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Archive for april poetry month

Poetry – Mark Doty – To Jackson Pollock

To Jackson Pollock
Mark Doty

Last night somebody murdered a young tree on Seventh Avenue
between 18th and 19th—only two in that block,
and just days ago we’d taken refreshment in the crisp and particular shade

of that young ginkgo’s tight leaves, its beauty and optimism,
though I didn’t think of that word until the snapped trunk this morning,
a broken broomstick discarded, and tell me what pleasure

could you take from that? Maybe I understand it,
the sudden surge of rage and the requirement of a gesture,
but this hour I place myself firmly on the side of thirst,

the sapling’s ambition to draw from the secret streams
beneath this city, to lift up our subterranean waters.
Power in a pointless scrawl now on the pavement.

Pollock, when he swung his wild arcs in the barn-air
by Accabonac, stripped away incident and detail till all
that was left was swing and fall and return,

austere rhythm deep down things, beautiful
because he’s subtracted the specific stub and pith,
this wreck on the too-hot pavement where scavengers

spread their secondhand books in the scalding sunlight.
Or maybe he didn’t. Erase it I mean: look into the fierce ellipse
of his preserved gesture, and hasn’t he swept up every bit,

all the busted and incomplete, half-finished and lost?
Alone in the grand rooms of last century’s heroic painters
—granted entrance, on an off day, to a museum

with nobody, thank you, this once nobody talking—
and for the first time I understood his huge canvases
were prayers. No matter to what. And silent as hell;

he rode the huge engine of his attention toward silence,
and silence emanated from them, and they would not take no
for an answer, though there is no other. Forget supplication,

beseechment, praise. Look down
into it, the smash-up swirl, oil and pigment and tree-shatter:
tumult in equilibrium.


Shared from https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/jackson-pollock

Poetry Month – Poems by Hosai Ozaki

The following are a selection of haiku poems from Right under the big sky, I don’t wear a hat, the haiku and prose of Hosai Ozaki.


I look back at the shore, not one footprint let

The cigarette is dead, I cast away the loneliness

Dead leaves shake down the trees and broom the blue sky

A single garden rock places, evening comes

A pine grove let the children go home and is darkening

Such a good moon, I look at it by myself and go to sleep

I cup sparrow’s warmth, let it go

Poetry Month – Poems by Zen Master Ryokan

Selections 4 and 5 for National Poetry Month. These two poems of Zen Master Ryokan are from Dewdrops on a Lotus Leaf, Zen Poems of Ryokan, translated by John Stevens.


Untitled

If someone asks
My abode
I reply:
“The east edge of
The Milky Way.”

Like a drifting cloud,
Bound by nothing:
I just let go
Giving myself up
To the whim of the wind

The Autumn Moon

The moon appears in every season, it is true,
But surely it’s best in fall.
In autumn, mountains loom and water runs clear.
A brilliant disk floats across the infinite sky,
And there is no sense of light and darkness,
For everything is permeated with its presence.
The boundless sky above, the autumn chill on my face.
I take my precious staff and wander about the hills.
Not a speck of the world’s dust anywhere,
Just the brilliant beams of moonlight.
I hope others, too, are gazing on this moon tonight,
And that it’s illuminating all kinds of people.
Autumn after autumn, the moonlight comes and goes;
Human beings will gaze upon it for eternity.
The sermons of Buddha, the preaching of Eno,
Surely occurred under the same kind of moon.
I contemplate the moon through the night,
As the stream settles, and white dew descends.
Which wayfarer will bask in the moonlight longest?
Whose home will drink up the most moonbeams?


ryokan