Art thou pale for weariness of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth, wandering companionless among the stars that have a different birth, and ever changing, like a joyless eye that finds no object worth it's constancy? Thou chosen sister of the Spirit, that gazes on thee til in thee it pities. . . -Shelley (To The Moon)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Reserves I May Have In My Heart Made

When I read this line by Gerald Manley Hopkins I shuddered: "They were faithful but not rich observers of nature" Perhaps he doesn't mean to condescend, but it's not something I'd like to have said about myself. I want to be a rich observer of nature! One thing I'm certain of, regardless, is that if you are here on this page to read some poetry, I believe you are the one richly observing nature, even if it's only the faithful, poor workings of language in my mind.....

Above the image is Rouen Cathedral by Monet, to the right is Autoportrait by Tamara de Lempicka

Vicious bodycolour enclouds his chaste mind
in a room of bruised tiles. This apple,
this bee harbour, is modest,
by medievalist virtue.

Under the green
stained glass, I stand
extending lucid transmissions from my smoky heart

pursuing his black perjury

He wakes with manners,
morals, obligations
but ends it all with eternity incarnate,

a spiritual feast on tragic letters
sprawled out on tossed blue ribbon
with necessary eyes
he feasts on their exotic wine

Young birds carry me
to emotional graveyard
while he's away, seldom afraid

of my serviceable art.

Too smooth a mirror on the mantle
in confused imagery - city or cloudscape?

I perform the familiar practice of leaving him with others, happily rattling.

All who have come here,
have come to stand in the light.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Motet Lyrics

Weddings are inspiring occasions, when celebration is merry. I had the luck, also, of sitting beside a chorister who told me of a competition being held by a local chamber choir to find a new choral work. I have decided to enter, and I have written lyrics to my motet. Please wish me luck, and I hope someday you will hear the music, too! These are the lyrics:

Above is Suerat's Sunday Afternoon on the Island of the Grand Jatte, and to the right is Ingres' Portrait of Princesse de Broglie
"A countenance more of sorrow than anger" - Shakespeare

I listen to the light
I see the sound
If you ask me
the purpose of life
I'll fly away

because loving is like waiting
for a bus that won't stop
you must run to catch up
and jump
feel your blood pump
and lift your mind over the stump
we call body.

If you ask me
the purpose of life
I'll fly away
because loving is like waiting
for a bus that won't stop
a bus that won't stop
a bus that won't

I listen to the light
I see the sound
I listen to the light
I see the sound
you must run to catch up
you must run to catch up
and jump

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Virgina Woolf

Mind-blowing experiences. There are other terms to describe such events or passages, but it does suffice. A mind-blowing experience makes one feel alive. Today this happened to me, as I reread Virgina Woolf's "To the Lighthouse". In itself, the passage I will share below blew my mind - but there was something even more. . . I had read it before and wasn't noticeably moved. To have missed it before, only to have it affect me so dramatically now - is also in itself a mind-blowing thing. You can imagine to what extent my wonder for the world has expanded, and as always it expands to include you:

The sketch above is by Paul Gustave Fischer

There he stood in the parlour of the poky little house where she had taken him, waiting for her, while she went upstairs a moment to see a woman. He heard her quick step above; heard her voice cheerful, then low; looked at the mats, tea-caddies, glass shades; waited quite impatiently; looked forward eagerly to the walk home, determined to carry her bag; then heard her come out; shut a door; say they must keep the windows and the doors shut, ask at the house for anything they wanted (she must be talking to a child), when, suddenly, in she came, stood for a moment silent (as if she had been pretending up there, and for a moment let herself be now), quite motionless for a moment against a picture of Queen Victoria wearing the blue ribbon of the Garter; and all at once he realized it was this: it was this: - she was the most beautiful person he had ever seen.

With stars in her eyes and veils in her hair, with cyclamen and wild violets - what nonsense was he thinking? She was fifty at least; she had eight children. Stepping through fields of flowers and taking to her breast buds that had broken and lambs that had fallen; with the sta
rs in her eyes and the wind in her hair - He took her bag.

"Goodbye, Elsie," she said, and they walked up the street, she holding her parasol erect and walking as if she expected to meet someone around the corner, while for the first time in his life Charles Tansley felt an extraordinary pride; a man digging in a drain stopped digging and looked at her; let his arm fall down and looked at her; Charles Tansley felt an extraordinary pride; felt the wind and the cyclamen and the violets for he was walking with a beautiful woman for the first time in his life. He had hold of her bag.

