Apr. 24th, 2011 10:05 pm
fileg: (Default)
One rainy night in Princeton, Jim and I heard Dave Van Ronk sing Green Green Rocky Road

When he got to the chorus he sang it, then stopped and recited it to us as dramatically as possible.

"They just don't write lyrics like that anymore." he told us, sadly.
The moment has always stayed with me.

Ooka dooka soda cracker,
Does your mama chew tobacco,
Cause if your mama chews tobacco,
Sing ooka dooka soda cracker

Green, green rocky road,
(Promendade in green,)
Tell me who you love,
Tell me who you love.


Apr. 24th, 2011 01:28 am
fileg: (penmanship)
What I Know
by Lee Robinson

What I know for sure is less and less:
that a hot bath won't cure loneliness.

That bacon is the best bad thing to chew
and what you love may kill you.

The odd connection between perfection
and foolishness, like the pelican
diving for his fish.

How silly sex is.
How, having it, we glimpse
our holiness.

What I know is less and less.
What I want is more and more:

you against me—
your ferocious tenderness—

love like a star,
once small and far,
now huge, now near.

"What I Know" by Lee Robinson, from Hearsay.


Apr. 21st, 2011 04:21 am
fileg: (juzu)
A Little Pain
John Payne

A little pain, a little pleasure.
A little heaping up of treasure,
Then no more gazing upon the sun.
All things must end that have begun.

Where is the time for hope or doubt?
A puff of the wind and life is out:
A turn of the wheel and the rest is won.
All things must end that have begun.

Golden mornings and purple night,
Life that fails with the failing light:
Death is the only deathless one.
All things must end that have begun.


Apr. 20th, 2011 04:42 am
fileg: (Default)

I WAS living very merrily on Middle Earth
As merry as a maid may be
Till the Gray Magician came down along the road
And flung his cobweb cloak on me:

His cobweb cloak of gray brushed my eyes and my ears
And all the curtained air was thinned,
And I came to the sight of the quiet Other People
Who live in the water and the wind:

And I cannot go abroad to gather up the faggots,
Singing to the honest air
Because of the fingers of the brown wood-women
Catching at my blowing hair:

And I cannot sit at home and be quiet at my spinning,
Singing to the thread I spin,
Because of the crying of the green sea-women
Beneath my sill to be let in:

And I wish the Gray Magician had been swung to an oak
Or drowned in the deep green sea
Before he brushed my face with his cobweb cloak
And stole the Middle Earth from me!

from The singing wood, 1926


Apr. 19th, 2011 03:53 am
fileg: (the professor)
Journey's End

In western lands beneath the Sun
The flowers may rise in Spring,
The trees may bud, the waters run,
The merry finches sing.
Or there maybe 'tis cloudless night,
And swaying branches bear
The Elven-stars as jewels white
Amid their branching hair.

Though here at journey's end I lie
In darkness buried deep,
Beyond all towers strong and high,
Beyond all mountains steep,
Above all shadows rides the Sun
And Stars for ever dwell:
I will not say the Day is done,
Nor bid the Stars farewell.


I am always surprised when people tell me they skip over the poems. (and most of them do!) Not only do I love (most of them) for themselves, but I love watching them change, in language and form, as we travel Midle-earth . They are such an integral part of defining the various cultures.


Apr. 15th, 2011 03:43 am
fileg: (and one white tree)
Home By Morning

Whatever the Valar intend me to do
There’s naught with the power to keep me from you
Whatever I grieve for, whatever I rue
There’s naught with the power to keep me from you

No giant spider, no bodiless rider,
no terror by fire that crosses the land
no dark, no bright, no perilous fight
can come between us when I reach for your hand

I stand on the line when the shadow creeps in
But I will be with you before day begins
We harry the dark and we weep for our sins
But I will be with you before day begins

No orcs that creep, no nightmare sleep
No fathomless deep, no wizard’s scheme
No endless hour can raise the power
To keep us apart when you’re in my dreams

A hand on a swordhilt, a hand on a bow
A kiss that consoles me wherever I go
One more day of fighting, one more day of woe
A kiss that consoles me wherever I go

No black spell singers, no death that lingers,
No icy fingers that reach for the soul
No hiss, no bark, no wings in the dark
Can touch my heart when you keep me whole

No time, no chance, no circumstance
No wave that carries me over the foam
No winter’s breath, no fear, no death
Can keep my heart from coming home

Whatever the Valar intend me to do
There’s naught with the power to keep me from you
Whatever I long for, whatever I rue
There’s naught with the power to keep me from you
There’s naught with the power to keep me from you...


