Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.
Let me keep company always with those who say
“Look!” and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads.
I sit before flowers
hoping they will train me in the art
of opening up.
Be, in this immensity of night, the magic force at your sense’s crossroad…
Split the atom’s heart, and low within it thou wilt find a sun.
I was young I was so young it hurt like a knife
because there was no alternative except to hide as long
not in self-pity but with dismay at my limited chance:
trying to connect.
Charles Bukowski, “Friends Within The Darkness”
From You Get So Alone at Times
Next to my own skin, her pearls. My mistress
bids me wear them, warm them, until evening
when I´ll brush her hair. At six, I place them
round her cool, white throat. All day I think of her,
resting in the Yellow Room, contemplating silk
or taffeta, which gown tonight? She fans herself
whilst I work willingly, my slow heat entering
each pearl. Slack on my neck, her rope.
She´s beautiful. I dream about her
in my attic bed; picture her dancing
with tall men, puzzled by my faint, persistent scent
beneath her French perfume, her milky stones.
I dust her shoulders with a rabbit´s foot,
watch the soft blush seep through her skin
like an indolent sigh. In her looking-glass
my red lips part as though I want to speak.
Full moon. Her carriage brings her home. I see
her every movement in my head…. Undressing,
taking off her jewels, her slim hand reaching
for the case, slipping naked into bed, the way
she always does…. And I lie here awake,
knowing the pearls are cooling even now
in the room where my mistress sleeps. All night
I feel their absence and I burn.
“On My Way Home” - by Ryuichi Tamura
I should never have learned words
how much better off I’d be
if I lived in a world
where meanings didn’t matter,
the world with no words
If beautiful words take revenge against you
it’s none of my concern
If quiet meanings make you bleed
it also is none of my concern
The tears in your gentle eyes
the pain that drips from your silent tongue –
I’d simply gaze at them and walk away
if our world had no words
In your tears
is there meaning like the core of a fruit?
In a drop of your blood
is there a shimmering resonance of the evening glow
of this world’s sunset?
I should never have learned words
Simply because I know Japanese and bits of a foreign tongue
I stand still inside your tears
I come back alone into your blood
I was made of delicate substance, mysterious time.
Perhaps the source is within me.
Perhaps the days emerge,
fatal and illusory,
from my shadow.
The Dark One
clouds of the monsoon,
a delight to this feverish heart.
Season of rain,
season of uncontrolled whispers – the Dark One’s returning!
O swollen heart,
O sky brimming with moisture – tongued lightning first
and then thunder,
convulsive spatters of rain
and then wind, chasing the summertime heat.
Mira says: Dark One,
I’ve waited –
it’s time to take my songs
into the street.
“Pen names have long been a means for writers to inhabit another identity—to attain privacy, assume the acceptably literate gender, or play with the freedom of a psychic unburdening. But at what point does a pseudonym become obfuscation, transgression?”
On Angels by Czeslaw Milosz
All was taken away from you: white dresses,
wings, even existence.
Yet I believe you,
There, where the world is turned inside out,
a heavy fabric embroidered with stars and beasts,
you stroll, inspecting the trustworthy seems.
Shorts is your stay here:
now and then at a matinal hour, if the sky is clear,
in a melody repeated by a bird,
or in the smell of apples at close of day
when the light makes the orchards magic.
They say somebody has invented you
but to me this does not sound convincing
for the humans invented themselves as well.
The voice — no doubt it is a valid proof,
as it can belong only to radiant creatures,
weightless and winged (after all, why not?),
girdled with the lightening.
I have heard that voice many a time when asleep
and, what is strange, I understood more or less
an order or an appeal in an unearthly tongue:
day draw near
do what you can.
of sun, the
roses. I want
to eat that
And the heart, unscrolled,
is comforted by such small things:
a cup of green tea rescues us, grows deep and large, a lake.