bardachd: (Default)
Mother, he is a gentleman.
He is a builder with bricks of moonlight.
He knows the secret places of the earth.
He washes the sleep from the eyes of the souls.
He lets them look on beauty.
He lets them tell him they hate him.
In the mornings, I gather berries and apples.
I scrub his back with rind.
I weave spider-spit, eyelash.
He talks in his sleep: pudding, fire, discus,
the things he misses.
He breathes, Your body is my orchard.
I am undulating grass.
I am a field of wheat he parts with his fingers.
Poppies bloom in my veins.
When he kisses me, he tastes pomegranate.
The night crawls nearer.
The moans of the dead roll and swell.
Mother, we are well.
bardachd: (Default)
We are not one with this world. We are not
the complexity our body is, nor the summer air
idling in the big maple without purpose.
We are a shape the wind makes in these leaves
as it passes through. We are not the wood
any more than the fire, but the heat which is a marriage
between the two. We are certainly not the lake
nor the fish in it, but the something that is
pleased by them. We are the stillness when
a mighty Mediterranean noon subtracts even the voices
of insects by the broken farmhouse. We are evident
when the orchestra plays, and yet are not part
of the strings or brass. Like the song that exists
only in the singing, and is not the singer.
God does not live among the church bells,
but is briefly resident there. We are occasional
like that. A lifetime of easy happiness mixed
with pain and loss, trying always to name and hold
on to the enterprise under way in our chest.
Reality is not what we marry as a feeling. It is what
walks up the dirt path, through the excessive heat
and giant sky, the sea stretching away.
He continues past the nunnery to the old villa
where he will sit on the terrace with her, their sides
touching. In the quiet that is the music of that place,
which is the difference between silence and windlessness.
bardachd: (Default)
You are so beautiful in winter!
The field stretched on its back, near the horizon,
and the trees stopped running from the winter wind ...
My nostrils tremble
and no scent
and no breeze
only the distant, icy smell
of the suns.
How transparent your hands are in winter!
And no one passes -
only the white suns revolve in quiet worship.
and the thought spreads in circles
ringing the trees
in twos
in fours.

[English translation by Thomas Carlson and Vasile Poenaru.]
bardachd: (Default)
I met a man the other day—
A kindly man, and serious—
Who viewed me in a thoughtful way,
And spoke me so, and spoke me thus:

“Oh, dallying’s a sad mistake;
’Tis craven to survey the morrow!
Go give your heart, and if it break—
A wise companion is Sorrow.

“Oh, live, my child, nor keep your soul
To crowd your coffin when you’re dead….”
I asked his work; he dealt in coal,
And shipped it up the Tyne, he said.
bardachd: (Default)
He is more than a hero
he is a god in my eyes--
the man who is allowed
to sit beside you -- he

who listens intimately
to the sweet murmur of
your voice, the enticing

laughter that makes my own
heart beat fast. If I meet
you suddenly, I can't

speak -- my tongue is broken;
a thin flame runs under
my skin; seeing nothing,

hearing only my own ears
drumming, I drip with sweat;
trembling shakes my body

and I turn paler than
dry grass. At such times
death isn't far from me
bardachd: (Default)
Mortal Combat

It is because you were my friend.
I fought you as the devil fights.
Whatever fortune God may send,
For once I set the world to rights.

And that was when I thrust you down,
And stabbed you twice and twice again,
Because you dared take off your crown,
And be a man like other men.
bardachd: (Default)
Since the majority of me
Rejects the majority of you,
Debating ends forwith, and we
Divide. And sure of what to do

We disinfect new blocks of days
For our majorities to rent
With unshared friends and unwalked ways,
But silence too is eloquent:

A silence of minorities
That, unopposed at last, return
Each night with cancelled promises
They want renewed. They never learn.
bardachd: (Default)
Como un ala negra tendí mis cabellos sobre tus rodillas.
Cerrando los ojos su olor aspiraste diciéndome luego:
-¿Duermes sobre piedras cubiertas de musgos?
¿Con ramas de sauces te atas las trenzas?
¿Tu almohada es de trébol? ¿Las tienes tan negras
porque acaso en ellas exprimiste un zumo
retinto y espeso de moras silvestres?

¡Qué fresca y extraña fragancia te envuelve!
Hueles a arroyuelos, a tierra y a selvas.
¿Qué perfume usas? Y riendo le dije:
-¡Ninguno, ninguno!
Te amo y soy joven, huelo a primavera.

