Archives for posts with tag: Photograph

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A SHADOW ON THE WALL
by Gottfried Benn
(Translated by Michael Hofmann)

A shadow on the wall
boughs stirred by the noonday wind
that’s enough earth
and for the eye
enough celestial participation.

How much further do you want to go? Refuse
the bossy insistence
of new impressions—

lie there still,
behold your own fields,
your estate,
dwelling especially
on the poppies,
unforgettable
because they transported the summer—

where did it go?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gottfried Benn (1886-1956) served in the German army’s medical corps during WWI and used his clinical experiences as inspiration for his first collections of poetry, Morgue und andere Gedichte (1912) and Fleisch (1917).

PHOTO: “The Great Wall of China” by J.L. Woody Wooden. Prints available at fineartamerica.com.

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who knows if the moon’s
by e.e. cummings

who knows if the moon’s
a balloon,coming out of a keen city
in the sky—filled with pretty people?
(and if you and i should

get into it,if they
should take me and take you into their balloon,
why then
we’d go up higher with all the pretty people

than houses and steeples and clouds:
go sailing
away and away sailing into a keen
city which nobody’s ever visited,where

always
            it’s
                   Spring)and everyone’s
in love and flowers pick themselves

Photo: “Hollywood Moon” by Barbara Linkevitch, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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MARCHING
by Jim Harrison

At dawn I heard among bird calls
the billions of marching feet in the churn
and squeak of gravel, even tiny feet
still wet from the mother’s amniotic fluid,
and very old halting feet, the feet
of the very light and very heavy, all marching
but not together, criss-crossing at every angle
with sincere attempts not to touch, not to bump
into each other, walking in the doors of houses
and out the back door forty years later, finally
knowing that time collapses on a single
plateau where they were all their lives,
knowing that time stops when the heart stops
as they walk off the earth into the night air.
***
“Marching” appears in Jim Harrison’s collection Saving Daylight (Copper Canyon Press, 2006), available at Amazon.com.

PHOTO: “Footprints” by Tom Gowanlo. Prints available at fineartamerica.com.

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LIVING AT THE END OF TIME
by Robert  Bly

There is so much sweetness in children’s voices,
And so much discontent at the end of day,
And so much satisfaction when a train goes by.
 
I don’t know why the rooster keeps crying,
Nor why elephants keep raising their trunks,
Nor why Hawthorne kept hearing trains at night.
 
A handsome child is a gift from God,
And a friend is a vein in the back of the hand,
And a wound is an inheritance from the wind.
 
Some say we are living at the end of time,
But I believe a thousand pagan ministers
Will arrive tomorrow to baptize the wind.
 
There’s nothing we need to do about John. The Baptist
Has been laying his hands on earth for so long
That the well water is sweet for a hundred miles.
 
It’s all right if we don’t know what the rooster
Is saying in the middle of the night, nor why we feel
So much satisfaction when a train goes by.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Robert Bly (born December 23, 1926) is an American poet and author of Iron John: A Book About Men (1990), a key text of the mythopoetic men’s movement, which spent 62 weeks on the The New York Times Best Seller list. He won the 1968 National Book Award for Poetry for his book The Light Around the Body. (Read more at wikipedia.org.)

PHOTO: “Train at Sunset, New Mexico” (1941) by Jack Delano.

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THE LAKE
by Sophie Cabot Black

Day and night, the lake dreams of sky.
A privacy as old as the mountains
And her up there, stuck among peaks. The   whole eye
 
Fastened on hawk, gatherings of cloud or stars,
So little trespass. An airplane once
Crossed her brow; she searched but could not find
 
A face. Having lived with such strict beauty
She comes to know how the sun is nothing
But itself and the path it throws; the moon
 
A riddled stone. If only a hand
Would tremble along her cheek, would disturb. Even the elk
Pass by, drawn to the spill of creeks below—
 
How she cannot help abundance, even as it leaves
Her, as it sings all the way down the mountain.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Raised on a small New England farm, poet Sophie Cabot Black received a BA from Marlboro College and an MFA from Columbia University. Black’s collections of poetry include The Misunderstanding of Nature (1994), which won the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award, and The Descent (2004), which won the Connecticut Book Award. Black’s poetry has been anthologized in Best American Poetry and Never Before: Poems About First Experiences (2005).  Her honors include the Grolier Poetry Prize and the Poetry Society of America’s John Masefield Memorial Award.

