*Poem of the day thread

Discussion in 'books, films, TV, radio & writing' started by RubyToogood, Aug 4, 2002.

  1. ShiftyBagLady

    ShiftyBagLady Thinks she is a flower to be looked at

    After I posted that I thought to tag you :D :thumbs: :cool:
  2. killer b

    killer b Nostrofuckingdamus

  3. ShiftyBagLady

    ShiftyBagLady Thinks she is a flower to be looked at

    IMG_9697.JPG Morning poem from Derek Mahon :cool:
    Ceej, Lupa, chainsawjob and 1 other person like this.
  4. killer b

    killer b Nostrofuckingdamus

    A topical one from 1984 (thanks to the LRB twitter feed)

    The Philosophical Phallus
    Clive James

    Female desire aims to subdue, overcome and pacify the unbridled ambition of the phallus - Roger Scruton

    The unbridled phallus of the philosopher
    Was seen last week galloping across the South Downs,
    Flame spurting from its flared nostril.

    The phallus being a horse in which
    Both mane and tail are bunched together at the back end,
    This unharnessed piece of horseflesh was of necessity unable
    To accompany with a display of shaken neck-hair
    The tossing of its head,
    But the tossing of its head was tremendous nevertheless,
    Like that of Bucephalus, the steed of Alexander.

    Where the lush grass curves up to the rim of the chalk cliffs
    So that they drop away where you cannot see them
    When looking from inland,
    Such was the cyclorama against which ran rampant
    The unbridled phallus of the philosopher,
    Pulling lawn like an emerald treadmill incessantly beneath
    The unravelling thunder of its hooves –
    Accoutrements which a phallus does not normally possess
    But perhaps in this case they were retractable
    Like the undercarriage of some large, cigar-shaped aircraft –
    The Starlifter, for example, or the C-5 Galaxy.

    See where it comes across the Ontological Divide
    Separating Men and Women!
    The unbridled phallus in its frightening hauteur,
    Gushing suds with each procreative snort –
    Not the small, dog-skulled horse of the Greeks and the Etruscans,
    But the horse of the Persians as noted by Herodotus,
    Big, built thickly, hefty-headed,
    Its two great globular hindquarters throbbing
    Like the throats of rutting frogs.

    The prancing pudendum curls its lip but says Yes to Life:
    It is a yea-neigher.
    Not only does it say ‘ha-ha!’ among the trumpets,
    But in the landscaped gardens of fashionable country houses
    It trumpets among the ha-has,
    And the pulsing vein of its back is not afraid.

    Though fleet-footed as an Arab it is stronger than a Clydesdale,
    Shouldered like a Shire, bulk-bodied like a Suffolk –
    A standing, foam-flanked reproach
    To all those of us more appropriately represented
    By the Shetland Pony,
    Or that shrunken, shrivelled toy horse with the mule-tail
    Equus przewalskii, Prejvalsky’s horse
    From the Kobdo district of western Mongolia.

    At nightfall the women of storm-swept lonely farms,
    Or at casement windows of the grand houses aforesaid,
    Or women anywhere who languish unfulfilled qua women,
    Feel their Ontological Divide transformed to jelly
    At the vibrant snuffle in the distance –
    Long to subdue it, to overcome it, to pacify it,
    Willing it homeward to its chosen stable,
    Which will suffer its presence all the more exquisitely
    For being neither deep nor wide enough wholly to contain

    The unbridled ambition of the philosophical phallus
  5. Bajie

    Bajie Registered User

    The ancient oak
    Bore witness to us
    Laughing beneath it
    Bathed in summer haze

    Now winters frosted moon
    Dragging silver shadows
    From the leafless tree

    It stands now in solitude
    Silhouetted against the black sky
    As if grieving
    For the love it once witnessed
    Which is no more.
  6. Dillinger4

    Dillinger4 Es gibt Zeit

    A delicate fabric of bird song
    Floats in the air,
    The smell of wet wild earth
    Is everywhere.

    Red small leaves of the maple
    Are clenched like a hand,
    Like girls at their first communion
    The pear trees stand.

