Wandering Off to Die (A Reblog)

the !n(tro)verted yogi

And when the darkness looms
we wander on our way
deep into the forest
and from the path we stray.

A lonely way to go?
I’m not sure I agree.
No lonelier than a bed
far from the nearest tree.

Not blocked from the agents
of Death or of Decay —
perhaps, we feel the Web
more than the fear of prey

as we stagger that last mile.

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To an Old Lady Seen Sitting Gazing at the Sea

Would you go for a swim?
It’s too cold.
If it were hot, would you go for a swim?
I’m too old.
You are not.

If it were hot, really hot, would you
strip off your clothes and plunge in?
I would, I would but
I’m old
and it’s cold.
But you would?
Oh, I would.
I would …

And once you were in,
how long would you stay?
Would you stay in all day?
All day?
I’m too old.
If it were hot, really hot, 
you could stay in all day, and all night.
All night, yes.
I would stay in and play
by the light of the moon
all day and all night.

Mermaid Out Of Water 4

Throw the poor thing back in!
She;s real! Look!
Look at that tail!

Fuck, yes!
Just think what we can get for her,
what she must be worth
!

But she’s dying! Look at her eyes.
And already the gleam
is fading from her scales!

Those eyes are not the eyes of a human!
They are the eyes – and the scales! –
of a fucking fish!

Throw her back in.
If she dies
you’ll get nothing.

Fish die. I’ll sell her frozen.
Find the right scientists

and auction her like the fucking fish she is.

Who do I identify with? Not the one who wants to keep her, sell her, that’s for sure. The other one, who wants to throw her back in, quick, before she dies? Yes, of course. But I identify more closely with the mermaid herself, helpless in the hands of a bully and his spineless sidekick.

 

GUSTAVO ADOLFO BÉCQUER: In the Towering Nave of a Byzantine Temple

(from the Spanish of Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer)

Tomb of Doña María de Villalobos

In the towering nave of a Byzantine temple,
by the light filtering down through
the stained-glass windows,
I saw a Gothic tomb:

a beautiful woman lying on a granite bed,
a miracle of carved stone,
her hands on her breast
and in her hands a book.

Beneath the sweet weight of her limp body,
the bed of stone was creased
just as if it really were made
of feathers and satin

and her face retained the radiance
of that last smile
as the sky preserves
the last fleeting ray of a dying sun.

Two angels, their fingers to their lips,
sat on the edge of her stone pillow
imposing silence on all
within the railed enclosure.

She did not seem dead;
she seemed to sleep
in the shadow of those massy arches,
and in her dreams to see Paradise.

Like someone coming on tip-toe
to a cradle where a child lies sleeping,
I approached that shadowy
corner of the nave.

For a moment I gazed at her,
at the soft radiance, and at
the bed of stone which offered next to her
another empty place beside the wall,

and within my soul
the thirst for the infinite rose up once more,
the desire for that life in death
compared to which the centuries are but a moment …

* * *

Weary of the daily battle
I wage simply to survive,
I remember sometimes, with longing,
that dark, hidden corner.

I picture that pale
mute woman, and I murmur:
“Oh, what a silent love is the love of death!
And what a peaceful sleep the sleep of the grave!”

Glamour

Glamour is an old Scots form of the word “grammar”
and meant magic, the magic of words.
You see this page? It’s empty.

A road …

A narrow road across an open moor.
The road from Ullapool to Balintore.
A rider on a horse, dark hair flying:
horse’s mane, woman’s mane.

Behind them, open ocean, rain-swept isles.
Ahead, low wooded hills, a sandy beach.
A woman on a black horse, black cloak
flying, black hair streaming. Will she reach

the sea in time, the grey North Sea,
the houses of the fishermen and women,
each with its peat fire, its chimney smoke,
its bare back turned to the wind-scoured beach?

A woman on a black horse, black cloak
flying, black hair streaming out,
crying: Make way! Make way! I cannot stop!
Today I must be by dusk in Balintore!

Could you put all that in a painting?