Apr. 14th, 2011 04:02 am
fileg: (dave carter)
Dave Carter, writer and illuminated being, once told me “Music and Love are the only two kinds of magic most people are not afraid to admit they believe in.” And in one of his writing classes, he offered "The only way to write rhyming poetry today and be taken seriously is to be a singer-songwriter."

Alas, I want to write poetry, but I do not have in me the music component. So, tonight I will share one of Dave's. And perhaps tomorrow, since I have been reading and combining old folders, I will share one one of mine...

Tanglewood Tree
©2000, Dave Carter/
Dave Carter Music (BMI)

love is a tanglewood tree in a bower of green
in a forest at dawn
fair while the mockingbird sings, but she soon lifts her wings
and the music is gone
young lovers in the tall grass with their hearts open wide
when the red summer poppies bloom
but love is a trackless domain and the rumor of rain in the late afternoon

love is an old root that creeps through the meadows of sleep
when the long shadows cast
thin as a vagrant young vine, it encircles and twines
and it holds the heart fast
catches dreamers in the wildwood with the stars in their eyes
and the moon in their tousled hair
but love is a light in the sky, and an unspoken lie
and a half-whispered prayer

i'm walkin' down a bone-dry river but the cool mirage runs true
i'm bankin' on the fables of the far, far better things we do
i'm livin' for the day of reck'nin countin' down the hours
i yearn away, i burn away, i turn away the fairest flower of love, 'cause darlin . . .

love is a garden of thorns, and a crow in the corn
and the brake growing wild
cold when the summer is spent in the jade heart's lament
for the faith of a child
my body has a number and my face has a name
and each day looks the same to me
but love is a voice on the wind, and the wages of sin
and a tanglewood tree

love's garden of thorns, how it grows
black crow in the corn hummin' low
brake nettle so pretty and wild
and thistles surround the edge of the
dim dark hour as the sun moves away
lamenting a lost summer day
who nurtures the faith of a child
when nothing remains to cover her eyes?

my body has a number, maybe my face has a name
each hour like each hour before
this longing is a voice on the wind
she cultivates the wages of sin
in a tanglewood tree


Apr. 12th, 2011 09:50 pm
fileg: (bite me)
[livejournal.com profile] notarysojac and I play FarmVille, and
we decided to share this piece from Jim Infantino
and dedicate it to Zynga.

I think it's best to cut lj cut this one.
I love Infantino, but this isn't necessarily why...

Dick Day )


Apr. 11th, 2011 03:15 am
fileg: (herugrim)
Tarrant Moss
Rudyard Kipling

I closed and drew for my love's sake
That now is false to me,
And I slew the Reiver of Tarrant Moss
And set Dumeny free.

They have gone down, they have gone down,
They are standing all arow--
Twenty knights in the peat-water,
That never struck a blow!

Their armour shall not dull nor rust,
Their flesh shall not decay,
For Tarrant Moss holds them in trust,
Until the Judgment Day.

Their soul went from them in their youth,
Ah God, that mine had gone,
Whenas I leaned on my love's truth
And not on my sword alone!

Whenas I leaned on lad's belief
And not on my naked blade--
And I slew a thief, and an honest thief,
For the sake of a worthless maid.

They have laid the Reiver low in his place,
They have set me up on high,
But the twenty knights in the peat-water
Are luckier than I!

And ever they give me gold and praise
And ever I mourn my loss--
For I struck the blow for my false love's sake
And not for the Men of the: Moss!


Apr. 9th, 2011 05:45 am
fileg: (rohams)
Now in this long-deferred spring...
- Sylvia Townsend Warner

Now in this long-
deferred spring,
Blackthorn bush by the way-
side what do you say?

Summer was a burning fever,
Winter a cold fever.
I was spared by neither.

But yet your cramped boughs
are pricked with flowers.

By rote, by rote,
These blossoms I put out.
They have not anything
to do with this spring.

They are but the badge
of an old pledge.
Farewell, and overlook
these white ashes among the black.


Apr. 7th, 2011 02:19 am
fileg: (born of stars)
The Second Kingdom
Richard Brautigan

In the first kingdom
of the stars,
everything is always

Your fingernails
are angels
sleeping after
a long night
of making love.

The sound of
your eyes: snow
coming down
the stairs
of the wind.

