4 poems to pigeons, plus “Abstract Photograph” ~ Vignettes & Postcards from Paris (Shakespeare and Company, anthology edited by Erin Byrne & Anna Pook, 2nd ed., 2016). Photo by Sabine Dundure…

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Photo © Sabine Dundure, 2016 ~ SpokenWord Paris, @ Au Chat Noir

(More on the book, & to purchase: https://www.bookpassage.com/book/9780985267209)

“Swing”

I am the famous black pigeon of Square du Clos Feuquières
gently flecked with white ~

something called style
I am no blackbird   wouldn’t want to be
Crow definitively not ~

better brand of bird than these
Beak forward    one foot back
My signature swing-dancing
I surround myself with buds ~
we quibble over crumbs
Blessèd life of hand-to-mouth
Patrons fund my stomach    & my song
while trees offer   greyed green shelter
All said   the days go by
& I remain

 

Dear Mirror

Comes a time in a pigeonette’s life
when even silver & gold
could be sold for my dear eau-de-toilette Self-Pity
It’s like, um, trendier than broken bits of blueberry muffin
I’m tempted to stare into sorry mirrors of sidewalk pools
No grinning Narcissus but an Echo of one soulful hopeless note
“You, You, You…”   w/ counterpoint of “Who am I?”
& “To whom I belong?”

When strangers stare
(the spectrum runs from mild disapproval to utter disgust)
I can absorb the poisoned sting/   continue to sing

 

Looking

This handsome pigeon

Looking smart
in his silver-grey suit frequents singles sites
embellishing his height

& the growing group
books he possesses

gigs he has played
& all the starry hands

he has shaken & taken
The description of his interestingness

continues to lengthen
Like any other singer

he awaits that Big Break
almost patient about cooing into

a dear bird’s ear
His personal profile is clear ~
Sensitive   gifted   Oh-so-humble gentleman  with wings

 

Pigeon Convention

After the state of automatic temperature regulation in select European marketplaces conference
there happened a much-anticipated conference feathers flared their welcome
Whole baguettes blessed sidewalks
Never again would birdsong be the same
in this metropolitain wonderland man-made parks & wild concrete
Porte de Versailles convention organizers & catering corps
complained these birds could be so finicky refused fresh Madeleines
The air was filled with continuous coooool
Beak-to-beak encounters Small discussion clusters
The air was all a-chatter & pavement a-patter
Nothing mattered more than fallen crumbs

 

Abstract Photograph

I walk along rue de la Convention
9 o’clock at night
on a Thursday this 18th day of April 2013

I may never comprehend this
silver-colored abstract photograph

its long uncomplicated electrified rail
1900 anno domini silver dollar moon’s blank stare follows citizens of the city

Time is tracking me down
whether I sit stand or walk

Hold the beat that moves the unsaid drum
to count myself out
to act & not to act

How to unwrap the real

Timeless tireless invisible music
enters the senses without resistance

The inevitable leaf
Yellow gold red astronomical clocks the size of a my own hand

How do I learn how to surrender
Rigid branch & brittle leaf
bristling fingers rattling air
speak to my sentient spine

Wide wide libraries of things I don’t understand

What time is this that makes me question
motions of our measurer
who celebrates perpetual remembrance

I come unhinged grip raw seconds
enter the underworld roots of the wild violet

You the river that rolls through the eye of a needle
You the stone partition keep me from the water

You are seven-story dwellings that keep us trapped
in boxes eating sandwiches

The sound of profound drums pound
August heat back of my neck pulses

Wind chimes fill voids inside night Resound

The sound arises ice-encrusted snow underfoot

Green buds hover
where gold rain filled the forsythia

How should I proceed in this web of wrought-iron railings?

