Tag Archives: poem

*Birdle Burble

magpies-1905.jpg!halfhd

 

I went out of my mind and then came to my senses

By meeting a magpie who mixed up his tenses,

Who muddled distinctions of nouns and of verbs,

And insisted that logic is bad for the birds.

With a poo-wee cluck and a chit, chit-chit;

The grammar and meaning don’t matter a bit.

 

The stars in their courses have no destination;

The train of events will arrive at no station;

The inmost and ultimate Self of us all

Is dancing on nothing and having a ball.

So with chat for chit and with tat for tit,

This will be that, and that will be It!

 

 

*The poem above is taken from Alan Watt’s “Nonsense”.

**Painting “Magpies” by Archibald Thorburn, 1905.

 

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* I have a rendezvous with Death – Alan Seeger

Alan_Seeger

I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade
And apple-blossoms fill the air—
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.

It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me into his dark land
And close my eyes and quench my breath—
It may be I shall pass him still.
I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill,
When Spring comes round again this year
And the first meadow-flowers appear.

God knows ‘twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down,
Where love throbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
Where hushed awakenings are dear…
But I’ve a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.

*Poem by Alan Seeger

 

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Not nibbled by mosquitoes

lion-licking-its-paw-1886

Not nibbled by mosquitoes
but killed by a lion.
A mountain in the meadows,
not nibbled by mosquitoes.
Light touching, throwing shadows.
Breath – longer than an aeon.
Not nibbled by mosquitoes
but killed by a lion.

 

*Painting “Lion Licking Its Paw” by Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1886.

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You pass me by

harlequinade-1911.jpg!Large

I walk the street. You pass me by.
Our eyes meet. You pass me by.
We laugh, we smile.You pass me by.
And all this while you pass me by.

Seconds run and pass me by.
One by one. They pass me by.
Silently they pass me by.
For what, I ask, they pass me by?

Stop, I beg, don’t pass me by.
Walk nearby, don’t pass me by.
Unknowingly you pass me by.
Why do you always pass me by?

Let us rest and pass me by.
Be my guest and pass me by.
Bravely go and pass me by.
Don’t look back and pass me by.

 

*Painting “Harlequinade” by Albert Bloch, 1911.

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Goodnight I say to you, my morning

 

wc-caspardavidfriedrich-der-morgen

Goodnight I say to you, my morning.
How was your day, I greet the night.
In this life, what’s worth exploring?
Is there something worth a fight?

Goodnight I say to you, my sunshine.
How was your day, I greet the gloom.
Close to my lips I hold a glass of wine
and sip it slowly till I reach my tomb.

Goodnight I say to you, my sunrise.
How was your life, I greet the dead.
Ignore the ground, ignore the skies,
what matters most is in your head.

Goodnight I say to you, my summer.
How was the snow, I greet the spring.
My piercing eyes fell into a slumber.
I cannot see clearly any thing.

Good morning I say to you, my late hour.
How was your night, I greet the day.
On nonsense I’ve spent my time and power,
while hoping to prolong this decay.

 

*Painting “Morning” by Caspar David Friedrich.

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Words, do not leave me, please

pheidippides-giving-word-of-victory-le-soldat-de-marathon(1)

Words, do not leave me, please.
Stay with me and hold me close.
Words, I beg you on my knees.
Words, do not leave me, please.
Words, come and be at ease.
Say something that no one knows.
Words, do not leave me, please.
Stay with me and hold me close.

*Painting “Pheidippides giving word of victory” by Luc-Olivier Merson, 1869.

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Raindrops beating upon my face

man-standing-arms-extended

Raindrops beating upon my face
as the wind outside is whistling.
The sun has fled without a trace,
With thorns my life is bristling.

Shadows move around in dance
as snowflakes drift from the silent sky.
Lost in my thoughts I walk in a trance,
Is there more than meets the eye?

Oceans full with shallow waters
as mountains sing sweet lullabies.
Tell me, friend, what really matters,
what’s worth to know and memorize?

Darkness looms through deserted lands
as rainbows greet the passersby.
Whose footprints run into these sands?
So far away and yet nearby.

