Gakiibatha ni koi ni karithoitha
He who spends his time adorning himself knows he is going to a dance
There is a reason for everything
Where Does the Dance Begin, Where Does It End?
by Mary Oliver
Don’t call this world adorable, or useful, that’s not it.
It’s frisky, and a theater for more than fair winds.
The eyelash of lightning is neither good nor evil.
The struck tree burns like a pillar of gold.
But the blue rain sinks, straight to the white
feet of the trees
whose mouths open.
Doesn’t the wind, turning in circles, invent the dance?
Haven’t the flowers moved, slowly, across Asia, then Europe,
until at last, now, they shine
in your own yard?
Don’t call this world an explanation, or even an education.
When the Sufi poet whirled, was he looking
outward, to the mountains so solidly there
in a white-capped ring, or was he looking
to the centre of everything: the seed, the egg, the idea
that was also there,
beautiful as a thumb
curved and touching the finger, tenderly,
as he whirled,
oh jug of breath,
in the garden of dust?
Eltham and Whittlesea Shires Advertiser and Diamond Creek Valley Advocate (Vic. : 1917 – 1922), Friday 5 October 1917,
Deep-red the bracken, its shape all gone,
The wild goose has raised his wonted cry.
Irish Poem, Translated by Caitlin Matthews
by Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Atlantic Monthly Press & Mary Oliver
Woroni (Canberra, ACT : 1950 – 2007), Monday 2 July 1973, page 1
National Library of Australia http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article140093399
It is walking in the night
after the theatres and before the milkman
alerted by some signal from the golden drug tapeworm
that eats yr
flesh and drinks yr peace
you reach for a needle and busy yrself
preparing the Utopia substance in a blackened
spoon held in candle flame
by now yr thumb and finger are leathery
being so often burned this way
it hurts much less than withdrawal and the hand
is needed for little else now anyway
Then cordon off the arm with a belt
probe for a vein, send the dream transfusion out
on a voyage among your body machinery.
Hits you like sleep –
sweet illusory, fast, with a semblance of forever.
For a while the fire dies down in you
until you die down in the fires.
Once you become a drug addict
will never want to be anything else.
The Author of this poem is now dead.
“I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.”
― Edgar Allan Poe
Queenscliff Sentinel, Drysdale, Portarlington & Sorrento Advertiser (Vic. : 1885 – 1894), Saturday 26 July 1890,
I’ve finally reached the age where my Wild Oats have turned into All-Bran!
TOM WILSON, Ziggy, Nov. 19, 1999
BY PHILIP LARKIN
About twenty years ago
Two girls came in where I worked—
A bosomy English rose
And her friend in specs I could talk to.
Faces in those days sparked
The whole shooting-match off, and I doubt
If ever one had like hers:
But it was the friend I took out,
And in seven years after that
Wrote over four hundred letters,
Gave a ten-guinea ring
I got back in the end, and met
At numerous cathedral cities
Unknown to the clergy. I believe
I met beautiful twice. She was trying
Both times (so I thought) not to laugh.
Parting, after about five
Rehearsals, was an agreement
That I was too selfish, withdrawn,
And easily bored to love.
Well, useful to get that learnt.
In my wallet are still two snaps
Of bosomy rose with fur gloves on.
Unlucky charms, perhaps.
A fish from the river, a staff from the wood and a deer from the mountain – thefts no Gael was ever ashamed of.
― William S. Burroughs
Addiction is a powerful disease that is sly & crafty. It’s so sad when it claims another. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help if you need it.
― M.A. George, Relativity
There is nothing in which people more betray their character than in what they laugh at.
― Daniel Xiao Wang, Lucid Nightmares
For many centuries, suicides were treated like criminals by the society.
That is part of the terrible legacy that has come down
into society’s method of handling suicide recovery.
Now we have to fight off the demons that have been
hanging around suicide for centuries.
– Judy Collins
You carry your snare everywhere and spread your nets in all places. You allege that you never invited others to sin. You did not, indeed, by your words, but you have done so by your dress and your deportment, and much more effectively than you could by your voice. When you have made another sin in his heart, how can you be innocent? Tell me, whom does this world condemn? Whom do judges in court punish? Those who drink poison or those who prepare it and administer the fatal potion? You have prepared the abominable cup, you have given the death-dealing drink, and you are more criminal than are those who poison the body; you murder not the body, but the soul. And it is not to enemies that you do this, nor are you urged on by any imaginary necessity, nor provoked by injury, but out of foolish vanity and pride. ~St. John Chrysostom
This is the kind of Friend
You are –
Without making me realize
My soul’s anguished history,
You slip into my house at night,
And while I am sleeping,
You silently carry off
All my suffering and sordid past
In Your beautiful
― Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island
“There is a point when the anguished soul finally despairs. A moment in life when the heart, the will, even the spirit crumbles. Some say that after much grief and drowning in tears, it is possible to pick up the pieces and carefully repair what was shattered. I say nay. For the chains of despair have no key, and the soul destroyed by that monster can never hope to be unaffected. There are things done that cannot be undone.”
― Richelle E. Goodrich