Tuesday, April 30, 2013

he told me I have a soul

I feel my shame inside me like a knife
He told me that I have a soul
How does he know?
What spirit came to move my life?
Is there another way to go?
I am reaching, but I fall
And the night is closing in
And I stare into the void
To the whirlpool of my sin
I'll escape now from that world

[from Les Miserables]

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

that's what books will not tell me

This is from the novel Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. It was written in 1891.
Tess: "Sometimes I feel I don't want to know anything more about it than I know already." 

Angel: "Why not?" 

"Because what's the use of learning that I am one of a long row only— finding out that there is set down in some old book somebody just like me, and to know that I shall only act her part; making me sad, that's all. The best is not to remember that your nature and your past doings have been just like thousands' and thousands', and that your coming life and doings 'll be like thousands's and thousands'."

"What, really, then, you don't want to learn anything?" 

"I shouldn't mind learning why— why the sun do shine on the just and the unjust alike," she answered, with a slight quaver in her voice. "But that's what books will not tell me."

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Friday, April 05, 2013

where lichen scurries up the trunk of a tree that needs it

"You ask

to lead me to me
to lead you next

to colors all wet:
bark saturated brown,

where lichen scurries up the trunk
of a tree that needs it.

You make me wonder about thirst,
the way things work together.
Boughs once empty fill with birds

in rapid flickering flight until beat, wingbeat,
winged threat: a magpie I try to wish away.

I ask, do not disappear.
That is no kind of apology
and I have never been a forgiver.

The green part of me never leaves
however I find that it remains with you.
However I find it in you

you must remember I am not a soft woman.
You’ll seek the mother in me
but expect to see splinters,
rolled margins.

Together we have never been so alone,
like ladders, like messengers with another
answer. The ink-stained hand holds

heartache no longer. It’s been set
and pressed down, mapped & scattered."

[Joan Naviyuk Kane, "Late Successional"]

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

draw back a little, and have a cup of tea

"Stand at the brink of the abyss of despair, and when you see that you cannot bear it anymore, draw back a little, and have a cup of tea." 
[Elder Sophrony of Essex]