The Cloths of Heaven

September 29, 2014

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

– W.B. Yeats

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I stumbled across Mario Benedetti in college when like so many I was struggling my way through the intricacies of Spanish (suffice to say I never mastered those intricacies). His poem ‘No te salves’ always stayed with me. A reminder to love and live fully and deeply at all times. To desist from hesitation, from fear of losing, from half measures and then complaining or wishing that one had experienced the joy and happiness that comes from truly being in love and loving someone.

No te salves
Don’t remain immobile
At the edge of the road
Don’t freeze the joy
Don’t love with reluctance
Don’t save yourself now
or ever
Don’t save yourself
Don’t fill with calm
Don’t reserve in the world
Only a secure place
Don’t let your eyelids fall
Heavily as judgments
Don’t speak without lips
Don’t sleep without dreams
Don’t imagine yourself without blood
Don’t judge yourself without time.
But if
in spite of everything
You can’t help it,
And you freeze the joy,
And you love with reluctance,
And you save yourself now,
And you fill with calm
And you reserve in the world
Only a calm place,
And you let fall your eyelids
Heavily as judgments,
And you speak without lips,
And you sleep without dreams,
And you imagine yourself without blood,
And you judge yourself without time,
And you remain immobile
At the edge of the road,
And you save yourself,
Then…
Don’t stay with me.
– Mario Benedetti

Girl,
In your hair I see the fields of Fall,
Color of hay stacks and tossed,
Untidy mess. The flowing curves
Of your body are the rolling hills of the prairie
Verdant and alive to a gentle caress of wind and lips.
Silent, you play lazily like the wind
Stirring strands lose with your finger,
While your eyes of crystal stare out of windows,
Blue reaches of distance and endlessness,
Yet from the table next to mine.

Love,
Love with ardor
Love with passion
Let the heat of its possibility
Flow through you
Like the lava in the mountain
Like the pulse of the tiger
Like the shock from the touch of the palpitating fire.
Love with the madness of wine
And let its intoxication make you commit foolish things
Like the parade of bad verse
Like the opening up of the vault of your heart
Like the flares of secrets from your soul.
Love
Love with that passion,
Love with an impossible dream
Love even if reality bursts that dream
For it’s better to love
Than be frozen or desiccated
Like the desert or the winter stream.

Weekend Happiness

September 27, 2014

From the corner of my eye,
Lying semi-comatose in bed,
In the hoggish slumber of the weekend,
Recovering from the ardor of the week,
With its pitiless frustrations,
It’s petty struggles of rank and remuneration,
I see,
Through my window
The cobalt blue of happiness
That is the Saturday sky.

The Threatened One

September 27, 2014

It is love. I will have to hide or flee.

Its prison walls grow larger, as in a fearful dream.
The alluring mask has changed,
but as usual it is the only one.
What use now are my talismans, my touchstones:
the practice of literature,
vague learning,
an apprenticeship to the language used by the flinty Northland
to sing of its seas and its swords,
the serenity of friendship,
the galleries of the library,
ordinary things,
habits,
the young love of my mother,
the soldierly shadow cast by my dead ancestors,
the timeless night,
the flavor of sleep and dream?

Being with you or without you
is how I measure my time.

Now the water jug shatters above the spring,
now the man rises to the sound of birds,
now those who look through the windows are indistinguishable,
but the darkness has not brought peace.

It is love, I know it;
the anxiety and relief at hearing your voice,
the hope and the memory,
the horror at living in succession.

It is love with its own mythology,
its minor and pointless magic.
There is a street corner I do not dare to pass.
Now the armies surround me, the rabble.
(This room is unreal. She has not seen it)

A woman’s name has me in thrall.
A woman’s being afflicts my whole body.
– Jorge Luis Borges

Farewell

September 25, 2014

You.
You are standing at the edge of my heart
At the last lamppost in town,
Whose fading glow is being engulfed by the darkness.
Receding into the shadows,
Your eyes are merging with the night
And with its velvet embrace,
The last of the great fire is being beaten and stilled,
Its ashes swept into that pit of debris,
Distant memory.
The night wind brushes past me
And I see it tangle with your hair
Blowing it across your retreating face;
Soft veil of streaming tassels,
Like those of a receding coach
Waving its final farewell.

Southern Night Sky – From Tasmania (courtesy Dips.spid)

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NYC Haiku

September 22, 2014

I
Laughing sunflowers
Unaware of Falls iron sky –
Weekends last hours

II
Wine spills on table
Joyous laughter of ones friends
New York Fall evening

III
Dark red horizon –
Throbbing heart of love and longing
Silenced by inevitable solitude

IV
A pretty girls eyes
Full of infinite sadness –
Morning dew on leaves

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Thinking

September 22, 2014

Time to be Earnest

September 22, 2014

I looked at my friend
And said “Come,
Let’s while our time
Over this and that
And nothing much.
Let us sit at the edge of the day
And watch the sun depart like
The ponderous train
Into the unknown.
Let us drink wine and then
Drink some more
And drink till all the girls
Are pretty and dawn is at the door.
Come friend lets.”
But he shook his head,
He has other things to do,
Other than this and that
And drink wine till the dawn is back.
The time of Alcibiades is past;
It is time for earnest things
And not for this and that.
Nor time to discuss
The way the world moves
And cities entwine
And of how love rises, withers and dies
Or what is next or if it’s all black.
It is the time for earnest things
And not for this or that.