hazey_sunshine: ([neutral] blue bird of paradise totem)
hazey_sunshine ([personal profile] hazey_sunshine) wrote2012-12-27 10:26 pm

Poetry

mission101 #34: Read at least one poem a week & keep record.

1.
Tulips - Sylvia Plath (found via proud eyes never lie)
The tulips are too excitable, it is winter here.
Look how white everything is, how quiet, how snowed-in.
I am learning peacefulness, lying by myself quietly
As the light lies on these white walls, this bed, these hands.
I am nobody; I have nothing to do with explosions.
I have given my name and my day-clothes up to the nurses
And my history to the anaesthetist and my body to surgeons.

They have propped my head between the pillow and the sheet-cuff
Like an eye between two white lids that will not shut.
Stupid pupil, it has to take everything in.
The nurses pass and pass, they are no trouble,
They pass the way gulls pass inland in their white caps,
Doing things with their hands, one just the same as another,
So it is impossible to tell how many there are.

My body is a pebble to them, they tend it as water
Tends to the pebbles it must run over, smoothing them gently.
They bring me numbness in their bright needles, they bring me sleep
Now I have lost myself I am sick of baggage
My patent leather overnight case like a black pillbox,
My husband and child smiling out of the family photo;
Their smiles catch onto my skin, little smiling hooks.

I have let things slip, a thirty-year-old cargo boat
Stubbornly hanging on to my name and address.
They have swabbed me clear of my loving associations.
Scared and bare on the green plastic-pillowed trolley
I watched my tea-set, my bureaus of linen, my books
Sink out of sight, and the water went over my head.
I am a nun now, I have never been so pure.

I didn't want any flowers, I only wanted
To lie with my hands turned up and be utterly empty.
How free it is, you have no idea how free -
The peacefulness is so big it dazes you,
And it asks nothing, a name tag, a few trinkets.
It is what the dead close on, finally; I imagine them
Shutting their mouths on it, like a Communion tablet.

The tulips are too red in the first place, they hurt me.
Even through the gift paper I could hear them breathe
Lightly, through their white swaddlings, like an awful baby.
Their redness talks to my wound, it corresponds.
They are subtle: they seem to float, though they weigh me down
Upsetting me with their sudden tongues and their color,
A dozen red lead sinkers round my neck.

Nobody watched me before, now I am watched.
The tulips turn to me, and the window behind me
Where once a day the light slowly widens and slowly thins,
And I see myself, flat, ridiculous, a cut-paper shadow
Between the eye of the sun and the eyes of the tulips,
And I have no face, I have wanted to efface myself
The vivid tulips eat my oxygen.

Before they came the air was calm enough,
Coming and going, breath by breath, without any fuss.
Then the tulips filled it up like a loud noise.
Now the air snags and eddies round them the way a river
Snags and eddies round a sunken rust-red engine.
They concentrate my attention, that was happy
Playing and resting without committing itself.

The walls, also, seem to be warming themselves.
The tulips should be behind bars like dangerous animals;
They are opening like the mouth of some great African cat,
And I am aware of my heart: it opens and closes
Its bowl of red blooms out of sheer love of me.
The water I taste is warm and salt, like the sea,
And comes from a country far away as health.

2.
Neither Spirit Nor Bird - Shoshone Love Song -translated by Mary Austin (found in my calendar)

  Neither spirit nor bird--
That was my flute you heard
Last night by the river.
When you came with your wicker jar
Where the river drags the willows,
That was my flute you heard,
Wacoba, Wacoba,
Calling, Come to the willows!

  Neither the wind nor a bird
Rustled the lupin blooms--
That was my blood you heard
Answer your garment's hem
Whispering through the grasses;
That was my blood you heard
By the wild rose under the willows.

  That was no beast that stirred--
That was my heart you heard,
Pacing to and fro
In the ambush of my desire
To the flute's four-noted call.
Wacoba, Wacoba,
That was my heart you heard
Leaping under the willows.

3.
haiku - Madoka Mayuzumi

Wishing and wanting
to see you,
I step on thin ice.

君が手の膝にありたる花疲
Blossom fatigue, his hands rest on his lap.

4.
Sherlock Roses/Violets Rhymes -tumblr

roses are red
violets are blue
you must be reichenbach
because I'm falling for you

5.
i let you call me beautiful - Marty McConnell

i let you call me beautiful
because i know you mean beautiful
naked faced, unshowered, raspy
because you mean raw, pen in fist, screaming
because you mean lustful, razor-tongued

i let you call me beautiful
because you’ve traced the scoliosis snake of my spine
kissed the stretch marks under each breast
stroked the lines around my eyes

because these are my grandmother’s eyelids
my father’s lips
my great-great grandfather’s cheekbones

but i’ve fed this face sunburn and city air
calloused the eyes
and let the brows grow in

for the sake of the veins that river my wrists
for the sake of the prolapsed valve in my heart
for the sake of the scars marking my gall-bladder absent
for the sake of the rasp and rattle of my functioning lungs
for the sake of the pre-arthritic ache of my elbows
and ankles

