Perseid Meteor Showers

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Astonishment

Oarlocks knock in the dusk, a rowboat rises
and settles, surges and slides.
Under a great eucalyptus,
a boy and a girl feel around with their feet
for those small flattish stones so perfect
for scudding across the water.

                               *

A dog barks from deep in the silence.
A woodpecker, double-knocking,
keeps time.  I have slept in so many arms.
Consolation? Probably. But too much
consolation may leave one inconsolable.

                               *

The water before us has hardly moved
except in the shallowest breathing places.
For us back then, to live seemed almost to die.
One day a darkness fell between her and me.
When we woke, a hawthorn sprig
stood in the water glass at our bedside.

                                *

There is silence in the beginning.
The life within us grows quiet.
There is little fear. No matter
how all this comes out, from now on
it cannot not exist ever again.
We liked talking our nights away
in words close to the natural language,
which most other animals can still speak.

                                 *

The present pushes back the life of regret.
It draws forward the life of desire.  Soon memory
will have started sticking itself all over us.
We were fashioned from clay in a hurry,
poor throwing may mean it didn't matter
to the makers if their pots cracked.

                                  *

On the mountain tonight the full moon
faces the full sun. Now could be the moment
when we fall apart or we become whole.
Our time seems to be up – I think I even hear it stopping.
Then why have we kept up the singing for so long?
Because that's the sort of determined creature we are.
Before us, our first task is to astonish,
and then, harder by far, to be astonished.

Galway Kinnell

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Asters

Asters—sweltering days
old adjuration/curse,
the gods hold the balance
for an uncertain hour.

Once more the golden flocks
of heaven, the light, the trim—
what is the ancient process
hatching under its dying wings?

Once more the yearned-for,
the intoxication, the rose of you—
summer leaned in the doorway
watching the swallows—

one more presentiment
where certainty is not hard to come by:
wing tips brush the face of the waters,
swallows sip speed and night.

Gottfried Benn

Translated from the German by Michael Hofmann

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Elephant Seals, Año Nuevo


There they lie, fasting and molting
and not moving, but for an occasional
stray flipper that idly rises
and sinks down, into the mass
of massive bodies.
This is their summer's work,
before the bulls swim in
to bloody each other for mates.
We watch their great sides heave,
the effort it takes to stay
where they've arrived, amazed
they've managed something we can't.
What would it be like
to live, slow and huge,
the low slopes of the dunes
marking a horizon whose limits
we weren't compelled to challenge?
For these seals there is no
path that leads away,
no car waiting
in the wavering heat of the parking lot,
and no road takes them
to the made world: here we're all
immensely complicated, and nothing,
my darling, is seasonal —
once you and I leave
this place, we won't return to it. 

Kim Addonizio

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Becoming A Horse


It was dragging my hands along its belly,
loosing the bit and wiping the spit
from its mouth that made me
a snatch of grass in the thing’s maw,
a fly tasting its ear. It was
touching my nose to his that made me know
the clover’s bloom, my wet eye to his that
made me know the long field’s secrets.
But it was putting my heart to the horse’s that made me know
the sorrow of horses. Made me
forsake my thumbs for the sheen of unshod hooves.
And in this way drop my torches.
And in this way drop my knives.
Feel the small song in my chest
swell and my coat glisten and twitch.
And my face grow long.
And these words cast off, at last,
for the slow honest tongue of horses.

Ross Gay