Este olor que sientes es de carne firme,
de mejillas claras y de sangre nueva.
¡Te quiero y soy joven, por eso es que tengo
las mismas fragancias de la primavera!

Like a black wing I laid my hair across your knees.
Closing my eyes your scent aspired to say to me then:
Do you sleep on moss-covered rocks?
Have you braided it with willow branches?
Is the clover your pillow? Is your hair is so dark
Because perhaps in it you have squeezed out
the dark, thick juice of wild blackberries?

What a fresh and strange fragrance surrounds you!
You smell like brooks, like the earth and the jungle.
What perfume do you use? And laughing I tell you:
None, none!
I love you and I am young, I smell of the spring.

This smell that you feel is of firm flesh,
Of clear cheeks and of new blood.
I love you and I am young, and that is why I have
The same smells as the spring!
bardachd: (Default)
This is not a love poem.
Love cannot be so deliberate,
plotting itself into a sky-
scraper, sharp valley, clean
comet. It should have no grid
in the bold and lonely atlas
of everybody's alphabet.

This is not a love poem.
I want to bury you in houses,
bearings, constellations:
concentric paths that
hover about you like
a minor illness, cartoon
phantom. I want to distil
trite silence into a stone-
cold something so needed
and so new, you gulp it down
and it actually warms you.

This is not a love poem.
I'm just trying to chart a
stupid ailment. Symptom:
how my foolscap heart folds
itself into a plane and at
a mere mention, takes off
and will not stop leaving. Stops
or will not. But these are short
flights. Often, the harsh landing
crumples and shocks.
Backbone broken, wind-
tossed, love is somewhere
too far off. It doesn't matter.
What a state. Surely this
is the best kind of lost.
bardachd: (Default)
I made a house of houselessness,
A garden of your going:
And seven trees of seven wounds
You gave me, all unknowing:
I made a feast of golden grief
That you so lordly left me,
I made a bed of all the smiles
Whereof your lip bereft me:
I made a sun of your delay,
Your daily loss, his setting:
I made a wall of all your words
And a lock of your forgetting.
bardachd: (Default)
Glen Ramadale;
my love in the dew of twilight
a morning glory in her hair,
setting it alight;
the hidden cuckoo's call
encircling her.

I heard the cuckoo yesterday;
a shadow fell across the evening;
beauty tearing apart memory's harp
in Glen Ramadale:
Darling! where did you go?
bardachd: (Default)
since you’ve gone, all i can do is sit at home and sing the great
love songs.

i don’t want to set the world on fire.

i just want to start a small

                         conflagration in your apartment that quickly
grows into a five-alarm blaze and you grab the cat and your
laptop and run out the door and i, having crawled down the
fire escape, come strolling down the street and you’re coming
towards me, running panicked and tears streaking through the
soot on your face, you’ve never been so beautiful in your life
as this moment when you run smack into a firefighter who is
assessing the flames coming out the window and the ladder
and the firefighters going inside and you run smack into him
and your eyes lock and the world spins around you and he
kisses you and says he’ll be right back for you after he puts
out that little inferno and he strides up the stairs and you turn
to me and you’re glowing as you say my life has been reduced to
ashes but i feel like i finally found out what’s really important.
my eyes brim with tears. after all the years and all the failed
love, i finally did it. i finally found a way to make you happy.
bardachd: (Default)
Tie your heart at night to mine, love,
and both will defeat the darkness
like twin drums beating in the forest
against the heavy wall of wet leaves.

Night crossing: black coal of dream
that cuts the thread of earthly orbs
with the punctuality of a headlong train
that pulls cold stone and shadow endlessly.

Love, because of it, tie me to a purer movement,
to the grip on life that beats in your breast,
with the wings of a submerged swan,

So that our dream might reply
to the sky's questioning stars
with one key, one door closed to shadow.
bardachd: (Default)
You read the old Irish poet and complain
I do not offer you impossible things -
Gloves of bees fur, cap of wren's wings,
Goblets so clear light falls on them like a stain.
I make you the harder offer of all I can,
The good and ill that make of me this man.

I need no fancy to mark you as beautiful,
If you are beautiful. All I know is what
Darkens and brightens the sad waste of my thought
Is what makes me your wild, truth-telling fool
Who will not spoil your power by adding one
Vainglorious image to all we've said and done.

Flowers need no fantasy, stones need no dream:
And you are flower and stone. And I compel
Myself to be no more than possible,
Offering nothing that might one day seem
A measure of your failure to be true
To the greedy vanity that disfigures you.

