Ten Windows and The Beauty

Jane Hirshfield

A mysterious quickening inhabits the depths of any good poem–protean, elusive, alive in its own right. The word "creative" shares its etymology with the word "creature," and carries a similar sense of breathing aliveness of an active fine-grained, multi-cellulare making.

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334. Apple Sorting Chair, Birch and Pine

Busy leisure. This luxury of September sun
kissing my shoulders (which I leave unshaded,
my bonnet in my lap,) and Daniel’s orchard,
the apples which our children pick laid in careful baskets

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A Breath, A Word for Eric Garner

POETRY a breath, a word for Eric Garner by Waqas Khwaja January 2017 one word to share with you   one breath between us   one word i could not utter   one breath stuck in my throat   my body’s grime is all my wealth   you excavate me to find yours   i...

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A Defiant Grace for Gwendolyn Brooks

you Harlem Renaissance child You Langston's lil' sis you word-seamstress created patchwork quilts to bring comfort to the afflicted

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A Different Concept

Mary accepted the Angel Gabriel’s proclamation that she had been chosen by God to bear His son.

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A Distant Shore

Unable to nurse, your engorged breasts ache and leak onto a gray hospital gown. Stoic nuns busy themselves on newly waxed linoleum floors, walk around your questions in their crepe-soled shoes.

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A Field of Sunflowers

Give up what you want to gain, the guide says, as I pass a field of sunflowers,

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A Lazy Sunday Afternoon

spent listening to Chet Baker crooning “You Don’t Know What Love Is,” and of course thinking of you

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A Night

We lived in the wild (a glen), The sound of running water lulling us to sleep. I slept wrapped in your smoke scent (a coat), Red orange wool - same as the light behind my eyes.

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A Snippet

I pull a blade of grass and don’t think of my friends.

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After Heart Surgery: Hokusai’s Great Wave

Each year an illness demands something more for me to exchange from my heart's ribbed cage.

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Basket Form and Rare Pitch Pipe, Maple

Here is become Pure Light. My voice. My Yearning. My reaching hand.

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Black Marks

The black marks remained intact he knew the house well but had not noticed the marks on the green shutters.

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Bud

What an exact moment, beyond stop watch, clock, daily planner. Nothing meted out. Pure season, expression of something immense that you barely glimpse.

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Canticum, Turicum

The city, especially an ancient city like Zürich, is a hypertext.

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Catacombs

Remember when you talked about enlightenment you stubbornly denied the face of truth

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Coat

It was a place of flying horses and centaurs dancing

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Copán

To me it is no mystery that the soul of the site at Copán is occupied by a woman,

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Crossing the Equator

you showed me the picture folded to a map of memory denied

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Dark River

Orpheus, sing again. Our days sit upon us as dark clouds. At oblivion’s edge we wait without hope, without wonder.

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Don’t Get Excited

“Poetic voice” is not a siren wail. I’d better not let it be.

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Dour Journey

Glued by gravity in thrusting Ford on dipping road, in multiple dimensions of mind

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Dreams

Always I will dream of you in the empty night of summer

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Dusty and Bugs

The kids were gone, the spouses, too, And nothing in the world to do But take a walk.

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Ewuare Osayande – Believing Is Doing

Ewuare Osayande is an activist and a poet. Born in Camden, New Jersey, he has seen racism and the pain it inflicts not only on an individual and a community but also on society as a whole.

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Fire and Blood of Poetry: Keeping the Fire Alive

“Neither men, nor gods, nor booksellers allow poets to be mediocre.”

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For Some

For some, the light of the sun hurts their eyes

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for Toshiko

Whales Sing and Other Exuberances cover excerpt yes, om, yes she brought the wheel to the chapel of beginnings

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from Her Book of Difficulties

So much forgiveness to ask & it’s hard for her— all opening & a train barreling through

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Full and Empty: The Contradiction of Translation

We met in the lobby of the Quito Hilton, I in crisp linen, which I had thought appropriate for the equator, grateful that long sleeves concealed my goosebumps, she in cozy wool perfectly suited to the chill wind of the heights

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Gaucho

We bumped along the dirt road from Rocha — ours alone north toward the hills we could not see, in the endless sun of a late December day in Uruguay.