    Oh I must pass nothing by
    Without loving it much,
    The raindrop try with my lips,
    The grass with my touch;

    For how can I be sure
    I shall see again
    The world on the first of May
    Shining after the rain?
    ShiftyBagLady and chainsawjob like this.
  7. Dillinger4

    Dillinger4 Es gibt Zeit

    I've decided to waste my life again,
    Like I used to: get drunk on
    The light in the leaves, find a wall
    Against which something can happen,

    Whatever may have happened
    Long ago—let a bullet hole echoing
    The will of an executioner, a crevice
    In which a love note was hidden,

    Be a cell where a struggling tendril
    Utters a few spare syllables at dawn.
    I've decided to waste my life
    In a new way, to forget whoever

    Touched a hair on my head, because
    It doesn't matter what came to pass,
    Only that it passed, because we repeat
    Ourselves, we repeat ourselves.

    I've decided to walk a long way
    Out of the way, to allow something
    Dreaded to waken for no good reason,
    Let it go without saying,

    Let it go as it will to the place
    It will go without saying: a wall
    Against which a body was pressed
    For no good reason, other than this.
    Saunders, yield, Yossarian and 2 others like this.
  8. Dillinger4

    Dillinger4 Es gibt Zeit

    The glittering leaves of the rhododendrons
    Balance and vibrate in the cool air;
    While in the sky above them
    White clouds chase each other.
  9. Yossarian

    Yossarian free shrugs

    "That the Earth is suspended..."
    Rosanna Warren

    As scilla prinks out, purple, from half-thawed clods
    and the cardinal flings his ribbon of song
    in two high arcs, then trails the vibrato among the boughs

    May unclenches. But not enough.
    Buds grip fetal leaves. Each night
    scatters frost. On sidewalks we tread on broken sky.

    You are sick, and far away. The world is in flux
    said Anaximander: worlds are born, appear,
    and disappear. We perish, even the gods

    fade. Spare me the industrial daffodils
    poking through scraps of snow. The season will have
    its hard birth, and we will be dragged

    into light. For how many years
    has that ill corroded your gut? Whirlwinds, typhoons
    break out of the cloud, the tearing makes thunder, the crack

    against black makes the flash. So natural
    philosophy began. You watched glaciers slide
    and crash at the tip of the earth, you floated on a rope

    into ice crevasses to catch the gleam
    and the groan. Ice sculpted the planet,
    and sculpts it still: you hammered aluminum

    into that shape. The stars are a wheel of fire
    broken off from earth fire, surrounded by air.
    We came from the unlimited, to it we return. So taught

    Anaximander of Miletus, who thought we would be destroyed.
    yield, chainsawjob and Dillinger4 like this.
  10. ShiftyBagLady

    ShiftyBagLady Thinks she is a flower to be looked at

    The posh mums are boxing in the square
    by Wayne Holloway-Smith

    roughing each other up in a nice way
    This is not the world into which I was born
    so I’m changing it
    I’m sinking deep into the past and dressing my own mum
    in their blue spandexes
    svelte black stripes from hip to hem
    and husbands with better dispositions toward kindness
    or at least I’m giving her new lungs
    I’m giving her a best friend with no problems and both of them pads
    some gloves to go at each other with in a nice way
    I’m making it a warm day for them but also
    I’m making it rain
    the two of them dapping it out in long shadows
    I’m watching her from the trees grow
    strength in her thighs my mum
    grow strength in her glutes my mum
    her back taught upright
    her knees
    and watching her grow no bad thing in her stomach no tumour
    her feet do not hurt to touch my mum she is hopping
    sinews are happening
    wiry arms developing their full reach
    no bad thing explodes

    sweat and not gradual death I’m cheering
    no thing in her stomach no alcohol
    no cigarettes with their crotonaldehyde let my dad keep those
    no removal of her womb
    – and I’m cheering her on in better condition
    cheering she is learning to fight for her own body
    in spandex her new life
    and though there is no beef between them
    if her friend is gaining the upper hand
    I will call out from the trees
    her name
    and when she turns as turn she must
    my mum in the nicest possible way
    can slug her right in the gut
    chainsawjob and Dillinger4 like this.
  11. Dillinger4

    Dillinger4 Es gibt Zeit

    The dead are getting more restless each day.

    They used to be easy
    we’d put on stiff collars flowers
    praised their names on long lists
    shrines of the homeland
    remarkable shadows
    monstrous marble.

