Friday, April 18, 2014

Poems about Healing: Playlist for April 18, 2014

Winter Remembered

Winter Remembered

By  John Crowe Ransom 


Two evils, monstrous either one apart,

Possessed me, and were long and loath at going:  

A cry of Absence, Absence, in the heart,  

And in the wood the furious winter blowing.


Think not, when fire was bright upon my bricks,  

And past the tight boards hardly a wind could enter,  

I glowed like them, the simple burning sticks,  

Far from my cause, my proper heat and center.


Better to walk forth in the frozen air

And wash my wound in the snows; that would be healing;  

Because my heart would throb less painful there,  

Being caked with cold, and past the smart of feeling.


And where I walked, the murderous winter blast  

Would have this body bowed, these eyeballs streaming,  

And though I think this heart’s blood froze not fast  

It ran too small to spare one drop for dreaming.


Dear love, these fingers that had known your touch,  

And tied our separate forces first together,

Were ten poor idiot fingers not worth much,  

Ten frozen parsnips hanging in the weather.
Two evils, monstrous either one apart,
Possessed me, and were long and loath at going:   
A cry of Absence, Absence, in the heart,   
And in the wood the furious winter blowing.

Think not, when fire was bright upon my bricks,   
And past the tight boards hardly a wind could enter,   
I glowed like them, the simple burning sticks,   
Far from my cause, my proper heat and center.

Better to walk forth in the frozen air
And wash my wound in the snows; that would be healing;   
Because my heart would throb less painful there,   
Being caked with cold, and past the smart of feeling.

And where I walked, the murderous winter blast   
Would have this body bowed, these eyeballs streaming,   
And though I think this heart’s blood froze not fast   
It ran too small to spare one drop for dreaming.

Dear love, these fingers that had known your touch,   
And tied our separate forces first together,
Were ten poor idiot fingers not worth much,   
Ten frozen parsnips hanging in the weather.
                                                                   
REFLECTIVE MUSIC:       Suite for String Trio in A by Jean Sibelius

                     


  


Wildpeace

By  Yehuda Amichai  


Not the peace of a cease-fire,

not even the vision of the wolf and the lamb,

but rather

as in the heart when the excitement is over

and you can talk only about a great weariness.

I know that I know how to kill,

that makes me an adult.

And my son plays with a toy gun that knows

how to open and close its eyes and say Mama.

A peace

without the big noise of beating swords into ploughshares,

without words, without

the thud of the heavy rubber stamp: let it be

light, floating, like lazy white foam.

A little rest for the wounds—

who speaks of healing?

(And the howl of the orphans is passed from one generation

to the next, as in a relay race:

the baton never falls.)


Let it come

like wildflowers,

suddenly, because the field

must have it: wildpeace.

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland




Small Prayer
Small Prayer

By  Weldon Kees  


Change, move, dead clock, that this fresh day

May break with dazzling light to these sick eyes.

Burn, glare, old sun, so long unseen,

That time may find its sound again, and cleanse

Whatever it is that a wound remembers

After the healing ends.

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Spiritual Song, Op. 30 by Johannes Brahms





The Peace of Wild Things

By  Wendell Berry  


When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Piano Concerto in G (2nd movement) by Maurice Ravel




Faith Healing
By  Philip Larkin  


Slowly the women file to where he stands  

Upright in rimless glasses, silver hair,

Dark suit, white collar. Stewards tirelessly  

Persuade them onwards to his voice and hands,  

Within whose warm spring rain of loving care  

Each dwells some twenty seconds. Now, dear child,

What’s wrong, the deep American voice demands,  

And, scarcely pausing, goes into a prayer  

Directing God about this eye, that knee.  

Their heads are clasped abruptly; then, exiled


Like losing thoughts, they go in silence; some  

Sheepishly stray, not back into their lives

Just yet; but some stay stiff, twitching and loud  

With deep hoarse tears, as if a kind of dumb  

And idiot child within them still survives  

To re-awake at kindness, thinking a voice  

At last calls them alone, that hands have come  

To lift and lighten; and such joy arrives

Their thick tongues blort, their eyes squeeze grief, a crowd  

Of huge unheard answers jam and rejoice—


What’s wrong! Moustached in flowered frocks they shake:  

By now, all’s wrong. In everyone there sleeps  

A sense of life lived according to love.

To some it means the difference they could make  

By loving others, but across most it sweeps

As all they might have done had they been loved.  

That nothing cures. An immense slackening ache,  

As when, thawing, the rigid landscape weeps,

Spreads slowly through them—that, and the voice above  

Saying Dear child, and all time has disproved.

