Friday, April 25, 2008

On Holidays

I'm away on holiday visiting my family.. I'll be back next week - with two posts instead in lieu of today's.. Sorry - I had good intentions, but I've been enjoying some sleep-ins, too many cups of tea, lemon curd cake and op shopping.. Mmmm.
have a happy weekend
c h a l k talk

Thursday, April 17, 2008

word on the street

there's a quiet hum on the street. old men stop talking. pens are put down. chess games are deserted. the echo of foot steps running down the road. laughter from a far off house. a quick hush as papers are dropped, cars turned off, the washing is half hung out to dry. cats are left mewing at doorways, trees stop losing their leaves.
it's the weekly edition of random poetics. stop everything to read it and weep.
c h a l k talk
looking at them asleep: sharon olds

When I come home late at night and go in to kiss them,
I see my girl with her arm curled around her head,
her mouth a little puffed, like one sated, but
slightly pouted like one who hasn't had enough,
her eyes so closed you would think they have rolled the
iris around to face the back of her head,
the eyeball marble-naked under that
thick satisfied desiring lid,
she lies on her back in abandon and sealed completion,
and the son in his room, oh the son he is sideways in his bed,
one knee up as if he is climbing
sharp stairs, up into the night,
and under his thin quivering eyelids you
know his eyes are wide open and
staring and glazed, the blue in them so
anxious and crystally in all this darkness, and his
mouth is open, he is breathing hard from the climb
and panting a bit, his brow is crumpled
and pale, his fine fingers curved,
his hand open, and in the center of each hand
the dry dirty boyish palm
resting like a cookie. I look at him in his
quest, the thin muscles of his arms
passionate and tense, I look at her with her
face like the face of a snake who has swallowed a deer,
content, content—and I know if I wake her she'll
smile and turn her face toward me though
half asleep and open her eyes and I
know if I wake him he'll jerk and say
Don't and sit
up and stare about him in blue
unrecognition, oh my Lord how I
know these two. When love comes to me and says
What do you know, I say This girl, this boy.
shadows: sarah arvio

I saw some shadows moving on the wall
and heard a shuffle, as of wings or thoughts.
I rolled back the sheets and looked at the day,

a raw, blown day, white papers in the street.

Sheets were flapping in the sky of my mind,
I smelled the wet sheets, I tasted a day

in sheets hanging in the damp of a day.
White pages flapping: my life had been so new
when I didn't yet know how old it was.

I couldn't see the vistas on those sheets,
the dreamscapes sleeping deeply in those sheets;
I hadn't yet seen my shadow vita

or learned which host would trick me or treat me,
which of my hosts would give me something sweet,
some good counsel and a soft place to sleep,

or what was the name of my ghostwriter.
Who ghosted my life, whose dream would I ghost,
who wrote my name and date across these sheets,

and which sheets would be the wings of my thoughts,
and which would hold the words of my angels.
A host, and did I know I’d have a host;

no, a line of sheets is never a bed,
a gaggle of hosts is never a love,
a host is never as good as a home,

a ghost as good as a dog or a god.
But I had my heart, always had my heart
for god and a home as much as it hurt.
if you don't want to hear the word, tell us. if you want us to shout from the rooftops, tell us that too.
lazy days, rain pouring outside, watch it flood from the gutters. pinecones drop in groups as the rain tumbles harder. it's cold outside, and we pad around the house in socks, stripey. winter's on our heels, and we're not running. we like the grey.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

it's beautiful

hanging clothes out on the line, dappled sunlight with a cool breeze hinting at winter. it's beautiful. lasting memories from when you first met your love, butterflies re-light. it's beautiful. watching the last light drain from the sky, while night time swirls in, inky - it's like watching watercolours spread. it's beautiful. savouring a glass of wine, beautiful. hearing your baby laugh, watching her body fill with joy. oh yeah, that's beautiful. walking through empty streets, breathing in the fresh air, walking with a spring in your step, anticipating what awaits. mmm. beautiful.
happy weekend!
c h a l k talk

tell me why this hurry: julia hartwig

The lindens are blossoming the lindens have lost their blossoms
and this flowery procession moves without any restraint
Where are you hurrying lilies of the valley jasmines
petunias lilacs irises roses and peonies
Mondays and Tuesdays Wednesdays and Fridays
nasturtiums and gladioli zinnias and lobelias
yarrow dill goldenrod and grasses
flowery Mays and Junes and Julys and Augusts
lakes of flowers seas of flowers meadows
holy fires of fern one-day grails
Tell me why this hurry where are you rushing
in a cherry blizzard a deluge of greenness
all with the wind racing in one direction only
crowns proud yesterday today fallen into sand
eternal desires passions mistresses of destruction

a quote: charles baudelaire

Poetry has no goal other than itself; it can have no other, and no poem will be so great, so noble, so truly worthy of the name of poem, than one written uniquely for the pleasure of writing a poem.

