Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Night Thoughts

Stars, you are unfortunate, I pity you,
Beautiful as you are, shining in your glory,
Who guide seafaring men through stress and peril
And have no recompense from gods or mortals,
Love you do not, nor do you know what love is.
Hours that are aeons urgently conducting
Your figures in a dance through the vast heaven,
What journey have you ended in this moment,
Since lingering in the arms of my beloved
I lost all memory of you and midnight.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 1749 – 1832

Thursday, October 7, 2010

i like my body when it is with your body

i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite a new thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body. i like what it does,
i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones, and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,
i like, slowly stroking the, shocking fuzz
of your electric fur, and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh . . . . And eyes big love-crumbs,

and possibly i like the thrill

of under me you quite so new

e.e. cummings

Love, We're Going Home Now

Love, we're going home now,
Where the vines clamber over the trellis:
Even before you, the summer will arrive,
On its honeysuckle feet, in your bedroom.

Our nomadic kisses wandered over all the world:
Armenia, dollop of disinterred honey:
Ceylon, green dove: and the YangTse with its old
Old patience, dividing the day from the night.

And now, dearest, we return, across the crackling sea
Like two blind birds to their wall,
To their nest in a distant spring:

Because love cannot always fly without resting,
Our lives return to the wall, to the rocks of the sea:
Our kisses head back home where they belong.

Pablo Neruda 1904 – 1973

Love Not Me

Love not me for comely grace,
For my pleasing eye or face,

Nor for any outward part:
No, nor for a constant heart!
For these may fail or turn to ill:
Should thou and I sever.

Keep, therefore, a true woman's eye,
And love me still, but know not why!
So hast thou the same reason still
To dote upon me ever.

John Wilbye 1574 – 1638

As the Mist Leaves No Scar

As the mist leaves no scar
On the dark green hill,
So my body leaves no scar
On you, nor ever will.

When wind and hawk encounter,
What remains to keep?
So you and I encounter,
Then turn, then fall to sleep.

As many nights endure
Without a moon or star,
So will we endure
When one is gone and far.

Leonard Cohen (born 1934)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Without Warning

Without warning
as a whirlwind
swoops on an oak
Love shakes my heart.

Sappho 630 BC - 570 BC?

La Vita Nuova

In that book which is
My memory...
On the first page
That is the chapter when
I first met you
Appear the words...
Here begins a new life

Dante Alighieri 1265 – 1321

Saturday, September 4, 2010

September

The garden is in mourning.
Cool falls the rain upon the
flowers.
Summer shudders, quietly
to its end.

Leaf after golden leaf drops
down from the high acacia tree.
Summer smiles, surprised and weary
upon the dying dream of this garden.

Yet still it lingers by the roses,
longing for rest.
Then slowly closes its great
weary eyes.

Hermann Hesse

Alternate translation (a bonus!): The garden is in mourning. Cool rain seeps into the flowers. Summertime shudders, quietly awaiting its end. Golden leaf after leaf falls from the tall acacia tree. Summer smiles, astonished and feeble, at his dying dream of a garden. For just a while he tarries beside the roses, yearning for repose. Slowly he closes his weary eyes.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Away with funeral music

Away with funeral music - set
The pipe to powerful lips -
The cup of life's for him that drinks
And not for him that sips.

Robert Louis Stevenson 1850 - 1894

Friday, July 9, 2010

Enough

I've had enough of sleepless nights, of my unspoke grief, of my tired wisdom.
Come my treasure, my breath of life come and dress my wounds and be my cure.
Enough of words.
Come to me without a sound.

Rumi 1207 – 1273

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Look

Strephon kissed me in the spring,
Robin in the fall,
But Colin only looked at me
And never kissed at all.

Strephon's kiss was lost in jest,
Robin's lost in play,
But the kiss in Colin's eyes
Haunts me night and day.

Sara Teasdale 1884 – 1933
Dreams

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

Langston Hughes 1902 – 1967

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Forget Safety

Forget safety.
Live where you fear to live.
Destroy your reputation.
Be notorious.

Rumi 1207 – 1273

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Give All to Love

Give all to love;
Obey thy heart;
Friends, kindred, days,
Estate, good-fame,
Plans, credit, and the Muse,
Nothing refuse.

'Tis a brave master;
Let it have scope:
Follow it utterly,
Hope beyond hope:
High and more high
It dives into noon,
With wing unspent,
Untold intent;
But it is a God,
Knows its own path
And the outlets of the sky.

It was never for the mean;
It requireth courage stout.
Souls above doubt,
Valor unbending,
It will reward,
They shall return
More than they were,
And ever ascending.

Leave all for love;
Yet, hear me, yet,
One word more thy heart behoved,
One pulse more of firm endeavor,
Keep thee to-day,
To-morrow, forever,
Free as an Arab
Of thy beloved.

Cling with life to the maid;
But when the surprise,
First vague shadow of surmise
Flits across her bosom young,
Of a joy apart from thee,
Free be she, fancy-free;
Nor thou detain her vesture's hem,
Nor the palest rose she flung
From her summer diadem.

Though thou loved her as thyself,
As a self of purer clay,
Though her parting dims the day,
Stealing grace from all alive;
Heartily know,
When half-gods go,
The gods survive.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

O Sweetheart, hear you

O Sweetheart, hear you
Your lover's tale;
A man shall have sorrow
When friends him fail.

For he shall know then
Friends be untrue
And a little ashes
Their words come to.

But one unto him
Will softly move
And softly woo him
In ways of love.

His hand is under
Her smooth round breast;
So he who has sorrow
Shall have rest.

James Joyce 1882 – 1941