Thursday, August 24, 2006

Nuggets of Poetry

Rifling through the not so well-equipped library at work yesterday, I was surprised to come up with a book of poems written by my onetime warden at the university hostel. Mrs A, wherever you are, these are lovely :)

there are so many songs
i want to sing
but so little time
to sing them in.

so, beloved,
all my songs sung
in the brief whiles

when we become
to each other
and indivisible,
as we soar
on the chords
of the primeval song
which transcends the universe
and renders all time


i wish to write me a poem
where i can sing
of things
that i cannot
find the tunes for...yet

i wish to sing me a song
where i can find
the lyrics for
all the beauty
that i cannot
find the names for...yet

i wish to paint me a picture
where i can show
all the pain
that haunts me
i cannot
the songs
i want to sing
of the poems
that lie
and of the beauty
that dies

and so
i write
and i write..still


when the parting happens
there is a strange feeling
that the initial meeting
never happened
and the ending
renders the beginning
so unreal.

because it is over.

and the parting
remains real
it is forever.


is no age to be
any time, any place

when it is old
is certainly not gold

old age
is aches and pains
only loss, no more gains

it is
of a body
which once held
beauty and strength

it is
of a spirit
which once braved

but that is old age indeed
when loneliness and desolation
today or tomorrow
no longer matter


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

if love must go
then let it gently pass
let no vain, proud or bitter words
be spoken
let love depart
yet leave the heart

Sunday, August 20, 2006


if I knew it would be the last time
that you'd see me walk out of the door
i would give you a hug and a kiss
and come back for more

if I knew it would be the last time
i'd hear your voice
i would videotape each action and word
so I could play them back day after day

if I knew it would be the last time
i could spare a minute or two
i would stop and say I love you
instead of assuming you know that I do

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Voice Of God

Among my favourite pieces of poetry is The Song of Solomon, also called the Song of Songs, and alternately the Canticle of Canticles. Its lyricism is just so intense, so exquisitely charged.... it reminds me of that scene in Amadeus where Salieri comes across a piece of sheet music left lying around by Mozart... "On the page it looked nothing. The beginning simple, just a pulse... Then suddenly - high above it - an oboe, a single note, hanging there unwavering, till a clarinet took over and sweetened it into a phrase of such delight! This was a music I'd never heard. Filled with such longing, such unfulfillable longing, it had me trembling. It seemed to me that I was hearing the voice of God."

Some of my favourite fragments...

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth:
for thy love is better than wine.

I am the rose of Sharon,
and the lily of the valleys.
As the lily among thorns,
so is my love among the daughters.
As the apple tree among the trees of the wood,
so is my beloved among the sons.
I sat down under his shadow with great delight,
and his fruit was sweet to my taste.
He brought me to the banqueting house,
and his banner over me was love.

My beloved spake, and said unto me,
Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.
For, lo, the winter is past,the rain is over and gone;
the flowers appear on the earth;
the time of the singing of birds is come,
and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.

By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth:
I sought him, but I found him not.
I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets,
and in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth:
I sought him, but I found him not.
The watchmen that go about the city found me:
to whom I said,
Saw ye him whom my soul loveth?

It was but a little that I passed from them,
but I found him whom my soul loveth:
I held him, and would not let him go,
until I had brought him into my mother's house,
and into the chamber of her that conceived me.
I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem,
by the roes, and by the hinds of the field,
that ye stir not up,
nor awake my love,
till he please.

I sleep, but my heart waketh:
it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying,
Open to me, my sister, my love,
my dove, my undefiled:
for my head is filled with dew,
and my locks with the drops of the night.

My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door,
and my bowels were moved for him.
I rose up to open to my beloved;
and my hands dripped with myrrh,
and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh,
upon the handles of the lock.
I opened to my beloved;
but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone:
my soul failed when he spake:
I sought him, but I could not find him;
I called him, but he gave me no answer.
The watchmen that went about the city found me,
they smote me, they wounded me;
the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me.
I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him,
that I am sick of love.

What is thy beloved more than another beloved,
O thou fairest among women?
What is thy beloved more than another beloved,
that thou dost so charge us?
Whither is thy beloved gone,
O thou fairest among women?
Whither is thy beloved turned aside?
that we may seek him with thee.
My beloved is gone down into his garden,
to the beds of spices,
to feed in the gardens,
and to gather lilies.
I am my beloved's,
and my beloved is mine:
he feedeth among the lilies.