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Gaucho

Desde Rocha, nos dimos de barquinazos en la ruta polvorienta, en esos momentos solo nuestra, hacia los cerros que no podíamos ver, en el inagotable sol de un dia de diciembre tardío en Uruguay.

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Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival: Sifnos/Bresson

An image in silver of a Sifnos street can be bought today at Swann Galleries in Manhattan

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Grand Junction Cemetery

Beneath a polished granite slab, their names carved sweetly side by side, to all above beloved, Mildred and Clarence lay in chilly perpetuity.

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Great Day in the Cows House

In the dark tie-up seven huge Holsteins

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Green

Cries in a flurry — water? — can it chime? Mica or garnet ringing, struck by brookspill tumbling below the window, rain-fat, high.

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Grief

Grief took you on her wing and you unable to hold on flew far away with the wind’s breath

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Guilt Shop: Photograph of the Fabian Theater

All there in one place, everything you’ve ever felt bad about losing or breaking next to those items you should have gotten but forgot—

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Hamra Night (Arabic)

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Haste

Not so fast people were always telling me slow down take your time teachers

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Her Garden

Under the tigers, her Janie keeps whimpering, my Lambie’s there, and no glossolalia of love is going to put that child back to sleep

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Hunting Power

You say you are hunting your power But your power is hunting you.

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I Bide My Time

i met a Valmiki in the street hardly a cloth on his bare body poorest among the poor.

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I Was Born an Enemy

The Unicorn in Captivity - Tapestry - the Metropolitan Museum - 1595-1505 I was born an enemy, but I did not know it then The Sandman came and shut my eyes The Clatterer lurked in dark corners waiting to pounce And only a sacred verse kept it at bay

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Ice Ages

Any moment the Antarctic Ross ice shelf can calve an iceberg and melt: New York gone, Florida, the whole Atlantic coast.

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Imagine This, Imagine That

Imagine This, imagine That Let me tell you where I’m from so you’ll know just where I’m at.

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Instant of Turbulence

At the roots of short strands where pores exude oil, wet hair blackens like a wick.

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Isle of Giants

I found you wandering in that garden of ancients. You rested briefly upon a great stone hand, stopping to feel the kind ivy sleeping with it.

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Its Time

Yes, there’s time, but I’m not really into it. The thing about me is that things are just stuff around me— barnacles on a whale.

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Kicking the Leaves

Kicking the leaves, October, as we walk home together from the game, in Ann Arbor,

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La maleta estuvo replete

de escorpiones de vasijas de barro y tierra de tostado de habas de pailas de bronce calientes con dulce de leche y membrillo reventándose con culebras venenosas.

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Late April

The pale light of late April clings to the tips of cedar, bright green with the few scraps of sunlight leaking through dense clouds massing this long morning.

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Launching

She watches him launch it. Petey, with his skipper cap, his new toy boat, adjusts the sails, angles the rudder till they’re just right

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Listening to Schumann’s Piano Concerto

That we don't all die in childhood is the greater miracle, God lifting His light hand

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Love and Strange Horses: The Freedom of Poetry

Winner of the Pen Oakland Josephine Miles National Book Award and the Menada Literary Award, as well as an honored finalist for the 2009 Gift of Freedom Award, Nathalie Handal is a poet, playwright and writer with a traveler’s heart.

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Man in the Dead Machine

High on a slope in New Guinea the Grumman Hellcat lodges among bright vines as thick as arms.

