Tuesday, December 26, 2006

One Inexpensive Desert

Desert Town
By Anne Carson

When the sage came back in.
From the desert.
He propped up the disciples again like sparrows.
On a clothesline.
Some had fallen in to despair this puzzled him.
In the desert.
Where he baked his heart.
Were no shadows no up and down to remind him.
How they depended on him a boy died.
In his arms.
It is very expensive he thought.
To come back.
He began to conform.
To the cutting away ways.
Of this world a fire was roaring up.
Inside him his bones by now liquid and he saw.
Ahead of him.
Waiting nothing else.
Waiting itself.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

One Shrieking Heaven

By Louise Bogan

To me, one silly task is like another.
I bare the shambling tricks of lust and pride.
This flesh will never give a child its mother,—
Song, like a wing, tears through my breast, my side,
And madness chooses out my voice again,
Again. I am the chosen no hand saves:
The shrieking heaven lifted over men,
Not the dumb earth, wherein they set their graves.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

One Happy City

By Yehuda Amichai

On a roof in the Old City
laundry hangs in the afternoon sunlight.
The white sheet of a woman who is my enemy,
the towel of a man who is my enemy,
to wipe the sweat of his brow.

In the sky of the Old City
a kite.
At the other end of the string,
a child
I can't see
because of the wall.

They are waving many bright flags.
We are waving many bright flags.
Bright flags to show how happy they are.
Bright flags to show how happy we are.

One Afflicted Vein

from State of Seige
By Mahmoud Darwish

...ten are wounded.
Twenty homes are gone.
Forty olive groves destroyed,
in addition to the structural damage
afflicting the veins of the poem, the play,
and the unfinished painting.

--Translated by Ramsis Amun

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

One Unsatisfied Stone

The Magi
By W.B. Yeats

Now as at all times I can see in the mind's eye,
In their stiff, painted clothes, the pale unsatisfied ones
Appear and disappear in the blue depth of the sky
With all their ancient faces like rainbeaten stones,
And all their helms of silver hovering side by side,
And all their eyes still fixed, hoping to find once more,
Being by Calvary's turbulence unsatisfied,
The uncontrollable mystery on the bestial floor.