“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you

“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t
go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t
go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where
the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t
go back to sleep.”

(From “Quatrains”; the poetry of Jalâluddîn Rumi translated
by Coleman Barks) (more…)

Uisce: Water. And fionn:
the Water’s Clear.
But dip and find this Gaelic water Greek:
A phoenix flames upon fionn uisce
here.

Strangers were barbaroi to the Greek ear.
Now let the heirs of all who could not speak.
The language, whose ba-babbling was unclear,

Come with their gift of tongues past each frontier
And find the answering voices that they seek.
As fionn and uisce answer
phoenix here.

The May Day hills were burning, far and near,
When our land’s first footers beached boats in the creek.
In uisce, fionn, strange
words that soon grew clear;

So on a day when newcomers appear.
Let it be a homecoming and let us speak.
The unstrange word, as it behoves us here,
Move lips, move minds and make new meanings flare.
Like ancient beacons signalling, peak to peak,
From middle sea to north sea, shining clear.
As phoenix flame upon fionn uisce
here.

(Phoenix Park, May Day,
2004) (more…)

Lines Written In Early Spring

The Brain – is wider than the Sky –
For – put them side by side –
The one the other will contain
With ease – and You – beside –

The Brain is deeper that the sea –
For – hold them – Blue to Blue –
The one the other will absorb –
As sponges – buckets do –

The Brain is just the weight of God –
For – Heft them – pound for pound –
And they will differ – if they do –
As Syllable from Sound –

by Emily Dickinson (more…)

Lines Written In Early Spring

Helas!

To drift with every passion till my soul

Is a stringed lute on which all winds can play,

Is it for this that I have given away

Mine ancient wisdom, and austere control?

Methinks my life is a twice-written scroll

Scrawled over on some boyish holiday

With idle songs for pipe and virelay,

Which do but mar the secret of the whole.

Surely there was a time I might have trod

The sunlit heights, and from life’s dissonance

Struck one clear chord to reach the ears of God:

Is that time dead? lo! With a little rod

I did but touch the honey of romance-

And must I lose a soul’s inheritance?

by Oscar Wilde (more…)

Lines Written In Early Spring

Lines Written In Early Spring

 

I heard a thousand blended notes,

While in a grove I sate reclined,

In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts

Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

 

To her fair works did nature link

The human soul that through me ran;

And much it griev’d my heart to think

What man has made of man.

 

Through primrose-tufts, in that sweet bower,

The periwinkle trail’d its wreathes;

And ’tis my faith that every flower

Enjoys the air it breathes.

 

The birds around me hopp’d and play’d:

Their thoughts I cannot measure,

But the least motion which they made,

It seem’d a thrill of pleasure.

 

The budding twigs spread out of their fan,

To catch the breezy air;

And I must think, do all I can,

That there was pleasure there.

 

If these thoughts may not prevent,

If such be of my creed the plan,

Have I not reason to lament

What man has made of man?

 

By William Wordsworth (more…)

“But I have no belief,” the youth protested,

“But I have no
belief,” the youth protested,

“So whom can I
believe in?”

I replied

That I myself
had never asked this question

But still would
answer it.

“In ancient
times

The savage, his
intelligence distrusting,

In fear and awe
to wooden idols bowed.

But you, young (wo/)
man,

Today should
place full trust in

Your human
reason

And should
stand uncowed.

(David Kugultinov,
Kalmyk poet, Poems of…, Progress Publishers 1977) (more…)

Quicksand Years

Quicksand Years

Quicksand years
that whirl me I know not whither,

Your schemes,
politics, fail, lines give way, substances mock

And elude me,

only the theme
I sing, the great and strong-possess’d soul,

eludes not,

One’s-self must
never give way- that is the final substance-

That out of all
is sure,

Out of
politics, triumphs, battles, life, what at last finally

Remains?

When shows
break up what but One’s-Self is sure?

( Walt
Whitman; From Leaves of Grass) (more…)

Handcuffs

Handcuffs

 

Handcuffs

Have steel fangs

Whose bite is more painful

Than a whole battilion

Of fleas

 

Though the itch in my heart

Grows deeper and deeper

I cannot scratch.

 

How can I?

My wrists are manacled.

My mind

Is caged

My soul is shackled.

 

I can only grimace at the etheral cloud,

‘Have hope, brother,

despair is for the defeated.’

 

(Oswald Mtshali
– from South African Freedom Poems; Heinemann, 1980)

  (more…)