Posts with tag: poetry-lyrics

Photo by Ralph Eugene Meatyard. Untitled, 1963

Sabbath Poems

XI.

To give mind to machines, they are calling it
out of the world, out of the neighborhood, out of the body.
They have bound it in the brain, in the hard shell
of the skull, in order to bind it in a machine.
From the heron flying home at dusk,
from the misty hollows at sunrise,
from the stories told at the row’s end,
they are calling the mind into exile
in the dry circuits of machines.

—Wendell Berry, collected in The Peace of Wild Things and other Poems


The Mower

Photo by Echo Grid.

The mower stalled, twice; kneeling, I found   
A hedgehog jammed up against the blades,   
Killed. It had been in the long grass.

I had seen it before, and even fed it, once.   
Now I had mauled its unobtrusive world   
Unmendably.

the rest “The Mower”

Woman making a funny face.
Photo by Maria Lysenko.

Unwokened

I called her beautiful, although I don’t believe she heard it.
But others did, and so began, a little trial with a verdict.

Please demonstrate you understand her journey and her dreams.
And did you consult this 12 point list of all that beauty means?

I was called out I must admit, I spoke before I thought.
I stand corrected once again, as often as is not.

I hemmed, I hawed, I dropped my gaze, I was really on the spot.
Let me re-phrase, I begged the court, I meant to say, “She’s hot.”

d.j.-2021-03-18


Here and Her

Between here and her are rolling hills where
wind-weathered peoples once cornered game.
They walked and hunted and walked and lived.

You can save money crossing those hills if you have a K-Tag on your windshield.

Then great flats we … the rest “Here and Her”


Book cover. How to Live on Planet Earth, Nanao Sakaki, 2013
How to Live on Planet Earth, Nanao Sakaki, 2013

Today’s arrival.

I’ve mentioned Nanao Sakaki before and I continue to enjoy reading his work.

This collection of poems is one I’ve been looking for for a while. I finally found a reasonably priced new copy on AbeBooks.com.

First Paragraph:

“I love you” feels the darkening window dummy’s rough powder-snow mixed with a white wink, passing under seven-waterfalled-breast with—in the night—the spreading sound of all-or-nothing rapids, following charred rockskin scarring fingertips, Mary’s lover leads a suffering ass and opening tobacco-reeking fly YAHOO!

—from Bellyfulls, Part 1, How to Live on the Planet Earth, Nanao Sakaki

Here again is Sakaki’s most famous short verse:

If you have time to chatter

Read books

If you have time to read

Walk into mountains, desert and ocean

If you have time to walk

Sing songs and dance

If you have time to dance

Sit quietly, you Happy Lucky Idiot

—Nanao Sakaki

I turned on the lights, the TV and the radio
Still, I can’t escape the ghost of you
What has happened to it all?
Crazy, some would say
Where is the life that I recognize?
Gone away

But I won’t cry for yesterday, there’s an ordinary world
Somehow I have to find
And, as I try to make my way to the ordinary world
I will learn to survive

Every World
Is my World

∽ Duran Duran, Ordinary World, 1992

Housekeeping

Photo of man sweeping.
Photo by Rinaldi Akbar.

We mourn the broken things, chair legs
wrenched from their seats, chipped plates,
the threadbare clothes. We work the magic
of glue, drive the nails, mend the holes.
We save what we can, melt small pieces
of soap, gather fallen

the rest “Housekeeping”

Autobiography

Niseko, Hokkaido, Japan
Niseko, Hokkaido, Japan
Photo by Marek Okon.

As a way to live a life and leave it, one could do worse.

Autobiography

Born of a humble & poor family,
Received minimum education,
Learnt how to live by himself at fourteen,
Survived storms, one after another:
Bullets, starvation … the rest “Autobiography”


Forgot to check the mail yesterday, and this morning a nice surprise.

Break the Mirror: The Poems of Nanao Sakaki, 1986. I ordered another volume, Let’s Eat Stars, which will hopefully arrive on Monday. How to Live on the Planet Earth: Collected Poems is probably next.