The sound arises Appalachian mountain dulcimer whispers
shapes so many moods the endless turning time alone

The sound devises myriad methods
to pierce the heart

The sound alive & interested
in finding what I seek
I see the sound at twilight

Walk delicately along the edge of this bridge
How small I am toothpick bones

How wide the opened souls
My whole head in flames unseen

A silver shiver shakes my spine
Silence waits for its chosen time

David Leo Sirois

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From The Bioptic Review, new literary/arts magazine: “The Clock is Out of Step.” New poem, here with photo by the brilliant Julie K. Daigle…

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Photo © 2016, Julie K. Daigle. On Instagram, “yoginigal” ~ https://www.instagram.com/p/BIp5UnggWhh/?taken-by=yoginigal)

The Bioptic Review is available here: https://www.amazon.com/Bioptic-Review-Lucienne-Mc-Kirdy-ebook/dp/B07C8M6F3F/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1521937792&sr=1-1&keywords=the+bioptic+review)

Huge Thank You’s to The Bioptic Review’s creator/editor Lucienne McKirdy, photographer/writer Julie K. Daigle, & to my dedicated editor Lindsay A. Gordon… Also in this issue, “Song for a Seeker of Eden” (from the anthology Becoming Fire: Spiritual Writing from Rising Generations, 2006), “Rest works wonders.” (from The Opiate magazine, 2017) & “The Wanton Blush of Pomegranates,” co-written with Lucienne McKirdy)

The Clock is Out of Step

“The time is out of joint–O cursèd spite!
That ever I was born to set it right!”
-Shakespeare, Hamlet

Rue Lamarck paces underneath staccato steps.
Head bowed to rhythms that ward off sleep,
this pulse of gravel is my guide.

A little night music as I explore &
stumble into my ultimate
insignificance.

These eyes, flat stones that skip
over the sidewalk’s surface.

My teacher’s teacher told me:
“Take a broom & sweep your heart.”
But my heart’s eye
stares outside at this time,
brushes the streets for evidence ~
is there life on Earth?

One sign: brown penny left to rest
on the pavement to
contemplate somber clouds.

Do join me here.
Don’t worry about getting
lost ~ I will find you.

Among dense charcoal drawings of tall façades,
darker year by year ~
stone armor human passions wear.

This asphalt once a garland of
green red yellow white lights.

Time-bared trees clung
to pedestrians’ breath.

Now November night wind’s varied voices,
from bass to soprano tones,
form a pre-dawn chorus
with no crowds to witness.

Daylight & night share one
soul between them.

The moment hovers over
the slow approach &
disappearance of silence,
as all blackbirds drop
into the deeps of leafy sleep.

Withdrawal of the senses,
then their renaissance…

Any rounded corner of Earth,
whether Denmark or another ~
is it a prison?

“I could be bounded in a nutshell &
count myself a king
of infinite space.”

There is a certain gravity
to knowing any thing,
& an electric upsurge
to pure confusion.

Pure? Salt water, sugar
water, shit water.
“The sacred water is inside you;
it will cleanse you,”
assured my other father,
teacher’s teacher.

Do my own words stain the clear air?

In this supposed paradise
(of sighs)
there are pearls in every eye.

Exquisite faces, lit from within,
on bus shelter posters, still ~
they invite the Art Brut of want
with rich welcomes of
coal-turned-diamond eyes.

Soon, near & distant drums
of car doors,
clack of pots in café kitchens.

Soon, ancient melodies follow behind
merchants of every kind.

Streets follow tedious arguments,
lead to innumerable conclusions,
choices wrapped in foil choices ~
puzzled into sense
by laughing gods alone
who monitor activity
in this human experiment
(limited-time project).

Cause & consequence
draw a blur
in the heads of all
who attempt to remember.

Soon, streets will fill
with serious workers &
ecstatic travelers ~
all caught in crazed
blizzards of wayward thoughts.

Beneath each sidereal roof,
so many citizens of space
(residence on Earth)
always dance in place
wearing clumsy crowns
of unmet resolutions ~
countless passages
to needed or desired destinations,
forever a round trip…

Scent of wet dead leaves & gasoline.