Monday, August 9, 2010

(weird and silly) Things I Want:

(This is my second entry today, so you can be sure it's raining outside, so you can be sure I'm drinking too much coffee.) In life, I'm inclined to write lists. Once in a while, my lists have an extraordinary or weird aspect. For example, on a grocery list, I will sometimes include an item that I could never afford or even find, like a rare mushroom or champagne. After I made the following silly list in a hurry, my partner picked it up, read it, and we laughed. I love laughter; mine, yours, ours. . .

Above is A Joan Crawford Alphabet by Donald Urquhart and to the right is a movie poster (artist unknown)

Things I want:

not necessarily for myself but wild horses
a solid gold menorah

a mayan monument
a real Picasso that takes up the whole wall
a vintage tiara

one thousand bottles of Veuve Cliquot
to travel at night always
longer days and longer nights sometimes
a deep sea hub
a chartreuse kimono
parallel universes

peace/ all criminals reformed
endless romantic possibilities
a life-sized Jade elephant with sapphire eyes
a cathedral (to record in)
a country church (to write in)
a black Jaguar (car)

a melanistic jaguar
Shirley Temple as a child forever
to be internally composed of stars
to play everything Bach and Mozart ever wrote by memory
to lay an egg painlessly
to fly

In Between A + B

I'm a dreamer, it's true. My penchant for dreaming was honed by days of being driven across Canada, through wilderness, for days on end as a child. One must quietly amuse oneself, and there is only so much reading, napping, and listening to music that one can do while traveling. I always found it made me carsick to write on paper, so I composed in my head. I don't usually post two paintings by the same painter on an entry, but Courbet, here, seems to have painted these from the right from the roads I've traveled, and I can almost taste the licorice and scotch mints (road snacks) I used to eat in the Buick. . . . Here are words for you to taste, bon appetit!

Above is Gustave Courbet's Village In Winter, to the right is his The Lake Neuchatel

When you are passing

at 100 km/hr, picking

a spot in the trees or fields

on the banks of the highway,

just the right setting

to place the scene you're building

of a rustic, romantic encounter

and keep your eyes on it

long as possible -----------------------

turning your head until

you can't see it anymore,

but keeping that vision in your mind's eye,

just rest, holding onto it as it is

not changing it, or building it

just waiting and lovingly balancing it

somewhere in between attention

and imagination/ in between

creation and description/

witnessing and daydreaming. . .

Right through the experience -------------

subtly detached ---------- until you see

the same kind of spot again

however many yards and miles have passed.

Some trips, stretches. . .

the reverie builds, strengthens. . . . .

when the settings come more frequently

and there is no rest or reawakening -

to just hold it as it is! -

there's a constancy (that breaks

only long enough for the heart

to pump but never suffer for it's loss);

of a proper place to dream.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How He Who

This is a poem I scrawled late at night, before sleeping. I was already dreaming, though, very tired and spent, too. It has been a summer of such half-thoughts, and free imagination, brought by high heat and simmering light. Mid-summer night's dreams continue now. . . in formless wonder....

Above is a Picasso, title unknown, and on the right a drawing by Cocteau I believe is called Virgin.

How I love who will not have me
How I have such life unhappy

If only mutual affection
were ours - it's enough.

He who rides my rolling current
(the movement he makes rakes planets)
never knowing where he goes
on which surface . . .
Pen to my page,

this I give commanded by
such troubled angels!

Who knows me?
Who desires me?
They aren't the same.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sonnet Anais

Wildnerness. It's everywhere I look. We may think sometimes, that we are apart from wildnerness, in the way we live by the invention of clocks. The sun, though, is wild. The rain is wild. Love and sleep are wild. If you love, you love wildly. How else? How else?

The above painting is The Dream by Le Douanier Rousseau, and on the right is Untitled by Marcel Dzama.

The way a fantasy swims around my head

I think I'll drown for tender, yearning dreams

that never die, 'til he brings me to bed,

and every gasp is sent down full blood streams.

I'm constant, gorging on my plans to ruin

his ordered life and sense for blind romance.

I trust Anais for the tactics strewn

across his mind; a wild electric trance.

I, naturally, want the timing perfect,

but the stress of execution is profound.

Pursual's weak and clumsy, I reflect.

The only way it works is without sound.

When bodies, though, are lead to be unbound,

too many minds are left alone, confound.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

By Turns of Birds

I have Beethoven's string quartets on in the background. Without ever hearing his music, my life would have suffered - without me even knowing! That is a stunningly tragic thought. I am, though, only human, and subject to mood. Right now, I'm in what I could call a Flamenco mood. No, I don't know what that means, really, but I think it has to do with roses red, black and gold... If you could grow roses of any colour, but only one colour, which one would you pick? It would smell as sweet, of course (if "sweet" is how a rose smells). . .

