december 1 :: czeslaw milosz

The vineyard country, russet, reddish, carmine-brown in this season.
A blue outline of hills above a fertile valley.
It’s warm as long as the sun does not set, in the shade cold returns.
A strong sauna and then swimming in a pool surrounded by trees.
Dark redwoods, transparent pale-leaved birches.
In their delicate network, a sliver of the moon.
I describe this for I have learned to doubt philosophy
And the visible world is all that remains.

Advertisements

I loved you first: but afterwards your love :: christina rossetti

Poca favilla gran fiamma seconda. – Dante

Ogni altra cosa, ogni pensier va fore,
E sol ivi con voi rimansi amore. – Petrarca

I loved you first: but afterwards your love
Outsoaring mine, sang such a loftier song
As drowned the friendly cooings of my dove.
Which owes the other most? my love was long,
And yours one moment seemed to wax more strong;
I loved and guessed at you, you construed me
And loved me for what might or might not be –
Nay, weights and measures do us both a wrong.
For verily love knows not ‘mine’ or ‘thine;’
With separate ‘I’ and ‘thou’ free love has done,
For one is both and both are one in love:
Rich love knows nought of ‘thine that is not mine;’
Both have the strength and both the length thereof,
Both of us, of the love which makes us one.

the soul at last :: mary oliver

The Lord’s terrifying kindness has come to me.

It was only a small silvery thing—say a piece of silver cloth, or a thousand spider webs woven together, or a small handful of aspen leaves, with their silver backs shimmering. And it came leaping out of the closed coffin; it flew into the air, it danced snappingly around the church rafters; it vanished through the ceiling.

I spoke their, briefly, of the loved one gone. I gazed at the people in the pews, some of them weeping. I knew I must, someday, write this down.

central america in my heart :: oscar gonzales

On this voyage into the deep communion of solitude
I’ve casually come to know
the old and withered costumes of the sea;

I’ve walked carefully through the colors of copper
when the dusk has already conjured the last prayer of the day;

Through seasonal doorways
I’ve called upon the twilight ghosts
arched in the corners of the narrow cobblestone streets;

I’ve let my lips evade the necessary verses
to find the ending phrase for the afternoon;

I’ve disarmed the elusive equity of the night
to conceive an intimate verse from its fortified mysteries;

I’ve cast aside the grieving songs of my twilight
as the sky envelops the enamored vestments of the night;

I’ve done
          and undone
                    so many things
                              in search of you…

*****

Centroamérica en el corazón

Por este viaje a las profundas unidades de la soledad
he conocido sin planearlo
a la vieja vestimenta del mar;

he caminado con cuidado por los colores del cobre
cuando el ocaso ya ha lanzado el último suspiro del día;

he llamado por estacionales puertas
a los fantasmas del poniente
en las esquinas de las calles angostas;

he permitido a mi boca eludir los versos necesarios
para encontrar la frase terminante del atardecer;

he desarmado la equidad profunda de la noche
para concebir un verso íntimo de su faz amurallada;

he desechado los duelos del ocaso
cuando el cielo se cierne sobre el manto enamorado del crepúsculo:

he hecho
          y deshecho
                    tantas cosas

Buscándote…

stravinsky in l.a. :: elizabeth alexander

In white pleated trousers, peering through green
sunshades, looking for the way the sun is red
noise, how locusts hiss to replicate the sun.
What is the visual equivalent
of syncopation? Rows of seared palms wrinkle
in the heat waves through green glass. Sprinklers
tick, tick, tick. The Watts Towers aim to split
the sky into chroma, spires tiled with rubble
nothing less than aspiration. I’ve left
minarets for sun and syncopation,
sixty-seven shades of green which I have
counted, beginning: palm leaves, front and back,
luncheon pickle, bottle glass, etcetera.
One day I will comprehend the different
grades of red. On that day I will comprehend
these people, rhythms, jazz, Simon Rodia,
Watts, Los Angeles, aspiration.