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Thread: Poetry:- 'The Invitation' and others

  1. #16
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    Thumbs up Poetry:- 'The Invitation' and others

    The Invitation
    by Oriah Mountain Dreamer


    It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

    It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.

    It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.

    I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

    It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

    I want to know if you can see beauty even when it's not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.

    I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, "Yes!"

    It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after a night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

    It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

    It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

    I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
    http://www.kalimunro.com/invitation.html

    I came across this piece of writing a number of years ago. It is a piece I never tire of.

    For me, it speaks of what is really important, in life. It cuts through all the spin, gloss and ego.

    It inspires and motivates me when I can't see a way forward or when I get lost in the 'small stuff'. It helps to bring me back to the basics.

    I just wanted to share it with you.

    Enjoy.

    Please add the pieces that inspire or motivate you.

  2. #17
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    Default Re: Poetry:- 'The Invitation' and others

    Very nice one, Newsy

    Plenty to chew on in it, too.

  3. #18
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    Default Re: Poetry:- 'The Invitation' and others

    I shall never tire of it either. Beautiful and timely. Thanks Newsy. Happy Christmas all.

  4. #19
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    Default Re: Poetry:- 'The Invitation' and others

    A Blessing
    by James Wright

    Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota

    Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.

    And the eyes of those two Indian ponies

    Darken with kindness.

    They have come gladly out of the willows

    To welcome my friend and me.

    We step over the barbed wire into the pasture

    Where they have been grazing all day alone.

    They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness

    That we have come.

    They bow shyly like wet swans. They love each other

    There is no loneliness like theirs.

    I would like to take the slenderer one in my arms,

    For she has walked over to me

    And nuzzled my left hand.

    She is black and white.

    Her mane falls wild on her forehead.

    And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear

    That is as delicate as the skin over a young girl’s wrist

    Suddenly I realize

    That if I stepped out of my body I would break

    Into blossom.

  5. #20
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    Default Re: Poetry:- 'The Invitation' and others

    My Father's Love Letters
    by Yusef Komunyakaa

    On Fridays he'd open a can of Jax
    After coming home from the mill,
    & ask me to write a letter to my mother
    Who sent postcards of desert flowers
    Taller than men. He would beg,
    Promising to never beat her
    Again. Somehow I was happy
    She had gone, & sometimes wanted
    To slip in a reminder, how Mary Lou
    Williams' "Polka Dots & Moonbeams"
    Never made the swelling go down.
    His carpenter's apron always bulged
    With old nails, a claw hammer
    Looped at his side & extension cords
    Coiled around his feet.
    Words rolled from under the pressure
    Of my ballpoint: Love,
    Baby, Honey, Please.
    We sat in the quiet brutality
    Of voltage meters & pipe threaders,
    Lost between sentences . . .
    The gleam of a five-pound wedge
    On the concrete floor
    Pulled a sunset
    Through the doorway of his toolshed.
    I wondered if she laughed
    & held them over a gas burner.
    My father could only sign
    His name, but he'd look at blueprints
    & say how many bricks
    Formed each wall. This man,
    Who stole roses & hyacinth
    For his yard, would stand there
    With eyes closed & fists balled,
    Laboring over a simple word, almost
    Redeemed by what he tried to say.

  6. #21
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    Default Re: Poetry:- 'The Invitation' and others

    Kind of apt for the night that's in it.

    Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening Robert Frost


    Whose woods these are I think I know.
    His house is in the village, though;
    He will not see me stopping here
    To watch his woods fill up with snow.
    My little horse must think it queer
    To stop without a farmhouse near
    Between the woods and frozen lake
    The darkest evening of the year.

    He gives his harness bells a shake
    To ask if there's some mistake.
    The only other sound's the sweep
    Of easy wind and downy flake.

