Monday, August 20, 2007

In a Dark Time

In a dark time, the eye begins to see,
I meet my shadow in the deepening shade;
I hear my echo in the echoing wood—
A lord of nature weeping to a tree,
I live between the heron and the wren,
Beasts of the hill and serpents of the den.
What's madness but nobility of soul
At odds with circumstance? The day's on fire!
I know the purity of pure despair,
My shadow pinned against a sweating wall,
That place among the rocks--is it a cave,
Or winding path? The edge is what I have.

A steady storm of correspondences!
A night flowing with birds, a ragged moon,
And in broad day the midnight comes again!
A man goes far to find out what he is—
Death of the self in a long, tearless night,
All natural shapes blazing unnatural light.
Dark, dark my light, and darker my desire.
My soul, like some heat-maddened summer fly,
Keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I?
A fallen man, I climb out of my fear.
The mind enters itself, and God the mind,
And one is One, free in the tearing wind.

~ Theodore Roethke

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Whenever you're called on to make up your mind
And you're hampered by not having any
The best way to solve the dilemma, you'll find
Is simply by spinning a penny
No--not so that chance shall decide the affair
While you're passively standing there moping
But the moment the penny is up in the air
You suddenly know what you're hoping

~ Piet Hein

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Love brought with it a tail of sorrows
A long static ray of thorns
And we closed our eyes
Because no wound can separate us

This weeping is not the fault of your eyes
Your hands do not grasp the sword
Your feet did not search out this path
By which the dark honey arrived at your heart

When love like an immense wave
Breaks us against a hard stone
It kneads us into a single dough

And the pain falls on some other sweet face
So in the light of an open place
Is consecrated the wounded spring

~ Pablo Neruda

(translated by Peter Rohloff, 08/05)
"I look at the light of the sun, and I see that it serves that same purpose in nature as God's wisdom in heaven, to illuminate; I observe the warmth of the sun and see that it serves the same purpose in nature as God's love in heaven - to nurture; and when I do this, when I see how the spiritual affections and natural elements are the same in Use, it is difficult to know sometimes if I am being told more about the truths from nature, or more about nature from these truths.

But it is of no matter, for what should I mind if someday I lost sight of the difference? Mind? That should be my goal, I think, not just to remember this, but to see it every day - that nature is spirit, and spirit nature, such as I have been given to know either."

- The Twilight Letters of Gustav Uyterhoeven by Brooks Hansen

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Cuadrados y ángulos

Casas enfiladas, casas enfiladas,
casas enfiladas.
Cuadrados, cuadrados, cuadrados.
Casas enfiladas.
Las gentes ya tienen el alma cuadrada,
ideas en fila
y ángulo en la espalda.
Yo misma he vertido ayer una lágrima,
Dios mío, cuadrada.

~ Alfonsina Storni