Archive | March 2013

Lapis Lazuli

Image~William Butler Yeats

I HAVE heard that hysterical women say
They are sick of the palette and fiddle-bow.
Of poets that are always gay,
For everybody knows or else should know
That if nothing drastic is done
Aeroplane and Zeppelin will come out.
Pitch like King Billy bomb-balls in
Until the town lie beaten flat.

All perform their tragic play,
There struts Hamlet, there is Lear,
That’s Ophelia, that Cordelia;
Yet they, should the last scene be there,
The great stage curtain about to drop,
If worthy their prominent part in the play,
Do not break up their lines to weep.
They know that Hamlet and Lear are gay;
Gaiety transfiguring all that dread.
All men have aimed at, found and lost;
Black out; Heaven blazing into the head:
Tragedy wrought to its uttermost.
Though Hamlet rambles and Lear rages,
And all the drop-scenes drop at once
Upon a hundred thousand stages,
It cannot grow by an inch or an ounce.

On their own feet they came, or On shipboard,’
Camel-back; horse-back, ass-back, mule-back,
Old civilisations put to the sword.
Then they and their wisdom went to rack:
No handiwork of Callimachus,
Who handled marble as if it were bronze,
Made draperies that seemed to rise
When sea-wind swept the corner, stands;
His long lamp-chimney shaped like the stem
Of a slender palm, stood but a day;
All things fall and are built again,
And those that build them again are gay.

Two Chinamen, behind them a third,
Are carved in Lapis Lazuli,
Over them flies a long-legged bird,
A symbol of longevity;
The third, doubtless a serving-man,
Carries a musical instrument.

Every discoloration of the stone,
Every accidental crack or dent,
Seems a water-course or an avalanche,
Or lofty slope where it still snows
Though doubtless plum or cherry-branch
Sweetens the little half-way house
Those Chinamen climb towards, and I
Delight to imagine them seated there;
There, on the mountain and thesky,
On all the tragic scene they stare.
One asks for mournful melodies;
Accomplished fingers begin to play.
Their eyes mid many wrinkles, their eyes,
Their ancient, glittering eyes, are gay.

Advertisements

Ce Monde Illusorie

This scene.
The setting sun,
Elopes with the day,
Leaving only the Moon.

This being.
This repressed being,
This chained behemoth,
Teeming beneath my skin,
Wishing only to be heard.
Screaming, tongueless, silent.

Unless…

Unless the se…

No.
These words are unworkable.
And besides, I live here.
With my anxieties and my dread.

This blackness.
This night.
It is the selfsame night in which
All my life has been lived hitherto.

Probably the selfsame as it always shall.

The Carcass

Image~Charles Baudelaire

Remember that object we saw, dear soul,
In the sweetness of a summer morn:
At a bend of the path a loathsome carrion
On a bed with pebbles strewn,

With legs raised like a lustful woman,
Burning and sweating poisons,
It spread open, nonchalant and scornful,
Its belly, ripe with exhalations.

The sun shone onto the rotting heap,
As if to bring it to the boil,
And tender a hundredfold to vast Nature
All that together she had joined;

And the sky watched that superb carcass
Like a flower blossom out.
The stench was so strong that on the grass
You thought you would pass out.

Flies hummed upon the putrid belly,
Whence larvae in black battalions spread
And like a heavy liquid flowed
Along the tatters deliquescing.

All together it unfurled, and rose like a wave
And bubbling it sprang forth;
One might have believed that, with a faint breath filled,
The body, multiplying, lived.

And this world gave out a strange music
Like of running water and of wind,
Or of grain in a winnow
Rhythmically shaken and tossed.

Form was erased and all but a vision,
A sketch slow to take shape
On a forgotten canvas, which the artist finishes
From memory alone.

Behind the rocks a fretting bitch
Looked at us with fierce mien
Anxious to retrieve from the corpse
A morsel that she had dropped.

Yet to this rot you shall be like,
To this horrid corruption,
Star of my eyes, sun of desire,
You, my angel and my passion!

Yes, such you shall be, you, queen of all graces,
After the last sacraments,
When you go beneath the grass and waxy flowers,
To mold among the skeletons.

Then, oh my beauty! You must tell the vermin,
As it eats you up with kisses,
That I have preserved the form and essence divine
Of my decayed loves.

She Walks in Beauty

~Lord ByronImage

She walks in Beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which Heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

Not A Fool

Time in time,
Remaining here,
Wedded to infinity.

The pallor of her cheeks,
The cold, empty stare,
Remembrance is there.
And no matter how hard I may think,
My thoughts have no retrograde effect.

I only seek reconciliation,
But this shall not be afforded me.
Not in the present, not in some distant future,
Not in the past, not in some other plane of being.
Dreams will lend no momentarily relief,
Not to a fool like me.

Walking

I am walking, stepping, strolling, moving.

I am traversing the beaten path,
Passing by crowds of faces;
All of which are unfamiliar to me.

Hollow alleyways
Full of hollow people.
People who would hope
If hope were left in them.

The bleeding hearts, the optimists,
The idealists, the revolutionaries,
They fall to the Real.
They are beaten, abused,
Lacerated, dismembered,
Crushed, and buried by life.
And rightly so…

Realism?
So-called realists are no more
Than moody optimists.
But a true realism creates no façade.
A true realism precludes happiness,
For there is no happiness,
Only pleasure.

I walk in the rays of
Bent lampposts.
And see the dregs, the bores.
And sense the pain, the desperation.
Know the regret, the uselessness,
The complacency, the hatred
And the inability to affect that
Which could be changed.
So have these faces.
Unfamiliar phantoms
That haunt the streets of my town.
Living corpses
That make up the practical,
Real, truly human experience.

