The night is only a sort of carbon paper,
Blueblack, with the much-poked periods of stars
Letting in the light, peephole after peephole —
A bonewhite light, like death, behind all things.
Under the eyes of the stars and the moon’s rictus
He suffers his desert pillow, sleeplessness
Stretching its fine, irritating sand in all directions.
Over and over the old, granular movie
Exposes embarrassments–the mizzling days
Of childhood and adolescence, sticky with dreams,
Parental faces on tall stalks, alternately stern and tearful,
A garden of buggy rose that made him cry.
His forehead is bumpy as a sack of rocks.
Memories jostle each other for face-room like obsolete film stars.
He is immune to pills: red, purple, blue —
How they lit the tedium of the protracted evening!
Those sugary planets whose influence won for him
A life baptized in no-life for a while,
And the sweet, drugged waking of a forgetful baby.
Now the pills are worn-out and silly, like classical gods.
Their poppy-sleepy colors do him no good.
[only part of the whole; by Sylvia Plath, 1939 – 1963]
“Imagination needs to take its place at the heart of learning. We need discovery, making, doing, exploring, creating, critical thinking, seeing, hearing and experiencing.”
– Michael Morpurgo – English author, poet, playwright, Children’s Laureate
Thank you O my God for colours
Thank you for the eyes that see them
For the hands that can make them
For the breeze that touches my ears that feel
For the light which removes the shadows from my heart
For the heat of your sun radiating my face
For the energy of my walk
And for the quiet moments.
© Millicent Danker
6 July 2013
“Soon will the high Midsummer pomps come on,
Soon will the musk carnations break and swell,
Soon shall we have gold-dusted snapdragon,
Sweet-William with his homely cottage-smell,
And stocks in fragrant blow;”
– From ‘Thyrsis’ by Matthew Arnold, British Poet, 1822-1888
As if to move a flexible sphere from here
to there with unassisted head and foot
were natural and obvious. As if
a dance could always bow to resolute
constraint and never be danced the same way twice.
As if whistles and cheers, the hullabaloo
of fervent gazers were all the music needed
to keep its players’ goals in tune. So that
as they weave, dodge, collide, collapse in breathless
haystacks–and rise and fall and rise again–
we’re made, if not one, then at least whole.
– Alfred Corn, American Poet & Essayist
That red ball that you become
at day’s end;
That fiery angry sizzle
you drop at the bottom
of a sky making ready to sleep
spreading molten lava
as it sinks –
What gets you so hot
that you aggravate
The clouds become you
around the edges
just at that one side,
while on the other it is
all placidity, serenity.
And you pull me to your part
of the world
You sun God you:
It is where
I am aflame.
2 June 2013
Become like this:
Next time you meet Him in the forest
Or on a crowded city street
There won’t be anymore
God will climb into
You will simply just take
– Hafiz, ‘The Gift’
Translated by Daniel Ladinsky
The pounding on the pavement
was what she hated the most;
That tocktocktocktock sound
pushed her over the edge, almost.
As soon as she stepped aside for one,
there was another to come:
Miss stroppy stropstropstropstrop
on high-heel dare
rushing to get past going nowhere.
She shuffled along gazing at windows.
She was only going to the store to get some milk –
There was no need to push.
31 May 2013
You were the one for skylights. I opposed
Cutting into the seasoned tongue-and-groove
Of pitch pine. I liked it low and closed,
Its claustrophobic, nest-up-in-the-roof
Effect. I liked the snuff-dry feeling,
The perfect, trunk-lid fit of the old ceiling.
Under there, it was all hutch and hatch.
The blue slates kept the heat like midnight thatch.
But when the slates came off, extravagant
Sky entered and held surprise wide open.
For days I felt like an inhabitant
Of that house where the man sick of the palsy
Was lowered through the roof, had his sins forgiven,
Was healed, took up his bed and walked away.
– Seamus Heaney, 1995 Recipient of Nobel Prize for Literature
the wild beast of Violence
me, my chest
in the process
in the process
into a humbled delicacy:
by the depth of the fire –
the depths to which I had
then the beast within me,
that beast that became me,
© Millicent Danker
19 February 1999