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Manhattan Morning

POETRY Manhattan Morning by William Irwin Thompson Let eternity be a mark of no distinction, a point without dimension: infinite or infinitesimal, depending upon how you feel in the morning of your death. Depending upon the Palisades of the Hudson, I still seemed to be on not very certain ground. What was ground could well...

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Map of Remembering

a voice tells me: remember like a hunter’s moon I answer —

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Men Kissing

Men kissing, men kissing men in a movie, women kissing, kissing women in the next, then men kissing women, then women, men,

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Miracle Worker

I almost regretted not being better prepared for God's could-have-fooled-me children, scam lambs, numb to the world, bumping into me, suspiciously large hands laid on my shoulder in sparse apology,

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Mock Orange on Wash Day

The washboard, drying, ripples in sunlight revealing nothing of what work is over to make it shine that way,

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Moon in March with Fieldstone

Home last night after ten, I stood in the driveway and heard the first geese of spring moving and clamoring in the darkness —

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Morning After the Bombing

She sutures the child with stitches that won’t hold him together

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Morocco

The roll-up rear door of the truck is the only thing visible through my bug-stained windshield. I-95 is bumper-to-bumper again, a radio talk show drones on, the topic, love relationships.

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Mother Rape

All the trees are gone to cook someone’s dinner

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Mount Kearsarge Shrines

mount kearsarge shines with ice; from hemlock branches snow slides onto snow; no stream, creek, or river

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Nancy Grayson’s Bookstore

Nancy’s used bookstore is closing. It was the best bookshop in town— prints and photos of old Portland on the walls, classical music

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Necklace of Silence

pure water poured — but muddied on the ground there were drops — a few — of memory

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New Age: Thoughts on the Gulf Oil Spill During Last Week’s Yoga Class

She asks us to spread out and think Of the emotions to which we cling that hold us back

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New Jersey and North Carolina

POETRY New Jersey and North Carolina by Pilar Timpane Sometimes I wonder out loud Or in my still pool of a mind, A nice clean ripple of a question, a request to know “What are you doing in North Carolina? i. New Jersey In the thickest Jersey accent I can find in my mind where...

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Nightshade

The little baby’s gone. Who was not here. She and I

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Nightwatch and Dayshift: Cézanne

Objects intimately inclined to the spaces of one another. Planes aslant, geometry breaking up in grief for ripening things. Only apples on a table.

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Nulla Dies Sine Linea

Out the driveway and across the bridge past the corn fields past the Northern Bean acres and left turn to the supermarket on Dublin Pike where the shopping list will have me go

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Oblivion

Forgotten the old neighborhoods the romances, heartaches passed by the glances

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October

October the day brimmed over with dusk burdens

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On Reading “The Penguin Book of English Verse”: on my iPad and Exercise Bike

For the twentieth century, the Irish have possession for more times than you would think. Possessed by archaic words like stones in the soiled richness of their dark speech

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Original Born for Paul Robeson

he came unchained singing in the eye of the noose no matter how twisted the knot round his neck

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Peach Season

All summers, since that summer, are that summer: A sunstruck shadow falls across the Solstice.

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Pilgrimage

We leave all sins behind in the pilgrimage. We know it’s not our land anymore. We cross a sea of dangers

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Pissing

Knees bent, you tip your pelvis slightly toward the immaculate bowl

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Poetic Justice

So now they’ve got Exactly the kind of men and women they wanted

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Red Night (English Version)

A candle in a long street A candle in the sleep of houses A candle for frightened shops

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Reflections on the Art of Poetry

We asked poets from across the country to reflect on the role this art form assumes in their daily life. "How is poetry relevant to life?"

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Review of Heather Thomas’s Poetry

A very fine experimental poet, Heather Thomas writes books that flash in your mind.

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Rolex Arts Initiative – “That Email Changed My Life”

During the 2009-2011 mentor/protégé cycle, Smith worked with mentor, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, who has been described as one of Germany's greatest living writers.

