“nothing for show”

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A snow show from a Czech soul.

Snow
Vladimir Holub
It began to snow at midnight. And certainly
the kitchen is the best place to sit,
even the kitchen of the sleepless.
It’s warm there, you cook yourself something, drink wine
and look out of the window at your friend eternity.
Why care whether birth and death are merely points
when life is not a straight line.
Why torment yourself eyeing the calendar
and wondering what is at stake.
Why confess you don’t have the money
to buy Saskia shoes?
And why brag
that you suffer more than others.
If there were no silence here
the snow would have dreamed it up.
You are alone.
Spare the gestures. Nothing for show.

distractions

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Very much like the current political environment. Plans, reports, chaos, non-presidential circus all distractions to keep us from seeing what really happens (until it’s too late).

Plans, Reports
Adam Zagajewski

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“the bones smile”

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Poem of Night
Galway Kinnell

1

I move my hand over
slopes, falls, lumps of sight,
Lashes barely able to be touched,
Lips that give way so easily
it’s a shock to feel underneath them

The bones smile.

Muffled a little, barely cloaked,
Zygoma, maxillary, turbinate.

2

I put my hand
On the side of your face,
You lean your head a little
Into my hand–and so,
I know you’re a dormouse
Taken up in winter sleep,
A lonely, stunned weight.

3

A cheekbone,
A curved piece of brow,
A pale eyelid
Float in the dark,
And now I make out
An eye, dark,
Wormed with far-off, unaccountable lights.

4

Hardly touching, I hold
What I can only think of
As some deepest of memories in my arms,
Not mine, but as if the life in me
Were slowly remembering what it is.

You lie here now in your physicalness,
This beautiful degree of reality.

5

And now the day, raft that breaks up, comes on.

I think of a few bones
Floating on a river at night,
The starlight blowing in a place on the water,
The river leaning like a wave towards the emptiness.

Obituary

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Obituary
Artur Międzyrzecki
He knew how to barter
But he could not sell himself

He knew how to have his say
But he listened with just one ear

He could go to great lengths
But he couldn’t get back

His love was larger than life
But his life was very small.

eye of iron

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It’s Finnish – I have no frame of reference at all to know whether the translation is accurate or reflective of the writer’s intent. Nice imagery anyway.

Untitled
Eeva-Liisa Manner
Here the day always fades,
always there is the sheen of snow
even in summer. The earth’s heart doesn’t melt.
And the unknown lake watches like an eye of iron.

Original
Aina täällä päivä hiipuu, aina on lumen kajoa,
kesälläkin. Maan sydän ei sula.
Ja tiedoton järvi katsoo kuin raudan silmä.

“What are we sure of?”

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On choices, priorities, fairness.

For J… run for your life.

Work, Sometimes
Mary Oliver
I was sad all day, and why not. There I was, books piled
on both sides of the table, paper stacked up, words
falling off my tongue.

The robins had been a long time singing, and now it
was beginning to rain.

What are we sure of? Happiness isn’t a town on a map,
or an early arrival, or a job well done, but good work
ongoing. Which is not likely to be the trifling around
with a poem.

Then it began raining hard, and the flowers in the yard
were full of lively fragrance.

You have had days like this, no doubt. And wasn’t it
wonderful, finally, to leave the room? Ah, what a
moment!

As for myself, I swung the door open. And there was
the wordless, singing world. And I ran for my life.