Sunday, November 30, 2014

Seen From Above

by Wisllawa Szymborska
From her collection entitled view with a grain of sand

A dead beetle lies on the path through the field.
Three pairs of legs folded neatly on its belly.
Instead of death's confusion, tidiness and order.
The horror of this sight is moderate,
its scope is strictly local, from the wheat grass to the mint.
The grief is quarantined.
The sky is blue.

To preserve our peace of mind, animals die
more shallowly: they aren't deceased, they're dead.
They leave behind, we'd like to think, less feeling and less
     world,
departing, we suppose, from a stage less tragic.
Their meek souls never haunt us in the dark,
they know their place,
they show respect.

And so the dead beetle on the path
lies unmourned and shining in the sun.
One glance at it will do for meditation - 
clearly nothing much has happened to it.
Important matters are reserved for us,
for our life and our death, a death
that always claims right of way.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Downstairs, late at night

by Kat Comer

Downstairs, late at night
in a dark, closed room
the rite begins
four women, tensed in expectation sit
in a half moon
on the tiny lit tablada.
In slow motion
the spirit of Andalusia rises
to the cry of Flamenco
as one by one the dancers advance
feet placed in decision
arms raised, fingers splayed
a chorus of wings
doves' songs ascending
a stepping backwards into silence
older than speech
hips circling
cadence of seduction, retreat
descent
          into origin
Sudden explosion, stampede
clapping hands and heels
predatory advance
each movement, a staccato precision
flings mockery at the face of "el hombre"
invites, dares him to ecstasy, release, madness
articulates Spain's passionate soul
splits open the heart
shattering words and their deceptions

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014

157

by Walter Abish
From his work entitled 99: The New Meaning

Yet I exist. Not of course, as an individual, since in this respect I am merely the stake - a stake perpetually at risk - in the struggle between another society, made up of several thousand million nerve cells lodged in the ant hill of my skull, and my body, which serves as its robot. Neither psychology nor metaphysics nor art can provide me with a refuge. There are myths, now open to internal investigation by a new kind of sociology which will emerge one day and will deal more gently with them than traditional sociology does. The self is not only hateful: there is no place between us and nothing. And if, in the last resort, I opt for us, even though it is no more than a semblance, the reason is that, unless I destroy myself - an act which would obliterate the conditions of the option - I have only one possible choice between this semblance and nothing.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A flower

by Peter Mitchell
Published on fragments of a scroll from the future

a flower
comes into my life
breath of God flowing
I blink
and you are gone

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Greeting the Supersonics

by Wislawa Szymborska
From Poems New and Collected

Faster than sound today,
faster than light tomorrow,
we'll turn sound into the Tortoise
and light into the Hare.

Two venerable creatures 
from the ancient parable, 
a noble team, since ages past
competing fair and square.

You ran so many times
across this lowly earth;
now try another course,
across the lofty blue.

The track's all yours. We won't
get in your way: by then
we will have set off chasing
ourselves rather than you.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Revolution

by Kat Comer

Behind my eyes
I saw the sun
                                         leak
its firey glow
into hills ringed
against El Salvador's sky.

as fingers
of purple shadow
inched slowly
over barren fields
                                         raped
by faceless men
who carried guns
and held within their fist
the nucleus of power
                                         robbed
from tired skeletons
bowed across the ground
in stationary arcs
with eyes blued blind
beneath them
                                         until
the rebel came
bringing with him words
that fell on listening hearts
and reached
past barriers of silence
erected long ago
by a people dumb
with their own acceptance.
                                          mountain guerillas
answering his call
emptied villages
upon the night
to gather force within
the silence.

Aping snakes
with teeth of steel
                                         they crawled
through cane fields
shaved of harvest
                                         to kill
the enemy
comfortably asleep
on satin sheets
in luxurious haciendas.

Sunday, November 2, 2014