PHOTO: “Evening, McDonald Lake, Glacier National Park (Montana)” by Ansel Adams (1942).

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LIGHT-YEARS
by Hester Knibbe (Translated by Jacquelyn Pope)

It’s a beautiful world, you said,
with these trees, marshes, deserts,
grasses, rivers and seas
 
and so on. And the moon is really something
in its circuits
of relative radiance. Include
 
the wingèd M, voluptuous
Venus, hotheaded Mars, that lucky devil
J and cranky Saturn, of course, plus
 
U and N and the wanderer P, in short
the whole solar family, complete with its
Milky Way, and count up all the other
 
systems with dots and spots and in
that endless emptiness what you’ve got
is a commotion of you-know-what. It’s a beautiful
 
universe, you said, just take a good look
through the desert’s dark glasses
for instance or on your back
 
in seas of grass, take a good look
at the deluge of that Rorschach—we’re standing out there
somewhere, together.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Hester Knibbe’s books of poems include Oogsteen (2009) and Bedrieglijke dagen (2008), both from De Arbeiderspers. She received the A. Roland Holst prize in 2009.

PHOTO: “Desert Snow” by Wally Pacholka/Astropics.com, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Note on photo: Constellation Canis Major with the brightest star of night sky, Sirius, shines above Southern California’s Joshua Tree National Park (December 2008).

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NEW YEAR’S HAIKU
by Jane Reichhold

New Year’s Day
between clouds the sun
a bright beginning. 

PHOTO: “Golden Sky” by Ana Pontes, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Prints available at etsy.com.

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YEAR’S END
by Matsuo Basho

Year’s end,
all corners
of this floating world, swept.

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Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader—not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.” E.L. DOCTOROW

Photo: “Rain Forest in Paris” by Eole Wind

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THE WAY THE LEAVES KEEP FALLING
by Linda Pastan

It is November
and morning — time to get to work.
I feel the little whip
of my conscience flick
as I stand at the window watching
the great harvest of leaves.
Across the street my neighbor,
his leaf blower already roaring,
tries to make order
from the chaos of fading color.
He seems brave and a bit foolish.
It is almost tidal, the way
the leaves keep falling
wave after wave to earth.

In Eden there were
no seasons, and sometimes
I think it was the tidiness
of that garden
Eve hated, all the wooden tags
with the new names of plants and trees.
Still, I am Adam’s child too
and I like order, though
the margins of my poems
are ragged, and I stand here
all morning watching the leaves.

Credit: “The Way the Leaves Keep Falling” appears in Linda Pastan‘s collection Carnival Evening: New and Selected Poems 1968-1998 (W.W. Norton & Co., 1999). Find the book at Amazon.com.

Photo: “Falling red maple leaves, Boone County, Missouri” From the postcard book: Sierra Club Nature in Close-Up. ©Gay Bumgarner,1988, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Contact the photographer at her website gaybumgarner.comFind the 160-page book at Amazon here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Linda Pastan has published at least 12 books of poetry and a number of essays. Her awards include the Dylan Thomas Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award (Poetry Society of America), the Bess Hokin Prize (Poetry Magazine), the 1986 Maurice English Poetry Award (for A Fraction of Darkness), the Charity Randall Citation of the International Poetry Forum, and the 2003 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. Two of her collections of poems were nominated for the National Book Award and one for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. From 1991–1995 she was Poet Laureate of Maryland. (Read more at wikipedia.org.)