Tuesday, May 16, 2017

So many are rich ...

Wealth is so common
So many are rich
and beautiful

Good food, ornate clothes
big houses, smart cars,
all so common

Friendships common!
Relations common!
And Lovers too

Cleverness common
Intellect common
& Wisdom too

Kingdoms and heavens
That so many attain,
all so common

But Love!
Love is rare
Love is very rare!

After Emily Dickinson's "I couldn't live with you" ...

I couldn't live with you

for that beauty 
would also be broken 
behind the shelf like cracked porcelain

I couldn't die with you

for I would not
have the pleasure
of dying in your arms

I couldn't rise with you

for that almighty God 
would be jealous 
of our love

So we must meet apart

separated by an ocean 
and some commitments
yet still ... a window open
Here is the original Emily Dickinson classic:
I cannot live with You – 
It would be Life – 
And Life is over there – 
Behind the Shelf

The Sexton keeps the Key to – 
Putting up
Our Life – His Porcelain – 
Like a Cup – 

Discarded of the Housewife – 
Quaint – or Broke – 
A newer Sevres pleases – 
Old Ones crack – 

I could not die – with You – 
For One must wait
To shut the Other’s Gaze down – 
You – could not – 

And I – could I stand by
And see You – freeze – 
Without my Right of Frost – 
Death’s privilege?

Nor could I rise – with You – 
Because Your Face
Would put out Jesus’ – 
That New Grace

Glow plain – and foreign
On my homesick Eye – 
Except that You than He
Shone closer by – 

They’d judge Us – How – 
For You – served Heaven – You know,
Or sought to – 
I could not – 

Because You saturated Sight – 
And I had no more Eyes
For sordid excellence
As Paradise

And were You lost, I would be – 
Though My Name
Rang loudest
On the Heavenly fame – 

And were You – saved – 
And I – condemned to be
Where You were not – 
That self – were Hell to Me – 

So We must meet apart – 
You there – I – here – 
With just the Door ajar
That Oceans are – and Prayer – 
And that White Sustenance – 
Despair – 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The sun never says to the earth you owe me ...

Even after all this time 
The sun never says to the earth, 
“You owe Me.” 

Look what happens with 
A love like that, 
It lights the Whole Sky.
- Daniel Ladinsky

The poem is inspired by Hafiz, but its not a translation as its most often quoted. It was written by Daniel Ladinsky.