Art is how we decorate space, Music is how we decorate time…
And poetry is how we decorate the mind.
This page will be about poetry. Poetry I like and poetry I don’t like. If it moves me, either to love or to hate, then I’ll include it. But if it makes me indifferent, it won’t be here. I don’t intend this corner to be stuffed with poetry, just have those gems that crossed my eyes in the recent and far past. If you want something included here, let me know. My em addy is on the home page, hidden. I intend to add some of my own someday and suffer the slings and arrows of ridicule if necessary. Meanwhile…
here’s the first poem:
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
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.
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.But
if each day,
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.
I am finished, but you live on.
And the wind, crying and moaning,
rocks the house and the clearing,
not each pine alone,
but all the trees together,
with the vast distance, whole,
like the hulls of vessels,
moored in a bay, storm-blown.
And it shakes them not from mischief,
and not with an aimless tone,
but to find, for you, from its grief,
the words of a cradle-song.
Things the Wind Says
by William Stafford, from Sound of the Ax: Aphorisms and Poems by William Stafford, ed. Vincent Wixon and Paul Merchant
Everything still ought to move.
Of all plants I believe my favorite
is the tumbleweed.
Water will talk if stirred.
There are places in the mountains I am
afraid to tell about, but at night
you can hear me hint about them.
Islands aren’t so much.
I never saw a cloud I didn’t like.
Steam is all right, but I prefer smoke.
I was born in Kansas, but now I
travel all over the world.
I spend my vacations in Texas.
The best job I ever had was with
Sir Francis Drake.
My cousins live in water: they’re a
I’ll dance with anyone — royalty, commoners,
but especially refugees. . . .
Tree at My Window (Robert Frost)
Tree at my window, window tree,
My sash is lowered when night comes on;
But let there never be curtain drawn
Between you and me.
Vague dream-head lifted out of the ground,
And thing next most diffuse to cloud,
Not all your light tongues talking aloud
Could be profound.
But tree, I have seen you taken and tossed,
And if you have seen me when I slept,
You have seen me when I was taken and swept
And all but lost.
That day she put our heads together,
Fate had her imagination about her,
Your head so much concerned with outer,
Mine with inner, weather.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air. . . .
Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
— John Gillespie Magee, Jr
‘Sober’ by Muse
Royal Canadian blended,
the spicy aroma had mended me,
matured for years and imported,
into my glass you poured it.
And you’re the only reason that I remain unfrozen,
suppose it stands to reason,
that you would turn on me.
Lucky the Cat (by JS Morgan)
When Lucky first came home with me,
she seemed a special cat,
but how can you know such things without
a week, a month, or time on a lap?
She spent her time those first few months
with curiosity of all,
and made her claim to favored spots
with tooth and well placed claw.
Her frequent tumbles down the stairs,
brought me hours of joy,
and it seemed as if nearly anything
could become a favored toy.
She couldn’t wait to jump upon
freshly laundered dress,
and no amount of scolding
could keep her from that quest.
With Smokes around she simply found
a friend in troubling plots,
when caught she thought my lap
would be the way to avoid a swat.
With fur like silk and eyes that shine
with happy recognition,
and purrs that come from deep within
bring joyous recollection.
She’s older now and not as strong
as her love of life suggests,
and I cried for her when she hurt herself
doing what once was effortless.
Waiting now, for vet to call
of her complete revival,
while thinking strong of times to come
with a mostly happy smile.
For Annie Duffy, by JS Morgan © 2010
I know the first and last stanzas are tortured but the rest stands on it’s own, mostly.
The poem is called “Antigonish” and was written in 1899 about a ghost.
Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there.
He wasn’t there again today,
I wish, I wish he’d go away…
When I came home last night at three,
The man was waiting there for me
But when I looked around the hall,
I couldn’t see him there at all!
Go away, go away, don’t you come back any more!
Go away, go away, and please don’t slam the door…
Last night I saw upon the stair,
A little man who wasn’t there,
He wasn’t there again today
Oh, how I wish he’d go away…
“So, I am sometimes like a tree
Rustling over a graveside
And making real the dream
of the one it’s living roots
A dream once lost
Among sorrows and songs.”
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice —
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voice behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life that you could save.