I pull down hard
on the heavens,
drag them down to me.

Let the sky let down its curtains
over the mind’s roiled mud,
in accord with the principle of miracle ~
thread that connects all beads.

Our eyes survive the dark.

We apparitions dance
across the faces of clocks,
as time grows old ~
true alchemists attempt
to turn flesh into gold.

Let us share a single sky,
with all its dramatic moods.
The clock is out of step
with you & I ~
O cursèd spite!
Everyone was born
to set it right.

 

(Montmartre, fall 2017)

“Luminous Nothingness” ~ poem by David Leo Sirois (revised, 2017-’18). Artwork by the brilliant Iana Sophia…

“Morning Impression” by Iana Sophia. (Above ~ oil on canvas. Banner book-cover painting, “Song of Ether”).

 

Luminous Nothingness

“The tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal Name. The unnamable is the eternally real. Naming is the origin of all particular things.”

~ Lao-Tzu

 

What are the roots that clutch,

what branches grow out of

this stony rubbish, starred

with semi-precious memories?

 

All the spirit’s detritus ~

pebbles valuable to some

who love us, know the lines

& circles of our signature

on sloughed-off skin ~

where clear quartz geodes

open unpolished cores.

 

Scarlet agate eons turn

into hardened heartflesh,

red sand held nearly forever

in time’s lost & found fingers.

 

Before the last, of course,

I grip gravel with curled

toes ~ but wish for what is

before the first.

 

“Look, & it can’t be seen.

Listen, & it can’t be heard.

Reach, & it can’t be grasped…”

the eternal boy warned.

 

81 poems about Nothing,

the boundless Tao te Ching.

A book I can grasp in hand ~

blue eyes clutch at the land.

 

Tell me what you cannot say,

whisper to me when you’ve quit

this Earth, alert me the moment

you fall asleep, allow me

where I cannot follow.

 

Failed beginnings, all unfinished

stories form a garland of unsung

words, unuttered prophecies ~

a book of nightmares &

lit-from-within recurring dreams,

open to all beings’ interpretation.

 

Confronted by a sudden mirror,

I glimpse my own inevitable end

behind anxiety’s wrinkled eyes.

 

I hold 11 weightless angels

in the heart pocket

of my poet costume’s

showy suit jacket,

stroll over cobblestones &

wear a grin of misguided pride.

 

Fool with a peacock feather

flared behind my ear,

I act as if nothing comes to an end.

 

But one blow

from the inescapable ticket-taker

will arrest all my laughter

in an instant.

 

Don’t ask my why I forget

why I am here ~

I am not yet aware.

Why are you here?

 

The leaves of appalled birches

attempt to point me where

the direct path’s no longer lost.

 

More than pure sin.

Midway in this journey

of mixed moods…

 

Am I sick of my sacred duty to this

long-awaited sun, warm mouth

of a winded horse?

 

Sweet medicine

of efforts to unfold the silver foil

wrapped around each incident ~

taste the sweet blood-orange

at the heart of all experience.

 

Back in my prison, window-shaken

dust, bright enumerations

of scared & sacred seconds…

 

There is a weight to this ceiling,

which presses upon the mind

until I no longer notice.

 

Better to wander

all undying night

knit streets of Montmartre

(famous for being itself)

til sun-up, drink freshly-made

savory winds, & sing

a secret aubade ~

 

“Ah, but I was so much older then.

I’m younger than that now.”

 

Let us go then,

break sunrise’s bread ~

nothing can hold down

our hands’ shining silence.

 

The walker of the Middle Way,

when his soul snuffed out, said ~

“I am enlightened with all beings…

the Earth is my witness.”

& touched weightless

fingertips to soil.

