Sunday, September 22, 2013


photo by GL
“Autumn” by R.S. Thomas
 Happy the leaves
burnishing their own
downfall. Life dances
upon life’s grave.
It is we who inject
sadness into the migrant’s
cry. We are so long
in dying – time granted
to discover a purpose
in our decay? Could
we be cut open,
would there be more than
the saw’s wound, all
humanity’s rings widening
only toward ageing?
To creep in for shelter
under the bone’s tree
is to be charred by time’s
lightning stroke. The leaves
fall variously as do thought
to reveal the bareness
of the mind’s landscape
through which we must press on
towards the openness of its horizons.

Mikhail Kalashnikov, the Russian soldier who invented one of history’s most fearsome killing machines — “the AK-47 assault rifle, beloved of guerrillas around the world” — announced at a Kremlin reception in honor of his 90th birthday that he really wanted to be a poet.

Scorched Maps

I took a trip to Ukraine. It was June.
I waded in the fields, all full of dust
and pollen in the air. I searched, but those
I loved had disappeared below the ground,

deeper than decades of ants. I asked
about them everywhere, but grass and leaves
have been growing, bees swarming. So I lay down,
face to the ground, and said this incantation—

you can come out, it’s over. And the ground,
and moles and earthworms in it, shifted, shook,
kingdoms of ants came crawling, bees began
to fly from everywhere. I said come out,

I spoke directly to the ground and felt
the field grow vast and wild around my head.

Tomasz Rozycki’s poem Scorched Maps

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The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau