January 2013


Mein Herz tragt schwere Ketten.
     Die Du mir angelegt.
     Ich mocht mein Leben wetten
     Dass Keine schwerer tragt

     Frankfurt song

     Teasing and tempting and playing
     We loved like children, us both
     But somebody, hiding a smile,
     Set up the ungentle nets -
     And here we are at the harbor,
     Not seeing the wished-for abodes,
     But knowing that I will be yours
     In the heart, without words, until death.

     You told me of all things - so early!
     I guessed them so late! In our hearts
     A wound is eternal, a silent
     Question exists in our eyes,
     The desert on earth is so endless,
     The heaven, so high, has no stars,
     Revealed is the tender secret,
     And frost rules for centuries.

     I will talk to shades! O my dear,
     To forget you I do not have might,
     Your visage can't move under shadow
     Of eyelids gone over my eyes...
     It's darkening... Shutters have closed,
     On all things descending is night...
     I love you, one ghostly-eternal,
     And only you - and always!
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As it comes back, brick by smoky brick,
I say to myself – strange I lived there
And walked those streets. It is the Ormeau Road
On a summer’s evening, a haze of absence
Over the caked city, that slumped smell
From the blackened gasworks. Ah, those brick canyons
Where Brookeborough unsheathes a sabre,
Shouting ‘No Surrender’ from the back of a lorry.

And the sky is a dry purple, and men
Are talking politics in a back room.
Is it too early or too late for change?
Certainly the province is most peaceful.
Who would dream of necessity, the angers
Of Leviathan, or the years of judgement?

Everything except language
knows the meaning of existence.
Trees, planets, rivers, time
know nothing else. They express it
moment by moment as the universe.

Even this fool of a body
lives it in part, and would
have full dignity within it
but for the ignorant freedom
of my talking mind.

From all I did and all I said
let no one try to find out who I was.
An obstacle was there distorting
the actions and the manner of my life.
An obstacle was often there
to stop me when I’d begin to speak.
From my most unnoticed actions,
my most veiled writing –
from these alone will I be understood.
But maybe it isn’t worth so much concern,
so much effort to discover who I really am.
Later, in a more perfect society,
someone else made just like me
is certain to appear and act freely.

Don’t be downcast, soon the night will come,
When we can see the cool moon laughing in secret
Over the faint countryside,
And we rest, hand in hand.

Don’t be downcast, the time will soon come
When we can have rest. Our small crosses will stand
On the bright edge of the road together,
And rain fall, and snow fall,
And the winds come and go.

We talked about storms. The weather. Calm seas. Dark nights . . . . oceans shining like silver plate. We talked about dolphins, whales, seals on the rocks blinking in the sun. . . terns, skuas, stormy petrels. It was so strange when he talked it was as if he was a part of them, was them.
— Ellida

We’re driving across tableland
somewhere in the world;
it is almost bare of trees.

Upland near void of features
always moves me, but not to thought;
it lets me rest from thinking.

I feel no need to interpret it
as if it were art. Too much
of poetry is criticism now.

That hawk, clinging to
the eaves of the wind, beating
its third wing, its tail

isn’t mine to sell. And here is
more like the space that needs
to exist around an image. (more…)

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