Showing posts with label Poetry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Poetry. Show all posts

Friday, August 28, 2009


my mother (on the left) and aunt (via naomi rose)

I cannot remember loving you

Certainly the events

But never the feelings

They pass through my mind now as a question

What is true

How did I let this happen

Is youth really an excuse

The memory of you has faded

How could I have accepted so little

I blame myself

You were only a willing participant of a made up love

In a mind, fanciful and full of longing

It was settled long ago

And what remains is history and regret.

K. Pilapovich

K. Pilapovich is an unpublished Ukranian artist/poet. All poetry is translated from Ukranian. Secret, fragile skies is happy to introduce her work to our readers.

Photo: here

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Girl with suitcase

Here I came to the very edge
where nothing at all needs saying,
everything is absorbed through weather and the sea,
and the moon swam back,
its rays all silvered,
and time and again the darkness would be broken
by the crash of a wave,
and every day on the balcony of the sea,
wings open, fire is born,
and everything is blue again like morning

Pablo Neruda, It is Born (trans. by Joel Gallo)

: 8.28.09 even cleveland
via: flickr

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I Stand Here Ironing

And when is there time to remember, to sift, to weigh, to estimate, to total? I will start and there will be an interruption and I will have to gather it all together again. Or I will be engulfed with all I did or did not do, with what should have been and what cannot be helped...

Let her be. So all that is in her will not bloom - but in how many does it? There is still enough left to live by. Only help her to know - help make it so there is cause for her to know - that she is more than this dress on the ironing board, helpless before the iron.

I Stand Here Ironing, Tillie Olsen
via: flickr

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Amor Fati

The stars foretold your coming and so I waited

Looking for auspicious signs of your arrival

But are the Fates playing with me?

Laughing, laughing

Silly, mortal woman to believe in love and fairy tales

And happily ever after

The secret ingredient tossed in on a whim

A chance meeting, the missed train, a look

The simple bits and pieces of alchemy that is the magic

They have grown tired of their folly

And cast only the occasional glance my way

As I search in vain for what is lost and never known.

K. Pilapovich

A Very Long Engagement

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

If I Could Tell You

Time will say nothing but I told you so,
Time only knows the price we have to pay;
If I could tell you I would let you know.

If we should weep when clowns put on their show,
If we should stumble when musicians play,
Time will say nothing but I told you so.

There are no fortunes to be told, although,
Because I love you more than I can say,
If I could tell you I would let you know.

The winds must come from somewhere when they blow,
There must be reasons why the leaves decay;
Time will say nothing but I told you so.

Perhaps the roses really want to grow,
The vision seriously intends to stay;
If I could tell you I would let you know.

Suppose the lions all get up and go,
And all the brooks and soldiers run away;
Will Time say nothing but I told you so?
If I could tell you I would let you know.

W.H. Auden

via: flickr

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monet Refuses the Operation

Doctor, you say that there are no halos
around the streetlights in Paris
and what I see is an aberration
caused by old age, an affliction.
I tell you it has taken me all my life
to arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels,
to soften and blur and finally banish
the edges you regret I don't see,
to learn that the line I called the horizon
does not exist and sky and water,
so long apart, are the same state of being.
Fifty-four years before I could see
Rouen cathedral is built
of parallel shafts of sun,
and now you want to restore
my youthful errors: fixed
notions of top and bottom,
the illusion of three-dimensional space,
wisteria separate
from the bridge it covers.
What can I say to convince you
the Houses of Parliament dissolve
night after night to become
the fluid dream of the Thames?
I will not return to a universe
of objects that don't know each other,
as if islands were not the lost children
of one great continent. The world
is flux, and light becomes what it touches,
becomes water, lilies on water,
above and below water,
becomes lilac and mauve and yellow
and white and cerulean lamps,
small fists passing sunlight
so quickly to one another
that it would take long, streaming hair
inside my brush to catch it.
To paint the speed of light!
Our weighted shapes, these verticals,
burn to mix with air
and changes our bones, skin, clothes
to gases. Doctor,
if only you could see
how heaven pulls earth into its arms
and how infinitely the heart expands
to claim this world, blue vapor without end.

Lisel Mueller



All rights reserved

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

hope begins in the dark
hope begins in the dark,

the stubborn hope
that if you just show up
and try to do the right thing,
the dawn will come.
you wait and watch and work:
you don't give up.
- anne lamott
quote: swoond
photo: selvedge shop

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

" the present we are always escaping from and falling back into, ... the waterwheel of days..."

Mere forgetfulness cannot remove it
Nor wishing bring it back, as long as it remains
The white precipitate of its dream
In the climate of sighs flung across our world,
A cloth over a birdcage. But it is certain that
What is beautiful seems so only in relation to a specific
Life, experienced or not, channeled into some form
Steeped in the nostalgia of a collective past.

"Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror," John Ashbery

via: tumblr

Friday, July 10, 2009


blurrywindy by danske.

"A breeze like the turning of a page..."

from: Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror John Ashbery

via: danske

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day, to my children
I do not doubt you would have liked
one of those pretty mothers in the ads:
complete with adoring husband and happy children.
She's always smiling, and if she cries at all
it is absent of lights and camera,
makeup washed from her face.

