Thursday, June 20, 2013

Another Feeling

Once you saw a drove of young pigs
crossing the highway. One of them
pulling his body by the front feet,
the hind legs dragging flat.
Without thinking,
you called the Humane Society.
They came with a net and went for him.
They were matter of fact, uniformed;
there were two of them,
their truck ominous, with a cage.
He was hiding in the weeds. It was then
you saw his eyes. He understood.
He was trembling.
After they took him, you began to suffer regret.
Years later, you remember his misfit body
scrambling to reach the others.
Even at this moment, your heart
is going too fast; your hands sweat.

Eve, After

Did she know
there was more to life
than lions licking the furred
ears of lambs,
fruit trees dropping
their fat bounty,
the years droning on
without argument?

Too much quiet
is never a good sign.
Isn't there always
something itching
beneath the surface?

But what could she say?
The larder was full,
and they were beautiful,
their bodies new
as the day they were made.

Each morning the same
flowers broke through
the rich soil, the birds sang,
again, in perfect pitch.

It was only at night,
when they lay together in the dark,
that it was almost palpable -
the vague sadness, unnamed.

Foolishness, betrayal,
- call it what you will. What a relief
to feel the weight
fall into her palm. And after,
not to pretend anymore
that the terrible calm
was Paradise.

- Danusha Lameris

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Complaint of Achilles' Heel

Everyone's so quick to blame my
tenderness. My wound opening like a mouth
to kiss an arrow's steel beak.

A beautiful man, now, plants his face
in Trojan sand while I tell
the secrets of his body--

make the ground red with truth.
Red with the death of Achilles, felled
by an arrow's bite when nothing--

nothing--could puncture his Kevlar skin.
Everyone skips ahead to the moral: don't
be a heel. For just one day I felt

sun where the chafing bonds of sandal
should have been. Without me, he'd be
just more fodder for the cannon.

I made him a hero, Troy's poster
boy. Everyone forgets I was part of him,
I needed him--that even as he died,

I tasted each pulse--
that I could not hold back its rush of red
birds or the season to which they flew.

~ Charles Jensen

Saturday, June 15, 2013

If You Forget Me

I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.

--Pablo Neruda

The Flight

Look back with longing eyes and know that I will follow,
Lift me up in your love as a light wind lifts a swallow,
Let our flight be far in sun or blowing rain--
But what if I heard my first love calling me again?

Hold me on your heart as the brave sea holds the foam,
Take me far away to the hills that hide your home;
Peace shall thatch the roof and love shall latch the door--
But what if I heard my first love calling me once more?

~Sara Teasdale

Saturday, June 8, 2013


People that build their houses inland,
  People that buy a plot of ground
Shaped like a house, and build a house there,
  Far from the sea-board, far from the sound

Of water sucking the hollow ledges,
  Tons of water striking the shore,--
What do they long for, as I long for
  One salt smell of the sea once more?

People the waves have not awakened,
  Spanking the boats at the harbour's head,
What do they long for, as I long for,--
  Starting up in my inland bed,

Beating the narrow walls, and finding
  Neither a window nor a door,
Screaming to God for death by drowning,--
  One salt taste of the sea once more?

~Edna St. Vincent Millay