every day, every day i hear
- denise levertov
Isaura, city of a thousand wells, is presumed to lie above a deep underground lake. All around, where the inhabitants have been able to find water by digging long vertical holes, up to there and no further the city extends: its verdant perimeter repeats that of the dark shores of the buried lake; an invisible landscape conditions the visible one; everything that moves in the sunlight is driven by the lapping wave enclosed beneath the rock's calcareous sky.
Consequently there are two types of religion in Isaura. Some say the city's gods live deep below in the lake which feeds the subterranean veins. Others say the gods live in the buckets which rise up hanging from rope, in the pulleys which turn, in the pump-levers, in the narrow arches of the aqueducts, in all the columns of water, the vertical pipes, the plungers, the drains, all the way up to the weathercocks that surmount the airy scaffoldings of Isaura, a city that moves entirely upward.
INVISIBLE CITIES, Italo Calvino
"Mere forgetfullness 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 collected past."
from: SELF-PORTRAIT IN A CONVEX MIRROR
John Ashbery:the drifter and the gypsy
© All rights reserved.
You’re on 14th Street headed west
to buy a new seat for your bicycle.
In Casper, Wyoming, a hospice nurse
backs her car out of your parents’
driveway. Your father calls out
from his bed. What would you
have done if you’d caught the thief,
wrench in one hand, your bike seat in
the other? “Lorraine!” your father calls
again. You would’ve taught the guy
another use for that wrench. Your
mother carries a plate, a cup of water.
“Here I am,” she sings, entering
the bedroom. Last month someone
stole the bell from your handlebars.
Your mother cuts a muffin in half.
Maybe I should buy a bell, too, you think.
Last year, when your father could
still walk, they took the whole bike.
“Try to eat it all,” your mother says,
tucking a napkin under his chin.
You wait for the light to change
at First Avenue. What next? Exhaust
from a passing bus, roasted cashews.
“This muffin tastes like dirt,” your father
says. He takes another bite.
The bike-shop bag goes scrish-scrish
against your leg as you head home,
slipping into Sloan’s for extra-sharp
cheddar and a six-pack of Corona.
Your father’s hand trembles, reaching
for the water glass. All morning
he watched a show about polar bears,
then switched to the Weather Channel.
A woman at the supermarket insists
to the cashier, “These aren’t the Concord
grapes. These grapes are organic.” “Polar
bears eat penguins!” your father says.
Your mother is in the den. She holds
a book, but really she is napping. Now
the woman with the grapes is in a tizzy:
her necklace has burst; it’s raining silver
charms. “It’s raining in Denver,”
your father says. You scan the floor
for small, shiny objects. “It’s twenty-five
in New York,” says your father. Your
mother is in the kitchen, counting pills.
Here’s something strange: a stone trinket,
an evil eye. You fear the woman might
hug you as you hand it over. “Lorraine,”
your father says, “I’m too tired to play my
flute.” You wonder if it was bad luck to touch
that thing. “Do you know the Hebrew word
for ‘good deed’?” asks the woman. Your
father’s face is angelic in the tv light.
When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
What have I been searching for but
A love to transform me
The voice inside would cry
Look here, the love you seek will not free you
I continue the vigil
Waiting to be saved
By someone else you say
Slowly, quietly I have learned to honor her
And then quite simply one day
You were there.
1819 John Keats
These are my words
Still filled with longing
Yet no longer fueled by passion
These are my words
Hard and cruel to silence your lies
You the fair haired boy
I the dark maiden
These are my words
Strong the spell now broken
When I listen to yours
There is only the occasional dream
A shadow song
A field on a summer day
And the passing of time
It is funny how the occasion imperceptibly changes, like the light, at an inconstant rate. At any given glance you may see that the dog has rolled over in his sleep, or the trees have lost their leaves. Morning drains inexpressibly into lunchtime, or Christmastime. Overhead the geese are migrating, just as they were the last time you looked. You wash the dishes, turn around, and it is summer again, or some other time, or time to go.
Almost out of the sky, half of the moon
anchors between two mountains.
Turning, wandering night, the digger of eyes.
Let's see how many stars are smashed in the pool.
It makes a cross of mourning between my eyes, and runs away.
Forge of blue metals, nights of stilled combats,
my heart revolves like a crazy wheel.
Girl who have come from so far, been brought from so far,
sometimes your glance flashes out under the sky.
Rumbling, storm, cyclone of fury,
you cross above my heart without stopping.
Wind from the tombs carries off, wrecks, scatters your sleepy root.
The big trees on the other side of her, unprooted.
But you, cloudless girl, question of smoke, corn tassel.
You were what the wind was making with illuminated leaves.
Behind the nocturnal mountains, white lily of conflagration,
ah, I can say nothing! You were made of everything.
Longing that sliced my breast into pieces,
it is time to take another road, on which she does not smile.
Storm that buries the bells, muddy swirl of torments,
why touch her now, why make her sad.
Oh to follow the road that leads away from everything,
without anguish, death, winter waiting along it
with their eyes open through the dew.
I cannot remember loving you
Certainly the eventsBut never the feelings
They pass through my mind now as a questionWhat is true
How did I let this happenIs youth really an excuse
The memory of you has faded
I blame myselfYou were only a willing participant of a made up love
In a mind, fanciful and full of longingIt 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.
| : Chanel|
Looking for auspicious signs of your arrival
But are the Fates playing with me?
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.
© All rights reserved.
Above the wave-crests of the rooftops across the way I can see a middle-aged woman, face already wrinkled--a poor woman forever bending over something, who never seems to leave her room. From just her face and her dress, from practically nothing at all, I've re-created this woman's story, or rather her legend; and sometimes I weep while reciting it to myself.
via: rachmaninoff at flickr
Time will say nothing but I told you so,
If we should weep when clowns put on their show,
There are no fortunes to be told, although,
The winds must come from somewhere when they blow,
Perhaps the roses really want to grow,
Suppose the lions all get up and go,
© JWEAll rights reserved
"What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it."
Speech after long silence; it is right,
All other lovers being estranged or dead,
Unfriendly lamplight hid under its shade,
The curtains drawn upon unfriendly night,
That we descant and yet again descant
Upon the supreme theme of Art and Song:
Bodily decrepitude is wisdom; young
We loved each other and were ignorant.
It is a restless moment.
She has kept her head lowered,
to give him a chance to come closer.
But he could not, for lack of courage.
She turns and walks away.
That era has passed.
Nothing that belonged to it exists any more.