I am they, and they are I.
And so we march in solidarity,
Solidarity amongst strange persons.

The Infinite

~Giacomo Leopardi

ImageThis solitary hill has always been dear to me
And this hedge, which prevents me from seeing most of
The endless horizon.
But when I sit and gaze, I imagine, in my thoughts
Endless spaces beyond the hedge,
An all encompassing silence and a deeply profound quiet,
To the point that my heart is almost overwhelmed.
And when I hear the wind rustling through the trees
I compare its voice to the infinite silence.
And eternity occurs to me, and all the ages past,
And the present time, and its sound.
Amidst this immensity my thought drowns:
And to founder in this sea is sweet to me.

Holy Sonnet X

Image

~John Donne

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so ;
For those, whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy picture[s] be,
Much pleasure, then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou’rt slave to Fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy, or charms can make us sleep as well,
And better than thy stroke ;  why swell’st thou then ?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And Death shall be no more ;  Death, thou shalt die.

Solitude

Image

~Lewis Carroll

I love the stillness of the wood:
I love the music of the rill:
I love to couch in pensive mood
Upon some silent hill.
Scarce heard, beneath yon arching trees,
The silver-crested ripples pass;
And, like a mimic brook, the breeze
Whispers among the grass.
Here from the world I win release,
Nor scorn of men, nor footstep rude,
Break in to mar the holy peace
Of this great solitude.
Here may the silent tears I weep
Lull the vexed spirit into rest,
As infants sob themselves to sleep
Upon a mother’s breast.
But when the bitter hour is gone,
And the keen throbbing pangs are still,
Oh, sweetest then to couch alone
Upon some silent hill!
To live in joys that once have been,
To put the cold world out of sight,
And deck life’s drear and barren scene
With hues of rainbow-light.
For what to man the gift of breath,
If sorrow be his lot below;
If all the day that ends in death
Be dark with clouds of woe?
Shall the poor transport of an hour
Repay long years of sore distress;
The fragrance of a lonely flower
Make glad the wilderness?
Ye golden hours of Life’s young spring,
Of innocence, of love and truth!
Bright, beyond all imagining,
Thou fairy-dream of youth!
I’d give all wealth that years have piled,
The slow result of Life’s decay,
To be once more a little child
For one bright summer-day.

Frost at Midnight

~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Image

The Frost performs its secret ministry,
Unhelped by any wind. The owlet’s cry
Came loud—and hark, again! loud as before.
The inmates of my cottage, all at rest,
Have left me to that solitude, which suits
Abstruser musings: save that at my side
My cradled infant slumbers peacefully.
‘Tis calm indeed! so calm, that it disturbs
And vexes meditation with its strange
And extreme silentness. Sea, hill, and wood,
This populous village! Sea, and hill, and wood,
With all the numberless goings-on of life,
Inaudible as dreams! the thin blue flame
Lies on my low-burnt fire, and quivers not;
Only that film, which fluttered on the grate,
Still flutters there, the sole unquiet thing.
Methinks, its motion in this hush of nature
Gives it dim sympathies with me who live,
Making it a companionable form,
Whose puny flaps and freaks the idling Spirit
By its own moods interprets, every where
Echo or mirror seeking of itself,
And makes a toy of Thought.
                      But O! how oft,
How oft, at school, with most believing mind,
Presageful, have I gazed upon the bars,
To watch that fluttering stranger ! and as oft
With unclosed lids, already had I dreamt
Of my sweet birth-place, and the old church-tower,
Whose bells, the poor man’s only music, rang
From morn to evening, all the hot Fair-day,
So sweetly, that they stirred and haunted me
With a wild pleasure, falling on mine ear
Most like articulate sounds of things to come!
So gazed I, till the soothing things, I dreamt,
Lulled me to sleep, and sleep prolonged my dreams!
And so I brooded all the following morn,
Awed by the stern preceptor’s face, mine eye
Fixed with mock study on my swimming book:
Save if the door half opened, and I snatched
A hasty glance, and still my heart leaped up,
For still I hoped to see the stranger’s face,
Townsman, or aunt, or sister more beloved,
My play-mate when we both were clothed alike!
         Dear Babe, that sleepest cradled by my side,
Whose gentle breathings, heard in this deep calm,
Fill up the intersperséd vacancies
And momentary pauses of the thought!
My babe so beautiful! it thrills my heart
With tender gladness, thus to look at thee,
And think that thou shalt learn far other lore,
And in far other scenes! For I was reared
In the great city, pent ‘mid cloisters dim,
And saw nought lovely but the sky and stars.
But thou, my babe! shalt wander like a breeze
By lakes and sandy shores, beneath the crags
Of ancient mountain, and beneath the clouds,
Which image in their bulk both lakes and shores
And mountain crags: so shalt thou see and hear
The lovely shapes and sounds intelligible
Of that eternal language, which thy God
Utters, who from eternity doth teach
Himself in all, and all things in himself.
Great universal Teacher! he shall mould
Thy spirit, and by giving make it ask.
         Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether the summer clothe the general earth
With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.
An Inside Story

Life is a game, play it; Life is a challenge, Meet it; Life is an opportunity, Capture it.

Books&Sstuff

because you read...

EnigmaDebunked

Thoughts that provoke yours.

360 Videos

360 Personalized Videos Engage your Customers

Chaotic Shapes

Art and Lifestyle by Brandon Knoll