 

“Blue Lotus Sutra 108 (pursuit of Stillness, in 4 movements)” ~ new poem, first Muse-ic video (Live @ hOM), plus 2 new songs, by David Leo “The Love Nut” Sirois ;)

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Metaphysical Interior with Biscuits, by Giorgio de Chirico…

 

Blue Lotus Sutra 108
(pursuit of Stillness, in 4 movements)
 ·
I. Here
 ·
Now is the time to taste & see
it is good what you have made.
 ·
At the crossing of two heartways
(corner of Canada Road &
Church Street)
stood no temple to Apollo.
 ·
You spun the subtle filaments
that have become the frame
of this wakeful haven,
sacred to local travelers &
international sojourners ~
all seekers of warm wisdom,
served in earth-tone ceramic cups
& captured by the aperture
of true human Vision.
 ·
Amidst distinct constellations
of snow Shiva shakes
inside his timeless damaru,
whose single stone upon a string
knocks on time’s
two-headed drum
its blizzard of clear
quartz seconds…
 ·
Here, pure one, forever I find
the human form Divine ~
overflow with shaken stars
of salt that gravity guides
toward your walkway
to season it with trust.
 ·
Sanskrit & Pali sutras speak still ~
the root of trust is
“to breathe easy.”
 ·
II. There (boyhood home)
 ·
The dead can do it.
From them I learn
to be still, & quiet.
Still, my thoughts are loud.
Still I murmur in images.
 ·
Still, there are
miniscule movements
I can’t control, when I sit “still” ~
gentle tremble of hands, eyes,
lips, lungs… the mind’s blizzard
of habitual letters.
 ·
In a not-quite-forgotten ritual
I begin to fill my body with
an expanding soul,
soul with the Spirit of the
whole universe’s Blue Lotus.
One turning.
 ·
Night spreads out the contours
of its charcoal velour blanket,
& I sense my red magnetic
awareness of you more
than beforehand ~
another movement
I cannot control,
whose empty palms reach for
the circle of shy Light
you wear around your
distant dancer’s form.
 ·
III. We’re
 ·
In the beginning was the Word,
& the Word is with you still.
 ·
You are the all-night vigil
tealight candle underneath your words ~ warming their
anise essential oil
to scent all rooms
in which we dwell,
there & here
where we are
& are not.
 ·
At least three saints have said
(so boundless their happiness
they were blessèd & could bless):
“If you love me, hold
my teachings in your heart.
I am in them.”
 ·
In the curved assertion of my
ribs, I hold a kind of mantra
you offered, “All perfect always.”
Tame my wild mind.
 ·
Baba Muktananda,
my other father, named after
the Bliss of Liberation,
taught us ~
“The company you keep
creates your destiny.”
 ·
Sweet silent Satsang of what is
truest, dearest.
 ·
My other mother, still his student,
after he exited the
thousand-petaled lotus’ door
to throw all windows
toward the sun,
visited dreams since I was 5,
showed me Home beyond
Beyond home ~
this machine that is to me
nothing but my mother’s son
dreamt of moving there.
 ·
Now is the time I taste & see
Home is wherever you appear,
& is within…
 ·
We sit together at
one winter’s end,
share a clear mason jar of
freshly-steeped Green Dragon,
& read our own sections of the complete weekend edition ~
News of the Universe.
 ·
Chiaroscuro filigree of interwoven lines ~ “jñanam annam.”
True knowledge is our food.
 ·
You remind me I can take a break
from stacks of café dishes, order
anything I wish, & flash your
signature half-smile,
peaceful & playful at one time ~
“I’m not on the menu.”
 ·
I laugh hard as failed hope allows.
“Wow, you’re a Funny Bunny!
You knew what I wanted to order!”
 ·
Dance when you’re broken open ~
joy at sudden disappointment.
 ·
We remember to Remember,
sadhana is “that which leads
straight to the goal” ~
our home & final destination,
the heart’s Heart, our
Divine inner splendour.
 ·
In your presence I learn to be
a true human being.
 ·
I break the bread
of my essential nature ~
subtle yet still solid,
& hand you all I have.
 ·
Or backstep when nothing
is what you need above all.
 ·
Twin circles meet, infinite.
One realm of calm ~
a moving lake of silver nectar
crosses sky & sidewalk water.
 ·
IV. Our
·
Not just for the hourglass,
our warm machines of
loving grace
we wear as worldly flourish
(fashion of the moment)
but even til the end of this
bleu claire universe,
& unstruck temple bell
resonance afterward…
 ·
In the 4-chambered apartment
that feeds my red magnetic
residence on Earth,
there is room for you alone ~
 ·
Blue Lotus incense climbs
our air’s spiral stair,
midway in the journey
of our night ~
contemporaneous meditation
on the Light still left to us.
 ·
An always-wakeful river threads
108 beads between
our fingertips.
 ·
You remind me in all time’s
places ~
 ·
“Forever Now, forever Now
sweet Madhava ~ I am not
the Saint John River’s other
shore but wear
none but your inner name
in these hours of ethereal
embrace…
the fine-tuned tone
is only the tolling
of my spirit’s
not-to-be-forgotten
temple bell
forever Now, Madhava ~
let us leave just enough
space
for a little longing, love.”
 ·
~~~
·
Muse-ic video ~
“One Turning” (Live @ hOM):
 ·
~~~
·
2 new songs:
“All in a Day’s Play”
(inspired by Elliott Smith’s
 ·
 ·
Merci mille fois, mes ami(e)s!
David Leo

