Wednesday, 26 December 2007

A saudade de coisa nenhuma

because I've been dreaming all day about women lost on a winter forest path, their wings fallen, trapped in the same moment, the same place forever, longing for the nameless.

Tenho em mim como uma bruma
Que nada é nem contém
A saudade de coisa nenhuma,
O desejo de qualquer bem.

I have in me like a haze
Which holds and which is nothing
A nostalgia for nothing at all,
The desire for something vague.

(Fernando Pessoa)

Monday, 24 December 2007

the unconceivable end

I dreamt of an image closely resembling this one, except one thing: instead of the bench, the lovers walking in the darkness found a white sofa by the road, open to wholeness. The lovers sat there for hours, holding each other, the moonlight filling the alleys with a strange transparency. I wonder: will my dreams give them back to me, again and again, the lovers with soft eyes and uncertain future, their countenance motionless, untouched by the cold passage of time, the sofa drifting away gently towards the unconceivable end.

deserving punishment is worse

The gods delight in instances of such testimony,

since they, thereby, give witness of their powers.

They often ease punishments and restore the sight

they've taken, when they see true penitence for sin.

Oh, I repent! If anything the wretched say's believed,

I repent, and feel the real torment of my actions.

Though exile is grief, my offence is more so:

and deserving punishment's worse than suffering it.

If the gods favoured me, and he most visible of them

should annul my sentence, the fault still exists forever.

At least death will make me, when it comes, no longer an exile:

but death can't arrange things so I never offended either.

So it's no wonder if my mind's decaying,

melting like water dripping from the snow.

(Ovid: Ex Ponto I. Ovid was banished to Tomis on the Pontus Euxinus - nowadays the Romanian town of Constanta on the Black Sea. He died in exile, after spending no less than ten years in sad solitude).

dead asters from exile

Saturday, 22 December 2007

drinking xi hu long jing

The best quality tea must have creases like the leathern boot of Tartar horsemen, curl like the dewlap of a mighty bullock, unfold like a mist rising out of a ravine, gleam like a lake touched by a zephyr, and be wet and soft like a fine earth newly swept by rain.

Lu Yu, died 804, Chinese sage)

but there is also the refined voice - so familiar, so close, always here - whispering to my ear:

Time for you and time for me,

And time yet for a hundred indecisions,

And for a hundred visions and revisions,

Before the taking of a toast and tea.

T.S. Eliot, from "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock")

Friday, 21 December 2007

what makes the day sacred

oh gentle, your prayer - Show me the world that can not be erased -
I know enough about such worlds, but my blog is surely none of them. one simple click and it would be gone, and I fight this temptation every day now. perhaps I am too tired even for such a small gesture, despite its highly dramatic tension which I would normally find a way to enjoy :-)
I seam to have forgotten what makes the day sacred.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

and the flowers for him are always dark red.

Friday, 14 December 2007

L'Amour, Le Dedain et l'Esperance

Je t'ai prise avec toute ta beauté ta beauté plus riche que tous

.......les placers de la Californie ne le furent au temps de la

.......fièvre de l'or

J'ai empli mon avidité sensuelle de ton sourire de tes regards de

.......tes frémissements

J’ai eu à moi à ma disposition ton orgueil même quand je te tenais

.......courbée et que tu subissais ma puissance et ma domination

J’ai cru prendre tout cela ce n'était qu'un prestige

Et je demeure semblable à Ixion après qu'il eut fait l'amour avec

.......le fantôme de nuées fait à la semblance de celle qu'on appelle

.......Héra ou bien Junon l'invisible

Et qui peut prendre qui peut saisir des nuages qui peut mettre la

.......main sur un mirage et qu'il se trompe celui-là qui croit emplir bras de l'azur céleste

Guillaume Apollinaire

(Poèmes à Lou, L’amour, le dédain et l’espérance)

I have held you with all your beauty your beauty richer

.......than all the sands of California at the time of the rush

I have filled my hunger for your sensuality with your your looks your trembling

I have even had your pride in my power when I made bend and you submitted to my dominance

I thought to keep all that it was only a dream

And I am left like Ixion when he had made love to a

.......phantom of cloud in the shape of the goddess

.......called Hera or the unseeable Juno

And who can seize who can grasp cloud who can put

.......his hand on a mirage how he deceives himself

.......thinking he can fill his arms with the blue sky

(Poems to Lou, Love and Scorn and Hope)

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Or I'd crawl to you baby
And I'd fall at your feet
And I'd howl at your beauty
Like a dog in heat
And I'd claw at your heart
And I'd tear at your sheet
I'd say please, please
I'm your man

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic till Im gathered safely in
Touch me with your naked hand or touch me with your glove
Dance me to the end of love


Many men have loved the bells

you fastened to the rein,
and everyone who wanted you
they found what they will always want again.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007


Alles ist Wundenschlagen,
und keiner hat keinem verziehn.
Verletzt wie du und verletzend,
lebte ich auf dich hin.

Die reine, die Geistberührung,
um jede Berührung vermehrt,
wir erfahren sie alternd,
ins kälteste Schweigen gekehrt

(Ingeborg Bachmann)


Each and every thing cuts wounds,
and neither of us has forgiven the other.
Hurting like you and hurtful,
I lived towards you.

Every touch augments
the pure, the spiritual touch;
we experience it as we age,
turned into coldest silence.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Lady of the Lake

Then she caused it that a mist should arrive at that place, and the mist was of such sort that no one could penetrate into it, or sever it asunder, nor could any human eye see what was within.

Howard Pyle (The Story of King Arthur and His Knights)

Lady of the Lake

Then, when she had done all this, she went her way with all of her Court from that valley, making great joy in that she triumphed over Merlin.

Howard Pyle (The Story of King Arthur and His Knights)

Sunday, 9 December 2007

the sleeping God

und die goldene blume der dankbarkeit bluehte zu den fuessen des schlafenden Gottes.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

in the night of the glowing irises
I first found out what loneliness meant.

ueber gott und reh

Oft wenn ich dich in Sinnen sehe,

verteilt sich deine Allgestalt:
du gehst wie lauter lichte Rehe
und ich bin dunkel und bin Wald.


Often when I imagine you
your wholeness cascades into many shapes.
You run like a herd of luminous deer
and I am dark, I am forest.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Rose, oh reiner Widerspruch

Rose, oh reiner Widerspruch, Lust,
Niemandes Schlaf zu sein unter soviel

Rose, oh pure contradiction, joy
of being No-one's sleep, under so
many lids.

This enigmatic poem marks Rilke's gravestone. As the legend goes, it was the thorn of a rose which caused his death, poisoning his blood with supreme beauty (or so the poet believed). The most aethereal of all the deaths that I know of.

unter so viel lidern

the roses ah the roses

Macedonski, Stefan George's Romanian double, is said to have died on his poetry throne (though a very material one, since he used to sit there when receiving the homage of his worshippers). He had asked for a handkerchief imbued with rose fragrance and whispered - still loud enough for the devotees gathered at his feet to hear - 'the roses, ah the roses.' One knew how to die in beauty those days, and how to make the perfect show of it. Alas the likes of Wilde and George are so hard to find nowadays - I know perhaps three or four obsessed with pure beauty and possibly only one harbouring enough madness to be able to stage such a mortal rose libation.

Monday, 3 December 2007

I vanish

Like dew drops
on a lotus leaf
I vanish.

Senryu, died June 2, 1827 , his death poem).

Sunday, 2 December 2007