But since you were born of my womb, I should tell you:

ever since I was small like you
I wanted to be myself -- and for a woman that's hard --
(even my Guardian Angel refused to watch over me
when she heard).

I cannot tell you that I know the road.
Often I lose my way
and my life has been a painful crossing
navigating reefs, in and out of storms,
refusing to listen to the ghostly sirens
who invite me into the past,
neither compass nor binnacle to show me the way.

But I advance,
go forward holding to the hope
of some distant port
where you, my children -- I'm sure --
will pull in one day
after I've been lost at sea.

Daisy Zamora

Clean Slate, trans. by Margaret Randall and Elinor Randall

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Wish

So much rain
to make the mud again,
trees green
and flowers also.

The water which
ran up the sun
and down again,
it is the same.

A man of supple
yielding manner
might, too, discover
ways of water.

Robert Creeley
:photo via Matilde B.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

“Perhaps an angel looks like everything
We have forgotten, I mean forgotten
Things that don't seem familiar when
We meet again, lost beyond all telling
Which were ours once.

from "Self-Portrait in A Convex Mirror"
John Ashbery
:photo via diana:muse

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

After Love

There is no magic any more,
We meet as other people do,
You work no miracle for me
Nor I for you.

You were the wind and I the sea --
There is no splendor any more,
I have grown listless as the pool
Beside the shore.

But though the pool is safe from storm
And from the tide has found surcease,
It grows more bitter than the sea,
For all its peace.

Sara Teasdale:photo gary isaacs

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dark Sky Parks

If it is dark
when this is given to you,
have care for its content
when the moon shines.

Moon, moon
when you leave me alone
all the darkness is
an utter blackness.

from A Form of Women , Robert Creeley

Owachomo Bridge, Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah
:photo, Jim Richardson/National GeographicStock
:Image, The dark skies above Galloway Forest Park, Scotland, the Guardian
:via Bldg Blog

Monday, February 23, 2009

"There's a little place, a place called space..."

Yes, here's Patti Smith reading the recent Cambridge Companion to Wallace Stevens. The photograph was taken by Lawrence Schwartzwald, who just happened to see this and marvel at the apt juxtaposition.
Al Filreis

Not Ideas About the Thing But the Thing Itself

At the earliest ending of winter,
In March, a scrawny cry from outside
Seemed like a sound in his mind.

He knew that he heard it,
A bird's cry at daylight or before,
In the early March wind

The sun was rising at six,
No longer a battered panache above snow . . .
It would have been outside.

It was not from the vast ventriloquism
Of sleep's faded papier mâché . . .
The sun was coming from outside.

That scrawny cry—it was
A chorister whose c preceded the choir.
It was part of the colossal sun,

Surrounded by its choral rings,
Still far away. It was like
A new knowledge of reality.

Wallace Stevens

photo credit: Lawrence Schwartzwald/Splashnews

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Coming Home...


You are always
with me,
there is never
a separate

place. But if
in the twisted
place I
cannot speak,

not indulgence
or fear only,
but a tongue
rotten with what

it tastes- There is
a memory
of water, of
food, when hungry

Some day
will not be
this one, then

words, like a
clear, fine
ash sifts
like dust,

from nowhere.

Robert Creeley

: In Public
: New York Times
: Op-Chart A Year in Iraq and Afghanistan

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

This Is For You

This is for you
it is my full heart
it is the book I meant to read you
when we were old
Now I am a shadow
I am restless as an empire
You are the woman
who released me
I saw you watching the moon
you did not hesitate
to love me with it
I saw you honouring the wind-flowers
caught in the rocks
you loved me with them
At night I saw you dance alone
on the small wet pebbles
of the shoreline
and you welcomed me into the circle
more than a guest
All this happened
in the truth of time
in the truth of flesh
I saw you with a child
you brought me to this perfume
and his visions
without demand of blood
On so many wooden tables
adorned with food and candles
a thousand sacraments
which you carried in your basket
I visited my clay
I visited my birth
and you guarded my back
as I became small
and frightened enough
to be born again
I wanted you for your beauty
and you gave me more than yourself
you shared your beauty
this I only learned tonight
as I recall the mirrors
you walked away from
after you had given them
whatever they claimed
for my initiation
Now I am a shadow
I long for the boundaries
of my wandering
and I move
with the energy of your prayer
and I move
in the direction of your prayer
for you are kneeling
like a bouquet
in a cave of a bone
behind my forehead
and I move toward a love
you have dreamed for me

Leonard Cohen

:couleurs via flickr

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Filed under: what was I thinking...

Though I know he loves me,
Tonight my heart is sad;
His kiss was not so wonderful
As all the dreams I had.

Sara Teasdale

FOUND's Davy Rothbart hosts a Valentine's party to kick off an art show called Kick My Heart's Ass: Short Films About Love, a title taken from a found note in FOUND Magazine #3. Free admission; free drinks; great films; free peepshow.

February 11, 2009
New York, NY » Apex Art, 6 pm - 8 pm, 291 Church St., 212-431-5270


Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Inauguration. At Last./Touched By An Angel

Touched By An Angel
We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.

Love arrives
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.

We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love's light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.

Maya Angelou

see more from: The Inauguration. At Last.
And The Pursuit of Happiness, Maira Kalman's blog in the New York Times.

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Journey

One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Mary Oliver