Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Tuesday Poem: "Song of a Man Who Has Come Through" by D.H. Lawrence

Not I, not I, but the wind that blows through me!
A fine wind is blowing the new direction of Time.
If only I let it bear me, carry me, if only it carry me!
If only I am sensitive, subtle, oh, delicate, a winged gift!
If only, most lovely of all, I yield myself and am borrowed
By the fine, fine wind that takes its course through the chaos of the world
Like a fine, an exquisite chisel, a wedge-blade inserted;
If only I am keen and hard like the sheer tip of a wedge
Driven by invisible blows,
The rock will split, we shall come at the wonder, we shall find the Hesperides.

Oh, for the wonder that bubbles into my soul,
I would be a good fountain, a good well-head,
Would blur no whisper, spoil no expression.

What is the knocking?
What is the knocking at the door in the night?
It is somebody wants to do us harm.

No, no, it is the three strange angels.
Admit them, admit them.

By D.H. Lawrence

For more about the poet and writer, David Herbert Lawrence, see:

Although in our more cool, dispassionate, cynical modern era, we would be inclined not to pepper our poems with exclamation marks, I like the passion Lawrence displays in this poem. It seems to me that he is writing about that indefinable quality involved in the act of creation which various people have described as "being in the zone" or "in the flow".

As any creative person will tell you, the act of writing a poem or painting a picture or writing a song is often hard slog, searching for inspiration, but fashioning it from your sweat and toil. But every once in a while, we get lucky, we get blessed and something, some unseen force seems to flow through us and fashions the work. It is almost like we become a vessel, a conduit for some creative force at play in the world.

I think Lawrence was talking about endeavouring to make himself as open as he possibly could be for that unseen creative force to flow through him in order to create the best possible creative work that was humanly possible for him to create.

But you, my friend, might read something entirely different into this poem and that is the beauty of words and poetry - open for you to bring your life and heart to bear upon the work.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all the Tuesday Poets and my Blog readers

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and a safe, fun holiday break.

I'll leave you all with the title poem of my recent published poetry collection and let's hope in 2015 we can do more to heal our planet and live more in harmony with our fellow creatures and with Mother Nature.


I was here before you and after
the Big Heat
I will be here after you.
While you have lived,
I have struggled to live.
Some of you have been my guardians,
some have been my enemies,
but your ferocious machines will fall silent
and the insects will return.
Even my enemies will ride the sky again
as the smudges of your smoke
are wiped clear to blue.
Your footprints will wash away
and your domination become a folk tale,
ghost stories told to frighten our children.
We have kept the faith
and, through the ages,
our stories have kept our hopes alive.

In our Dreaming,
you vanish
and Gondwana is once more.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Tuesday Poem: The Art of Disappearing by Naomi Shihab Nye

When they say Don't I know you?
say no.

When they invite you to the party
remember what parties are like
before answering.

Someone telling you in a loud voice
they once wrote a poem.
Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate.
Then reply.

If they say We should get together
say why?

It's not that you don't love them anymore.
You're trying to remember something
too important to forget.
Trees. The monastery bell at twilight.
Tell them you have a new project.
It will never be finished.

When someone recognizes you in a grocery store
nod briefly and become a cabbage.
When someone you haven't seen in ten years
appears at the door,
don't start singing him all your new songs.
You will never catch up.

Walk around feeling like a leaf.
Know you could tumble any second.
Then decide what to do with your time.

by Naomi Shihab Nye

For more about the poet, Naomi Shihab Nye, see:

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Tuesday Poem: "Ecstasy," by Hayden Carruth

For years it was in sex and I thought
this was the most of it
so brief
a moment
or two of transport out of oneself
in music which lasted longer and filled me
with the exquisite wrenching agony
of the blues
and now it is equally
transitory and obscure as I sit in my broken
chair that the cats have shredded
by the stove on a winter night with wind and
howling outside and I imagine
the whole world at peace
at peace
and everyone comfortable and warm
the great pain assuaged
a moment
of the most shining and singular sensual gratification.

Published in Scrambled Eggs & Whiskey (Copper Canyon Press).

For more about the poet, Hayden Carruth, see: