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.

V. WHAT THE THUNDER SAID

After the torchlight red on sweaty faces

After the frosty silence in the gardens

After the agony in stony places

The shouting and the crying

Prison and palace and reverberation

Of thunder of spring over distant mountains

He who was living is now dead

We who were living are now dying

With a little patience

Here is no water but only rock

Rock and no water and the sandy road

The road winding above among the mountains

Which are mountains of rock without water

If there were water we should stop and drink

Amongst the rock one cannot stop or think

Sweat is dry and feet are in the sand

If there were only water amongst the rock

Dead mountain mouth of carious teeth that cannot spit

Here one can neither stand nor lie nor sit

There is not even silence in the mountains

But dry sterile thunder without rain

There is not even solitude in the mountains

But red sullen faces sneer and snarl

From doors of mudcracked houses

If there were water

And no rock

If there were rock

And also water

And water

A spring

A pool among the rock

If there were the sound of water only

Not the cicada

And dry grass singing

But sound of water over a rock

Where the hermit-thrush sings in the pine trees

Drip drop drip drop drop drop drop

But there is no water

Who is the third who walks always beside you?

When I count, there are only you and I together

But when I look ahead up the white road

There is always another one walking beside you

Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded

I do not know whether a man or a woman

– But who is that on the other side of you?

What is that sound high in the air

Murmur of maternal lamentation

Who are those hooded hordes swarming

Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth

Ringed by the flat horizon only

What is the city over the mountains

Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air

Falling towers

Jerusalem Athens Alexandria

Vienna London

Unreal

A woman drew her long black hair out tight

And fiddled whisper music on those strings

And bats with baby faces in the violet light

Whistled, and beat their wings

And crawled head downward down a blackened wall

And upside down in air were towers

Tolling reminiscent bells, that kept the hours

And voices singing out of empty cisterns and exhausted wells.

In this decayed hole among the mountains

In the faint moonlight, the grass is singing

Over the tumbled graves, about the chapel

There is the empty chapel, only the wind’s home.

It has no windows, and the door swings,

Dry bones can harm no one.

Only a cock stood on the rooftree

Co co rico co co rico

In a flash of lightning. Then a damp gust

Bringing rain

Ganga was sunken, and the limp leaves

Waited for rain, while the black clouds

Gathered far distant, over Himavant.

The jungle crouched, humped in silence.

Then spoke the thunder

DA

Datta: what have we given?

My friend, blood shaking my heart

The awful daring of a moment’s surrender

Which an age of prudence can never retract

By this, and this only, we have existed

Which is not to be found in our obituaries

Or in memories draped by the beneficent spider

Or under seals broken by the lean solicitor

In our empty rooms

DA

Dayadhvam: I have heard the key

Turn in the door once and turn once only

We think of the key, each in his prison

Thinking of the key, each confirms a prison

Only at nightfall, aetherial rumours

Revive for a moment a broken Coriolanus

DA

Damyata: The boat responded

Gaily, to the hand expert with sail and oar

The sea was calm, your heart would have responded

Gaily, when invited, beating obedient

To controlling hands

I sat upon the shore

Fishing, with the arid plain behind me

Shall I at least set my lands in order?

London Bridge is falling down falling down falling down

Poi s’ascose nel foco che gli affina

Quando fiam ceu chelidon – O swallow swallow

Le Prince d’Aquitaine a la tour abolie

These fragments I have shored against my ruins

Why then Ile fit you. Hieronymo’s mad againe.

Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata.

Shantih shantih shantih

The Poor Ghost | Poem| by Christina Rossetti

The Poor Ghost
by Christina Rossetti

“Oh whence do you come, my dear friend, to me,

With your golden hair all fallen below your knee,

And your face as white as snowdrops on the lea,

And your voice as hollow as the hollow sea?”

“From the other world I come back to you,

My locks are uncurled with dripping drenching dew.

You know the old, whilst I know the new:

But tomorrow you shall know this too.”

“Oh not tomorrow into the dark, I pray;

Oh not tomorrow, too soon to go away:

Here I feel warm and well-content and gay:

Give me another year, another day.”

“Am I so changed in a day and a night

That mine own only love shrinks from me with fright,

Is fain to turn away to left or right

And cover up his eyes from the sight?”

“Indeed I loved you, my chosen friend,

I loved you for life, but life has an end;

Thro’ sickness I was ready to tend:

But death mars all, which we cannot mend.

“Indeed I loved you; I love you yet

If you will stay where your bed is set,

Where I have planted a violet

Which the wind waves, which the dew makes wet.”

“Life is gone, then love too is gone,

It was a reed that I leant upon:

Never doubt 1 will leave you alone

And not wake you rattling bone with bone.

“I go home alone to my bed,

Dug deep at the foot and deep at the head,

Roofed in with a load of lead,

Warm enough for the forgotten dead.

“But why did your tears soak thro’ the clay,

And why did your sobs wake me where I lay?

I was away, far enough away:

Let me sleep now till the Judgment Day.”