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Posts Tagged ‘Poetry’

Digging

Between my finger and my thumb   

The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.

Under my window, a clean rasping sound   
When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:   
My father, digging. I look down

Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds   
Bends low, comes up twenty years away   
Stooping in rhythm through potato drills   
Where he was digging.

The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft   
Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
To scatter new potatoes that we picked,
Loving their cool hardness in our hands.

By God, the old man could handle a spade.   
Just like his old man.

My grandfather cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner’s bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, going down and down
For the good turf. Digging.

The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I’ll dig with it.

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There is a silence in the world
Since we have said farewell;
And beauty with an alien speech
An alien tale would tell.

There is a silence in the world,
Which is not peace nor quiet:
Ever I seek to flee therefrom,
And walk the ways of riot.

But when I hear the music moan
In rooms of thronging laughter,
A tongueless demon drives me forth,
And silence follows after.

Clark Ashton Smith

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When Does

When does a fly sleep?
When does it rise?
Some things I shall keep,
Others I will disguise.

 

MMcC 2011Image

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Poetry, the one that subscribes to self, can be the most personal of outlets for the vain and conscientious alike. And yet the reviewer of this Times Lit. Supplement tends to forget that in this review: http://www.the-tls.co.uk/tls/public/article1171553.ece

SO what shall we do in the case of this egregious error? My first recommendation would be to remedy with a strong draught of the Source.. Keats, himself and alone. For if we unburden ourselves of the historical imagination and simply allow things to be led by what is left then we can see what life truly is.

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Picture the giblets shaped like turks,

hand over the cranberry sauce, Refrain;

this eve from employing berzerk,

as we to’mor’ give thanks again.

 

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‘Round and ’round

do the days fly,

Spinning webs

of eccentricity.

 

Preparing me

for the great leap,

The eternal and

the final sleep.

 

MEKM 08/2012ish

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Is attempting much, or being accused of it, simply for the forced sophistication of doing it, too much to ask for? Regard this excerpt from John Kinsella on J. H. Prynne: “It is a strong example of the Prynne lyric in which tensions between external social, political, and economic forces and interior, personal, emotive, and reflective experience come into play. The tone is almost of a love poem, yet there is a darkish irony at work as well.”  I will take the world and my own world and grind them together, for the smell of grinding gears?

When a piece of poetry is ground up then wound down it is painstakingly obvious to one. Why can’t we champion effortlessness, or the supple surface of serenity?

Here is the poem Kinsella is referring to.

Under her brow the snowy wing-case
      delivers truly the surprise
of days which slide under sunlight
          past loose glass in the door
      into the reflection of honour spread
through the incomplete, the trusted. So
      darkly the stain skips as a livery
of your pause like an apple pip,
      the baltic loved one who sleeps.
 
Or as syrup in a cloud, down below in
      the cup, you excuse each folded
cry of the finch’s wit, this flush
      scattered over our slant of the
          day rocked in water, you say
      this much. A waver of attention at
the surface, shews the arch there and
          the purpose we really cut;
      an ounce down by the water, which
 
in cross-fire from injustice too large
      to hold he lets slither
                                            from starry fingers
      noting the herbal jolt of cordite
and its echo: is this our screen, on some
      street we hardly guessed could mark
an idea bred to idiocy by the clear
      sight-lines ahead. You come in
          by the same door, you carry
 
what cannot be left for its own
      sweet shimmer of reason, its false blood;
the same tint I hear with the pulse it touches
      and will not melt. Such shading
of the rose to its stock tips the bolt
      from the sky, rising in its effect of what
motto we call peace talks. And yes the
      quiet turn of your page is the day
          tilting so, faded in the light.

 

 

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