untitled: kevin goodan

white days, a passion for the winter-birds
cached in every elm, each goat
with its bell in the pasture
as the wind tolls diurnal through the scape,
a far gray band of willows,
the snow cross-harrowed, a barn
where every breath has faltered
where beasts lie down in stalls
quiver and are still, are hauled
to the fire, roil, and enter the earth

as wind skurls bright smoke
against the purple that is darkness blooming
overblown roses: mimi khalvati

She held one up, twirling it in her hand
as if to show me how the world began
and ended in perfection. I was stunned.
How could she make a rose so woebegone,
couldn't silk stand stiff? And how could a child,
otherwise convinced of her mother's taste,
know what to think? It's overblown, she smiled,
I love roses when they're past their best.

'Overblown roses', the words swam in my head,
making sense as I suddenly saw afresh
the rose now, the rose ahead: where a petal
clings to a last breath; where my mother's flesh
and mine, going the same way, may still
be seen as beautiful, if these words are said.


if you think it's kind of ugly, tell us. if you think it's blooming beautiful, tell us that too.
i remember my grandparents' garden full of roses. fat roses. red roses, tangerine roses, baby pink, almost-orange roses, white roses, yellow roses, oh the most fragrant roses. dead rose heads. chop! chop! chop! sweet peas grew out the front, tendrils climbing. my grandmother gave me fragrant rose petal stamps, that i now give my little boy. i remember the heady smell of roses. beautiful.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

ripe, ripe strawberries

easy mornings, when the sunshine's just feeling its way into the sky. early morning smiles, open eyes wide and welcome the day. ah sweet sunshine, on my back as i learn to sew, warming my face as i hang out the washing - a candy coloured array, sunshine. like john denver sang - it makes me happy. as do ripe strawberries that burst with flavour, oozing, staining your best top - but who cares when life tastes like this?
c h a l k talk
avenue a: frank o'hara
We hardly ever see the moon any more
so no wonder
it's so beautiful when we look up suddenly
and there it is gliding broken-faced over the bridges
brilliantly coursing, soft, and a cool wind fans
your hair over your forehead and your memories
of Red Grooms' locomotive landscape
I want some bourbon/you want some oranges/I love the leather
jacket Norman gave me
and the corduroy coat David
gave you, it is more mysterious than spring, the El Greco
heavens breaking open and then reassembling like lions
in a vast tragic veldt
that is far from our small selves and our temporally united
passions in the cathedral of Januaries
everything is too comprehensible
these are my delicate and caressing poems
I suppose there will be more of those others to come, as in the past
so many!
but for now the moon is revealing itself like a pearl
to my equally naked heart
a negro love song: paul laurence dunbar (1872-1906)

Seen my lady home las' night,
Jump back, honey, jump back.
Hel' huh han' an' sque'z it tight,
Jump back, honey, jump back.
Hyeahd huh sigh a little sigh,
Seen a light gleam f'om huh eye,
An' a smile go flittin' by—
Jump back, honey, jump back.
Hyeahd de win' blow thoo de pine,
Jump back, honey, jump back,
Mockin'-bird was singin' fine,
Jump back, honey, jump back.
An' my hea't was beatin' so,
When I reached my lady's do',
Dat I couldn't ba' to go—
Jump back, honey, jump back.

Put my ahm aroun' huh wais',
Jump back, honey, jump back.
Raised huh lips an' took a tase,
Jump back, honey, jump back.
Love me, honey, love me true?
Love me well ez I love you?
An' she answe'd, "'Cose I do"—
Jump back, honey, jump back.
babe: lexi c
hold your head in my hand
a cap of dark hair,
inhale you - - sweet, sweet milkiness
a smile spreads onto your face
your eyes full of merriment,
locked on mine
i take a photograph in my mind.
if you think our strawberries are overripe, tell us. if you think our strawberries are ripe for a-picking, tell us that too.
silk scarves to hide bad hair. big sunglasses to hide tired eyes. a daily masquerade, a quick smile and out the door. grass under my feet, sand on my pillow, summer takes a bow as autumn creeps in, crisp mornings of cold feet and warm tea and toast.