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)

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.


  1. Nicole, what a burst of divine penmanship! Where do I start? I like your stunningly tragic thought of how your life might have suffered without hearing Beethoven. So your life must have suffered in all sorts of ways without you knowing it. Have your read Fernando Pessoa in the original Portuguese? You don't know it but your life has suffered grievously. Never mind, the Richard Zenith translations are brilliant. (And I can't read Portuguese myself.)

  2. I don't know either what a Flamenco mood is, other than the one induced by Flamenco music, which I love yet rarely hear (tragically!) But in your poem and conceit of the roses, you have illustrated that mood - and transmitted it too.