A cloak of the finest silk in Scotland - what
Has that to do with troubled nights and days
Of sorry happiness? I had no praise
Even of your kindness, that was not bought
At such a price this bankrupt self is all
I have to give. And is that impossible?
bardachd: (Default)
I cannot stammer thunder in your sky
Or flash white phrases there. I have no terse
Exploding passion, and cannot vilify
My dulcet world through flute-holes of a verse,
But gently speak and, gently speaking, prove
The everlastingness in which you move.

No superscription in a cloud need sign
Either my love or hate to show they are
Come from a source more terrible than mine.
And I need bow to no peremptory star:
A finger writes, and there is star - or me,
With love or hate to cloud identify.

And time's inflections cannot alter this
Most gentle truth, that fire and thunderhead
Are momentary metamorphosis
Of the most gentle word ever was said
Into what means not less of gentleness
Being accepting being, and saying Yes.
bardachd: (Default)
Because God put His adamantine fate
Between my sullen heart and its desire,
I swore that I would burst the Iron Gate,
Rise up, and curse Him on His throne of fire.
Earth shuddered at my crown of blasphemy,
But Love was as a flame about my feet;
Proud up the Golden Stair I strode; and beat
Thrice on the Gate, and entered with a cry --

All the great courts were quiet in the sun,
And full of vacant echoes: moss had grown
Over the glassy pavement, and begun
To creep within the dusty council-halls.
An idle wind blew round an empty throne
And stirred the heavy curtains on the walls.

by Rupert Brooke
bardachd: (Default)
Hey, I am learning what it means to ride condemned.
I may be breaking up. I am doing 85 outside the kingdom

Of heaven, under the overpass and passed over,
The past is over and I’m over the past. My odometer

Is broken, can you help me? When you get this mess-
Age, I may be a half-ton crush, a half tone of mist

And mystery, maybe trooper bait with the ambulance
Ambling somewhere, or a dial of holy stations, a band-

Age of clamor and spooling, a dash and semaphore,
A pupil of motion on my way to be buried or planted or

Crammed or creamed, treading light and water or tread
and trepidation, maybe. Hey, I am backfiring along a road

Through the future, I am alive skidding on the tongue,
When you get this message, will you sigh, My lover is gone?

Terrance Hayes
bardachd: (Default)
You wash wool with shampoo. If you learn nothing
else today, learn that, to use shampoo
and water the temperature of a baby's bath.
What I have in the sink here aren't argyles,

but proper kilt hose I knit stitch by stitch, gray
for daytime, formal whites, choosing among
dozens of possible cuffs, customized gussets
to accommodate the bulging calves

of Scottish country dancers, whose heels must never
touch the floor, perpetual Barbie-feet
moving through jigs, reels, strathspays, till sweat and effort
equal ease and grace. The ones who say

"the important thing is just to have fun" miss
the most fun and the point, which is not fun
but joy, daughter of the difficult.
It's the kind of lesson climate teaches,

climates where sheer survival is success,
complaint as bad as cowardice, the humor deadpan,
self-control a given, not a goal --
an attitude empires find useful. Thermopolae, Dunkirk;

to delay catastrophe they place the best
regiments behind, the Spartans, Scots,
murdered or interned for the duration.
The Spartans combed and died. The Scots composed

a dance for captured warriors, "The Reel
of the 51st." Bemused Nazi guards
watched them practice, muscles taut as barbed wire.
It's hell to dance. These socks are stomped to felt,

dancing defiance of Nazis long since dead. No one
would knit these hose for any amount of money
a Scot would pay. Only one currency
is deep enough. I pat them out to dry.

- by Susan Ramsey
bardachd: (Default)
It's no use
Mother dear, I
can't finish my
You may
blame Aphrodite

soft as she is

she has almost
killed me with
love for that boy
bardachd: (Default)
Physics says: go to sleep. Of course
you're tired. Every atom in you
has been dancing the shimmy in silver shoes
nonstop from mitosis to now.
Quit tapping your feet. They'll dance
inside themselves without you. Go to sleep.

Geology says: it will be all right. Slow inch
by inch America is giving itself
to the ocean. Go to sleep. Let darkness
lap at your sides. Give darkness an inch.
You aren't alone. All of the continents used to be
one body. You aren't alone. Go to sleep.

Astronomy says: the sun will rise tomorrow,
Zoology says: on rainbow-fish and lithe gazelle,
Psychology says: but first it has to be night, so
Biology says: the body-clocks are stopped all over town and
History says: here are the blankets, layer on layer, down and down.


bardachd: (Default)

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