Sometimes

Sometimes a poem works well enough to post again…sometimes.

Rob's Lit-Bits

Sometimes the drops of air laugh at our impudent chuckle

and gather themselves into a breath. Sometimes

 

when the robin stares too long at the kitchen window,

we become her careless dream. Sometimes

 

the patches of nothing between the rain

know something, too, of waiting. Sometimes

 

I pinch myself asleep long enough to awaken again

to the resurrection of your scent. Sometimes

 

the sucking sound when pulling boots up from the mud 
is how I hear your leaving. Sometimes


the one goose not in formation with the others, 
heading where life goes are my thoughts without you. Sometimes


like old leaves pasted back on the living tree 
is the sound of my cracked voice next to your song. Sometimes

 
like a shower in the lobby with the door open 
is our talk. Sometimes

 

in the wordless poetry, alone,

is our silence.

 

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The Moorland Fairies

After having a conversation about “old school” vs “contemporary” poetry with a young student in the middle of a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature, I thought this one might be a good one to repost. In honour of “old school”…

Rob's Lit-Bits

The folklore of the Scottish highland moors is extensive and, frankly, creepy as hell. This is a poem that narrates some of that creepiness. Enjoy…or whatever one does with this kind of poetry!

 Moorland Fairies

From marsh and hill through woodland, still,

arose the lithe-limb’d people.

Their frozen stare could nearly kill

e’en those under God’s steeple.

* * *

For many years they haunted men

and frightened little children.

They came at night from eerie dens

to poison, scare or steal them.

* * *

Hunted down with bow and gun

till all were tired and hopeless,

till one cold day, they came upon

a creature in death’s caress.

* * *

So pale and wan, it lay atop

a thicket, robed in grasses;

it’s bluish skin, stout hearts could stop

black eyes, like coal-molasses.

* * *

The men bent down to prod and stare,

its spindly shanks to…

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An old poem for a new year

“Church Bell” by Georgia O’Keefe

We climb over the short wall from one three hundred sixty-five day journey to begin another, hoping against hope that it is somehow better than the one before. We’ll be just a bit happier, thinner, better looking, less anxious, more of this and less of that. Ever an admirer of Romantic era poets, I give you the following as a poem to ring in the new year.

And, because Wikipedia is where all things are quickly found…

“Ring Out, Wild Bells” is a poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Published in 1850, the year he was appointed Poet Laureate, it forms part of In Memoriam, Tennyson’s elegy to Arthur Henry Hallam, his sister’s fiancé who died at the age of 22.

According to a story widely held in Waltham Abbey, the ‘wild bells’ in question were the bells of the Abbey Church. According to the local story, Tennyson was staying at High Beach in the vicinity and heard the bells being rung on New Year’s Eve.

Ring Out, Wild Bells (from In Memoriam)

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out the grief that saps the mind
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.
Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.
Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.
Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.
Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.
Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.