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep
    "There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by sword. The other is by debt." -- John Adams

  7. #22
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    Default Re: Poetry:- 'The Invitation' and others

    thanks for the beautiful words

    Here's one I especially like, it's by Rumi and featured in the movie "kite runner"




    (from Mathnawi 1 , 1510 - 1513):

    Who are we in this complicated world?

    if we come to sleep
    we are His drowsy ones.

    and if we come to wake
    we are in His hands.

    if we come to weeping,
    we are His cloud full of raindrops.

    and if we come to laughing,
    we are His lightning in that moment.

    if we come to anger and battle,
    it is the reflection of His wrath.

    and if we come to peace and pardon,
    it is the reflection of His love.

    Who are we in this complicated world?

  8. #23
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    Default Re: Poetry:- 'The Invitation' and others

    Quote Originally Posted by wickedfairy View Post
    Kind of apt for the night that's in it.

    Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening Robert Frost


    Whose woods these are I think I know.
    His house is in the village, though;
    He will not see me stopping here
    To watch his woods fill up with snow.
    My little horse must think it queer
    To stop without a farmhouse near
    Between the woods and frozen lake
    The darkest evening of the year.

    He gives his harness bells a shake
    To ask if there's some mistake.
    The only other sound's the sweep
    Of easy wind and downy flake.

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep
    He stole that from here;

    http://www.politicalworld.org/showpo...5&postcount=73
    http://ancruiskeenlawnmower.wordpress.com/

    If dreams were lightning, thunder was desire, this whole place would have burned down, a long time ago.

  9. #24
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    Default Re: Poetry:- 'The Invitation' and others

    The Gift I Never Got
    by Vincent Draper

    It was not unusual in my house for the phone to ring once, just once, and then to fade away into silence. It was not unusual in my house for my father to suddenly announce after one of these calls that he had some errand to run. Often it was a trip to the store, or some forgotten task at work. It was a usual day in my house; the phone had just rung once, my father had just left to go to the store, and I was eight years old. Christmas was near and I was searching the house for presents. Under my parents’ bed is where I found it. It was bright red toy car with real rubber tires and plastic pipes that looked like real chrome. I couldn’t control myself and soon I was pushing it along the floor. I could feel my heart thumping in my head and my hands were slick with perspiration. Later that night I dreamt about the car; it would be my favourite toy. On Christmas morning I bypassed the Stretch Armstrong doll; I totally ignored the Dr J Basketball, and went looking for the car. It was some cruel joke. “Where is it?” I cried. I ran into my parents’ bedroom, rifled under the bed but it wasn’t there. My mother had followed me. “What are you looking for?” she asked. “The car! The car!” I screamed. The phone rang once – and I heard the door close as my father left to go to the store. “There is no car,” she said. “Yes there is, yes there is,” I screamed back. “It’s just like when the phone rings you always say it’s no one. Well, it wouldn’t ring if it wasn’t someone.” She didn’t speak for a long while after that. She just looked at me. Finally she said, “Alright, we’ll ask him about the car. We’ll ask him about the phone that only rings once. We’ll ask him about all those trips to the store.”

  10. #25
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    Default Re: Poetry:- 'The Invitation' and others

    William Blake's words still resound...

    1.1 "What is the price of Experience? do men buy it for a song?
    1.2 Or wisdom for a dance in the street? No, it is bought with the price
    1.3 Of all that a man hath, his house, his wife, his children.
    1.4 Wisdom is sold in the desolate market where none come to buy,
    1.5 And in the wither'd field where the farmer plows for bread in vain.

    1.6 It is an easy thing to triumph in the summer's sun
    1.7 And in the vintage and to sing on the waggon loaded with corn.
    1.8 It is an easy thing to talk of patience to the afflicted,
    1.9 To speak the laws of prudence to the houseless wanderer,
    1.10 To listen to the hungry raven's cry in wintry season
    1.11 When the red blood is fill'd with wine and with the marrow of lambs.

    1.12 It is an easy thing to laugh at wrathful elements,
    1.13 To hear the dog howl at the wintry door, the ox in the slaughter house moan;
    1.14 To see a god on every wind and a blessing on every blast;
    1.15 To hear sounds of love in the thunder storm that destroys our enemies' house;
    1.16 To rejoice in the blight that covers his field, and the sickness that cuts off his children,
    1.17 While our olive and vine sing and laugh round our door, and our children bring fruits and flowers.

