Tag Archives: beauty

besieged

 

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i am in
a crowd
of selves

talking and
telling,
standing

to close
i step back
my arms open:

a kind of
untethering,
resignation

letting go as they say,
drifting from the
shore, (what shore?)
unmoored into –
languor? buoyancy?

alone:

it all grows still
unknown, irresponsible,
not responsible

at sea

after days it occurs
to me

the only
thing left to do

is slip from the boat
and into my body.
(second attempt)

i used to court
sadness like
a lover

sinewy and
sensuous
beguiling

everything i wanted

we went
everywhere
together

i believed
everything

i gave her
a place

but she is gone

and that made
me sad
in another way

a beauty
uprooted

a possession, a toy

my keeping kept

something from growing
(final attempt)

she is back
in my life

unrecognizable

though not
as sadness

as someone else,

not sure who.

 

chris woodhull

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befuddled

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Out of bed
with the feeling
i had left
already
making it
twice in one day
i awake with
out a clue
where to find
my next self
sleeping again.

 

chris woodhull

 

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on the surface of things

 

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I

In my room, the world is beyond my understanding;
But when I walk I see that it consists of three or four
        hills and a cloud.

II

From my balcony, I survey the yellow air,
Reading where I have written,
“The spring is like a belle undressing.”

III

The gold tree is blue,
The singer has pulled his cloak over his head.
The moon is in the folds of the cloak.




poem by Wallace Stevens / art by Danielle van Ark
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The Red Poppy

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The great thing
is not having
a mind. Feelings:
oh, I have those; they
govern me. I have
a lord in heaven
called the sun, and open
for him, showing him
the fire of my own heart, fire
like his presence.
What could such glory be
if not a heart? Oh my brothers and sisters,
were you like me once, long ago,
before you were human? Did you
permit yourselves
to open once, who would never
open again? Because in truth
I am speaking now
the way you do. I speak
because I am shattered.

 

Louise Glück, 1943

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glance

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glance:

she looks my way
and i look hers

eyes open
as windows

without a word
we think —
who are you?

windows open

eyes turning elsewhere,
mind moving
into privacy

where we
sit and
think about such
things as meeting

strangers, new

friends we
may enjoy —

i sip coffee, she reads

wondering and wondering,

we both
return home.

 

chris woodhull

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all this

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the bank of trees, in still wintery
nakedness, a closet

nothing open, waiting

all hidden, yet awake

each tree a finger, distending
holding something within

sleeves of snow scatter,
disappearing, ground breathing

listening

all this, soulful knowing
past and future

all of this, nothing alive and
yet alive

how?

how did this road get here?

I have been walking
this lane for hours,
cut between the wide stand
of poplars and pines

all this roadside
solemnity suggesting someone?

they say a baby
is the essence of a human

where did the baby go?

everything within me
whispers

here!

 

by chris woodhull

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the window

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A storm blew in last night and knocked out
the electricity. When I looked
through the window, the trees were translucent.
Bent and covered with rime. A vast calm
lay over the countryside.
I knew better. But at that moment
I felt I’d never in my life made any
false promises, nor committed
so much as one indecent act. My thoughts
were virtuous. Later on that morning,
of course, electricity was restored.
The sun moved from behind the clouds,
melting the hoarfrost.
And things stood as they had before.

poem by Raymond Carver / photograph by Shinzo Maeda

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I walked past a house where I lived once

 

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I walked past a house where I lived once:
a man and a woman are still together in the whispers there.
Many years have passed with the quiet hum
of the staircase bulb going on
and off and on again.

The keyholes are like little wounds
where all the blood seeped out. And inside,
people pale as death.

I want to stand once again as I did
holding my first love all night long in the doorway.
When we left at dawn, the house
began to fall apart and since then the city and since then
the whole world.

I want to be filled with longing again
till dark burn marks show on my skin.

I want to be written again
in the Book of Life, to be written every single day
till the writing hand hurts.

Yehuda Amichai

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For Love in a Time of Conflict / by John O’Donohue

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When the gentleness between you hardens
And you fall out of your belonging with each other,
May the depths you have reached hold you still.

When no true word can be said, or heard,
And you mirror each other in the script of hurt,
When even the silence has become raw and torn,
May you hear again an echo of your first music.

When the weave of affection starts to unravel
And anger begins to sear the ground between you,
Before this weather of grief invites
The black seed of bitterness to find root,
May your souls come to kiss.

Now is the time for one of you to be gracious,
To allow a kindness beyond thought and hurt,
Reach out with sure hands
To take the chalice of your love,
And carry it carefully through this echoless waste
Until this winter pilgrimage leads you
Towards the gateway to spring.

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who knows where

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who knows where
we will be in a year
but now, here,
on this small ledge

a mountain porch opening
into the night with listening
pines and a cathedral moon
i hold your hand

that made the tea and
for the first time
the thrill of love
returned to me,
without stain —
it could have been a
prayer.

our souls, my soul is a
feathery invisible breathing,
lifting and panicking
with delight —

why here and why now?
who made this,
who made us,
where will we be in a year?

 

chris woodhull

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