Wednesday, 27 July 2011

South porch of Ghost Ranch house
Allen Ginsberg sits with O'Keeffe
shows her how he meditates,
crossed legs, straightened back, closed eyes--
breathe slowly, other instructions
but she doesn't mimic him.
He asked, "What do you believe?"
She outstretched her arm
palm up in a semi-circle
in front of her toward Pedernal,
"It's hard to say."
Mountain to the south
fragrant sage, clouds, blue sky
rocks she had gathered
beauty around her everywhere.
Later driving Allen & Peter to Santa Fe.

Allen called her a witch.
I nearly drove
off a curve in the road.
Said he was surprised
how little money she had.
I explained simple
surroundings did not
show her wealth.
No need.

poem by Carol Merrill, 1978

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

The only thing I knew how to do
Was to keep on keeping on like a bird that flew
Tangled up in blue

Friday, 22 July 2011

paintings that unsettle me

Christina's World by Andrew Wyeth
Girl with kitten by Lucien Freud
 Puberty by Edvard Munch 

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Hay Tor

Here it is bare, the truth an element.                                                                  
And it is nothing like he promised.
Any moment now he will bend his knee,
Offer the tightening circlet of gold.
The spewed out rocks imperfect for
Framing this failing scene of proposal.
Despite the haze of blue, galaxies
Are just there, beyond the cloudbanks.
Sundown the sky will ink, the stars will
Be countless weights wanting an answer.

She turns from the Tor, its ancient gaze.
People flock to a foal, pose for a picture.
Stroke the grey coat and the just born ribs.
But it is not moving because it is dying,
That much is clear. Sickened,
Barefooted, she goes downhill.
His voice tries to coax her back.
The wind turns the words into a language
She cannot understand. Phrases are lost.

Later, greying, he will try to recall her.
Yet all he can see is the way she carried
Her sandals in her right hand as she left him.
The leather strings hanging from her fingers
Like a dead octopus. Subconsciously
He rubs his palm to remove the slime.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

A stone I died and rose again a plant;
A plant I died and rose an animal;
I died an animal and was born a man.
Why should I fear? What have I lost by death?

J. Rumi
Death is nothing at all.  It does not count.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Nothing has happened.  Everything remains exactly as it was.
I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. 
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. 
Call me by the old familiar name.  Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.  Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it.
Life means all that it ever meant.  It is the same as it ever was.  There is absolute and unbroken continuity.
What is this death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner.
All is well.  Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

by Henry Scott Holland (1847 - 1918)

Monday, 18 July 2011

when there are no answers or comfort, poetry can offer some

SUNSET and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness or farewell,
When I embark;

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

pinted by William McTaggart

Friday, 1 July 2011

Rose Red Poem

Performing Rose Red at Hit The Ode June 2011, The Victoria Brum

Casual is not part of their lexicon,
relying on growls, gruff prose huffed into the neck

They wait in woods, in fact any tree presents danger
It is not the claws that cause a girl to hesitate,
mostly they sheath those

He brings me white roses that smell of other
girls, it is torture

I kick him out of my doorway

I dwell on how he would bite my cheek red

All the stunning illustrations by Hidden Eloise