Sunday, December 31, 2023

lute music

The Earth will be going on a long time
Before it finally freezes;
Men will be on it; they will take names,
Give their deeds reasons.
We will be here only
As chemical constituents—
A small franchise indeed.
Right now we have lives,
Corpuscles, Ambitions, Caresses,
Like everybody had once—

Here at the year’s end, at the feast
Of birth, let us bring to each other
The gifts brought once west through deserts—
The precious metal of our mingled hair,
The frankincense of enraptured arms and legs,
The myrrh of desperate, invincible kisses—
Let us celebrate the daily
Recurrent nativity of love,
The endless epiphany of our fluent selves,
While the earth rolls away under us
Into unknown snows and summers,
Into untraveled spaces of the stars.

Kenneth Rexroth
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Thursday, December 28, 2023

precious gift

No, I was not busy when you came!
I was not preparing to be busy.
That's the armour everyone puts on
to pretend they had a purpose in the world. 

Naomi Shihab Nye
excerpt: Red Brocade

The most precious gift you can give
to the one you love is your true presence. 

Do you have enough time to love?

My dear, I am here for you.  

Thich Nhat Hanh
True Love 

... Why not become the one who lives
with the full moon in each eye
that is always saying
with that sweet moon language 
what every other eye in this
world is dying to hear.

Photo:  Peter Bowers

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

between going and staying

Between going and staying
the day wavers,
in love with its own transparency.
The circular afternoon is now a bay
where the world in stillness rocks.

All is visible and all elusive,
all is near and can't be touched.

Paper, book, pencil, glass,
rest in the shade of their names.

Time throbbing in my temples repeats
the same unchanging syllable of blood.

The light turns the indifferent wall
into a ghostly theater of reflections.

I find myself in the middle of an eye,
watching myself in its blank stare.

The moment scatters.  Motionless,
I stay and go:  I am a pause.

Octavio Paz
Translated by Eliot Weinberger
Photo: Peter Bowers


Tuesday, December 12, 2023

the last verse

not pretending to know
not pretending to not know
with no place to stand
she steps into her shoes

photo: Peter Bowers


They were like two mirrors facing each other.  
Who sees, who is seen?
Seeing each other like this, 
they experienced the recognition everyone craves  - 
to be seen exactly as we are, 
nothing more, 
and nothing less.
Seen like this, 
all the many forms in the world 
are the same 
as one's own hand,
one's own face.

the iron grinder, Liu Tiemo (780-859)
Women of the Way
 Sallie Tisdale

Photo:  Peter Bowers