Songs for a Lotus Blue New Year ~ 2 love poems & a new original song (plus 3 loving covers) for my Muse of the North Country…

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“Purna Brahma Narayana!” (the words of Indian saint Anandamayi Ma)

Dearest Muse, gracious force
that through the green fuse
drives the flower, darling bud of May
rough winds attempt to shake –
strong tender hands of
Canadian Maples offer
shelter & shade…

Having been given
sweet medicine
of the proper lens prescription,
I see you ~

Light pulses softly always,
before the birth of dark & light.

Weeks past, I witnessed
Shiva’s holy Monday crescent moon,
brilliant worn-out seashell worn
on his lotus blue brow ~
holds sounds of the
vanishing world.

Slowly,
nearly imperceptibly,
it descended toward
steady, cresting waves
of your sleep-breath,
realm of calm
I somehow feel from afar ~
sends me into endless snow’s
pale mandala meditations.

When you wake &
take to spirit-flight
as silver lightning speech
I will glimpse upon a screen ~
in my dream you firmly
call my name from
snow-skinned asphalt &
I taste & see ~

(through a blizzard of
wayward crystal thoughts)

the inner sugars
you’d wrapped in reflective
rising sun-colored paper
a moment before ~
a gift for the 25th,
faceted prismatic enigmatic
warm human words…

Wise lines & circles
reverberate endlessly…

When her enthused husband
brought a friend home to show
“his pretty new wife,”
Nirmala stayed still
in that measureless space
beyond the power that dwells
in letters & words.

“Don’t you see we have a guest?
Who do you think you are?”

The force that through the green fuse
drives the flower
slowly lifted a scarf
that hid indrawn eyes
(such brilliance radiated
from her face,
the two stepped back).

“Purna brahma narayana!”
I am the Light that shines everywhere.

Beloved, I know you wear
no name or costume.
You are here
as much as there.

I give witness to this
in the form of poems
that kiss with warm human
lips your fine crystalline winds.

_________________________________

One Turning  (song ~ https://soundcloud.com/david-leo-957067099/one-turning)

 

I shuffle up your snowy

café ramp, hands-on,

but you duck under the railing

in advance, hands-free.

 

Your strength is sweet ~

I clasp your hand &

hold your warmth within me

miles past sleep.

 

Miles past sleep,

dream into being…

 

Meet you at the International Bridge,

over River Saint John ~ “In the Beginning

was the Word” & it’s with us still.

With our words we make the world.

