22 Mar 2010

Excerpt from 'A Better Resurrection' -- Christina Rossetti

I have no wit, no words, no tears;
My heart within me like a stone
Is numb’d too much for hopes or fears;
Look right, look left, I dwell alone;
I lift mine eyes, but dimm’d with grief
No everlasting hills I see;
My life is in the falling leaf:
O Jesus, quicken me.

Source: Rossetti, C 1862, Goblin Market and other Poems, Cambridge, Macmillan.

Poem 280 (I Felt A Funeral In My Brain) -- Emily Dickinson

[1830–1886, American]

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
And Mourners to and fro
Kept treading – treading – till it seemed
That Sense was breaking through –

And when they all were seated,
A Service, like a Drum –
Kept beating – beating – till I thought
My Mind was going numb –

And then I heard them lift a Box
And creak across my Soul
With those same Boots of Lead, again,
Then Space – began to toll,

As all the Heavens were a Bell,
And Being, but an Ear,
And I, and Silence, some strange Race
Wrecked, solitary, here –

And then a Plank in Reason, broke,
And I dropped down, and down –
And hit a World, at every plunge,
And Finished knowing – then –

Source: Dickinson, E 1896, The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Third Series, Roberts Brothers, Boston.

21 Mar 2010

To Live Apart -- Brian Johnstone

That faint booming as cars coast across the bridge,
the ravenous slap of wind on glass
conspire to turn the thoughts in one direction:

your going. A night like any might have been
before you crossed the road, waited for the lift
that you’d been taking there for years. I watched you go,

dividing in my mind the spoils of that brief war,
taking pictures from their nails, photographs from frames
that later, in the garage, I would break. The images

I kept, buried them beneath the surface of my days,
below the passports, door keys, airline tickets,
beneath the scars.

The tissue heals, knits back. The fabric of the mind
repairs itself. I listen, waiting at the corner of the road,
wondering, what was that sound?

Source: Unknown. Approx. 1995.