Above is Great Blue Heron by Eleazar Albin and to the right is Woman With Bird by Bolero

I am melancholy's cloudy trophy,
love's sweetest face is a map
of mellow hills and valleys
leading me to Lethe.

In the highest wisdom
I find a flood
of tears, when overthrown by ecstasy
I feel nothing below

My clearest thoughts
are like birds
too easily disturbed
into endless journeys.
(good memory serves
to haunt me the hardest, while real birds fly farther from the familiar....)

Boredom pours its thickened liquor
through my lymph and marrow -
the more I take into my gaze
the more perceptions narrow.

Though I do not strain, darkly, to live,

I do not, either, fall to bed
without assurance of some light.
It is the moon that keeps me
in the company of humans

and if the globed glow makes me mad
so be it
---- at least I've seen it.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


You are present. You are my present. A reader! I'm so grateful! It is not always easy for me to understand poetry, just as it not always easy to understand deep water. Perhaps, though, they are simple things, which I complicate myself. However you feel right now, I hope that you have better luck than I do simplifying complications and vice-versa. One day you may return to read a different sort of message - one in which I celebrate lucidity!

The painting above is The Monk By The Sea by Caspar David Freidrich. The one on the right is Retrato de Delores Olmedo by Diego Rivera.

Dark rushes up nautically

The fields now swallow children

whose wind-filled cries
mingle with birdsong.

Call them in

when day's strict skeletons are covered by night flesh -
when the coral's intestines emerge and feed by filaments;

paralyzing shrivelled prey;
their watery tubes are an oxygen-less mystery.

Sister you are Mother -
your heart extends through miles
of waving grasses
and even glassy stars.

You influence the blessed.
An aura surrounds you:

Home, eternal.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Weeping Church

January rain can put me in hibernation mode. It's all I can do just to go to the gym. Now I am huddled on the chesterfield in a maritime quilt, ready for some hot cocoa. Earlier, my sister and I were looking at the website for Versace Home. We oohed and aahed, and our pleasure wasn't spoiled to find the prices listed either, thank goodness. I hope we are all snug inside our own homes. . . unlike the character in my poem The Weeping Church. . . and I hope that our dreams our filled with palaces. . .

The above picture is After The Rain by Paul Cornoyer, and the one on the
right is called In The Rain by Ludovico Jr.

The traffic lights converge in red glare
He schemes mercilessly, I have lost him.

Sacra Familia Church behind weeps into muddy fissures

like tissues, how lonely
a holy home, ornately grey.

Occasional, mournful gongs -------
All these are blurring

I am aware of the worth of the rain
delivered in generous multitudes

Integral, and silver
My son now presses the pain as I consider leaving.

My body breaks with the stuttering engine
outside watered white pines wash my vision.

They alone could be my airless and Motherless haven.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sonnet Untitled

It's nighttime. There are two ways to be alone. One is to be lonely, and the other is keep a secret. I was alone in the latter way, but now I'm letting it go, releasing a mystery here. . . If you are here, I'm alone no more, and hopefully you are not alone, either, if my mere words can keep you company.

The picture above is called Standing Bather by Pierre Auguste Renoir, and the one on the right is Summer Season by Marc Chagall.

no 2

I leave my clothes ballooning on the shore
and wade into the watr'y starry field
of ancient, navy depths I've swam before.
Is that you there - on Northern rocks - concealed?

Oasis! I am fooled again by wind

that twists the shadows, giving my dreams feet
while singing this to you, love: In a kind

of soulful searching I believe we'll meet.

I miss you, as I zip and belt my skirt,
when suddenly I hear the married chord
familiar - striking through our moonlit ford -
with music even rocks are made alert!

The air that carries your guitar's old rhyme -
Shows how close we were, now, this whole

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Invited or Not, please come in. . . . . .

If you are my neighbour, I invite you in today, to look at so
me pictures by Magritte (top to bottom) Die Grosse Famille, La Folie Almayer, Le Coup, Homesickness, and Cloud:

To the poem in the previous post, called Bridget's Fire, you can let yourself in, welcome.

Bridget's Fire

Beneath my living ribs
a mutable single cell is leashed
in coloured garlands - richly energetic vines.
Her twin, who is complete
fights for life while she renews.
This inner garden merges onto sinews
creating space - plateaus of peace - for light
to come from the brainy perch of balance.