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Here yet awhile by J.S. Bach





Saturday, April 12, 2014

Poetry about Radio: Playlist for April 11, 2014

Radio at Night
by Julia Bird

When sleep won't stop a dripping tap,
won't warm your feet or keep the burglars at bay,
the radio at night is here.
Radio at night is populous
with plays and sport and life insurance ads,
the radio's a place where Parliament
is passing laws, where orchestras
lullabies and local DJs host a quiz
where every caller wins a prize
Pirates rig their decks in tower blocks
to buffet you with heart-shake bass
and taxi drivers when the sky is clear,
crackle, book a pick-up, fade.
The weather voice, unwavering avows
there will be rain but it will pass ; then
live on air a band begins to play, unplugged,
a song of buckled love set right so sweet
you slow dance from the ankles down.

Count the stations, number off the staff
it takes to play the tunes, speak the lines
to talk and comfort the insomniac.
To pause and check each channel on the range :
it feels tonight like gathering in the flock.

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Magic Hour (from "Swing Shift") by Kenji Bunch







Radio


by Tom Clark
Don’t hurt the radio for
Against all
Solid testimony machines
Have feelings
Too

Brush past it lightly
With a fine regard
For allowing its molecules
To remain 100% intact

Machines can think like Wittgenstein
And the radio’s a machine
Thinking softly to itself
Of the Midnight Flower
As her tawny parts unfold

In slow motion the boat
Rocks on the ocean
As her tawny parts unfold

The radio does something mental
To itself singingly
As her tawny parts unfold
Inside its wires
And steal away its heart

Two minutes after eleven
The color dream communicates itself
The ink falls on the paper as if magically
The scalp falls away
A pain is felt
Deep in the radio

I take out my larynx and put it on the blue chair
And do my dance for the radio
It’s my dance in which I kneel in front of the radio
And while remaining motionless elsewise
Force my eyeballs to come as close together as possible
While uttering a horrible and foreign word
Which I cannot repeat to you without now removing my larynx
And placing it on the blue chair

The blue chair isn’t here
So I can’t do that trick at the present time

The radio is thinking a few licks of its own
Pianistic thoughts attuned to tomorrow’s grammar
Beautiful spas of seltzery coition
Plucked notes like sandpaper attacked by Woody Woodpecker

The radio says Edwardian farmers from Minnesota march on the Mafia
Armed with millions of radioactive poker chips

The radio fears foul play
It turns impersonal
A piggy bank was smashed
A victim was found naked
Radio how can you tell me this
In such a chipper tone
Your structure of voices is a friend
The best kind
The kind one can turn on or off
Whenever one wants to
But that is wrong I know
For you will intensely to continue
And in a deeper way
You do

Hours go by
And I watch you
As you diligently apply
A series of audible frequencies
To tiny receptors
Located inside my cranium
Resulting in much pleasure for someone
Who looks like me
Although he is seated about two inches to my left
And the both of us
Are listening to your every word
With a weird misapprehension
It’s the last of the tenth
And Harmon Killebrew is up
With a man aboard

He blasts a game-winning home run
The 559th of his career
But no one cares
Because the broadcast is studio-monitored for taping
To be replayed in 212 years

Heaven must be like this, radio
To not care about anything
Because it’s all being taped for replay much later

Heaven must be like this
For as her tawny parts unfold
The small lights swim roseate
As if of sepals were the tarp made
As it is invisibly unrolled
And sundown gasps its old Ray Charles 45 of Georgia
Only through your voice
 
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Caravan, by Duke Ellington
 
 



A Radio With Guts

it was on the 2nd floor on Coronado Street
I used to get drunk
and throw the radio through the window
while it was playing, and, of course,
it would break the glass in the window
and the radio would sit there on the roof
still playing
and I'd tell my woman,
"Ah, what a marvelous radio!"
the next morning I'd take the window
off the hinges
and carry it down the street
to the glass man
who would put in another pane.
I kept throwing that radio through the window
each time I got drunk
and it would sit there on the roof
still playing-
a magic radio
a radio with guts,
and each morning I'd take the window 
back to the glass man.
I don't remember how it ended exactly
though I do remember
we finally moved out.
there was a woman downstairs who worked in
the garden in her bathing suit,
she really dug with that trowel
and she put her behind up in the air
and I used to sit in the window
and watch the sun shine all over that thing
while the music played. 
REFLECTIVE MUSIC:  Reflections in D by Duke Ellington