Posts Tagged ‘ poem ’

Angel of Death

I

Death is circling in on me
with cold, dread wings.
I am standing in an open field
where the wheat has been razed
seeing only bare trees in winter.

There are the open fields of Bergen-Belsen
where the past lingers.

My shaved head a razed stubble —
I can feel the strange fear
of watching death, a quiet bird fly
into my hand.
I know the numbness that feels the
pulse of the trigger —-
and the easy smell of death.

II

Still I wander the open fields,
my hand caressing the stubble of my hair.
I gaze at the many images of myself —
and tremble.

III

Death is still heavy upon me — dark bird —
oppressive cream — it mauls me
halfway to stasis already, its rousing breath
crushing life away.

IV

And the dark stubble of my hair
like the field in Belsen
and the sadness, deep and lasting
of finding only empty spaces there.

Rita Cummings
(1989)

Modo de dire

Michelangelo cannot catch his breath. He
says nothing to his companions.

How do you say, the dust is numberless lights that fall
in fiery trails on clothes and hair and moving
hands? How do you say I labor here as the Maker
made, in shrift, a whole that echoes in my
every strike , and bathes my face
in rain?

My hands move in dreams I cannot show. Go home,
take wine. My neck lies on David’s like a brother.

Charles Bane Jr
WPB / NYC and Anything Else (Blog)

My Old Soul

My old soul has sung before.
It has lain many hands in mine;
I reach for yours, and link it to he
who needs. He stands in Bergen-
Belsen in the rain, waiting his turn
to expire. He takes hands he cannot
save and sighs and breathes
the gas. He is a petal;
I see inside his heart. I love you as
he and they who follow down
the stairs. My hand takes yours and hers
and his. Be careful of their souls, they
are little suns. They rise in me and flame
the sanctuary where we stand, betrothed.

Charles Bane Jr
(The Indian Diary Blog, Bombay)

The Fencesitter by Donna Fleischer

The Fencesitter

Sitting upon this barren splintered boundary
bound to erosion yet denying laws of form,
divorced from function, split
before deep caring would perform

The history of this hillside speaks
of an unresolved hunger and possession,
of a carelessness breaking up its syntax
somewhere along some kind of stem
of fluid dependence, of intimacy

Yet even now, an order, from the roots
through the stem onto the surface of the land
lay its part across
the soil of another integrity

In my place with this hillside
we possess only the deep quiet meaning
of our relations, of a completeness
so familiar, and infrequent that
feeling and thinking unknowingly
accept their union

This fence, and the woody backbone
of my own humanness, grow together tall
along the spine of this hill,
pitch their shadows evenly across
a common moving ground of changing
shapes and relations,
as lovers sometimes will with patience

Greeting the common air of difference
our tall parts conjoin as one sad body
reaching joyeously for the sky
where further complex forms extend
their wings, accept
this suddenly tilting light,
as the sun
goes casually down
when the fences
multiply
and fuse

Donna Fleischer
from
Intimate Boundaries 1991

Declaration of War by Donna Fleischer

Declaration of War

America at War declares everyone
but one, Congresswoman Barbara Lee

War on earth
by remote control not consensus

who will bury us?
the earth will bury us

who will bury the earth?
we will

for War is in our hearts
if we dare not look

prepare for War

Donna Fleischer

Rita Cummings / Porthmeior Beach, St Ives

Porthmeior Beach, St Ives

A girl/surfing/
Walks backwards slowly into the sea/
Cold grey waves/

Only feel the emptiness/of walking away/
From the world/
Into the long breath/ of the sea/

Comforting/enfolding/
Floating out to the empty line/
Which takes her to the Atlantic/
And all she’s left behind/

Barbara Hepworth’s hole in the sky/
Pale alabaster/heartstrings in wood
Batter my heart three-person’d god/
It is a rookery after all/a nest
Above the sea/where she could hammer & chisel/
Out a life/
The pagan hills she called them/a backdrop

The turquoise sea/beaches of mica and granite/
Shards of pottery from sunken ships/

This is the spot that takes her to the edge of things/
Where she can see through.

Rita Cummings
March 2010


Stringed Figure (Curlew) Version II
1956/copyright Bowness/Hepworth Estate

Cornelius Eady / Adrienne Rich’s “Not Somewhere Else But Here”

Cornelius Eady

Rich\’s poem \”Not Somewhere Else But Here\” set to music by Cornelius Eady