    1.18 Then the groan and the dolor are quite forgotten, and the slave grinding at the mill,
    1.19 And the captive in chains, and the poor in the prison, and the soldier in the field
    1.20 When the shatter'd bone hath laid him groaning among the happier dead.

    1.21 It is an easy thing to rejoice in the tents of prosperity:
    1.22 Thus could I sing and thus rejoice: but it is not so with me."

    https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/h...poem169.html#1

  11. #26
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    Default Re: Poetry:- 'The Invitation' and others

    W.H. Auden
    As I Walked Out One Evening


    As I walked out one evening,
    Walking down Bristol Street,
    The crowds upon the pavement
    Were fields of harvest wheat.

    And down by the brimming river
    I heard a lover sing
    Under an arch of the railway:
    'Love has no ending.

    'I'll love you, dear, I'll love you
    Till China and Africa meet,
    And the river jumps over the mountain
    And the salmon sing in the street,

    'I'll love you till the ocean
    Is folded and hung up to dry
    And the seven stars go squawking
    Like geese about the sky.

    'The years shall run like rabbits,
    For in my arms I hold
    The Flower of the Ages,
    And the first love of the world.'

    But all the clocks in the city
    Began to whirr and chime:
    'O let not Time deceive you,
    You cannot conquer Time.

    'In the burrows of the Nightmare
    Where Justice naked is,
    Time watches from the shadow
    And coughs when you would kiss.

    'In headaches and in worry
    Vaguely life leaks away,
    And Time will have his fancy
    To-morrow or to-day.

    'Into many a green valley
    Drifts the appalling snow;
    Time breaks the threaded dances
    And the diver's brilliant bow.

    'O plunge your hands in water,
    Plunge them in up to the wrist;
    Stare, stare in the basin
    And wonder what you've missed.

    'The glacier knocks in the cupboard,
    The desert sighs in the bed,
    And the crack in the tea-cup opens
    A lane to the land of the dead.

    'Where the beggars raffle the banknotes
    And the Giant is enchanting to Jack,
    And the Lily-white Boy is a Roarer,
    And Jill goes down on her back.

    'O look, look in the mirror,
    O look in your distress:
    Life remains a blessing
    Although you cannot bless.

    'O stand, stand at the window
    As the tears scald and start;
    You shall love your crooked neighbour
    With your crooked heart.'

    It was late, late in the evening,
    The lovers they were gone;
    The clocks had ceased their chiming,
    And the deep river ran on.

  12. #27
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    Default Re: Poetry:- 'The Invitation' and others

    Quote Originally Posted by Hapax View Post
    W.H. Auden
    As I Walked Out One Evening
    Thanks Hapax, that's one of my favourite Auden poems.

    Since we're after our own "low dishonest decade", let's have another Auden poem, read by the man himself:

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-qr7z_gfn0"]YouTube - "Song of The Master and Boatswain" by W.H. Auden[/ame]

  13. #28
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    Default Re: Poetry:- 'The Invitation' and others

    Thx. Bokonon.

    Here's something a little grimmer, but apposite, I think.

    Bertolt Brecht
    On The Infanticide Marie Farrar
    (From Manual of Piety)


    1
    Marie Farrar: month of birth, April
    An orphaned minor; rickets; birthmarks, none; previously
    Of good character, admits that she did kill
    Her child as follows here in summary.
    She visited a woman in a basement
    During her second month, so she reported
    And there was given two injections
    Which, though they hurt, did not abort it.
    But you I beg, make not your anger manifest
    For all that lives needs help from all the rest.


    2
    But nonetheless, she says, she paid the bill
    As was arranged, then bought herself a corset
    And drank neat spirit, peppered it as well
    But that just made her vomit and disgorge it.
    Her belly now was noticeably swollen
    And ached when she washed up the plates.
    She says that she had not finished growing.
    She prayed to Mary, and her hopes were great.
    You too I beg, make not your anger manifest
    For all that lives needs help from all the rest.


