[I won’t tell you where the place is, the dark mesh of the woods
meeting the unmarked strip of light—
ghost-ridden crossroads, leafmold paradise:
I know already who wants to buy it, sell it, make it disappear.
And I won’t tell you where it is, so why do I tell you
anything?] Because you still listen, because in times like these
to have you listen at all, it’s necessary
to talk about trees.
You will hear thunder and remember me,
and think: she wanted storms…
like a million little leaves,
shuddered in the wind,
and then scattered,
as I watched her walk away.
i am a birdcage without a bird
Elegia Memnosyne: THE VEIL ↘
She was a gauzy thing
Half hidden and half hiding
Most of what he knew of her
Was whispered through cracks
He was haunted by the way
The wind would animate her
His eyes sure they were
But still he believed
Something greater was hidden
in the billows
and in the folds,
The earth laughs in flowers.
Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.
If poetry is your goal, you’ve got to forget all about punishments and all about rewards and all about selfstyled obligations and duties and responsibilities etcetera ad infinitum and remember one thing only: that it’s you — nobody else — who determine your destiny and decide your fate. Nobody else can be alive for you; nor can you be alive for anybody else. Toms can be Dicks and Dicks can be Harrys, but none of them can ever be you. There’s the artist’s responsibility; and the most awful responsibility on earth.
Elegia Memnosyne: Ghost ↘
I am standing at the empty door,
of the room, now abandoned.
Nothing but dusty sunlight
that slowly recoils through a crack
in the curtains,
slithering off the edge of the bed.
It too is leaving.
But I still linger,
as if on the edge,
of a half dream
that has startled me awake,
and now won’t…
In the worst hour of the worst season
of the worst year of a whole people
a man set out from the workhouse with his wife.
He was walking – they were both walking – north.
She was sick with famine fever and could not keep up.
He lifted her and put her on his back.
He walked like that west and west and north.
Until at nightfall under freezing stars they arrived.
In the morning they were both found dead.
Of cold. Of hunger. Of the toxins of a whole history.
But her feet were held against his breastbone.
The last heat of his flesh was his last gift to her.
Let no love poem ever come to this threshold.
There is no place here for the inexact
praise of the easy graces and sensuality of the body.
There is only time for this merciless inventory:
Their death together in the winter of 1847.
Also what they suffered. How they lived.
And what there is between a man and woman.
And in which darkness it can best be proved.
-Eavan Boland, from Against Love Poetry
I have been easy with trees
Too familiar with mountains.
Joy has been a habit.
and i am blind,
i can not find,
the heart i gave to you
trust your heart
if the seas catch fire
(and live by love
though the stars walk backward)
What if I told you
each time you whispered
my name it felt like a door
I could place a hand against,
feel how warm it was, as if
the world on the other side,
yours, was the one on fire?