Apr 262017
 

Awareness: the source of countless headaches.
Blissful is the man unmindful of the world.
Birds wail not while unhatched,
More confining than a cage though the egg be.


A dull mind may fix its gaze on the book,
Yet meaning shall remain beyond its grasp.
The empty-headed fail to fathom the depths,
Like a hollow bubble they can never plunge the sea.


O you who are filled with self-conceit,
Pause and look for a blemish within.
Years have I spent wandering the world,
A fruit with no stone I am yet to see.


Opening the eye in
love’s tempestuous sea
Brought me to naught
like a bubble.

 Comments Off on Tahir Ghani: Selected Poems from The Captured Gazelle
Apr 262017
 

While that my soul repairs to her devotion,
Here I entomb my flesh, that it betimes
May take acquaintance of this heap of dust;
To which the blast of death’s incessant motion,
Fed with the exhalation of our crimes,
Drives all at last, Therefore I gladly trust

My body to this school, that it may learn
To spell his elements, and find his birth
Written in dusty heraldry and lines;
Which dissolution sure doth best discern,
Comparing dust with dust, and earth with earth.
These laugh at jet and marble put for signs,

To sever the good fellowship of dust,
And spoil the meeting. What shall point out them,
When they shall bow, and kneel, and fall down flat
To kiss those heaps, which now they have in trust?
Dear flesh, while I do pray, learn here thy stem
And true descent: that when thou shalt grow fat,

And wanton in thy cravings, thou mayst know,
That flesh is but the glass, which holds the dust
That measures all our time; which also shall
Be crumbled into dust. Mark, here below
How tame these ashes are, how free from lust,
That thou mayst fit thyself against thy fall.

 Comments Off on George Herbert: Church-Monuments
Apr 212017
 

House, coffeehouses, neighborhood: setting
that I see and where I walk; year after year.

I crafted you amid joy and amid sorrows:
out of so much that happened, out of so many things.

And you’ve been wholly remade into feeling; for me.

 Comments Off on C. P. Cavafy: In the Same Space
Apr 112017
 

I am rich I am poor. Time is all I own.
I spend or hoard it for experience.
By the bitten wound the biting tooth is known.

Thrift is a venomous error, then, a stone
named bread or cash to support the pretense
that I’m rich. I am poor; time is all I own…

though I hold to memory: how spent time shone
as you approached, and the light loomed immense.
By the bitten wound the biting tooth is known,

though scars fade. I have memory on loan
while it evaporates; though it be dense
& I am rich, I am poor. Time is all I own

to sustain me—the moonlit skeleton
that holds my whole life in moving suspense.
By the bitten wound the biting tooth is known.

Ownership’s brief, random, a suite of events.
If the past is long the future ’s short. Since
I am rich I am poor. Time is all I own.
By the bitten wound the biting tooth is known.

 Comments Off on Marie Ponsot: Reminder
Feb 142017
 

My own dear love, he is strong and bold
And he cares not what comes after.
His words ring sweet as a chime of gold,
And his eyes are lit with laughter.
He is jubilant as a flag unfurled—
Oh, a girl, she’d not forget him.
My own dear love, he is all my world,—
And I wish I’d never met him.

My love, he’s mad, and my love, he’s fleet,
And a wild young wood-thing bore him!
The ways are fair to his roaming feet,
And the skies are sunlit for him.
As sharply sweet to my heart he seems
As the fragrance of acacia.
My own dear love, he is all my dreams,—
And I wish he were in Asia.

My love runs by like a day in June,
And he makes no friends of sorrows.
He’ll tread his galloping rigadoon
In the pathway of the morrows.
He’ll live his days where the sunbeams start,
Nor could storm or wind uproot him.
My own dear love, he is all my heart,—
And I wish somebody’d shoot him.

 Comments Off on Dorothy Parker: Love Song