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Sailing to Byzantium

Do you think, my love, it would be an imposition if in our wills we asked our daughters to cut down the majesticTulip tree across the stream,

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Sales Flight: Departure/Arrival

The scream runway disembowels memory. Wrappings hold us in. My future waits so sure unsure

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Sea Gull

Whether the mackerel was holy is forgotten the way all bad jokes are forgotten, hung in the back of closets like old coats,

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Shadow

The sun incised a curious line on the concrete ledge

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Shelled Almonds

I crunch them whole and naked now, remember Sunday afternoons — the screech of forks and clash of plates,

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Show Me

Show me where the flowers will grow where the garden hides beneath the shrouds of fear

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Shur-e Hayat

handal-shur-ehayat-circle Not the city noise nor the mythic clouds will let us know what the night means

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Snowfall

Jean Paul Sartre gives me his wall-eyed stare from the back of his book, down through the glass tabletop

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Song of the Blessed One The Bhagavad-Gita, Canto 11: (4) Behold I

and is this not the GREAT PUNISHER this KNOWING miraculous architecture of disappointment bedrock of regret if not for future planted in the mind-manure HAUNTER EXPECTATION and then when trick is played

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Song of the Blessed One: The Bhagavad-Gita, Canto 11 [1]: Vision of the Universal Form

Arjuna said favoring me supreme profound touching the divide between self and not these You-spoken teachings have dispelled this my illusion origin ah and undoing of all beings has been heard intimate by me

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Song of the Blessed One: The Bhagavad-Gita, Canto 11: (1) Arjuna

On that climax morning good and evil about to unseam the universe on Kurukshetra field family against family father son teacher pupil I slumped in my chariot

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Song of the Blessed One: The Bhagavad-Gita, Canto 11: (10) Terrified

wombthing is coming somehinge crawls toward the brain from the element organization of parts threatens to DISPERSE UNLEASH a subcosmic horror shockwave

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Song of the Blessed One: The Bhagavad-Gita, Canto 11: (11) Teeth

I reach back to draw my arrow This is the Embrace of God I tug forth the chosen arrow This is the Caress of God I hold fast Gandava my Bow This is the Grip of God My notch marries the singing string

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Song of the Blessed One: The Bhagavad-Gita, Canto 11: (12) Beings

on this battle morning you Arjuna said I do not want Arjuna I tell you already it is done I ARJUNA SAW TIME MY RUNNING-FIELD MY PRISON rise and go swing left and right

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Song of the Blessed One: The Bhagavad-Gita, Canto 11: (13) All

O ONE past weariness a hunger same as my slavery to time O ONE felt everywhere seen nowhere GUESS OF THE BALKED SPIRIT CONVULSE denial torture of discrete integrity O ONE only dream masquerade of lingam and yoni

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Song of the Blessed One: The Bhagavad-Gita, Canto 11: (14) Mercy

MOUTHS ENTRAILS FLAMING MOUTHS KINKING EXISTENCE SHARKMOUTHED BLANKEYED GOD to see myself in you when I CANNOT EYE ROLLING WHERE I AM NOWHERE IN YOU NOWHERE IN ME DERACINATING RAPE

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Song of the Blessed One: The Bhagavad-Gita, Canto 11: (15) See

where after all is it written that it should be as I wanted it where does it say that the habit barbed in mindflesh that all can be reduced and known that our world is ours

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Song of the Blessed One: The Bhagavad-Gita, Canto 11: (16) Restored

the question is if You can the question is when and where you can THE QUESTION IS IF YOU HAVE now myself in a god and a god in myself and a god in every other self family savage children snuffling dog ephemeral April whiteviolettissue

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Song of the Blessed One: The Bhagavad-Gita, Canto 11: (17) Pandava

my charioteer who happens to be God told me go out to battle wreak senseless injustice my fate suffering enemy skulls shattered my bowstring quivers even my pity whine of chariot wheels rises battleline charges battleline the godly horse