* * * * * *

Ordered stars are building worlds
whorling constellations, warding 'way
poor conflict with its opposite: Balance.
Invisible caterpillars in the sky are horrible yet pure;
we make our consciousness revolt to fathom them.
As it is in the sky, can you see in my eyes
the path of the heart of a star?

* * * *

I learn and learn, through pain, through pain
I burn and burn, again to tame
the dragon that controls my brain
and teaches me to weild the flame.
All I witness lays cocooned
in the constant ash,
growing wings and fitness,
for its rebirth in a flash upon my mind's eye.
Cycling through my memory,
the only thing it does is die,
seeming extra-sensory, so wonderful
that I conclude it has intrinsic value
and no amount of dust occludes
the good I shall do.
* * *

He who is not my kind cannot provide relief.
Unless I make a friend of him,
I bear my burdens, unreleased.
It's not that I want him to pull me from the mire,
there is nothing he can do but let me love him.

I try to keep unloaded lest I can't look up to him
from bowing under weights my soul's diseases drop.

He is meant to share
My life as does air.

I feel brave standing
on the legs of a lion;
all things are so bright.

I am deeply sorry but I'm only a child and I seem to have lost my way. . . I've angered you, I've made a mistake, only. . . . I think that everything here is topsy-turvy! The wrong things are the right things. . . but I'm punished if I turn it 'round. I'm sorry but I must ask - is it me or is it you? Oh no, I didn't mean - I'm sorry! You are right - no you are wrong - I mean YES you are wrong! I'm only a child, and it's getting very tiring spending my life dreaming - for, pardon me, could you please say - is dreaming right or wrong? What do I mean by "right or wrong"? Why, I just asked you! (Now we're beginning to get somewhere) No I said I wish I had linen and velvet to wear! Im sorry to mutter but I'm only a girl, a whale, a wolf, a hawk, a snake, a cat, a man, a dog, a woman. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

A choice, a bird
Never to return
To see one flee at sunset
Is different than to watch at bright of day.
The bird, then, on an apple bough,
Does not shy away
I wouldn't eat a russet after dark
Or expect her stay 'til noon.

* * *

Laughing, bullishly,
winding up a spiral stair.
Sheathed in ice, with one torch for light,
I see nothing but one step ahead,
when I reach the height I want
I will throw my fire down to spread.

Under palatial conifers
crows, shining in shade, weave together
de-bedded roots, for a wildly-webbed gown.
I will wear it like witches' clothes or martyrs' robes
to grow roses in moonlight,
and toss their petals into cauldrons,
where they link and mirror stars.
Their symbols, shapes and stories influence afar.

A table of blue marble houses gilt-edged china:
my scroll is home to verses.
The better that each morsel tastes,
the longer it will linger.
Herein is my true fortune, not meager,
wasted, lost or dead;
here you are fed by things you feed,
and the leaves that hang abundantly
over river banks, doubling in the water,
are the soul's currency.

* * * * * * *

Born in liquid fire (blood)
the infant surveys the world
she begins to build.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Treasure Stream

It is the first day of the new year; we meet like new friends. Although I hope you come again, I hope it is always as a new friend. . . the best old friends are always new, in a way, because friendship is renewing? This is an old, stream of consciousness poem I wrote years ago called Treasure Stream, and I'm posting it anew here.

The above picture is La Morte D'Amour by A E Marty. The one on the right is Shells by Albert Joseph Moore.

Marigolds and eggplant, sunflower sprouts and thyme

exulting lombardies and shivering beeches
easy laughter by the stars over the sea

this blueberry wine, i'm here.
I stretch my supple side, bending with a sigh
point my toe towards the back, like a cat

I feel my own heart is better than feared it is leading.
adagio harmonies come to the fore

defeating dialogue and I am true.

all that happens glues together forces

rough and sweet like honeycomb.

i live better forgiven, i live better now, leading.
winds bring courage and humour

to the apex of faith and eroticism.

the lines of my hand
in clean pages, ageless,
child-wise are my gifts.
on shelves, on walls, beauties and dusty findings.
in my wallet, the bills and coins to pay my fares and enable trade.
i am modern.
i wear a pink and gold jacket like a home,
under the collar i wear the burn of a kiss.
it is always the same kiss now, it has been forever,

only changing winds of courage and humour.
the darkness becomes my friend.
i find knowledge here.
the night
that is never truly dark,
but shaded
contrasting blasts of white,
pleasant moons. when i ring a bell,
i think of my ancestors.
when i run in rain, i get younger.