Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tuesday Poem: "My Mother's Eyes" by Andrew M. Bell



My mother’s eyes are castles in Ireland:
grey slate and green grass.
The spirit of the Celts lives in her eyes,
laughing, brimming kindness cups.
Time has blown her auburn flame to ash,
but her eyes are those
of a rare and fair “colleen”.
My mother’s eyes say:
“Take care.”
“Respect yourself.”
“Be vigilant.”
“Do what you know is right.”



Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Tuesday Poem: "The Carnival" by William Esther Williams (aka John Clarke, 29 July 1948-9 April 2017)


Williams was a doctor whose interest in Imagist poetry helped him greatly in his work. Very interested in nature, especially, like Marianne More, in the pantheistic resonance of great big animals.

THE CARNIVAL

Why is it that every year
On remote coastlines
Labour leaders 
Beach themselves?
Whole schools of them,
Apparently healthy Labour leaders
Thousands of miles off course and stranded,
Spume drifting from their tragic holes.

Why do they do it?
Is it not knowing where they are going?
Or is it guilt over where they have been?
There is no more futile prospect in nature
Than ordinary folk with flippers and buckets
Working urgently in the deepness of the shore
To turn the stricken Labour leaders around
Before nightfall.

From The Even More Complete Book of Australian Verse by John Clarke

Photo Credit: The Courier (photographer unknown)

RIP John Clarke, a good man gone too soon. You will be sorely missed. Thanks for making our lives happier, funnier and richer with your humour, your charisma and your good heart.

Photo Credit: Photographer unknown

Goodbye to your wonderful alter-ego, Fred Dagg. We DID know how lucky we are. And, sadly, now we know how lucky we were.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Tuesday Poem: "Now the Lifeguards Have All Gone Home" by Yehuda Amichai


Now the lifeguards have all gone home. The bay
is closed and what’s left of the sunlight
is reflected in a piece of broken glass,
as an entire life in the shattered eye of the dying.

A board licked clean is saved from the fate
of becoming furniture.
Half an apple and half a footprint in the sand
are trying to be some whole new thing together
and a box turning black
resembles a man who’s asleep or dead.
Even God stopped here and didn’t come closer
to the truth. The mistake that occurs once only
and the single right action
both bring a man peace of mind.
The balance pans have been overturned: now good and evil
are pouring out slowly into a tranquil world.

In the last light, near the rock pool, a few young people
are still warming themselves with the feelings
I once had in this place. A green stone in the water
seems to be dancing in the ripples with a dead fish,
and a girl’s face emerges from diving,
her wet eyelashes
like the rays of a sun resurrected for the night.


by Yehuda Amichai (translated from the Hebrew by Chana Bloch)


NOTE: This is how it feels now Summer is waning into Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. While readers in the Northern Hemisphere are watching blossoms and feeling the warming days of Spring with its anticipation of Summer, we are watching the leaves drop off the trees (although most of our native trees in Aotearoa are evergreen) and  witnessing the days growing shorter.

I had a lovely surf at dawn before work today, but I know that will be a fading opportunity until Spring and Summer return.

However, it's a cliché, but life is about the changing seasons and all seasons have their appeals and their downsides.


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For more about the poet, Yehuda Amichai, see: