the mist

The mist is rising off the lake, ghostly white
The sky is the palest blue, the softest pink,
The mist becomes clouds of lavender floating just beyond my touch
Through the trees, the sun is dawning, the night fades, and it is morn
And I descend the path to the lake, as the birds begin to wake
And I feel a peace within me, knowing the world is still asleep
For the moment this place is mine, and mine alone
If one does not include my crowded thoughts

water-lake-2

Those who were close to him called him Paul. French poet Ambroise Paul Toussaint Jules Valéry, (1871-1945) said,” A poem is never finished just abandoned.” I suppose that is true, that we are never really happy with the result. It is only weariness or time that moves on to the next thought. Perhaps I shall return as Robert Frost suggested, perhaps not.

Advertisements

Bring in the wine

Oz had a glass of wine, which got him thinking about the Oscars, translation, understanding, and Chinese poetry.

Go figure.

Lost in Translation, one of my favorite movies, written and directed by Sofia Coppola. Insert Oscar shout out here for female writer-directors. The 2003 Indie movie stars Bill Murray as an aging actor Bob Harris, who befriends college graduate Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) in a Tokyo hotel. The romantic comedy-drama plays out on many levels while the couple film a Japanese whiskey commercial.

Bring in the Wine, eighth century Chinese poet, Cen Can (aka Cen Shen and Cen Jiuzhou) commiseration about getting old and getting drunk with old friends. The Chinese characters are 將進酒 Jiāng Jìn Jiǔ, which must have been a mouthful if one was already drunk. Kind of like saying, “rubber baby buggy bumpers,” which makes no sense, but it is still fun to say.

You know, we are not so different, Japanese, American, Chinese, then and now… A little whiskey, some wine makes it easier to get along. And the hell with getting lost.

You can check out my translation here.

wine-cellar

Not yet

It is not yet
Spring
Again
And so
The turtle is still submerged
The snake has not stuck out his head
The birds still fret and know
It is not time to make a nest
No
It is not spring
And yet
One notices
The days are getting longer
The wind is from the south
The cat is at the window
Watching
The squirrels begin to play
Along the fence as if to say
Begone you winter day
And though
The trees are brown and bare
I know it in my bones and heart
I know it as
I walk by my closet
And leave my coat inside

squirrel-nuts

For goodness sake!

For goodness sake!

Do not wake me yet

Let me sit and dream

For it seems

The world has gone quite mad

And the fighting never ceases

And for that I am sad, but for this I am glad

Oh Lord, let me rest

Oh Lord, let me dream of a world at peace

Full of goodness!

beach_sit

Whose woods are these

stressless recliners, fairy tales can come true

I dare not leave these woods quite yet, something lurks up above, something lingers behind a tree, waiting just for me

… in these woods, lovely, dark, and deep.

I cannot sleep for from the distance in the woods comes a sound, “Who?” it calls mocking me. I dare not answer, my knees are knocking, teeth chattering. Am I scared?

You bet.

Then, I hear a branch crack, needles crunch, and I have got a hunch from the woods there comes for me a dark and hairy beast. Should I run, should I grab a great big stick, or, should I fall and make a tiny little ball? Then, I manage in a tiny voice to call out, father-mother are you there?

Silence, says my father, go to sleep.

forest-sun

My candle burns at both ends

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light!
Edna St. Vincent MIllay

edna st. vincent millay eyes

Friday already, and I haven’t done half of what I need to do. That is life in the digital age.

Time out!

Edna St. Vincent Millay died at the age of 58, the result of a heart attack after a coronary occlusion. She was dressed in a nightgown and slippers when her body was found by James Pinnie, a caretaker, (who cares?) who had arrived to light a fire for the evening. “Miss Millay,” as the New York Times called her, had lived alone in her home in the Berkshire hills of New York, close to those same hills that James Taylor sang of (he lives there), since her husband died ten months earlier.

The Times continues to say: “Miss Millay was born in Rockland, Me., on Feb. 22, 1892, in an old house ‘between the mountains and the sea’ where baskets of apples and drying herbs on the porch mingled their scents with those of the neighboring pine woods.”