Broken candles burning brightly
but all my rooms are dimly lit.
I close my eyes ever so slightly
to see the light that I emit.

 

*Painting “Man Standing, Arms Extended” by Paul Cezanne, 1878.

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Play the cards you get, my friend

the-card-players-1893-1

Play the cards you get, my friend.
Play the cards to the very end.
Play them uncomplainingly.
Play them freely, willingly.
Though the stakes may not be worth the winning,
Every day can be a new beginning.
Play the hand you have been dealt,
No matter what your heart has felt.
And if the game may not be worth the while,
face every moment with a smile.
Play the cards you get, my friend.
Play them bravely to the end.

 

*Painting “The Card Players” by  Paul Cezanne, 1893.

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Let us spend our time alone

the-way-of-silence

Let us spend our time alone
In silence, without talking.
Searching for wisdom’s stone,
Let us spend our time alone
And cultivate what we have sown.
Come, let’s keep on walking.
Let us spend our time alone
In silence, without talking.

 

*Painting “The Way of Silence” by Frantisek Kupka, 1903.

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To take all things as they are

small-girl-presenting-cherries-1780

To take all things as they are
and adjust my life to what must be.
Then in this world I’ll go far
beyond what any eyes can see.

To say not one dishonest word
and avoid all sham and deceit.
Then my mind’s eye won’t be blurred
and life will seem more upbeat.

To make the most of my lonely hours
and quit day dreaming about the past.
Then I’ll tap into my hidden powers
and live my life with joy at last.

To do what no one has done before
but know that I’m like the rest.
Then I’ll find a cause to fight for
and live my life with zeal and zest.

But I take all things as they are not
and try to sink my inner ship.
Thus my efforts come to nought –
what a splendid ego trip!

 

*Painting “Small Girl Presenting Cherries” by John Russell, 1780.

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With no plan, with no purpose

planning-for-the-future

With no plan, with no purpose
I walk around in circles.
I feel calm, not nervous.
With no plan, with no purpose.

With no worry, with no fear
My path is straight and clear.
Here I am to disappear.
With no worry, with no fear.

With no hope, with no promise
I look into the silent abyss.
Everything has gone amiss.
With no hope, with no promise.

With no thought, with no mind
My eyes are dark and blind.
Myself I daily lose and find.
With no thought, with no mind.

With no sorrow, with no pain
I repeat my sins again.
I cannot cleanse this ugly stain.
With no sorrow, with no pain.

*Painting “Planning for the Future” by Basuki Abdullah

 

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There is no future, friend

graveyard-under-snow-1826

There is no future, friend.
No other life to spend.
Clear out your mind, unbend.
Death really is the end.

There is no future, friend.
So why you still pretend
that broken things you can mend
and that death is not the end?

There is no future, friend.
No peaks and mountains to ascend.
Against the stream though you may wend,
your path quite soon will find its end.

There is no future, friend.
No truth or honor to defend.
To live forever you may intend,
but when death calls, it is the end.

There is no future, friend.
On no god you can depend.
This life you cannot transcend.
Death really is the end.

There is no future, friend.
No other life to spend.
Clear out your mind, unbend.
Death really is the end.

*Painting “Graveyard under Snow” by Caspar David Friedrich, 1826.

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I hear the sounds of one hand clapping

left-hand-with-the-index-finger

I hear the sounds of one hand clapping
and point my finger to the moon.
My life in part I spend napping,
hoping not to wake up too soon.

I see this world through the windows
of my dark and blurred eyes.
What lies outside, who really knows?
Who can pretend to be so wise?

I listen to how people speak
about the current world affairs.
Have they found what they seek
and got an answer to their prayers?

I touch the sky with my fingertips
and breathe the universe in me.
With this life I’ve come to grips
as far as I can tell and see.

I catch my shadows in the nearby park
and try to get lost in the trees.
I dare to fail and miss my mark.
Thus to live in peace and ease.

*Painting “Left hand with the index finger” by Vasily Polenov, 1885.

