Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category
We have been downright atrocious about updating this site lately. And for that, loyal fan(s), we apologize. Do expect postings in the near future, though. Promise. Don’t abandon us. Please.
In the meantime, we thought we’d tide you over with one of our favorite poems of all time — the heart-breakingly beautiful “Birches” by Robert Frost. Enjoy.
WHEN I see birches bend to left and right
Across the line of straighter darker trees,
I like to think some boy’s been swinging them.
But swinging doesn’t bend them down to stay.
Ice-storms do that. Often you must have seen them
Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning
After a rain. They click upon themselves
As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored
As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel.
Soon the sun’s warmth makes them shed crystal shells
Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust—
Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away
You’d think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.
They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load,
And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed
So low for long, they never right themselves:
You may see their trunks arching in the woods
Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground
Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair
But I was going to say when Truth broke in
With all her matter-of-fact about the ice-storm
(Now am I free to be poetical?)
I should prefer to have some boy bend them
As he went out and in to fetch the cows—
Some boy too far from town to learn baseball,
Whose only play was what he found himself,
Summer or winter, and could play alone.
One by one he subdued his father’s trees
By riding them down over and over again
Until he took the stiffness out of them,
And not one but hung limp, not one was left
For him to conquer. He learned all there was
To learn about not launching out too soon
And so not carrying the tree away
Clear to the ground. He always kept his poise
To the top branches, climbing carefully
With the same pains you use to fill a cup
Up to the brim, and even above the brim.
Then he flung outward, feet first, with a swish,
Kicking his way down through the air to the ground.
So was I once myself a swinger of birches;
And so I dream of going back to be.
It’s when I’m weary of considerations,
And life is too much like a pathless wood
Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs
Broken across it, and one eye is weeping
From a twig’s having lashed across it open.
I’d like to get away from earth awhile
And then come back to it and begin over.
May no fate wilfully misunderstand me
And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
Not to return. Earth’s the right place for love:
I don’t know where it’s likely to go better.
I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree,
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.
Year on to yesteryear,
and with a mouthful of toothpaste
the youth-burned old chap
rehashes summer memories
to a wishful soundtrack of storefront nostalgia.
Dog-wagged tails, downstairs,
at the coffee house, and in sensationalist photojournalism
are no different than touchscreen starlets
or a boy in a crowd
with a head full of empathogens
and crossword thoughts
like the self affirmations
of the brainchild, lovechild
of a sad genius
in the auburn hills of Spain.
A road flies by, with neck risked games
and now-stale music, neglected caramels
and defeated companions, their belt crossed faces
But an aura of such beauty
that the sunset cliché approaches, but falls short of
like hand grenades and atom bombs.
- it was on a Friday the day before yesterday
- when we broke into a forest clearing and took a long look goodbye
- this Tuesday we have a nice new appointment at the bank
- the bank had all
- the money we had needed
- to answer the case presented unto us
- that was all we needed we had no payments
- for the longest time
- and it came to our attention that we were
- to ourselves at any rate
- on our own
- we found this out in a manner of speaking
- when we wrote down this note
- and all of a sudden there was like some birds do
- a downpouring onto the lagoon
- and all the birds sang and cawed and croaked
- on the surface and dove down for the fish
- with a lot of clatter and fuss of feathers
- that was the downpouring of them
- and we went then into the forest again
mind of an escapist
Ruminations on deep incalculable feats
Shadowy webs upon a face of naivety
The plight of continents
exposed to veiled unity
Tasks to imagine
no thought of destinations
Describe without thinking
land held underwater
Fields of vision caught with lesions
that adhere to false senses
Organize avenues of confusion
into parallel aisles
A street map locked in a fireproof box
The ultimate guide to spells of red passion
This liquid is meant to cool skin
as if to say abandon fortunes lost
Embark on travels of light
fastening aims to the sky
In waves unpronounced to kept time
Sweet summer brings my feet to white sand
The thick mask of soon melted cream covers my bareness.
Intense fumes of salty sweat, smeared with peanut butter
begin to take over the air.
Red Hot stinging begins to pierce and poke.
My now juicy peach fuzz skin blushes reds and pinks
as it’s peeled away with the bronze sand.
Soothing Banana Boat soaks into my inflamed back
My skin breathes for moisture
Late noon hits
Coating my body like a warm flannel blanket
freshly applied on a tired twin bed
Feelings of belonging
Raw Toes, beat red cheeks
Late noon strikes like a poisonous snake
Victim to the heat I escape to the nearest umbrella
Relieved, I am shaded
covered, out of reach from my predator
lemonade soothes as water soaks and relieves.
Do not ask
the lion tamer
to swing that cat
from the trapeze.
He would not
catch paws with hardy
hands, flip and twirl,
so high above.
Do not ask to
have them stacked in
with laced necks lifting
Don’t ask to see all at once,
parts and wholes.
Three rings set
on the circus floor
the circling tent
a spiral spun globe.
What can we know?
A circumference locks in
Piled to the brim,
infinite points to count.
What can we know?
A settled place,
golden rings wound in
the posy of
the next, the next, the next,
one such final hoop
engulfed in flames
with heat untamed.
And behind, the cracking whip
cheerful screams from children in
“Please come quickly,” she calls from
frown full of diamonds and dust.
I find her
balanced before the
mirror, exploring her scalp with a
She’s like some kind of
magician – my sister, in autumn -
pulling my heart from a hat.
A comb parts and she brings my hand into the
warm, thin brown.
“Can you see it?” she asks,
guiding me to the spot, size of a
quarter, cool as an egg.
“It’s nothing,” I say,
the sink stained
Mom’s hair dye- the
faucet dripping like a
“What do you mean nothing?” she asks,
Her walnut eyes, fixed and firm-
Her fingers on mine, quick and small-
still searching and straining,
she’s sawing me in half.
Outside it’s almost dark,
though I swear it’s still early.
She shakes my hand away, and
a dead branch at my side.
Eyes on her, stomach full of
she rakes strands across
Sick like a tree-stump,
Suddenly I see her as a baby-
head bald and
pure as a pinecone,
beautiful and strange.
Now her forest face is still-
Somehow I hear a bird
A barrette bites through,
and all is
roots beneath the earth.
It’s clear those treehouse eyes
could crack, so-
I say again,
aware of my own hair,
tickling my neck.
The residue of a day’s labor
will have no slumbering wash tonight.
The clock routines are left like
crusting sauce on a plate in the sink.
Creature comforts like unconsciousness-
I resist them,
Diligently switching the biorhythmic radio knob
from classic to new wave,
I turn a dry eye from dreamland.
Often what was given is not enough.
I claim more hours for the present.
Like a Cortez or a Desoto, I rename moments
I’ve discovered with monikers in my own tongue.
I use signifiers I can understand.
In sleep we exhibit child-like faith
that the sun will rise.
Awake, I hold vigil for the loss of light.
There is a man that sits near the coast
He doesn’t care for the warmth today;
He sits to listen to what matters most
This coast is wide and is home with gray
He looks through his green bottle worn from the tide
With muscles and pictures that live inside
Nothing to lose, for the sea is full with hope
The mans eyes are hopeful for the sign with the tide
His daughter left him, her life was new
She started a new beginning before he was through
Her father told her he’d be waiting by the salty side
For when she would come to brighten his blue eyes
The days are heavy
The tide has nothing new to show,
But the man will wait until he sees his sign
The good ol’ days when she used to like to twirl in his arms
Daddy’s arms are getting old
He has a worry in his eye
This man that sits near the coast
He sits to listen to what matters most.