for the sake of the life-line sectioning my palm
for the sake of the photographic pads of my fingertips
for the sake of the vulnerable dip at the base of my throat
for the sake of the muscles surfacing on my abdomen
for the sake of these arms that carry babies
and anthologies

for the sake of the leg hairs that sprout and are shaved
for the sake of the ass that refuses to shrink or be hidden
for the sake of the place that bleeds and accepts
bleeds and accepts

for the sake of the prominent ridge of my nose
for the sake of the strange convexity of my ribcage
for the sake of the single hair that insists on growing from my right areola
for the sake of the dent where the mole was clipped from the back of my neck
for the sake of these inner thighs brushing
for the sake of these eyelashes that sometimes turn inward
for the sake of these hips preparing to spread into my grandmother’s skirt
for the sake of the beauty of the freckle on the first knuckle of my left little finger
call me beautiful

kidnap the word from perfume bottles and magazine covers
the way i stole back this body from the airbrushed delusions i knelt to in dormitory bathrooms

swear beauty means sex with the lights on
means caressing imperfections because this beauty is human
and human is flaw

standing naked before the full length
i smooth lotion into new cellulite
and old scars
close my eyes to picture my knees
my navel
my forehead
an architect reconstructing the house she grew up in

i believe in this body
like i believe in the beauty of plaid
the blonde swirl on the back of my six month old cousin’s head
the untouched drape of snow across my windowsill
the wedding ring on my grandmother’s widowed hand
the way beauty is the color of joy after suffering
the quick intake of breath before
yes!

the way fury is beautiful
and orgasm beautiful
the terror of headlights as you spin out on the ice
searing solitude beauty

call me beautiful
i’ll burn both of us
down
to bone

6.
Late Night - Margaret Atwood

Late night and rain wakes me, a downpour,
wind thrashing in the leaves, huge
ears, huge feathers,
like some chased animal, a giant
dog or wild boar. Thunder & shivering
windows; from the tin roof
the rush of water.

I lie askew under the net,
tangled in damp cloth, salt in my hair.
When this clears there will be fireflies
& stars, brighter than anywhere,
which I could contemplate at times
of panic. Lightyears, think of it.

Screw poetry, it’s you I want,
your taste, rain
on you, mouth on your skin.


7.being to timelessness as it’s to time - ee cummings

being to timelessness as it's to time,
love did no more begin than love will end:
where nothing is to breathe to stroll to swim
love is the air the ocean and the land

(do lovers suffer? all divinities
proudly descending put on deathful flesh:
are lovers glad? only their smallest joy's
a universe emerging from a wish)

love is the voice under all silences,
the hope which has no opposite in fear:
the strength so strong mere force is feebleness:
the truth more first than sun more last than star.

- -do lovers love? why then to heaven with hell.
whatever sages say and fools, all's well


8.Dracula - Bram Stoker
I am all in a sea of wonders.
I doubt; I fear;
I think strange things, which I dare not confess to my own soul.


9.Ode to a Nightingale - John Keats (read by Benedict Cumberbatch)

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thine happiness,--
That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees
In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

O, for a draught of vintage! that hath been
Cool'd a long age in the deep-delved earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country green,
Dance, and Provençal song, and sunburnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stained mouth;
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim:

Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
What thou among the leaves hast never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
And leaden-eyed despairs,
Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.

Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with thee! tender is the night,
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Cluster'd around by all her starry Fays;
But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.

I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet
Wherewith the seasonable month endows
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;
White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;
Fast fading violets cover'd up in leaves;
And mid-May's eldest child,
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.

Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call'd him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
In such an ecstasy!
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain--
To thy high requiem become a sod.

Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
She stood in tears amid the alien corn;
The same that oft-times hath
Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.

Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
As she is fam'd to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried deep
In the next valley-glades:
Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
Fled is that music:--Do I wake or sleep?



10.
She's - Christopher L. Jorgensen

She’s cinnamon on the tongue,
and deep lung air,
the space between heartbeats,
and dreamless seconds. She’s
gravity and bent light, years of inescapable
regret. She’s a bruised tattoo and a muffled note
sounding sad negation, baby skin, and
straight flush vertigo; queen high,
aphasia, and too much wine.
The beginning’s whispered word and
insomnia. She’s finish line sweat
and denied kisses, dew wet roses and ropes
bathed in starlight. She’s candle wax and
burnt offerings, a razor wrist, the atom split,
lightning dance and a tear of joy. She’s a child
tickled too long and quivering lip.
She’s dragon chasing
smoke raised in prayer, a C4 bunny,
three to a match and a bullet;
to whom it may concern, sucking
chest wound heartbreak. She’s
crime in a $4 T-shirt and yesterday’s
shorts. She’s her smile and walk,
cricket comfort and lumbering grace,
electrochemical shock therapy. She’s
the fast right hand captured in unnatural acts.
She’s unclean thoughts, and repentance,
salvation offered only in darkness. She’s
the better half of a timeless equation, π
factored past infinity, an easy answer
to an impossible problem. She’s unknown
and unknowable, an unopened gift
gathering dust, another man’s name on the tag.