The poems date from 1966 and they are translated into English by the author.

Some people like their books to be in pristine condition but I have become less picky over the years. There is an inscription in this book that puts a smile on my face.

“To Another World Citizen…”

—Chris Iverson, Clara Dugan, Shannon & Meghan

I posted the untitled first poem from this collection the other day. I repeat it again here.

If you have time to chatter
Read books
If you have time to read
Walk into mountain, desert and ocean
If you have time to walk
sing songs and dance
If you have time to dance
Sit quietly, you Happy Lucky Idiot

And a random selection:

Sharpening a Knife

Nanao, keep your knife clean
Nanao, keep your mind clean

Sea breeze is bad for a knife they say
Sea breeze is good for a m mind they say

Sea Breeze not bad for a knife
Sharpen your knife, that’s all

Sea breeze neither bad nor good
The ocean a whetstone for mind

A clean knife mind
A clean mind ocean
Nanao, sleep well tonight
Blossoming crinum lily as a shelter
The coral sand beach as a bed
The Southern Cross as a pillow.

—Iriomote, Japan, Under the Tropic of Cancer, February 1976

Line three of Sharpening a Knife is typed here as it appears in the print version but I suspect a possible editing mistake. Perhaps it should read “Sea breeze is good for the mind they say.”

By the way, I ordered this book from AbeBooks which I recommend if you are looking for something out of print.


Manhatta (1921) |  

Still capture from Manhatta (1921)
Still capture from Manhatta (1921)

Walt Whitman’s poetry frames scenes from 1920s New York in this film classic.

Billed as ‘a study of the modern Babylon-on-the-Hudson’, the short film Manhatta (1921) captures the rapidly developing cityscape of New York in the early 1920s. Made in … the rest “Manhatta (1921)”


Portrait in Summer

Person walking the street in Singapore.
Photo by Zhu Liang.

Portrait in Summer

You wander in and out of rain.
The city encloses you. You feel
the darkening of its metals, above ground
and below. Every night
you touch a boundary you don’t understand.
Even asleep you crave sleep,
you

the rest “Portrait in Summer”

The New Colossus

Statue of Liberty
Photo by Pixabay.

Emma Lazarus was born on this date in 1849. Her verse was once a celebration and a welcome. Now it has become nostalgic lament. Please re-awaken Mother of Exiles.

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

the rest “The New Colossus”

If you have time to chatter,
Read books.

If you have time to read,
Walk into mountain, desert and ocean.

If you have time to walk,
Sing songs and dance.

If you have time to dance,
Sit quietly, you Happy Lucky Idiot.

—excerpted from How To Live on the Planet Earth: Collected Poems
∽ Nanao Sakaki

This poem by Lynna Odel is used as an epigraph for Eric Holthaus’s new book on climate change. Beautiful.

If I can’t save us
then let me feel you
happy and safe
under my chin.

If this will drown
or burn

then let us drink starlight
nap under trees
sing on beaches—

the morning rush to sit indoors is for
what, again?

If we are dying

then let me rip open
and bleed Love,
spill it, spend it
see how much
there is

the reward for misers is
what, again?

If this life is ending

then let me begin
a new one

—Lynna Odel (2019)

Lynna’s personal take on fighting climate change has wisdom.


There’s something I should tell you
Before I take your blindfold off
I’ve been twisted and turned
By what I have learned
I’m superdeformed
But my blood is warm

∽ Matthew Sweet

Reciting The Hollow Men

Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now
Marlon Brando, Apocalypse Now, 1979

A dear friend of mine and I were recently discussing some of the surprising educational blessings we received in high school in Hutchinson, Kansas. The music program was exceptional, with some truly dedicated teachers. (Thank you Jim Swiggart and Mike … the rest “Reciting The Hollow Men”


Reach

arm reachin in darkness
Photo by Cherry Laithang.

I feel the moment of my arms
Hanging from bone levers off my spine.
They sway like untethered booms,
Cables slack.

Why are they made so long?
I use the ends of them for
Cracking eggs, gripping handles,
Pressing keys. … the rest “Reach”