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Song of the Blessed One: The Bhagavad-Gita, Canto 11: (2) Cyberself

it was much to ask Arjuna let me see Your Inner Form celestiality absolute wild improbability unseen

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Song of the Blessed One: The Bhagavad-Gita, Canto 11: (3) Isvara

Insider indwelling Indivinity deathless everywhere-wise infinitudinal Splendor I want to see the God against God

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Song of the Blessed One: The Bhagavad-Gita, Canto 11: (5) Behold II

my pupils convulse give birth SCALD THE REGIONS OF MY UNDERSTANDING unenvisionable vision RUNS WILDFIRE THROUGH MY NERVES transparent I articulated system of pain and survival NETWORKS SCREAM

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Song of the Blessed One: The Bhagavad-Gita, Canto 11: (6) Weapons

nnumerable numbing transnumerate numbers upon numbers of mouths mouthing mouths infinitykissing eyes aye I’s to I’s of I’s eyenumbers WONDERnumbers unnerving multiversal sightmumbling tumbled in numbers

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Song of the Blessed One: The Bhagavad-Gita, Canto 11: (7) Garlands

GARLANDED galaxywreaths starflowers flow in SHIMMERINGPETALED ORNAMENTATIONALISMS STREWN WITH ELDEST LIGHT-ORIGINS bedeck godly floralforms crescendoing in spacetimes if WORDNUMBERLESS MULTEITIES DRESSED

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Song of the Blessed One: The Bhagavad-Gita, Canto 11: (8) Warmed

CEDARSHIVERING VOICE HOWLING bear in forests of galaxies LIGHTBENDER WELL AND VULVA OF GRAVITY DRAIN OF TIME MULTIFORM RANKS of WAVING ARMS

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Song of the Blessed One: The Bhagavad-Gita, Canto 11: (9) Tremble

ELECTROCUTION THAT FILLS EXTENT WITH PASSION wet mouths of spear-edged glaze found and undermine wave upon wave of moaning FLAME undoes without question

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Still Life with Oud Player

Midnight at Al Fishawy Cafe and a oud player is hunched over a song.

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Tall Naked Ships in Spike Heels

Never go to the strip club with your boyfriend and his friends on a Saturday night, just to prove to everybody that you are not afraid.

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Thank You

Thank you for making me write things I never imagined I was holding inside

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The Bath: Athens, Greece

My daughter sits on the edge of a deep narrow tub and washes my back.

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The Beautiful Girl is Disturbed

She nods to the one who is watching, cannot see him, nods so he can see.

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The Chador and the Walled Homestead

My Lord, what shall I do with this black chador? Why do you (many thanks, though) bestow it upon me? I am not in mourning that I should wear it to show my sorrow and grief to the world,

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The Children Who Live in Boats

The children who live in boats chew salt-dried fish and licorice root, their ocean veins tracing a map to where trees grow roots and arms.

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The Discarded Wings of Dragonflies

Need I talk of this our time of disbelief and fear of greed and cruelty of man to man and to the Gods and earth? The devil would turn away in disbelief.

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The Dogs of Ashdod – Im Kamil

The dogs of Ashdod are nervous because of the sirens. Their plight is catalogued in the Jerusalem Post. Uri inquires, is this for The Onion?

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The Fitting

Touching me tenderly, Diana, the sales rep could’ve been my lover. She shows me all the shapes women come in

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The Hermit

The poets leave one after the other, at the end of the night. They carried nothing but a poor man’s provisions

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The Marriage of Don Martín De Loyola and Doña Beatriz Ñusta

I have a tiny birthmark that you will never discover (Petite and serious the bride poses here in the middle no high-heeled shoes to raise her up)

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The Moment

In the room On the roof terrace facing the sea, The retired pirate prepares his meal -

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The Orchard Charms the Heart: Hafez and The Poets of Shiraz

The orchard charms the heart, and chatter when our dearest friends appear — is sweet;

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The Poetry of Holocaust Survivor, Rose Ausländer

My Nightingale Once upon a time my mother was a doe. The gold- brown eyes the grace stayed with her from the doe-time.

