Tuesday, March 28, 2017

"Tiny Beautiful Things"


               Don't lament so much about how your career is going to turn out.  You don't have a career.  You have a life.  Do the work.  Keep the Faith.  Be true blue.  You are a writer because you write. Keep writing and quit your complaining.  Your book has a birthday.  You don't know what it is yet.
              You cannot convince people to love you.  This is an absolute rule.  No one will ever give you love because you want him or her to give it.  Real Love moves freely in both directions.  Don't waste your time on anything else.
              Most things will be okay eventually, but not everything will be.  Sometimes you'll put up a good fight and lose.  Sometimes you'll hold on really hard and realize there is no choice but to let go.  Acceptance is a small, quiet room.
              Your assumptions about the lives of others are in direct relationship to your naive pomposity.  Many people you believe to be rich are not rich.  Many people you think have it easy worked hard for what they got.  Many people who seem to be gliding right along have suffered and are suffering.  Many people who appear to be olde and stupidly saddled down with kids and cars and houses were once every bit as hip and pompous as you.
              When you meet a man in the doorway of a Mexican restaurant who later kisses you while explaining that the kiss doesn't "mean anything" because, much as he likes you, he is not interested in having a relationship with you or anyone right now, just laugh and kiss him back.  Your daughter will have his sense of humour.  Your son will have his eyes.
              The useless days will add up to something. The horrible waitress jobs.  The hours writing in your journal.  The long meandering walks.  The hours reading poetry and story collections and novels and  dead people's diaries and wondering about sex and God and whether you should shave under your arms or not.  These things are your becoming.
              One Christmas at the very beginning of your twenties when your mother gives you a warm coat that she saved for months to buy, don't look at her skeptically after she tells you she thought the coat was perfect for you.  Don't hold it up and say it's longer than you like your coats to be and too puffy and possibly even too warm.  Your mother will be dead by spring.  That coat will be the last gift she gave you.  You will regret the small thing you didn't say for the rest of your life.
              Say, "Thank You".

     ~From "Tiny Beautiful Things,"
by Cheryl Strayed


28 March, 2017

Friday, February 24, 2017

"Death of an Irishwoman"

 in a sense
she ate monotonous food
and thought the world was flat,
and pagan, in the sense
she knew the things that moved
at night were neither dogs nor cats
but pukas and dark-faced men.
she nevertheless had fierce Pride.
But sentenced in the end
to eat thin diminishing porridge
in a stone-cold kitchen
she clenched her brittle hands
around a world she could not understand.
I loved her from the day she died.
She was a summer dance at the crossroads.
She was a card game where a nose was broken.
She was a song that nobody sings.
She was a house ransacked by soldiers.
She was a Language seldom spoken.
She was a child's purse
 full of useless things.

Michael Hartnett

~ Beannaichte'
 24 February, 2017

Thursday, February 2, 2017

"Ballad of a Runaway Horse"

Say a Prayer
 for the Cowgirl,  her Horse Ran away
She'll Walk till she Finds him, her Darlin' her Stray
But the River's in Flood, and the Roads are Awash
And the Bridge's Break up, in the Panic of Loss.

And there's Nothing to Follow, No where to go
He's Gone Like the Summer, Gone Like the Snow
And the Crickets are Breaking her Heart with their Song
As the Day Caves in, and the Night is all Wrong.

Did she Dream,
 was it he, who went Galloping Past
And Bent down the Fern, Broke open the Grass
And Printed the Mud, with the Well-hammered Shoe
That she Nailed to his Feet,
 in the Dreams Of her Youth.

And although he goes Grazin',  a Minute Away
She Tracks him all Night, she Tracks him all Day
And she's Blind to his Presence, Except to Compare
Her Injury Here, with his Punishment There.

Then at Home on a Branch,
 on a High Stream
A Songbird Sings out, so Suddenly
And the Sun is Warm and the Soft Winds Ride
On a Willow Tree, by the Riverside.

 the World is Sweet
 and the World is Wide
He's there where the Light, and the Darkness Divide
And the Steam's comin' off him, he's Huge and he's Shy
And he Steps on the Moon, when he Paws at the Sky.

And he Comes to her Hand,
 but he's Not really Tame
He Longs to be Lost, she Longs for the Same
And he'll Bolt and he'll Plunge, through the first Open Pass
To Roll and to Feed, in the Sweet Mountain Grass.

Or he'll make a Break for the High Plateau
Where there's Nothing Above, or Nothing Below
It's Time for their Burden, the Whip and the Spur
Will she Ride with Him, or Will he Ride with Her. 

So she Binds herself, to her Galloping Steed
And he Binds himself to the Woman in Need
And there is No Space, just Left and Right
And there is No Time,
 But there is Day and Night.

Then she Leans on his Neck,
 and Whispers Low
Whither thou Goest, I will Go
And they Turn as One, and they Head for the Plain
No Need for the Whip, No Need for the Rein.

Now the Clasp of this Union,
who Fastens it Tight
Who Snaps it Asunder, the very Next Night
Some Say it's Him, some Say it's Her
Some say Love's like Smoke, Beyond all Repair.

So my Darlin',
 my Darlin', just Let it Go By
That olde Silhouette, on the Great Western Sky
And I'll Pick out a Tune, and they'll Move right Along
And they're Gone Like Smoke,
and they're Gone Like this Song.

~Say a Prayer for the Cowgirl...

~Emmylou Harris/Leonard Cohen

1 February, 2017

Sunday, January 29, 2017

" Snow Girl"

let us go into the yard behind 
and make a little
Snow Girl;
and perhaps she will come alive,
and be a little daughter for us."

says the olde woman,
"there's no knowing what may be.
Let us go into the yard and make a little
Snow Girl."
Then one morning,
when the last of the Snow had melted,
she came to the olde couple and kissed them both.
"I must leave you now," she said.
"Why?" they cried.
"I am a child of the Snow.
I must go where it is cold."
"No! No!"  they cried.
"You cannot go!'
They held her close,
and a few drops of Snow fell to the floor. 
 Quickly she slipped from their arms 
and ran out the door.
"Come back!' they called.
"Come back to us!" 

As she gazed upon him,
filled every fiber of her being,
and she knew that was the Emotion
that she had been Warned against
by the
Spirit of the Wood.
Great Tears welled up in her eyes...
and suddenly
she began 

translated by Lucy Maxym

29 January, 2017