knew no boundaries

Standard

Flowers in a Room
Yehuda Amichai

Flowers in a room are prettier than the weed’s lust outside.
And though they are cut off from the earth
And without hope,
Their self-deluding desire adorns the room
So you, sitting in my room, are beautiful
with love for someone else.

How can I help you.
The happy wear a thin necklace with black hair
And on their forehead the sign of joy.
And a Greek man looks with blue eyes
Into the dark thicket and is dreamed
By a distant woman, unknowingly.

I cannot help you
As I cannot help myself.

I too make square pictures
Out of round love
That knew no boundaries.

pains

Standard

Memory of Love – Image
Yehuda Amichai

I cannot imagine
How we shall live without each other,
so we said.

And since then we live inside that image,
Day after day, far from each other,
Far from the house
where we said those words.

Every time a door closes, a window opens,
As under anesthesia, no pain.

Pains come later.

rocky waste of island

Standard

Envy of Other People’s Poems
Robert Hass

In one version of the legend the sirens couldn’t sing.
It was only a sailor’s story that they could.
So Odysseus, lashed to the mast, was harrowed
By a music that he didn’t hear — plungings of the sea,
Wind-sheer, the off-shore hunger of the birds —
And the mute women gathering kelp for garden mulch,
Seeing him strain against the cordage, seeing
the awful longing in his eyes, are changed forever
On their rocky waste of island by their imagination
Of his imagination of the song they didn’t sing.

lovers’ hands

Standard

Coral
Derek Walcott
This coral’s shape echoes the hand
It hollowed. Its

Immediate absence is heavy. As pumice,
As your breast in my cupped palm.

Sea-cold, its nipple rasps like sand,
Its pores, like yours, shone with salt sweat.

Bodies in absence displace their weight,
And your smooth body, like none other,

Creates an exact absence like this stone
Set on a table with a whitening rack

Of souvenirs. It dares my hand
To claim what lovers’ hands have never known:

The nature of the body of another.

Photo by Joel Filipe on Unsplash

Wining the ghosts of yester-year

Standard

Villonaud for this Yule
Ezra Pound

Towards the Noel that morte saison
(Christ make the shepherds’ homage dear!)
Then when the grey wolves everychone
Drink of the winds their chill small-beer
And lap o’ the snows food’s gueredon
Then makyth my heart his yule-tide cheer
(Skoal! with the dregs if the clear be gone!)
Wining the ghosts of yester-year.

Ask ye what ghosts I dream upon?
(What of the magians’ scented gear?)
The ghosts of dead loves everyone
That make the stark winds reek with fear
Lest love return with the foison sun
And slay the memories that me cheer
(Such as I drink to mine fashion)
Wining the ghosts of yester-year.

Where are the joys my heart had won?
(Saturn and Mars to Zeus drawn near!)
Where are the lips mine lay upon,
Aye! where are the glances feat and clear
That bade my heart his valour don?
I skoal to the eyes as grey-blown mere
(Who knows whose was that paragon?)
Wining the ghosts of yester-year.

Prince: ask me not what I have done
Nor what God hath that can me cheer
But ye ask first where the winds are gone
Wining the ghosts of yester-year.