Saturday, October 23, 2010

As if from the Shipwreck we returned - A Neruda Cento

Climbing vines murmured as we passed.

The gray stones knew us - the wind

in the shadow. Between you and me

a new door opened.

All that we learned was of no use:

we emerged from the ocean

as if from the shipwreck we returned.

Everything carries me to you:

aromas, light, metals,

boats filled from within with black light,

there too I would like to let my blood sleep

against the devil's webs,

     against organized misery.

You have seen the same sky each day,

the same dark winter mud, the endless branching

of the plum trees and their dark-purple sweetness.

Night has fallen for you.

Perhaps at dawn we shall see each other again.


Cento Source Text: The Captain's Verses Pablo Neruda , 1952
Image: Fisherman at Sea by William Turner

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Searching for Goodbye

This saying good-bye on the edge of the dark

reminds me of all

that can happen to harm.

I'm going home:

in the blood in the bone over coffee ... a promise

grows richer;

the fog,. shifting, salty, thin,. comes closing in. ...

something survived

without shame,

lingered for hours.

Last night I awoke,


That I should say goodbye now

To these verses. That's how it always goes

After a few years. They have to get out.

I think of the path

Veering and halting;

of the shapes hands make ...

Source text for Cento from The Poetry Foundation:
Good-bye, and Keep Cold by Robert Frost
Good-Bye by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Movement Song by Audre Lorde
The Moose by Elizabeth Bishop : Poem Guide
The Whitsun Weddings by Philip Larkin : Poem Guide
The Fall of 1992 by Randall Mann
Eight Variations by Weldon Kees
Free Verses by Sarah Kirsch
Five Accounts of a Monogamous Man by William Meredith