Category Archives: Poem – Not Written By Me Though
DOVER BEACH – Matthew Arnold (Published 1867)
The sea is calm tonight.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.
Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Ægean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.
The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.
Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.
DOVER BEACH – The Fugs (Released 1967)
Reposted from https://goj913.wordpress.com/2017/11/17/cryptic-search/
For some background go to http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-mid-wales-41809852
There now, lay it all down,
The soft memory and the memory of hard bone.
After the year’s first true frost
A dead sheep lies in the field becoming a dance of hawks and ravens.
And on a lonely hillside unremarked
A blaze has born the babies away.
A smudge of smoke and the light of morning
Is no prayer of peace to ones who wait
Empty-hearted for better news.
The village, warm now in sun, silent.
Thoughts unthought of before – friends vanished,
Those known, now unplaced, a hollowness
Around memory clung to.
It is an uncertain anchor to hold on to –
This world that blinks apart from day to day.
Should we rise and flow like the oak leaves
On the cold dark currents of the Irfon?
Or wrap around like ivy, cling like lichen bloom
To this weathered stone.
We are a thin soil…
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In memoriam Kimberly Wilhelmina Floria.
(Fly With The Wind KIM)
Yesterday, I found out about the passing of my friend, a prolific writer, and a wonderful poet, Kimberly Wilhelmina Floria https://silentlyheardonce.wordpress.com/ and my heart broke into a million pieces. Kim fought a brave battle but has decided to rest. However, she has left us with several words of wisdom. While reading her poignant poem below, I felt a searing pain in my chest thinking of all the times I’ve wasted fighting needless battles, blocking the sun and escaping the breeze.
Three weeks ago I was wheeled out of the operating theatre after an emergency surgery, for a fleeting moment, the thought passed through my mind, ‘what if this is the end?’
All that’s going to change now. To celebrate her life, we need to ponder on now, this moment, we should imprint every memories so that when our time comes, we would have lived!
I think what Kim was trying to say is…
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“How will I say where I end
Or where you begin” – Robin Williamson.
I’m calling in my marker
You have the wrong stiff, I replied
I’ve been scared stiff too long
Turned into crystal
Split apart under armadillo sun
Melted and became a resin lingua, beneath surface, hearing murmur
Of half forgotten plea
Smoke me if you must
You’ve got the flame
Though displeased not to gain my soul, ponder this …
What you cannot snap in two
Will one day be called beautiful
And all that pain it took
Just to keep walking
When the sun burned you to clay and turned you finally to river mud
When the last ounce of yes I can
Si su puede
Became Holy Lord I cannot endure
When you felt yourself
Wilt like wax candle of the saints, in midday sun
From alive, to oil, to fire and back again to blood
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The best tribute I can pay to this piece, Betty, is to repost it so that others can stumble upon it – and you. The best poems are timeless.
REMEMBERING OF A SOMETHING
I shall not remember this,
Nor shall be remembered for this.
And yet for a moment I am here,
Settled between grey hills in slow rain.
My love, still sleeping, her dreaming breath
A slow mist down by the river.
Where did it begin?
Moving on, just so,
As a shifting sunset.
Stone stretched thin until i admits hollowed light.
Dark cliffs wane, and here we are:
Saints as numberless as sheep,
Sheep as numerous as clouds.
Clouds piling to heaven then whispering to nothing,
Pushed by hills older than themselves.
The river runs thick and dark, naming each stone.
It is as easy to forget, sometimes, as to remember.
(Bitter ashes, black soot, husks huddled that once had faces).
How fast the grass covers it all, takes away cause and reason.
Here we are:
A silted green valley down to the sea at Llantwit,
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How unexpected to find a second poem containing the word pilchard in such close (relative) proximity. And a fine poem too.
Where is the tang of salt,
the reek of the sea’s harvest?
No more the seafarer’s roll
caresses my pier side stones;
no more the women’s red hands
bear fish stained air to cellars,
to chapel, to marriage beds.
I am left to the idle,
the fanciful escapees
that smother my golden sands,
and the sea only knows rage
or seduction – picturesque
to the exclusion of life.
Pilchards were my life – “pilchards”!
Even the word lacks beauty –
‘a devious shining worm
of a man’ this oily fish
has become in a packaged age.
Eyes have turned to the shining
light, springing into the air,
to the translucent turquoise,
to shapes of leisured gesture,
and the abstraction of form.
But beneath, I lie silent,
founded in oil and offal,
grieving for the days of fish,
the certainty of produce,
of sea, land and working hands –
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Tick tock clock click
Clunk click every trip*
Locked in up tight
Count down to zero
Time is no straight line,
it is a serpent
crossing the room sideways
like a glance.
It burns rubber
around every corner
like bits of confetti
into our pockets.
Time dances a circle
around the fire of desire
then churns out to sea
on a wave of kelp,
unraveling one dream
It flip flops
in crazy eights,
bounces like a rubber ball
on a hot sidewalk
reflecting all angles
oblique and acute
but always right.
At its best
time is a spiral
lifting our vision
until the end
when it shrinks into a dot
in the palm of our hand,
and with one breath
blows us away
into the heart of forever.
© 2014, 2017 Betty Hayes Albright