    The corpses signed away for posterity
    returned to formation
    and marched to the beat of our old music.

    But not anymore
    the dead
    have changed.

    They get all ironic
    they ask questions.

    It seems to me they’ve started to realise
    they’re becoming the majority!
    ShiftyBagLady likes this.
  12. Dillinger4

    Dillinger4 Es gibt Zeit

    Laws are created to be followed
    by the poor.
    Laws are made by the rich
    to bring some order to exploitation.
    The poor are the only law abiders in history.
    When the poor make laws
    the rich will be no more.
  13. Dillinger4

    Dillinger4 Es gibt Zeit

    In capitalism it’s a lie to say:
    “Take care, you’re worth your weight in gold.”
    Because in capitalism only the owners
    of gold are worth their weight in gold.

    In the construction of socialism
    one no longer lies and it can be said:
    “You’re worth more than gold, but
    it’s necessary to take care of
    the gold of social property,
    Foreign exchange is important.”

    Only in communism can it be said:
    “You’re worth what you’re worth.
    Gold has nothing to do with what you’re worth.”

    In communism gold only has value
    through the use workers and citizens
    give it,
    for example in dentistry
    in decoration
    or in adorning the necks
    or ears of girls.
  14. Dillinger4

    Dillinger4 Es gibt Zeit

    In ancient Greece
    Aristotle taught philosophy to his disciples
    while they walked across a large courtyard.

    Because of this his school was called “the peripatetic.”

    Fighting poets
    are peripateticker than those Aristotelian peripatetics
    because we apprehend the philosophy and poetry of the people
    while traveling
    through the cities and mountains of our land
  15. Dillinger4

    Dillinger4 Es gibt Zeit

    O foul descent! that I who erst contended

    With Gods to sit the highest, am now constraind

    Into a Beast, and mixt with bestial slime,

    This essence to incarnate and imbrute,

    That to the hight of Deitie aspir’d;

    But what will not Ambition and Revenge

    Descend to? who aspires must down as low

    As high he soard, obnoxious first or last exposed

    To basest things.
  16. Idris2002

    Idris2002 The Man From G.R.A.S.S.Y. K.N.O.L.L.

    The Council of the Gods, by Kit Wright

    Lay no blame. Have pity.
    Put your fingers in the wounds of the Committee.

    They never reached your item.
    Disputing Item One ad infinitum.

    Lay no blame. Be tender.
    The retrospective start of the agenda.

    Was all they managed treating.
    Consider, pray, the feeling of the meeting.

    (They felt awful). Not surprising
    They never came to matters not arising.

    From Matters Arising:
    Who took the chair when the standing committee last sat?
    Who kept the minutes for hours and hours and hours?
    Who tabled the motion,
    Who motioned the table
    The standing committee
    Sat? Have pity.
    Put your fingers in the wounds of the committee.

    The gods have not been sleeping.
    All night they sat, in grief and boredom, weeping.
  17. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model every man and every woman is a star

    the kraken wakes
    alfred lord tennyson

    below the thunders of the upper deep,
    far far beneath in the abysmal sea,
    his ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
    the kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
    about his shadowy sides: above him swell
    huge sponges of millennial growth and height;
    and far away into the sickly light,
    from many a wondrous grot and secret cell
    unnumbered and enormous polypi
    winnow with giant fins the slumbering green.
    there hath he lain for ages and will lie
    battening upon huge seaworms in his sleep,
    until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
    then once by men and angels to be seen,
    in roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.
  18. Lupa

    Lupa Well-Known Member

    Lies About Love
    We are all liars, because
    the truth of yesterday becomes a lie tomorrow,
    whereas letters are fixed,
    and we live by the letter of truth.
    The love I feel for my friend, this year,
    is different from the love I felt last year.
    If it were not so, it would be a lie.
    Yet we reiterate love! love! love!
    as if it were a coin with a fixed value
    instead of a flower that dies, and opens a different bud.

    DH Lawrence
    ShiftyBagLady and Dillinger4 like this.
  19. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model every man and every woman is a star

    the one black stain
    robert e howard

    They carried him out on the barren sand
    where the rebel captains died;
    Where the grim gray rotting gibbets stand
    as Magellan reared them on the strand,
    And the gulls that haunt the lonesome land
    wail to the lonely tide.

