Poetry

Stranger Fruit

Category archives for Poetry

Seamus Heaney turns 70

Seamus Heaney, Irish poet and Nobel Prize winner is 70 today. To celebrate here is his poem “Strange Fruit,” one of a series of poems about bog-bodies. Here is the girl’s head like an exhumed gourd. Oval-faced, prune-skinned, prune-stones for teeth. They unswaddled the wet fern of her hair And made an exhibition of its…

Cormorants

There are sizable numbers of Neotropical cormorants (Phalacrocorax olivaceus) that hang around the lakes near where I live here in Tempe. As I drove home this evening a flight of about ten of them were moving from one of the lakes westwards to another nearby lake. That sparked the posting of a poem. Children imitating…

The Panther

  From seeing the bars, his seeing is so exhausted  that it no longer holds anything anymore.  To him the world is bars, a hundred thousand bars, and behind the bars, nothing. The lithe swinging of that rhythmical easy stride which circles down to the tiniest hub is like a dance of energy around a…

John Wilkins has reminded me of Philip Larkin’s poem Aubade: I work all day, and get half-drunk at night. Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare. In time the curtain-edges will grow light. Till then I see what’s really always there: Unresting death, a whole day nearer now, Making all thought impossible but how…

Friday Poem (12/12)

AGRIPPA (A Book of The Dead) by William Gibson I hesitated before untying the bow that bound this book together. A black book: ALBUMS CA. AGRIPPA Order Extra Leaves By Letter and Name A Kodak album of time-burned black construction paper The string he tied Has been unravelled by years and the dry weather of…

Poem: The Stoat

The Stoat Walking in the warmest afternoon this year has yielded yet, through slopes of whin that made the shadows luminous, and filled the slow air with its fragrance, we went down a narrow track, stone-littered, under trees which with new leaf and opening bud contrived to offer a green commentary on light; and as…

Poem (0815)

Like a desert flower waiting for rain, like a river-bank thirsting for the touch of pitchers, like the dawn longing for light; and like a house, like a house in ruins for want of a woman – the exhausted ones of our times need a moment to breathe, need a moment to sleep, in the…

A Poem by Mahmoud Darwish

I haven’t posted poetry in nearly three months, so spurred on by the news that the noted Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish has died today following heart surgery, I think I need to start doing so again (at least semi-regularly). The AFP story notes that Darwish had survived two previous heart surgeries, with the last one…

Friday Poem (0516)

Ox Transcended Whip, rope, self, ox – no traces left. Thoughts cannot penetrate the vast blue sky, Snowflakes cannot survive a red-hot stove. Arriving here, meet the ancient teachers. K’uo-an (trans. Stanley Lombardo) [image source]

Friday Poem (0502)

Ox Forgotten Reaching home on the back of the ox, Rest now, the ox forgotten. Taking a nap under the noon sun, Whip and rope abandoned behind the hut. K’uo-an (trans. Stanley Lombardo) [image source]