Five Branch Tree
Not for That City
-- Charlotte Mew
Not for that city of the level sun,
.....Its golden streets and glittering gates ablaze?
.....The shadeless, sleepless city of white days,
White nights, or nights and days that are as one?
We weary, when all is said , all thought, all done.
....We strain our eyes beyond this dusk to see
.....What, from the threshold of eternity
We shall step into. No, I think we shun
The splendour of that everlasting glare,
.....The clamour of that never-ending song.
.....And if for anything we greatly long,
It is for some remote and quiet stair
.....Which winds to silence and a space for sleep
.....Too sound for waking and for dreams too deep.
A Dark Swimming Figure
-- Tomas Tranströmer (trans Robin Fulton)
About a prehistoric painting
on a rock in the Sahara:
a dark swimming figure
in an old river which is young.
Without weapons or strategy,
neither at rest nor quick
and cut from his own shadow
gliding on the bed of the stream.
He struggled to make himself free
from a slumbering green picture,
to come at last to the shore
and be one with his own shadow.
[ Curtain ; Jessica Dessner (2010) ]......................
oh gossamer gossamer breath
moment daylight life untouchable
by no name with no beginning
what do we think we recognize
--from 'The Wonder of the Imperfect'; W S Merwin (2014)
Duo as the Light is Going
-- W S Merwin
Those two go on with what they are saying
at the ends of their long
while the sun sinks in silence
the one gesturing is Painted On
boasting even in silhouette
to Burned In who in response
says not a thing