asher553: (Default)

... I wanted to tell you about us, how wicked we are.
And yet also to say that the Star—you know the star I mean—
Is for some of us clearly visible still in the east at midnight rising, and all the night long burns serene—
And that on such nights on unaccustomed knees we kneel and in sweet discomfort
Pray for hours, and mean it, to be better than we are.
I am not one of these, I fear;
I loved you always for the things I read
About you in a book we had.
I did not meet you for the first time through the incense and stale smell
Of a room seldom aired, where people purred of heaven and howled of hell.
I used to read all day, when I was ten:
—You and Don Quijote were my heroes then.

Perhaps because of him I have been kind
Often with my heart, before consulting my mind.
I might have been wiser, had I learned direct from you—
Learned to make curlicues in the sand or on a scratch-pad while deciding what to say or do ...
Such as, "Sin—the waves come in—all pushing pebbles—each alone ...
I have it!—Let him among them who is without sin!—cast the first stone!"

I learned so young to know you, I could never see
Why we should not be playmates; you were wonderful,—
Oh, you were shiny!—and for some strange reason, fond of me.
But nothing will be done. I can do nothing. Nothing at all.
Only remember what you said, your voice, the way you said it,—
For it never was like something read, it was something heard, even while I read it—
And try to be wiser and kinder, in a world where Pity from place to place
Flees under cover of darkness, hiding her face;
Give Pity breathing-space.

- Edna St. Vincent Millay
from Make Bright the Arrows
asher553: (Default)
News of today and a ruin tomorrow, entombed and revived every day,
lived with in alleys, plazas, buses and taxis, moviehouses, theaters and bars, in hotels, dovecotes and catacombs,
the great city that fits in a ten-foot room, boundless as a galaxy,
the city that dreams us all, that we all make and unmake and remake while we dream,
the city that we all dream, which endlessly changes while we dream it,
the city that wakes every hundred years and looks at itself in the mirror of a word and does not recognize itself and goes back to sleep,
... )
asher553: (Default)
Father the year has fallen.
Leaves bedeck my careful flesh like stone.
One shard of brilliant summer pierced me
and remains.
By this only
unregenerate bone
I am not deat, but waiting.
When the last warmth is gone
I shall bear in the snow.

- Audre Lorde
asher553: (Default)
... I should make of my heart a lodestone then,
let the flying sun go
(it will be back some day)
and pull my universe together.

I will say this to the somewhere: Let us now
as the sun rides on
down the hill of night
touch one another.

... Let us seek as our ancestors sought
some honorable cave wherein to wait
(as if there were still some waiting cave)
the long long winter out
as if we were all the life there is
and all the love.

- from 'A Solstice Incantation' by Ken McLintock (1920-2000)

Thanks for leaving us with this, Dad. You are missed.
asher553: (Default)
... Of all created things the source is one,
Simple, single as love; remember
The cell and seed of life, the sphere
That is, of child, white bird, and small blue dragon-fly
Green fern, and the gold four-petalled tormentilla
The ultimate memory.


As you leave Eden behind you, remember your home,
For as you remember back into your own being
You will not be alone; the first to greet you
Will be those children playing by the burn,
The otters will swim up to you in the bay,
The wild deer on the moor will run beside you.
Recollect more deeply, and the birds will come,
Fish rise to meet you in their silver shoals,
And darker, stranger, more mysterious lives
Will throng about you at the source
Where the tree's deepest roots drink from the abyss.

Nothing in that abyss is alien to you.
Sleep at the tree's root, where night is spun
Into the stuff of worlds, listen to the winds,
The tides, and the night's harmonies, and know
All that you knew before you began to forget ...

- from 'Message from Home' by Kathleen Raine


Dec. 2nd, 2006 09:50 am
asher553: (Default)
When I touch the ground in prayer
I have no purpose
but You.
All else I speak about
gardens, flowers, nightingales, whirling
is only an excuse.

- Rumi (tr. Mafi & Kolin)
asher553: (Default)

Once in his life, a man ought to concentrate his mind upon the remembered earth, I believe. He ought to give himself up to a particular landscape in his experience, to look at it from as many angles as he can, to wonder about it, to dwell upon it.

He ought to imagine that he touches it with his hands at every season and listens to the sounds that are made upon it. He ought to imagine the creatures there and all the faintest motions of the wind. He ought to recollect the glare of noon and all the colors of the dawn and dusk.

-N. Scott Momaday
asher553: (Default)
I said to the night,
"If you are in love with the moon,
it is because you never stay for long.
The night turned to me and said,
"It is not my fault. I never see the Sun,
How can I know that love is endless?"

- Rumi (tr. Kolin & Mafi)

Blue Robe

Oct. 10th, 2006 07:08 am
asher553: (Default)
I have been given a taste for what is beautiful. Like milk running through my body, the gates open. I wear a blue robe woven of six directions with watercolor images flowing over the cloth, a thousand kinds of flowers, yellow jasmine, wild iris. Orchard corridors, handsome faces on the street, I am composed of this beauty, the attar of pressed plants, rose oil, resinous balsam: live essence, I am the intelligent juice of flowers.

