association

The last post sent this running through my mind.

It will annoy me all night… so I thought I’d share it.

maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach (to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles, and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles; and

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea

e. e. cummings

imagine

Time for the annual Autumnal harvest of poetry.  Here’s the poem that made me buy the book.

Imagine being that fluke of rock
that juts out from the face of the hill,

the rock that breaks the stream’s fall,
day and night, for millennia.

The stream runs over, sleek as mercury,
has no choice but to strike you —

shatters into beads that fire away
at more or less predictable angles.

All that varies is the weight of the water,
in drought, or after heavy rain;

the pace of the flow; the pitch
and volume of the shattering.

Imagine the deadlock,
the passion.  Imagine the stars.

‘Breaking the Fall’
Jean Sprackland
Tilt

rainbow-colored sparrows

Found a new (to me) poet today.  Thankfully didn’t notice it was a translation till I’d already bought it.

Interview with a Child

The master hasn’t been among us long.
That’s why he lurks in every corner.
he covers his face with his hands and peers through the gap.
Standing, forehead to the wall, he suddenly turns.

The master rejects with distaste the absurd thought
that a table lost from view must remain a table,
that the chair behind his back stays within the boundaries of a chair
without even trying to take advantage of the situation.

True, it’s hard to catch the world in its otherness.
The apple tree returns to the window before you can bat an eye.
The rainbow-colored sparrows always darken just in time.
The handle, the pitcher’s ear, will catch any murmur.
The nighttime closet feigns the passivity of the daytime closet.
The drawer tries to convince the master
that all that’s in there is what was put in earlier.
Even when a book of fairy tales is suddenly opened,
the princess always gets to her seat in the picture.

They sense a newcomer in me — the master sighs —
they don’t want to let a stranger play with thtem.
But how come everything that exists
is forced to exist in only one way
in a miserable state, with no escape from itself,
without pause or change of pace? In the humble here-to-there?
A fly trapped in a fly? A mouse trapped in a mouse?
A dog never turned loose from its hidden chain?
A fire, without the nerve to do anything
but burn the master’s trusting finger a second time?
Is this the true ultimate world:
scattered wealth impossible to gather,
useless splendor, forbidden possibility?

No! — the master shouts and stomps all the feet
he can muster — in such enormous despair,
that even the six legs of a cricket would not suffice.

Wislawa Szymoborska,  Miracle Fair
trans. Joanna Trzeciak
(you might think I should have noticed it was a translation,
but it was a rapid hunt before boarding a train.)