I can’t bear that trusting face!
He asks for bread, expects
bread, and I in my power
might have given him a stone.
Always in the distance
the sound of cars is passing
on the road, that simplest form
going only two ways,
both ways away. And I
have been there in that going.
But now I rest and am
apart, a part of the form
of the woods always arriving
from all directions home,
this cell of wild sound,
the hush of the trees, singers
hidden among the leaves–
a form whose history is old,
needful, unknown, and bright
as the history of the starts
that tremble in the sky at night
like leaves of a great tree.
The poetry of motion is a phrase much in use, and to enjoy the epic form of that gratification it is necessary to stand on a hill at a small hour of the night, and, first enlarging the consciousness with a sense of difference from the mass of civilized mankind, who are horizontal and disregardful of all such proceedings at this time, long and quietly watch your stately progress through the stars.
–Thomas Hardy, from Far From the Madding Crowd
Two sages meet
They sit beneath trees
that have rooted
beside the stream
winding between stones
stones slowly rising
under a sky
that has hovered
for unknown ages;
before trees, streams,
stones, grass, sages.
by time they sit,
For dVerse. Mary has us thinking and writing about time. I like thinking about time, but it always leaves me a little befuddled. Anyway, write a little something and join in the sharing!
The aim and result of war necessarily is not peace but victory, and any victory won by violence necessarily justifies the violence that won it and leads to further violence. If we are serious about innovation, must we not conclude that we need something new to replace our perpetual “war to end war”?
–Wendell Berry, from “Thoughts in the Presence of Fear”
i can only speak
from my experiences—
that’s where you come in
A humble little senryu for dVerse, as we wrap up a week of celebration for 3 years of shared poetry. I’ve not always been a faithful contributor–I occasionally go through spells of dryness or laziness or darkness or I don’t know what. But I took the time to look back, and I found that since my first dVerse link up in October 2012 I have posted 59 poems. Some of them are, I admit, pretty shitty. Some might not be half bad. But none of them would have been written if it hadn’t been for you, dVerse neighbors, keeping this thing going and being a supportive community. Thanks to all!
We come to the garden,
surrounded by unwatching eyes
set in grimacing frozen faces,
ears that do not tremble
to the vibration of birdsong in the air,
rigid hands that reach out
but can never grasp or even touch,
riven noses (why are they always
first to go?) unable to enjoy
the fragrance of the gentlest flower.
And what to say about the tongues?
Stonestill as if caught mid-word
with no way to finish the thought,
complete the image, not one, not one
of them to sing the mystery,
except by what can only be called
the greatest of all miracles,
a warming to life.
Written for dVerse on the occasion of their third anniversary. Dedicated to poets everywhere who are attempting to see, hear, smell, touch, and speak of what we experience.
In a tray of dried fixative in a photographer friend’s darkroom,
I found a curled-up photo of his son the instant after his death,
his glasses still on, a drop of blood caught at his mouth.
Recently, my friend put a book together to commemorate his son;
near the end, there’s a picture taken the day before the son died;
the caption says: “This is the last photo of Alex.”
I’m sure my friend doesn’t know I’ve seen the other picture.
Is telling about it a violation of confidence?
Before I show this to anyone else, I’ll have to ask his permission.
If you’re reading it, you’ll know my friend pardoned me,
that he found whatever small truth his story might embody
was worth the anguish of remembering that reflexive moment
when after fifty years of bringing reality into himself through a lens,
his camera doubtlessly came to his eye as though by itself,
and his finger, surely also of its own accord, convulsed the shutter.
–C. K. Williams