Your hair
is the color
of God picking

In the second
kingdom of the stars
there is only


(an uncollected piece)
First Published
Epos 8(2) Winter 1956


Apr. 5th, 2011 01:13 am
fileg: (blackbird pond)
Mother Night
by Jim Harrison

When you wake at three AM you don't think
of your age or sex and rarely your name
or the plot of your life which has never
broken itself down into logical pieces.
At three AM you have the gift of incomprehension
wherein the galaxies make more sense
than your job or the government. Jesus at the well
with Mary Magdalene is much more vivid
than your car. You can clearly see the bear
climb to heaven on a golden rope in the children's
story no one ever wrote. Your childhood horse
named June still stomps the ground for an apple.
What is morning and what if it doesn't arrive?
One morning Mother dropped an egg and asked
me if God was the same species as we are?
Smear of light at five AM. Sound of Webber's
sheep flock and sandhill cranes across the road,
burble of irrigation ditch beneath my window.
She said, "Only lunatics save newspapers
and magazines," fried me two eggs, then said,
"If you want to understand mortality look at birds."
Blue moon, two full moons this month,
which I conclude are two full moons. In what
direction do the dead fly off the earth? Rising sun.
A thousand blackbirds pronounce day.

"Mother Night" by Jim Harrison from Saving Daylight.
© Copper Canyon Press, 2007
fileg: (panthiest)
I had this marked at The Writer's Almanac...
and was reminded of it by a post by [livejournal.com profile] nverland

Emily Dickinson's To-Do List
by Andrea Carlisle

Figure out what to wear—white dress?
Put hair in bun
Bake gingerbread for Sue
Peer out window at passersby
Write poem
Hide poem

White dress? Off-white dress?
Feed cats
Chat with Lavinia
Work in garden
Letter to T.W.H.

White dress or what?
Eavesdrop on visitors from behind door
Write poem
Hide poem

Try on new white dress
Gardening—watch out for narrow fellows in grass!
Gingerbread, cakes, treats
Poems: Write and hide them

Embroider sash for white dress
Write poetry
Water flowers on windowsill
Hide everything
fileg: (song that water sings)
I thought I would start poetry month with a quick goodbye to march, since this song has been stuck in my head all day

It's the joy in your heart.....

Antonio Carlos Jobim - Waters Of March  )
fileg: (song that water sings)
In all the cleaning and book moving, I came upon my mislaid copy of Robin Williamson's The Wise and Foolish Tongue, and inside it a letter from Robin and a pic of us both wearing purple shirts (which I would scan for you, except that I'm in it, and we can't have that, can we? But I have the mother of all grins on my face, and dark hair which I hardly remember having since I've been a combo of grey-white-colorless for ages now)

But I thought I'd give you this for poetry month, and spare you the words to the filk High Fly The Nazgul-O, which I have been singing all day.

The fileg in me is partial to the third verse, but may love lead us all safe home.

These Islands Green )

Ah, have the filk as well, and I'll picture you all singing this around the world
High Fly The Nazgul-0 )
fileg: (Default)
Chris bought me a book of poems by a local poet when she was home in New Hampshire for the early part of the holidays. I want to share this with you


She goes back to the clam shell midden
and it is not far enough.
She goes back to the first world, the last ice age,
and it is not far enough.
She goes back to the cave man playing his bone flute,
and it is not far enough
She walks into the night.
It is too far.

Julia Older
fileg: (Default)
I am struggling with a place in a story I am not ready to talk about. I have had some lovely beta input, but it has made me wonder about direction. The image though - the original image I tried to paint, will not lift.

I woke up with the final stanza of a Dom Moraes poem in my head, and was surprised to remember that when I first fell in love with his work, sometime around 1968, ( which would make me about 16) this poem took me to a place that is exactly parallel to the place I am writing that story from. The brain - you think you have forgotten - it waits for sleep to strike.

Dom Moraes
The Watcher

Ochre like rust, the moss lay on the rocks.
The mountains sloped into the river. One
Day from the slope I watched a steaming fox
Towing a stream of hounds past me. The sun
Dilated, and a rush of birds declared
The kill. The sift of pads, light as a kiss,
Announced the homing of the hunters, tired.
Hiding among the rocks, I watched all this.

I watched red ants mine in the fallen skull
Till it was hollow, and a cup for dew.
The fieldmice came to sip when it was full
And furnished nightwork for the owls to do,
Which, later, furnished daywork for the ants.
In all this labour, nothing went amiss.
Each cycle moved as strictly as a dance.
Hiding among the rocks, I watched all this.

Today, upon these rocks, the moss is dry.
Where is our grave? When will the mountain split?
The dancers turn so fast they blur my eye.
Years pass, and still I am not used to it.
But I must watch the hot wind tilt the skull
And the ridged mask be raised as for a kiss.
We suffer and are not made beautiful.
Hiding among the rocks, I watched all this.


fileg: (Default)

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