    3
    Her prayers, however, seemed to be no good.
    She'd asked too much. Her belly swelled. At Mass
    She started to feel dizzy and she would
    Kneel in a cold sweat before the Cross.
    Still she contrived to keep her true state hidden
    Until the hour of birth itself was on her
    Being so plain that no one could imagine
    That any man would ever want to tempt her.
    But you I beg, make not your anger manifest
    For all that lives needs help from all the rest.


    4
    She says that on the morning of that day
    While she was scrubbing stairs, something came clawing
    Into her guts. It shook her once and went away.
    She managed to conceal her pain and keep from crying.
    As she, throughout the day, hung up the washing
    She racked her brain, then realized in fright
    She was going to give birth. At once a crushing
    Weight grabbed at her heart. She didn't go upstairs till night.
    And yet I beg, make not your anger manifest
    For all that lives needs help from all the rest.

    5
    But just as she lay down they fetched her back again:
    Fresh snow had fallen, and it must be swept.
    That was a long day. She worked till after ten.
    She could not give birth in peace till the household slept.
    And then she bore, so she reports, a son.
    The son was like the son of any mother.
    But she was not like other mothers are - but then
    There are no valid grounds why I should mock her.
    You too I beg, make not your anger manifest
    For all that lives needs help from all the rest.


    6
    So let her finish now and end her tale
    About what happened to the son she bore
    (She says there's nothing she will not reveal)
    So men may see what I am and you are.
    She'd just climbed into bed, she says, when nausea
    Seized her. Never knowing what should happen till
    It did, she struggled with herself to hush her
    Cries, and forced them down. The room was still.
    And you I beg, make not your anger manifest
    For all that lives needs help from all the rest.


    7
    The bedroom was ice cold, so she called on
    Her last remaining strength and dragged her-
    Self out to the privy and there, near dawn
    Unceremoniously, she was delivered
    (Exactly when, she doesn't know). Then she
    Now totally confused, she says, half froze
    And found that she could scarcely hold the child
    For the servants' privy lets in the heavy snows.
    And you I beg, make not your anger manifest
    For all that lives needs help from all the rest.


    8
    Between the servants' privy and her bed (she says
    That nothing happened until then), the child
    Began to cry, which vexed her so, she says
    She beat it with her fists, hammering blind and wild
    Without a pause until the child was quiet, she says.
    She took the baby's body into bed
    And held it for the rest of the night, she says
    Then in the morning hid it in the laundry shed.
    But you I beg, make not your anger manifest
    For all that lives needs help from all the rest.


    9
    Marie Farrar: month of birth, April
    Died in the Meissen penitentiary
    An unwed mother, judged by the law, she will
    Show you how all that lives, lives frailly.
    You who bear your sons in laundered linen sheets
    And call your pregnancies a 'blessed' state
    Should never damn the outcast and the weak:
    Her sin was heavy, but her suffering great.
    Therefore, I beg, make not your anger manifest
    For all that lives needs help from all the rest.


    (Tr. Eric Bentley)

  14. #29
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    Default Re: Poetry:- 'The Invitation' and others

    An Emblem of Two Foxes
    by Barry Spacks

    Simply to breathe

    can make him bleed

    The fox whose leg

    is trapped, whose will

    awaits the kill.

    Why should he flail?

    Moving hurts,

    so he lies still.


    Around him walks

    a prouder fox

    his severed leg

    a homily

    on going free,

    as if to say

    it hurts, it hurts

    either way.

  15. #30
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    Default Re: Poetry:- 'The Invitation' and others

    How Beautiful the Turning of the Year
    by Turlough O'Carolan

    How beautiful the turning of the year!
    A moment artificial yet profound:
    Point upon an arbitrary chart
    Passing like a breath upon the heart,
    Yearning with anticipation wound,
    New hope new harbored in old-fashioned cheer.
    Even when the boundary line is clear,
    We recognize the oneness of the ground.
    Years, like circles, do not end or start
    Except we lay across their truth our art,
    Adjusting dates as they go round and round
    Revolving to a tune long sung and dear.

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