Set me as a seal upon thine heart,
as a seal upon thine arm:
for love is strong as death;
jealousy is cruel as the grave:
the coals thereof are coals of fire,
which hath a most vehement flame.
Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can the floods drown it.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Afraid to care... too much...
or even at all...
Afraid to love... even a little...
Afraid to lose your love... or my ability to care...
Afraid to try... very hard...
Afraid of love... of loss...
of loneliness...
Afraid of others... afraid of pain...
despair... depression...
Afraid to believe... afraid not to...
Afraid to show weakness... or to be too hard...
Fear of destiny... fate...
my own choices...
Afraid of what will be... and what never will...
Afraid of you... afraid of me...

~ Samantha Johnson

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Some more light Shakespeare. This one comes from The Philanderer, an old lit. rag from my university days, which I unearthed last night and which brought back a flood of memories. Pankaj, old friend, wherever you are, you're missed bigtime.

The Mod Shakespeare
Julius Caesar, III, ii

Friends, Romans, hipsters,
Let me clue you in;
I come to put down Caesar, not to groove him.
The square things some cats are on stay with them;
The hip bits, like, go down under;
So let it be with Caesar.
The cool Brutus gave you the message
Caesar had big eyes;
If that's the sound, someone's copping a plea,
And like, old Caesar really set them straight.
Here along with Brutus and the studs -
For Brutus is a real cool cat;
So are they all, all cool cats -
Come I to make this gig at Caesar's lay down.
He was my bud, the most and real gone to me;
But like, Brutus pegs him as having big eyes,
And Brutus is a real cool cat,
Caesar copped a lot of heads for home,
Which put us way out with that loot;
Does this give Caesar big eyes?
When the square cats cried, Caesar flipped;
Big eyes should be made of more solid stuff;
Yet Brutus pegs him as having big eyes,
And Brutus is a real cool cat.
You all dug that bit at the Lupercal..
Three times I gave him the king's lid
And three times he hung me up; was this big eyes?
I don't want to disprove what Brutus gassed,
But like, I only dig what comes on..
So how come you don't cry the blues for him?
Man, you are real nowhere,
You don't make it any more!
Don't cut out on me;
My guts are in the box there with Caesar,
And I gotta stop swingin' till they come back.

Monday, August 07, 2006

A little light Shakespaw that I chanced upon while trawling the Net

Hamlet's Cat's Soliloquy

To go outside, and there perchance to stay
Or to remain within: that is the question:Whether 'tis better for a cat to suffer
The cuffs and buffets of inclement weather
That Nature rains upon those who roam abroad,
Or take a nap upon a scrap of carpet,
And so by dozing melt the solid hours
That clog the clock's bright gears with sullen timeAnd stall the dinner bell.To sit, to stare outdoors, and by a stare to seem to state
A wish to venture forth without delay,
Then when the portal's opened up, to standAs if transfixed by doubt.To prowl; to sleep;
To choose not knowing when we may once moreOur readmittance gain: aye, there's the hairball;For if a paw were shaped to turn a knob,
Or work a lock or slip a window-catch,
And going out and coming in were made
As simple as the breaking of a bowl,
What cat would bear the household's petty plagues,
The cook's well-practiced kicks, the butler's broom,
The infant's careless pokes, the tickled ears,
The trampled tail, and all the daily shocks
That fur is heir to, when, of his own free will,
He might his exodus or entrance makeWith a mere mitten?Who would spaniels fear,
Or strays trespassing from a neighbour's yard,
But that the dread of our unheeded cries
And scratches at a barricaded door
No claw can open up, dispels our nerve
And makes us rather bear our humans' faultsThan run away to unguessed miseries?Thus caution doth make house cats of us all;
And thus the bristling hair of resolution
Is softened up with the pale brush of thought,
And since our choices hinge on weighty things,
We pause upon the threshold of decision.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A poem about learning from bittersweet experiences. The best thing about life and getting older is that you learn from your just can't do it otherwise. When they actually happen to you...all the motley weeps and laughs that are inevitably intertwined in the intricacy of life, you are unknowingly blessed because you emerge so much stronger and wiser...

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 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,
you really are strong,
you really do have worth,
and you learn
and you learn,
with every goodbye, you learn...