Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"You" By Julia Alvarez


By: Julia Alvarez

I love how English has a single you,
no tu, usted, no trying to figure out 
where strangers ran in the hierarchy
of my respect: are you a formal 
or familiar you? No asking permission
or apologizing if I get it wrong. 
I love the true democracy of you.
The pampered son of the dot-com millionaire
or the coal miner's daughter - all are you,
united in one no-nonsense pronoun. 

Comforting when I write because it means 
I'm leaving no one out, even a line
intended for an intimate includes
you, and also you. In this, my Noah's ark,
everyone is invited and can board
in two or threes or singly - those unborn 
as well as ghostly antepasados
who use to be usted and now are dust. 
At sea in mystery, we all became 
human cargo down the generations. 

Once you get used to you, all faces seem
to hold the face you love, and each child could be
the one you never had, each girl the girl 
you use to be or who your mother was. 
You is inclusive like that Beetle ad where linebackers kept piling into a car - 
I forget what the point was, but I'd watch
and understand their yearning to be one.
Just as I once climbed into a second tongue
and made room for me in its pronoun.

This is My Heart By: Joy Harjo

This is My Heart

 By: Joy Harjo 

This is my heart. It is a good heart.
Bones and a membrane of mist and fire
are the woven cover.
When we make love in the flower world
my heart is close enough to sing
to yours in a language that has no use
for clumsy human words.


My head is a good head, but it is a hard head
and it whirs inside with a swarm of worries.
What is the source of this singing, it asks
and if there is a source why can't I see it
right here, right now
as real as these hands hammering
the world together
with nails and sinew?


This is my soul. It is a good soul.
It tells me, "come here forgetful one."
And we sit together with a lilt of small winds
who rattle the scrub oak.
We cook a little something
to eat: a rabbit, some sofkey
then a sip of something sweet
for memory.


This is my song. It is a good song.
It walked forever the border of fire and water
climbed ribs of desire to my lips to sing to you.
Its new wings quiver with


Come lie next to me, says my heart.
Put your head here.
It is a good thing, says my soul.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Poem By Louise Gluck

Love Poem
  by Louise Gluck

There is always something to be made of pain.
Your mother knits.
She turns out scarves in every shade of red.
They were for Christmas, and they kept you warm
while she married over and over, taking you
along. How could it work,
when all those years she stored her widowed heart
as though the dead come back.
No wonder you are the way you are,
afraid of blood, your women
like one brick wall after another.

Being Human (Freewrite)

I prefer paper –

it burns with ease,
floating away with the wind.

But electronically ...
you can trace me

replace me,
and never have to face me.

You've forgotten ... 

What it feels like to be human.

I prefer your voice -

 a sound I can identify
The way that blue reminds you of the sky.

As we walk hand and hand,
and the earth between barefoot toes in the sand

Arms wrapped beneath mine-
we peered over the balcony
watching the sun set on the distant horizon.

But those memories, have faded...
Your perception of love is simply - jaded.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Because Love Battles By Pable Neruda

"Because Love Battles"
By: Pablo Neruda

And because love battles...
not only in its burning agricultures
but also in the mouth of men and women,
I will finish off by taking the path away
to those who between my chest and your fragrance
want to interpose their obscure plant.

About me, nothing worse
they will tell you, my love,
than what I told you.

I lived in the prairies
before I got to know you
and I did not wait love but I was
laying in wait for and I jumped on the rose.

What more can they tell you?
I am neither good nor bad but a man,
and they will then associate the danger
of my life, which you know
and which with your passion you shared.

And good, this danger
is danger of love, of complete love
for all life,
for all lives,
and if this love brings us
the death and the prisons,
I am sure that your big eyes,
as when I kiss them,
will then close with pride,
into double pride, love,
with your pride and my pride.

But to my ears they will come before
to wear down the tour
of the sweet and hard love which binds us,
and they will say: “The one
you love,
is not a woman for you,
Why do you love her? I think
you could find one more beautiful,
more serious, more deep,
more other, you understand me, look how she’s light,
and what a head she has,
and look at how she dresses,
and etcetera and etcetera”.

And I in these lines say:
Like this I want you, love,
love, Like this I love you,
as you dress
and how your hair lifts up
and how your mouth smiles,
light as the water
of the spring upon the pure stones,
Like this I love you, beloved.

To bread I do not ask to teach me
but only not to lack during every day of life.
I don’t know anything about light, from where
it comes nor where it goes,
I only want the light to light up,
I do not ask to the night
I wait for it and it envelops me,
And so you, bread and light
And shadow are.

You came to my life
with what you were bringing,
of light and bread and shadow I expected you,
and Like this I need you,
Like this I love you,
and to those who want to hear tomorrow
that which I will not tell them, let them read it here,
and let them back off today because it is early
for these arguments.

Tomorrow we will only give them
a leaf of the tree of our love, a leaf
which will fall on the earth
like if it had been made by our lips
like a kiss which falls
from our invincible heights
to show the fire and the tenderness
of a true love.

After a While By Veronica A. Shoffstall

After a While

After a while you learn
The subtle difference between
Holding a hand and chaining a soul
And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning
And company doesn't always mean security.

And you begin to learn
That kisses aren't contracts
And presents aren't promises
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes ahead
With the grace of a woman
Not the grief of a child

And you learn
To build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow's ground is
Too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way
Of falling down in mid flight

After a while you learn
That even sunshine burns if you get too much
So you plant your own garden
And decorate your own soul
Instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers

And you learn
That you really can endure
That you are really strong
And you really do have worth
And you learn and you learn
With every good bye you learn.

~Veronica A. Shoffstall