    Drake faced them all like a lion at bay,
    with his lion head upflung:
    "Dare ye my word of law defy,
    to say this traitor shall not die?"
    And his captains dared not meet his eye
    but each man held his tongue.

    Solomon Kane stood forth alone,
    grim man of sober face:
    "Worthy of death he may well be,
    but the trial ye held was mockery,
    "Ye hid your spite in a travesty
    where justice hid her face.

    "More of the man had ye been, on deck
    your sword to cleanly draw
    "In forthright fury from its sheath
    and openly cleave him to the teeth --
    "Rather than slink and hide beneath
    a hollow word of the law."

    Hell rose in the eyes of Francis Drake.
    "Puritan knave!" swore he.
    "Headsman! Give him the axe instead!
    He shall strike off yon traitor's head!"
    Solomon folded his arms and said,
    darkly and somberly:

    "I am no slave for your butcher's work."
    "Bind him with triple strands!"
    Drake roared and the men obeyed,
    Hesitantly, as if afraid,
    But Kane moved not as they took his blade
    and pinioned his iron hands.

    They bent the doomed man over to his knees,
    the man who was to die;
    They saw his lips in a strange smile bend,
    one last long look they saw him send,
    At Drake his judge and his one time friend
    who dared not meet his eye.

    The axe flashed silver in the sun,
    a red arch slashed the sand;
    A voice cried out as the head fell clear,
    and the watchers flinched in sudden fear,
    Though 'twas but a sea bird wheeling near
    above the lonely strand.

    "This be every traitor's end!"
    Drake cried, and yet again.
    Slowly his captains turned and went
    and the admiral's stare was elsewhere bent
    Than where the cold scorn with anger blent
    in the eyes of Solomon Kane.

    Night fell on the crawling waves;
    the admiral's door was closed;
    Solomon lay in the stenching hold;
    his irons clashed as the ship rolled.
    And his guard, grown weary and overbold,
    lay down his pipe and dozed.

    He woke with a hand at his corded throat
    that gripped him like a vise;
    Trembling he yielded up the key,
    and the somber Puritan stood free,
    His cold eyes gleaming murderously
    with the wrath that is slow to rise.

    Unseen, to the admiral's door,
    went Solomon Kane from the guard,
    Through the night and silence of the ship,
    the guard's keen dagger in his grip;
    No man of the dull crew saw him slip
    through the door unbarred.

    Drake at the table sat alone,
    his face sunk in his hands;
    He looked up, as from sleeping --
    but his eyes were blank with weeping
    As if he saw not, creeping,
    death's swiftly flowing sands.

    He reached no hand for gun or blade
    to halt the hand of Kane,
    Nor even seemed to hear or see,
    lost in black mists of memory,
    Love turned to hate and treachery,
    and bitter, cankering pain.

    A moment Solomon Kane stood there,
    the dagger poised before,
    As a condor stoops above a bird,
    and Francis Drake spoke not nor stirred
    And Kane went forth without a word
    and closed the cabin door.
  20. barlimo

    barlimo Well-Known Member

    The woods decay, the woods decay and fall,
    The vapours weep their burthen to the ground,
    Man comes and tills the field and lies beneath,
    And after many a summer dies the swan.
    Me only cruel immortality
    Consumes: I wither slowly in thine arms,
    Here at the quiet limit of the world,
    A white-hair'd shadow roaming like a dream
    The ever-silent spaces of the East,
    Far-folded mists, and gleaming halls of morn.

    Alas! for this gray shadow, once a man—
    So glorious in his beauty and thy choice,
    Who madest him thy chosen, that he seem'd
    To his great heart none other than a God!
    I ask'd thee, 'Give me immortality.'
    Then didst thou grant mine asking with a smile,
    Like wealthy men, who care not how they give.
    But thy strong Hours indignant work'd their wills,
    And beat me down and marr'd and wasted me,
    And tho' they could not end me, left me maim'd
    To dwell in presence of immortal youth,
    Immortal age beside immortal youth,
    And all I was, in ashes. Can thy love,
    Thy beauty, make amends, tho' even now,
    Close over us, the silver star, thy guide,
    Shines in those tremulous eyes that fill with tears
    To hear me? Let me go: take back thy gift:
    Why should a man desire in any way
    To vary from the kindly race of men
    Or pass beyond the goal of ordinance
    Where all should pause, as is most meet for all?

