25

Peace

crept in 

quietly 

sat behind me 

and waited

paint the place that’s in your head

it said 

with nothing else

attached

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Kahlil Gibran on Love

‘When love beckons to you, follow him,
though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.
Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
so shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.
Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.

But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor,
into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.

Think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.
Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.’

– The Prophet

 

October

Love is:

hearing a song

having it stop

and still hearing the rest

 

It’s three women

watching and smiling

fat lorikeets

eating apples from a tree

 

It’s looking at those trees

through squinted eyes

turned silver white

and seeing them line heaven 

 

It’s being met

at a cliff edge 

by the reassurance of Wind

and a warm womb of green

 

It’s a reflex of thought

that seeks the pulse

of a treasured stranger

in the far nearby

 

It’s having a fire 

that burns a path

towards a place

that seems already familiar.

E.E Cummings on Poets

Michigan 1953

‘A poet is somebody who feels, and who expresses his feelings through words.

This may sound easy. It isn’t.

A lot of people think or believe or know they feel — but that’s thinking or believing or knowing; not feeling. And poetry is feeling — not knowing or believing or thinking.

Almost anybody can learn to think or believe or know, but not a single human being can be taught to feel. Why? Because whenever you think or you believe or you know, you’re a lot of other people: but the moment you feel, you’re nobody-but-yourself.

To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.

As for expressing nobody-but-yourself in words, that means working just a little harder than anybody who isn’t a poet can possibly imagine. Why? Because nothing is quite as easy as using words like somebody else. We all of us do exactly this nearly all of the time — and whenever we do it, we’re not poets.

If, at the end of your first ten or fifteen years of fighting and working and feeling, you find you’ve written one line of one poem, you’ll be very lucky indeed.

And so my advice to all young people who wish to become poets is: do something easy, like learning how to blow up the world — unless you’re not only willing, but glad, to feel and work and fight till you die.

Does that sound dismal? It isn’t.

It’s the most wonderful life on earth.

Or so I feel.’

– A Poet’s Advice

One Summer

Two children sat at the edge of a jetty, on a lake.

It was that time of day where the earth cools down and stills.

They sat, swinging their legs contentedly as they gulped down ice cream.

Red and gold flooded the sky, meeting with a perfect mirror below.

“You’re sad you know?” The girl said, after a while. “I can feel it.”

“How do you mean?” He looked at her apprehensively, curiously.

“It’s in all those made-up stories you write.” He remained quiet. “I mean, you even turned love into a sad thing.”

 

 

(And this magical oil/metal leaf work is by Steven Daluz)