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Open up the closet door

funeral-symphony-v-1903

Open up the closet door,
let the skeleton come out.
With a violent cry and a mighty roar,
strive to overcome your doubt.

Leave your skeleton to roam
freely at its pace and will.
Where he is, there is your home –
a place to rest and to stand still.

Look at his pale blue face
with neither fear nor shame,
Longing for a warm embrace,
into your life he came.

Let him do what he wants,
but you observe patiently.
See what ghosts he seeks and hunts,
know the place where he likes to be.

And lock your soul in that place
where your skeleton had been.
Then a smile won’t leave your face,
anew your life will begin.

*Painting “Funeral Symphony” by Mikalojus Ciurlionis, 1903.

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It matters not one bit

a-boor-asleep

What the world may think of me,
it matters not one bit.
Whether chained, enslaved or free
my life is as I see it.

What I do for good or ill,
it matters not one bit.
Nothing I do of my own will,
only what my genes permit.

How high I seem to climb,
it matters not one bit.
All things come in good time
to those who never quit.

How many small ambitions I have achieved,
it matters not one bit.
My brain is tricked and deceived
to think as I see fit.

And if our lives fell short,
it matters not one bit.
No one is a different sort.
to death we all submit.

*Painting “A Boor Asleep” by Adriaen Brouwer.

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For thousand years I wait and wait

cupid-with-the-wheel-of-fortune

For thousand years I wait and wait
and spin in vain my prayer wheel.
Is this my life, is this my fate?
For thousand years I wait and wait.
Myself I can invent, create.
From nothingness to something real.
For thousand years I wait and wait
and spin in vain my prayer wheel.

*Painting – “Cupid with the Wheel of Fortune” by Titian, c.1520.

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My prayer is a merry laughter

the-young-rembrandt-as-democritus-the-laughing-philosopher-1629

My prayer is a merry laughter
in which I say: “Ha ha! Ha ha!”
I do not care what comes after.
My prayer is a merry laughter.
Life is but a yearning for the hereafter.
A hope to cancel nature’s law.
My prayer is a merry laughter
in which I say: “Ha ha! Ha ha!”

*Painting – “The Young Rembrandt as Democritus the Laughing Philosopher” by Rembrandt, 1629.

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Set a goal before your eyes

landscape-with-an-archer-1991

Set a goal before your eyes.
Stretch your wings and reach the skies.
Countless times fall down and rise.
Set a goal before your eyes.

Leave all fears and doubts behind.
With clenched teeth work hard and grind.
Only these few things keep in mind –
Leave all fears and doubts behind.

Dare to walk the path you choose.
Fear not any bumps or bruise.
Before you win, you have to lose.
Dare to walk the path you choose

Never let your head hang down.
Be a king and wear your crown.
In your dreams immerse and drown
Never let your head hang down.

For this life you have been made
Do not stand in the dark and shade.
There is no reason to be afraid.
For this life you have been made.

*Painting “Landscape with an Archer” by David Ligare, 1991.

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After all these forlorn bygone years

resting-on-the-vine
After all these forlorn, bygone years,
it turns out – I am a fool.
My mind is filled with petty fears.
I worry much and lose my cool.

After all these grudging days of past,
I have come to this lonely place.
At what I’ve done, I stand aghast.
My inner fears I cannot face.

After all these nights of cold and frost,
I haven’t found a single light.
The hopes I had, have all been lost.
My death, so near, yet out of sight.

After all these stupid words I’ve said,
I go to bed and have my sleep.
I do not care what lies ahead –
My thoughts are dull and not that deep.

After all these wasted happy hours
I feel joyful and content.
My life is sweet bed of flowers.
I have no reason to lament.

*Painting “Resting on the Vine” by Carl Spitzweg, 1845.

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To make this world a better place

a-digger-1881(1)

To make this world a better place –
the only thing I have to do.
In bitter hearts to leave a hopeful trace,
To make this world a better place –
This life in full to live, embrace.
Though happy moments, they are so few.
To make this world a better place –
the only thing I have to do.

*Painting “A Digger” by Vincent van Gogh, 1881.

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