Friday, November 6, 2009

I liked her from the first

I liked her from the first. She was of most pleasing appearance.
 She was very mild. Her eyes were the mildest I had ever seen.
 In this she was quite unlike the rest of the girls and women of the Folk,
 who were born viragos. She never made harsh, angry cries,
 and it seemed to be her nature to flee away from trouble
 rather than to remain and fight.
The mildness I have mentioned seemed to emanate from her whole being.
 Her bodily as well as facial appearance was the cause of this.
 Her eyes were larger than most of her kind, and they were not so deep-set, 
while the lashes were longer and more regular. Nor was her nose so thick
 and squat. It had quite a bridge, and the nostrils opened downward.
Her incisors were not large, nor was her upper lip long and down-hanging,
 nor her lower lip protruding. She was not very hairy, except on the outsides
 of arms and legs and across the shoulders; and while she was thin-hipped,
 her calves were not twisted and gnarly.
I have often wondered, looking back upon her from the twentieth century
 through the medium of my dreams, and it has always occurred to me
 that possibly she may have been related to the Fire People. 
Her father, or mother, might well have come from that higher stock.
~ Jack London
 from Before Adam



Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Interior Portrait

You don't survive in me
because of memories;
nor are you mine because
of a lovely longing's strength.

What does make you present
is the ardent detour
that a slow tenderness
traces in my blood.

I do not need
to see you appear;
being born sufficed for me
to lose you a little less.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke


Losing too is still ours

Losing too is still ours; and even forgetting
still has a shape in the kingdom of transformation.

When something's let go of, it circles; and though we are
rarely the center

of the circle, it draws around us its unbroken, marvelous

~ Rainer Maria Rilke
(For Hans Carossa)

Exposed on the cliffs of the heart

Exposed on the cliffs of the heart. Look, how tiny down there,
look: the last village of words and, higher,
(but how tiny) still one last
farmhouse of feeling. Can you see it?
Exposed on the cliffs of the heart. Stoneground
under your hands. Even here, though,
something can bloom; on a silent cliff-edge
an unknowing plant blooms, singing, into the air.
But the one who knows? Ah, he began to know
and is quiet now, exposed on the cliffs of the heart.
While, with their full awareness,
many sure-footed mountain animals pass
or linger. And the great sheltered birds flies, slowly
circling, around the peak's pure denial. - But
without a shelter, here on the cliffs of the heart... 

~ Rainer Maria Rilke 

the lovers

See how in their veins all becomes spirit:
into each other they mature and grow.

Like axles, their forms tremblingly orbit,
round which it whirls, bewitching and aglow.

Thirsters, and they receive drink,
watchers, and see:they receive sight.

Let them into one another sink
so as to endure each other outright.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Monday, November 2, 2009

But as all severall soules containe
Mixtures of things, they know not what,
Love, these mixt soules, doth mixe again,
And makes both one, each this and that.
~ John Donne from The Extasie
    painting by Oliver Hunter


Sunday, November 1, 2009

though love be a day


(though love be a day
and life be nothing,
it shall not stop kissing)

~ e.e.cummings