She had friends, she had foes, she acted, she wrote, she lived in The Village, she escaped to Florida, the Riviera, Spain, and finally, she escaped to Maine.

She was, the Times continued, “a frivolous young woman, with a brand-new pair of dancing slippers and a mouth like a valentine,” young, red-haired and unquestionably pretty.

What we remember is what we choose, ’tis the pity, she was much more.

My choice…

Figs from Thistles: First Fig
By Edna St. Vincent Millay

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light!

For this and other poems, Millay won the the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1923.

Friday already, and I haven’t done half of what I need to do.

millay-poster

Tolkien Variations

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
Hands that touch warm the heart
Such is the nature of love.

Tolkien Variations

forest-couple-1280

Thanksgiving thought

Each day I pray
I’ll learn
I am not too old to learn
So many things become so little

When I realize
How blessed and lucky I am.
What gets bigger the more you take away?
The anger in your heart because
That space is filled with love

thanksgiving_pumpkin_pie

 

In memoriam

 

 

In memoriam: Las Vegas

Mother, mother, sister, brother,
Father to us all,
Children one and all
Tell me why
They’re gone
Mother, sister, father, brother
Tell me why
It’s not the time
To stop this madness
Tell me, if you can,
Tell me why you’re gone

Charlie, Brennan, Erick, Quint, Neysa, Dorene,
Pati, Nicky, Chris, Andrea, Adrian, Brian, Brett and Bo
Denise, Chrissy, Candy, Lisa, Rocky, Jordy
Austin, Laura, Dana, Carrie, Tom and Jenny

Is that not enough?
To me its more than plenty
I like a poem that’s short

Kurt, Jack, Sandy, Angie, Jenny, say it twice,
Bailey, Susy, Rachel, John

I am not too fond of saying this
Guns are killing us

Tara, Calla, Jessie, Jordan,
Haven’t I heard this one before,
Chris and Carrie and Carly,
Can’t you see the insanity
Of doing nothing, nothing at all
And saying let us have our fun
Rhoda, Lisa, Bill and Sonny, Denise, Steve and Cameron,
And finally Heather,
Oh, but it is not final
Because you’d rather keep your guns

And when you
You know who
Lay down your head upon your pillow
Say your prayers,
And bless those fellows who died for us, for you
Think of this
Let’s lay down those guns
That keep killing
Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers
And the children who are our future

From Nevada:
Charleston Hartfield, Brennan Stewart, Erick Silva, Quintin Robbins, Austin Meyer, Neysa Tonks

From Alaska:
Dorene Anderson, Adrian Murfitt

From Arizona:
Brett Schwanbeck

From California:

Pati Mestas, Nicol Kimura, Christopher Hazencomb, Andrea Castilla, Brian Fraser, Derrick “Bo” Taylor, Denise Cohen, Christiana Duarte, Candice Bowers, Lisa Patterson, Rocio Guillen Rocha, Jordyn Rivera, Austin Davis, Laura Shipp, Keri Galvan, Hannah Ahlers, Stacee Etcheber, Michelle Vo, Victor Link, Melissa Ramirez, Kelsey Meadows, Dana Gardner, Carrie Barnette, Thomas Day Jr., Jennifer Parks, Kurt Von Tillow, Jack Beaton, Sandy Casey, Angie Gomez, Jennifer Irvine, Bailey Schweitzer, Susan Smith, Rachel Parker, John Phippen

These lovely souls,
So young, so fair
Called off by earthly doom,
Just came to show how sweet a flower
In paradise could bloom

From Canada:
Tara Roe Smith, Calla Medig, Jessica Klymchuk, Jordan McIldoon

From Colorado:
Christopher Roybal

From Iowa:
Carly Kreibaum

From Massachusetts:
Rhonda LeRocque

From New Mexico:
Lisa Romero-Muniz

From Pennsylvania:
Bill Wolfe

From Tennessee:
Sonny Melton

From Washington:
Carrie Parsons

From West Virginia:
Denise Burditus

From Wisconsin:
Steve Berger

From Utah:
Cameron Robinson, Heather Alvarado