“mind and heart” by Charles Bukowski (repost)

unaccountably we are alone
forever alone
and it was meant to be
that way,
it was never meant
to be any other way–
and when the death struggle
begins
the last thing I wish to see
is
a ring of human faces
hovering over me–
better just my old friends,
the walls of my self,
let only them be there.

I have been alone but seldom
lonely.
I have satisfied my thirst
at the well
of my self
and that wine was good,
the best I ever had,
and tonight
sitting
staring into the dark
I now finally understand
the dark and the
light and everything
in between.

peace of mind and heart
arrives
when we accept what
is:
having been
born into this
strange life
we must accept
the wasted gamble of our
days
and take some satisfaction in
the pleasure of
leaving it all
behind.

cry not for me.

grieve not for me.

read
what I’ve written
then
forget it
all.

drink from the well
of your self
and begin
again.

Bukowski, Charles. Come On In!: New Poems. New York: Ecco (An imprint of HarperCollins Publishers), 2006.

(Originally shared on 12/27/16)

“The Resemblance Between Your Life and a Dog” by Robert Bly (repost)

I never intended to have this life, believe me—
It just happened. You know how dogs turn up
At a farm, and they wag but can’t explain.

It’s good if you can accept your life—you’ll notice
Your face has become deranged trying to adjust
To it. Your face thought your life would look

Like your bedroom mirror when you were ten.
That was a clear river touched by mountain wind.
Even your parents can’t believe how much you’ve changed.

Sparrows in winter, if you’ve ever held one, all feathers,
Burst out of your hand with a fiery glee.
You see them later in hedges. Teachers praise you,

But you can’t quite get back to the winter sparrow.
Your life is a dog. He’s been hungry for miles,
Doesn’t particularly like you, but gives up, and comes in.

Robert Bly, from Eating the Honey of Words (Perennial).

Originally shared 6/22/15.

“Youth” by W.S. Merwin

Through all of youth I was looking for you
without knowing what I was looking for

or what to call you I think I did not
even know I was looking how would I

have known you when I saw you as I did
time after time when you appeared to me

as you did naked offering yourself
entirely at that moment and you let

me breathe you touch you taste you knowing
no more than I did and only when I

began to think of losing you did I
recognize you when you were already

part memory part distance remaining
mine in the ways that I learn to miss you

from what we cannot hold the stars are made

 

— W.S. Merwin, from his Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Shadow of Sirius (2009), and found in the newly released collection The Essential W.S. Merwin (2017, Copper Canyon Press).

Copyright © 2017 by W. S. Merwin.

~~~

Text as shared at The Merwin Conservancy. “To support the preservation of W.S. Merwin’s legacy and our efforts to preserve his living legacy for future generations, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to The Merwin Conservancy.”

“Tomorrow” by Dennis O’Driscoll (repost)

                     I

 

Tomorrow I will start to be happy.
The morning will light up like a celebratory cigar.
Sunbeams sprawling on the lawn will set
dew sparkling like a cut-glass tumbler of champagne.
Today will end the worst phase of my life.

 

I will put my shapeless days behind me,
fencing off the past, as a golden rind
of sand parts slipshod sea from solid land.
It is tomorrow I want to look back on, not today.
Tomorrow I start to be happy; today is almost yesterday.

 

                             II

 

Australia, how wise you are to get the day
over and done with first, out of the way.
You have eaten the fruit of knowledge, while
we are dithering about which main course to choose.
How liberated you must feel, how free from doubt:

 

the rise and fall of stocks, today’s closing prices
are revealed to you before our bidding has begun.
Australia, you can gather in your accident statistics
like a harvest while our roads still have hours to kill.
When we are in the dark, you have sagely seen the light.

 

                             III

 

Cagily, presumptuously, I dare to write 2018.
A date without character or tone. 2018.
A year without interest rates or mean daily temperature.
Its hit songs have yet to be written, its new-year
babies yet to be induced, its truces to be signed.

 

Much too far off for prophecy, though one hazards
a tentative guess—a so-so year most likely,
vague in retrospect, fizzling out with the usual
end-of-season sales; everything slashed:
your last chance to salvage something of its style.

Dennis O’Driscoll, “Tomorrow” from New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 2004 by Dennis O’Driscoll. As published in Poetry magazine, July 1999.


Dennis O’Driscoll did not get to see 2018; he died (suddenly) December 24, 2012.

From his obituary at The Guardian:  “In the civil service you are assigned a grade. You know your status,” he told the Irish Times. “Whereas with poetry, you never retire and you never really know your grade – it will be assigned posthumously.”. 

Wishing you all a happy St. Patrick’s Day.
May you not postpone until tomorrow, that which you can choose to do today.
May the road rise to meet you, today, and the rest of your ‘morrows.
And may good hope walk with you through everything.
-Christy


“The Auld Triangle” by Glen Hansard and friends

“Living With the News” by W.S. Merwin

Can I get used to it day after day
a little at a time while the tide keeps
coming in faster the waves get bigger
building on each other breaking records
this is not the world that I remember
then comes the day when I open the box
that I remember packing with such care
and there is the face that I had known well
in little pieces staring up at me
it is not mentioned on the front pages
but somewhere far back near the real estate
among the things that happen every day
to someone who now happens to be me
and what can I do and who can tell me
then there is what the doctor comes to say
endless patience will never be enough
the only hope is to be the daylight

~ W. S. Merwin  (September 30, 1927 – March 15, 2019). As published in the July 28, 2014 issue of The New Yorker

RIP Mr. Merwin. “Your absence has gone through me / Like thread through a needle. / Everything I do is stitched with its color.” . . . “We are saying thank you and waving / dark though it is.”

(“Separation” and “Thanks” both by W. S. Merwin)

Read more remembrances at The Merwin Conservancy.