 

Miles past sleep,

dream into being…

 

While we stand upon the water,

we can leap an hour over ~

I watch your wise Walden Pond eyes

let shooting stars of snow fall.

 

Miles past sleep,

dream into being…

 

Lent my name to two before I met you ~

but I wish us both to bloom in freedom.

(Do I dare disturb your Universe?)

 

You wish to live behind, before,

after & inside your name.

 

Miles past sleep,

dream into being…

 

The living Lotus bud sits

amidst the settling mud ~

we can let its blue eye open wide

within our warm lifetime.

 

Miles past sleep,

dream into being,

one turning…

______________

 

Blue Lotus Sutra

 

Crystalline glint of

unpredicted snow

carefully everywhere sifts

through bare branches &

buildings gathered together to

keep warm, rich with choruses of

bass tenor alto soprano

staccato conversation &

percussion of coffee spoons.

 

I stand on the pale, crisp

front porch & watch –

let’s let it fall.

 

I witness this with both clay eyes,

while the eye of my heart holds

firmly a photo my mind made

of your snowy owl eyes,

lit brilliant by

spirit electricity.

 

You are nameless winds

that flow over the face

of naked waters,

before God’s silver stopwatch

in the beginning started to tick.

 

The Way that can’t be weighed

down by a granite date

of birth cannot weigh the

feathered rumors of death.

 

One thought of your

pure creative force

acts as a magnet for

your great-souled grace,

woven of gold threads

that stretch their subtle fingers

over my shoulder til I sense

the sudden scent of

blue lotus incense…

 

My senses bow

their brows &

slowly

drop into the deep.

 

Don’t know

where the snow

is now

or where you are

if not within me

carefully everywhere

descending

endlessly…

 

3 cover songs here: Jewel Box (Jeff Buckley), Sofkuri’s Room (Chris Trapper), & Girl from the North Country (Bob Dylan). Happy Lotus Blue New Year!

Two poems I penned for the true Muse, shining chanteuse Liv Monaghan, of the jazz/indie duo Bird&Bass…

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Liv Monaghan with contrabassist Sava Medan. http://www.livmonaghanmusic.com/

Summertime Seagull Song
“Your statues of gods
& photos of yogis keep
ogling at me,” she reported,
during a visit meant for
toast & tea, which obviously
had veered toward the surreal.
“Their behavior is out of
my hands,” he retorted,
“but not out of this world.”
She gave him a straight look, & exclaimed
“Are you joking, you crazy bloke? –
‘Hi! I’m from the moon!
Do you need a boost?
A bit of healing?’ ”
He laughed vigorously for precisely
3 & ½ endless minutes –
a seagull craning his neck back
on a little river rock
to bark at the cloud-free sky.
Then the surprise of cooled silence…
“Bird, I wish to be
a maintenance-free devotee
of my guru. Dreamt about her
since I was 5 – she’s had to work
too hard watching over me.
I called her my Other Mother
as a little kid – I really did.”
“Well, I am not afraid
to be high-maintenance.”
She grinned & gave him a wink.
This exchange changed
the prescription of his glasses.
________________________________
Bright Blackbird
“Gesang ist Dasein.” (To sing is to truly exist.) -Rainer Maria Rilke
“Human beings are the musical instrument of God.” -Hildegard von Bingen
Just one bird, bright black, flits
In & out of my chest –
Ribcage thrown open
In a moment’s first listening
To thunder & lightning
Lighting a long white night.
The warmest touch of August rain
Makes its way through windows
Forgotten open –
This bright blackbird dances in
Place, precise flight on free breezes that still
Reveal her stillness –
Motionless movement.
The air she shapes with her lips
Is a kind of consciousness.
Realm of calm.
Golden hue
Of a just-tapped temple bell,
Whose rounded sound
Stills the wild mind.
Framed by wide deep strings
That resound long & longer,
Around her dusky arias…
Sentient hands of a swaying
Weeping willow.
Her interwoven melodies
A garland of Stargazer Lilies.
Long soft alto song spins
Through air to my ear, its welcome home,
Where I have built a humble wooden shelter –
Out of the woods, deer shyly gather to hear.
This blackbird’s plume feathers,
Pens dipped in
Almost-midnight ink,
Weave silken threads into
Sudden strong meaning.
I cannot hold this bird inside
My fragile bones – won’t close the cage.
Instead leave all openings open & begin
To dance alone in a constellation of
Faces – luminous forms
In darkness lit, scintillant.
Adorned with notes shaped of the
Same molten silver from which the
World is molded – whether necklace,
Bracelet, earring, or ring.
I listen long, Songbird, & when your last
Lilac Wine tones pour over all who
Gather ’round your sound, intoxicated
By your grace & strength of spirit,
A silver shiver shakes my spine.
Yes, silence waits for its chosen time –
But your sterling song merges with
Exquisite listening.
The chant dances on warm air,
Flits in & out of my wide-open ribs,
Becomes an awakening blackbird’s
Wingéd energy of delight.
-David Leo Sirois