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The River Moves House

If you have begun before You can begin again. You’ll Find it good to begin.

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The Suitcase was Stuffed

The suitcase was stuffed with scorpions, with clay pots and dirt roasted corn and fava beans, with pans of warm bronze of dulce de leche and quince

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The Twelve Angels

The Lilac Angel bears the sign of my Perfectness And the Angel said to me: “You know Deph, the Justice without Love is Cruelty.”

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The Vowels of Love

My insolent thought caressed your brow and deposited a hesitant kiss Will you forgive her? by Phaedra Zambatha-Pagoulatou, translation by Manya Bean

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This Life

Love pulled me out of myself, the way a cook eviscerates a chicken. Cut me open and you will find his fingers.

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Three Months After

That long pony — Tail Struck my face, Again,

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Three Poems for Mary

Around my wife's headstone a blank matted spread of dried mud and weeds and only a ghost of grass, dandelion weeds on the whole hospitable enough for a native of Mediterranean hillsides

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To The Apologist, Defender, and Stooge of the Whaling Industry

Suppose for a moment that people began to disappear, one at a time, off the street, from their yards, from the supermarket parking lot.

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Topless

She is a synchronized six-speed, blonde blue eyed convertible.

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Trains

Those trains that departed at dawn and those that arrived at midnight

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Tulips

What good is love? My mother’s hand shakes as she offers it to me for a goodnight kiss.

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Unthinkable

To leave the oceans, which girdle seven-tenths of the world, barren of whales is as unthinkable as taking all music away and every thing associated with music,

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Untitled Temple Poem

The sun comes up each morning in silence; the moon disappears, but nobody sees.

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Up on an Outcrop

A worsted of October sourwood and poplar, leather slap of wind in the cut-out pin oak fingers. And the rabbit-eared rhody leaves raised to sun

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Vade-Mecum Angelon

On Earth we never got higher than Machu Pichu, lower than that cataract of the Blue Nile,

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Vision

I see a crack in the sidewalk. I am the steerage; my words crease slow-moving water.

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Weeds and Peonies

Your peonies burst out, white as snow squalls, with red flecks at their shaggy centers in your border of prodigies by the porch.

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What are Maps?

What are maps after all but metaphors for what we don’t know?

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What I Became

I blame it on / the wind’s unhinging / the drive-by elms, /the ’56 Pontiac’s

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What She Wanted

A sudden blow: the great wings beating still... — Yeats, “Leda and the Swan”

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When the Envelope Opens, Open

That morning above Tetova and below the fretted peaks of the Šar massif, our spirits topsy-turvy, flushed clear by ozone

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Where Are You Now?

You sit near the window arms slack, legs splayed head slightly bowed and tilting to the right,

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Where I Belong

I surrendered to the pull on my body, some magnetic force drawing me past the cocktail language, coifed hair, Capri pants and Stuart Weitzman sandals,

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Whole Peace

Slam shut has a bit of stretch still, Brittle with too many capitulations beforehand This time I will not forsake myself With the force of ten people I will stand In integrity, and protection of my family I will not forsake myself.

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Why I Never Came

I was nineteen, and that weekend I took your old Chevrolet to the coast where I goaded my sometimes lover, the one who put gin in his coffee, into beating me.

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Wild Jasmine

Her water never broke
but the tides came in nonetheless

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Wild Laurel

A clasp opens. Mother’s pearls click on a concrete floor, held in a seahorse curve by silk string.

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Winter Haiku

Gulls fly in snowfall. Snowflakes do not stick to them, sliding off feathers.

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With a Gift of Earrings

like these I’m attached to you at one end loop through

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Your Hands

I’d like to rest my lips on your hands discretely and to pray

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