Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Toward what island-home am I moving,

not wanting to marry, not wanting

too much of that emptiness at evening,

as when I walked through a field at dusk

and felt wide in the night.

And it was again the evening that drew me

back to the field where I was most alone,

compassed by stems and ruts,

no light of the fixed stars, no flashing in the eyes,

only heather pared by dry air, shedding

a small feathered radiance when I looked away,

an expanse whose deep sleep seemed an unending

warren I had been given, to carry out such tasks—

that I might find nothing dead.

And it was again the evening that drew me

back to the field where I could sense no boundary—

the smell of dry earth, cool arch of my neck, the darkness

entirely within myself.

And when I shut my eyes there was no one.

Only weeds in drifts of stillness, only

stalks and gliding sky.


~ From “Toward what island-home am I moving” by Joanna Klink


“The Old Tower in the Fields” by Vincent van Gogh, 1884

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April Midnight

Side by side through the streets at midnight,

Roaming together,

Through the tumultuous night of London,

In the miraculous April weather.


Roaming together under the gaslight,

Day’s work over,

How the Spring calls to us, here in the city,

Calls to the heart from the heart of a lover!


Cool the wind blows, fresh in our faces,

Cleansing, entrancing,

After the heat and the fumes and the footlights,

Where you dance and I watch your dancing.


Good it is to be here together,

Good to be roaming,

Even in London, even at midnight,

Lover-like in a lover’s gloaming.


You the dancer and I the dreamer,

Children together,

Wandering lost in the night of London,

In the miraculous April weather.


                               ~ Arthur Symons


“Trafalgar Square by Moonlight” by Henry Pether, circa 1865

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To the Moon

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 its constancy?


                                  ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley


“Moonlight Night” by Ilya Repin, 1896

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I looked up from my writing,

   And gave a start to see,

As if rapt in my inditing,

   The moon’s full gaze on me.


Her meditative misty head

   Was spectral in its air,

And I involuntarily said,

   ‘What are you doing there?’


‘Oh, I’ve been scanning pond and hole

   And waterway hereabout

For the body of one with a sunken soul

   Who has put his life-light out.


‘Did you hear his frenzied tattle?

   It was sorrow for his son

Who is slain in brutish battle,

   Though he has injured none.


‘And now I am curious to look

   Into the blinkered mind

Of one who wants to write a book

   In a world of such a kind.’


Her temper overwrought me,

   And I edged to shun her view,

For I felt assured she thought me

   One who should drown him too.


                ~ Thomas Hardy


A. L. Leroy, 1827

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Last Spring

Fill yourself up with the forsythias

and when the lilacs flower, stir them in too

with your blood and happiness and wretchedness,

the dark ground that seems to come with you.


Sluggish days. All obstacles overcome.

And if you say: ending or beginning, who knows,

then maybe – just maybe – the hours will carry you

into June, when the roses blow.


                                      ~ Gottfried Benn


“Gather ye rosebuds while ye may” by John William Waterhouse, 1909

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This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,

Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes,

Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between

Where the wood fumes up and the watery, flickering rushes.


I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration

Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze

Of growing, and sparks that puff in wild gyration,

Faces of people streaming across my gaze.


And I, what fountain of fire am I among

This leaping combustion of spring? My spirit is tossed

About like a shadow buffeted in the throng

Of flames, a shadow that’s gone astray, and is lost.


                                                                ~ D. H. Lawrence


“Spring in Gościeradz” by Leon Wyczółkowski, 1933

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years of anger following

hours that float idly down –

the blizzard

drifts its weight

deeper and deeper for three days

or sixty years, eh? Then

the sun! a clutter of

yellow and blue flakes –

Hairy looking trees stand out

in long alleys

over a wild solitude.

The man turns and there –

his solitary track stretched out

upon the world.


~ William Carlos Williams


Posted with warm thoughts to all my friends and colleagues on the East Coast.


Richard Dorrell, courtesy of the Creative Commons Attribution license

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