SIMPLY BEING

Tag: poems (page 1 of 1)

The Weightiness of Paper

Paper is light and heavy.

As it flutters at a mere glance, yet weighed down by the HEAVY thoughts that are borne aloft Morning Pages each day,
It shreds in seconds, no heft or substance to it.

But it holds volumes of thought, fresh off the bed, sleepy-eyed and all in a mess or tangle,
Struggling to make sense, and the effort is a bit much.

So I let it all out on the light paper, transparent and flimsy,
No pretense or excuse of any kind.
Endlessly unraveling the morning memories and sighs and imaginings,
Holding them all in, letting them all out.

Only the shredder knows the truth.

A Poem for You

Sometime in the late 90s, I got myself added to a daily mailing list run by a trio that loved poetry. Every day, they sent out a poem to their thousands of subscribers (hundreds, maybe) with a little personal note, a critique, some notes. The Wondering Minstrels mailing list is long dead but the poems have been archived at The Wondering Minstrels. And true to the style of a site somewhat neglected, you can find ads for Viagra and luxury shoes in the comments section. Ah, well. That mailing list was the beginning of my love affair with poetry. It brought all kinds of poems into my life. Some were heartachingly beautiful ("Bearhug" by Michael Ondaatje), some were poignant ("Pigtail" by Tadeusz Ròzewicz), some were impishly lovable ("I am very Bothered" by Simon Armitage).

Today I don't go out seeking poetry but it calls out to me from various places. It has found a place in my heart and seeks recognition everywhere else. Yes, I now appreciate it so much.

"I am Very Bothered"

I am very bothered when I think
of the bad things I have done in my life.
Not least that time in the chemistry lab
when I held a pair of scissors by the blades
and played the handles
in the naked lilac flame of the Bunsen burner;
then called your name, and handed them over.

O the unrivalled stench of branded skin
as you slipped your thumb and middle finger in,
then couldn't shake off the two burning rings. Marked,
the doctor said, for eternity.

Don't believe me, please, if I say
that was just my butterfingered way, at thirteen,
of asking you if you would marry me.

-- Simon Armitage

Gitanjali…

“Gitanjali (excerpt)”

The song that I came to sing remains unsung to this day.
I have spent my days in stringing and unstringing my instrument.
The time has not come true, the words have not been rightly set; only there is the agony of wishing in my heart.
The blossom has not opened; only the wind is sighing by.
I have not seen his face, nor have I listened to his voice; only I have heard his gentle footsteps on the road before my house.
The livelong day has passed in spreading his seat on the floor; but the lamp has not been lit and I cannot ask him into my house.
I live in the hope of meeting with him; but this meeting is not yet.

— Rabindranath Tagore
from the Gitanjali (1923)

If the English translation sounds so mellow and lovely, imagine how wonderful the Bangla original would sound! Such a pity that I don’t follow the language. Too many languages, too less of time, too much to communicate…:-)
What an atypical dilemma!