    A soft air fans the cloud apart; there comes
    A glimpse of that dark world where I was born.
    Once more the old mysterious glimmer steals
    From thy pure brows, and from thy shoulders pure,
    And bosom beating with a heart renew'd.
    Thy cheek begins to redden thro' the gloom,
    Thy sweet eyes brighten slowly close to mine,
    Ere yet they blind the stars, and the wild team
    Which love thee, yearning for thy yoke, arise,
    And shake the darkness from their loosen'd manes,
    And beat the twilight into flakes of fire.

    Lo! ever thus thou growest beautiful
    In silence, then before thine answer given
    Departest, and thy tears are on my cheek.

    Why wilt thou ever scare me with thy tears,
    And make me tremble lest a saying learnt,
    In days far-off, on that dark earth, be true?
    'The Gods themselves cannot recall their gifts.'

    Ay me! ay me! with what another heart
    In days far-off, and with what other eyes
    I used to watch—if I be he that watch'd—
    The lucid outline forming round thee; saw
    The dim curls kindle into sunny rings;
    Changed with thy mystic change, and felt my blood
    Glow with the glow that slowly crimson'd all
    Thy presence and thy portals, while I lay,
    Mouth, forehead, eyelids, growing dewy-warm
    With kisses balmier than half-opening buds
    Of April, and could hear the lips that kiss'd
    Whispering I knew not what of wild and sweet,
    Like that strange song I heard Apollo sing,
    While Ilion like a mist rose into towers.

    Yet hold me not for ever in thine East:
    How can my nature longer mix with thine?
    Coldly thy rosy shadows bathe me, cold
    Are all thy lights, and cold my wrinkled feet
    Upon thy glimmering thresholds, when the steam
    Floats up from those dim fields about the homes
    Of happy men that have the power to die,
    And grassy barrows of the happier dead.
    Release me, and restore me to the ground;
    Thou seëst all things, thou wilt see my grave:
    Thou wilt renew thy beauty morn by morn;
    I earth in earth forget these empty courts,
    And thee returning on thy silver wheels.
  21. ShiftyBagLady

    ShiftyBagLady Thinks she is a flower to be looked at

    I've just discovered the most wonderful poet :cool:


    Despite the geologists’ knowledge and craft,
    mocking magnets, graphs, and maps—
    in a split second the dream
    piles before us mountains as stony
    as real life.

    And since mountains, then valleys, plains
    with perfect infrastructures.
    Without engineers, contractors, workers,
    bulldozers, diggers, or supplies—
    raging highways, instant bridges,
    thickly populated pop-up cities.

    Without directors, megaphones, and cameramen—
    crowds knowing exactly when to frighten us
    and when to vanish.

    Without architects deft in their craft,
    without carpenters, bricklayers, concrete pourers—
    on the path a sudden house just like a toy,
    and in it vast halls that echo with our steps
    and walls constructed out of solid air.

    Not just the scale, it’s also the precision—
    a specific watch, an entire fly,
    on the table a cloth with cross-stitched flowers,
    a bitten apple with teeth marks.

    And we—unlike circus acrobats,
    conjurers, wizards, and hypnotists—
    can fly unfledged,
    we light dark tunnels with our eyes,
    we wax eloquent in unknown tongues,
    talking not with just anyone, but with the dead.

    And as a bonus, despite our own freedom,
    the choices of our heart, our tastes,
    we’re swept away
    by amorous yearnings for—
    and the alarm clock rings.

    So what can they tell us, the writers of dream books,
    the scholars of oneiric signs and omens,
    the doctors with couches for analyses—
    if anything fits,
    it’s accidental,
    and for one reason only,
    that in our dreamings,
    in their shadowings and gleamings,
    in their multiplings, inconceivablings,
    in their haphazardings and widescatterings
    at times even a clear-cut meaning
    may slip through.
    Pickman's model and Lupa like this.
  22. Ceej

    Ceej Where is my mind?

    Touch of the Mary Oliver's there, ShiftyBagLady - just lovely.
    Pickman's model likes this.

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