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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Poppies in October (Sylvia Plath)

Even the sun-clouds this morning cannot manage such skirts.
Nor the woman in the ambulance
Whose red heart blooms through her coat so astoundingly--

A gift, a love gift
Utterly unasked for
By a sky

Palely and flamily
Igniting its carbon monoxides, by eyes
Dulled to a halt under bowlers.

O my God, what am I
That these late mouths should cry open
In a forest of frost, in a dawn of cornflowers.

The Diameter of the Bomb (Yehuda Amichai)

The diameter of the bomb was thirty centimeters
and the diameter of its effective range about seven meters,
with four dead and eleven wounded.
And around these, in a larger circle
of pain and time, two hospitals are scattered
and one graveyard. But the young woman
who was buried in the city she came from,
at a distance of more than a hundred kilometers,
enlarges the circle considerably,
and the solitary man mourning her death
at the distant shores of a country far across the sea
includes the entire world in the circle.
And I won't even mention the howl of orphans
that reaches up to the throne of God and
beyond, making
a circle with no end and no God.

My Papa's Waltz (Theodore Roethke)

The whiskey on your breath
Could make a small boy dizzy;
But I hung on like death:
Such waltzing was not easy.

We romped until the pans
Slid from the kitchen shelf;
My mother's countenance
Could not unfrown itself.

The hand that held my wrist
Was battered on one knuckle;
At every step you missed
My right ear scraped a buckle.

You beat time on my head
with a palm caked hard by dirt,
Then waltzed me off to bed
Still clinging to your shirt.

Site (Catherine Barnett)

The dirty sand everyone said was beautiful
wasn't--it was dirty, or oily,
something turning it into hardness.
It was ugly when we were told
beautiful, shattering when it was
supposed to make us whole, cold
when it should have been warm
and all of us dressed in wrong clothes
because everything was wrong.

We walked the beach early,
lay down in the sand, and tried to sleep
there in the dune hardly a dune it was so low,
but away from the wind--

The locals told us not much ever
washes up on the beach.

How cold it got down by the water.
The water was cold.
The windsurfer wore a wet suit and sailed
back and forth like the birds.

Chestnuts of Kiso-- (Matsuo Bashō)

Chestnuts of Kiso--
My souvenirs to those
In the floating world.

Kiso no tichi
Ukiyo no hito no
Miyage kana