Her Voice, My Voice -Oscar Wilde
April 20, 2017, 10:39 am
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Her Voice

The wild bee reels from bough to bough
With his furry coat and his gauzy wing.
Now in a lily-cup, and now
Setting a jacinth bell a-swing,
In his wandering;
Sit closer love: it was here I trow
I made that vow,

Swore that two lives should be like one
As long as the sea-gull loved the sea,
As long as the sunflower sought the sun,—
It shall be, I said, for eternity
’Twixt you and me!
Dear friend, those times are over and done,
Love’s web is spun.

Look upward where the poplar trees
Sway and sway in the summer air,
Here in the valley never a breeze
Scatters the thistledown, but there
Great winds blow fair
From the mighty murmuring mystical seas,
And the wave-lashed leas.

Look upward where the white gull screams,
What does it see that we do not see?
Is that a star? or the lamp that gleams
On some outward voyaging argosy,—
Ah! can it be
We have lived our lives in a land of dreams!
How sad it seems.

Sweet, there is nothing left to say
But this, that love is never lost,
Keen winter stabs the breasts of May
Whose crimson roses burst his frost,
Ships tempest-tossed
Will find a harbour in some bay,
And so we may.

And there is nothing left to do
But to kiss once again, and part,
Nay, there is nothing we should rue,
I have my beauty,—you your Art,
Nay, do not start,
One world was not enough for two
Like me and you.

My Voice

Within this restless, hurried, modern world
We took our hearts’ full pleasure—You and I,
And now the white sails of our ship are furled,
And spent the lading of our argosy.

Wherefore my cheeks before their time are wan,
For very weeping is my gladness fled,
Sorrow hath paled my lip’s vermilion,
And Ruin draws the curtains of my bed.

But all this crowded life has been to thee
No more than lyre, or lute, or subtle spell
Of viols, or the music of the sea
That sleeps, a mimic echo, in the shell.



Dulce et Decorum Est -Wilfred Owen
March 16, 2017, 8:28 am
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Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime...
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.


Dusting -Rita Dova
December 26, 2016, 8:17 pm
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Every day a wilderness—no
shade in sight. Beulah
patient among knicknacks,
the solarium a rage
of light, a grainstorm
as her gray cloth brings
dark wood to life.

Under her hand scrolls
and crests gleam
darker still. What
was his name, that
silly boy at the fair with
the rifle booth? And his kiss and
the clear bowl with one bright
fish, rippling
wound!

Not Michael—
something finer. Each dust
stroke a deep breath and
the canary in bloom.
Wavery memory: home
from a dance, the front door
blown open and the parlor
in snow, she rushed
the bowl to the stove, watched
as the locket of ice
dissolved and he
swam free.

That was years before
Father gave her up
with her name, years before
her name grew to mean
Promise, then
Desert-in-Peace.
Long before the shadow and
sun’s accomplice, the tree.

Maurice.



On Death, without Exaggeration -Wislawa Szymborska
November 12, 2016, 7:39 pm
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It can’t take a joke,
find a star, make a bridge.
It knows nothing about weaving, mining, farming,
building ships, or baking cakes.

In our planning for tomorrow,
it has the final word,
which is always beside the point.

It can’t even get the things done
that are part of its trade:
dig a grave,
make a coffin,
clean up after itself.

Preoccupied with killing,
it does the job awkwardly,
without system or skill.
As though each of us were its first kill.

Oh, it has its triumphs,
but look at its countless defeats,
missed blows,
and repeat attempts!

Sometimes it isn’t strong enough
to swat a fly from the air.
Many are the caterpillars
that have outcrawled it.

All those bulbs, pods,
tentacles, fins, tracheae,
nuptial plumage, and winter fur
show that it has fallen behind
with its halfhearted work.

Ill will won’t help
and even our lending a hand with wars and coups d’etat
is so far not enough.

Hearts beat inside eggs.
Babies’ skeletons grow.
Seeds, hard at work, sprout their first tiny pair of leaves
and sometimes even tall trees fall away.

Whoever claims that it’s omnipotent
is himself living proof
that it’s not.

There’s no life
that couldn’t be immortal
if only for a moment.

Death
always arrives by that very moment too late.

In vain it tugs at the knob
of the invisible door.
As far as you’ve come
can’t be undone.



“My Reality”
May 28, 2016, 8:33 pm
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Here’s my student, Kevin, reading his poem “My Reality”

SO proud of him!

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Words Unlocked
May 20, 2016, 7:05 pm
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just drove back to work to wake up one of my students and tell him that he tied for FIRST PLACE in a poetry contest! ‪#‎WordsUnlocked‬ is a poetry contest for incarcerated youth across the country and HE WON. he worked so hard on this piece, and this kid has probably never won a thing in his life.. SO EXCITED! (we’re poem #2 in the link below!)

http://www.ceeas.org/2016-words-unlocked-contest-winners/



A Brief Attachment -Cate Marvin
May 18, 2016, 8:02 pm
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I regard your affections, find your teeth have
left me a bruise necklace. Those lipstick
      marks leech a trail, ear to ear, facsimile your
smile. Your 40 ounces of malt liquor, your
shrink hate, your eyes dialing 911. The hearts
you draw with ballpoint on my cigarette packs
      when I’ve left the room, penned in your girl’s

cursive, look demented, misshapen approximations
of what I refuse to hand over. It’s a nice touch,
      though: a little love to accompany the cancer.
      My thought follows you to where you spend
your days lying in bed, smoking and reading
the Beats. The accumulation of clothes and ashes
      circles you, rising like a moat after rainfall.

Often you are a study in detachment—the trigger
eye is your eye, still as a finger poised to press
      should one refuse to cooperate, and I wonder
      how you can hate men so much when you think
like one. Think of what I could be doing outside
if I could unlock the door of myself: think bikini,
      think soda fountain, think tradition, a day lacking

entirely your brand of ambivalence. If you were
a number, I’d subtract you; if you were a sentence,
      I’d rewrite you. Are you the one who left these
      wilted flowers, are you the one whose PIN spells
out H-O-L-E? Why are you wearing my clothes?
If you are weather, then I am a town, closing down
      at word of your coming: you’re a glacier on fast

forward, you’re direct as a detour, when I say
good-bye you move in next door. You say you
      want to have my baby, you want to buy me a car,
      and you’re too young to enter a bar. I should tether
you to a tree in the dark park, allow the moon to stroke
your white neck. I should give you a diamond collar,
      walk you around the block and show you off.