- Baha'uddin (father of Rumi)
tr. Coleman Barks and John Moyne
asher553: (Default)
Most beautiful of all things I leave is sunlight,
Then come glazing stars and the moon's face,
Then ripe cucumbers and apples and pears.

- Praxilla (450 BCE)
tr. Willis Barnstone
asher553: (Default)
grey eyes you go back
to the beginning of time
congealing the strange mists
densely gathered there

- Lucy Cooper Summers (1920-1995)
asher553: (Default)
Look at it: nothing to see.
Call it colorless.
Listen to it: nothing to hear.
Call it soundless.
Reach for it: nothing to hold.
Call it intangible.

Triply undifferentiated,
it merges into oneness,
not bright above,
not dark below.

Never, oh! never
can it be named.
It reverts, it returns
to unbeing.
Call it the form of the unformed,
the image of no image.

Call it unthinkable thought.
Face it! no face.
Follow it: no end.

Holding fast to the old Way,
we can live in the present.
Mindful of the ancient beginnings,
we hold the thread of the Tao.

- Ursula K. LeGuin, Tao Te Ching
asher553: (Default)
All dark and moving slow,
dream-people drift across the grass,
stand in the field and face the fireworks,
lift their heads and their eyes.
You and I can see our shadows
nodding off and catching each other,
all about the stars explode and rain.
This is how it feels to be alive -
don't forget it, don't forget it.
Fireworks rain brilliant spittle in the night's eyes,
music moves among the shadows,
blood flows from beer cans,
the round shape of a cat licks its tail,
and we will be safe no more.
Having heard the song of time
we will be safe no more.
I think our feet are always running
too fast for us to feel the speed
and just before I fall asleep I wake
and all about the stars explode and rain.
We can sleep no more.
Can you feel your black hair turning grey,
can you feel your wide eyes going blind?
Not yet, not yet.
This is how it feels to be alive -
stay awake and don't forget it,
forgetting is a way of growing old,
never flinch or close your eyes,
you can never die unless you close your eyes -
let them sting and weep.
Death is sleep.

- Stephanie McLintock

The Way

Jan. 7th, 2006 09:27 pm
asher553: (Default)

The way is empty,
used, but not used up.
Deep, yes! ancestral
to the ten thousand things.

Blunting edge,
loosing bond,
dimming light,
the way is the dust of the way.

yes, and likely to endure.
Whose child? born
before the gods.

- Ursula K. LeGuin, Tao Te Ching
asher553: (Default)
The rain is water
from the sea
to the sky.
These rocks will be fossils,
my heart, thistles.
Only the sun consuming itself
will die.
- Stephanie McLintock

asher553: (Default)

Once I chased a dream, a bird song,
a peacock feather,
through midnight down to the lapping water
silver crickets like ear-stars singing
all along the fields where fieldmice hide.
There is no place to go
but down to where the night water runs,
and runs black and slow,
slow like feet running in a dream.
Kind water, sweet and black
whispering, "I take nothing back.
I only go on."
The dream was really a beast
covered by night; I did not know,
and I followed the rank smell far,
too far away,
to find it, large
and turning, white clawed and snorting
too awful for fear,
too awful for running,
the song of my living too awful for fear -
and now to go on,
dawn is near.

- Stephanie McLintock (1964-1992)
asher553: (asher63)
Como aquel que en soñar gusto recibe,
su gusto procediendo de locura,
así el imaginar con su figuravanamente su gozo en mí concibe.
Otro bien en mí, triste, no se escribe,
si no es aquel que en mi pensar procura;
de cuanto ha sido hecho en mi ventura
lo sólo imaginado es lo que vive.
Teme mi corazón de ir adelante,
viendo estar su dolor puesto en celada;
y así revuelve atrás en un instante
a contemplar su gloria ya pasada.
¡Oh sombra de remedio inconstante,
ser en mí lo mejor lo que no es nada!

Oh sombra, oh sombra ...

- Juan Boscán (c.1490 - 1542)
[as sung by Electrelane]
asher553: (Default)
I have a different way, I have a different will,
I have a different word to say.
I am coming back by the road around the side,
by the outside way, from the other direction.

There is a valley, there are no hills around it.
There is a river, it has no banks.
There are people, they have no bodies,
dancing by the river in the valley.

I have drunk the water of that river.
I am drunk my life long, my tongue is thick,
and when I dance I stumble and fall over.
When I die I will come back by the outside road
and drink the water of this river and be sober.

There is a valley, high hills around it.
There is a river, willows on its shores.
There are people, their feet are beautiful,
dancing by the river in the valley.

- Ursula K. Le Guin, from "Always Coming Home"

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