“Der Himmel Über den Zeitgeist” – a pastiche of lines from poets much greater than I, from Eliot to Déborah Heissler. Plus a new poem by DLS, “Lost at Sleep.” Painting by Iana Sophia.

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“Clouds” (c) Iana Sophia

Der Himmel Über Den Zeitgeist

(The Sky Over the Spirit of the Times/

Heaven Above the Spirit of the Age…

A pastiche of lines from Yeats, Eliot, Blake, Whitman,

Andrew Marvell, Theodore Roethke, & Déborah Heissler in DLS translation)

 

Out-worn heart, in a time out-worn,

some are born to sweet delight,

some are born to endless night.

 

I wake to sleep, & take my waking slow,

I learn by going where I have to go.

 

We who were living are now dying

with a little patience.

 

Two thousand years of stony sleep

vexed to nightmare –

if only there were water,

if only there were the sound of water.

 

But at my back I always hear

time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near.

While I stand on the roadway,

or on the pavements grey,

I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

 

Out of the cradle endlessly rocking,

a shape with lion body & the head of a man,

slouching towards Bethlehem to be born.

 

I mark in every face I meet

marks of weakness, marks of woe,

near where the chartered Thames does flow.

 

Sweet Thames, run softly, til I end my song,

Sweet Thames, run softly, for I speak not loud or long.

 

This is the dead land.

This is cactus land.

 

We are the hollow men

We are the stuffed men

Leaning together

Headpiece filled with straw.

 

What are the roots that clutch,

what branches grow out of this stony rubbish –

where the sun beats,

& the dead tree gives no shelter…

 

If the doors of perception were cleansed,

man would see every thing as it is, Infinite –

the silver apples of the moon,

the golden apples of the sun.

 

Rule the shadows of the wood,

& the white breast of the dim sea,

& all disheveled wandering stars…

the human form divine.

 

Horizon like a journey without end.

___________________________________________

Lost at Sleep

 

This is the time to become strong,

& laugh along with the wild gods

who walk on our ocean crests & deserts

throughout the night & all day long.

 

Forever feeling a little lost,

I can’t see where my feet are

floating. I turn my head ’round

far as a snowy owl’s & still –

 

I cannot find the man I am.

 

When almost young I sculpted

out of mute clay

a bust of this machine

that is my mother’s son.

 

I had studied the depths of a

mirror, & felt this pale face’s

landscape – can I create an

inner renaissance?

 

A better maker made his

way past the atélier in night’s

silkiest silence, & said the next day

my eyes would not let go of him.

 

But living now on this pine-green bench,

I can barely see two feet ahead.

 

The coast of dread emerges

near a lighthouse which my ribs

attempt to clutch, & touch

last year’s man, the future’s elusive

illusory wife, & a blood-red

supposed cure for pain.

 

You must change your life

or die, David.