RECOGNITION

 

‘Staring down from the bridge

at the moon

broken up

in the river, who

could know, without looking

up, it stands whole above

its shattered self.’

 

– Tess Gallagher

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Enough

Today I split myself in half

– then pieced myself back together

 

No –

I handed over my heart and body

– then accepted them straight back again

 

The richest man would have nothing but a map

of where the fuck he was headed

 

but the rest of us will walk straight into walls

No –

self immolate, with a smile

– perhaps recognising what we’ve done, at around the half-way points.

 

There’s something in that, even if it doesn’t have a name, nor usually any fans.

I can feel fire, I can touch colours, I can see love, I can look down

and there’s nothing left –

but my Self

A story about fish

I hear fireworks.

No really,

I hear fireworks.

I can hear some white noise, but I think there’s something else too –

a heartbeat beside my own,

or is it? There’s not a lot I’m certain of,

other than my longing for certainty. 

When I was younger I had a pond I’d clean out every so often

I’d transport my fish friends to temporary bucket homes

by sticking my bare hands out and feeling around in the cold unknown

It’d happen so fast, you never knew when

there’d be a split second defying space, time and the laws of fish (which at age seven, are really all one knows).

For a second I’d expand beyond the possible,

and my heart would stop with theirs.

There’s not a lot I’m certain of, 

but I knew that was love

and I know you are too. 

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)