Originally aired: Sunday 10 June through Sunday 12 August 2007

This topic contains 464 replies, has 53,609 voices, and was last updated by  Sven2 1 year, 1 month ago.

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    This is what I’m listening to in the car.


    (Bruce Cockburn, 16 July, 2001. Montreal.)

    Wild things are prowling – storm winds are howling tonight
    Everything’s transforming into pure crystals of light
    The heart is a mirror; it throws back the blaze of love
    Bathed in that glow it’s no secret what I’m thinking of

    I want to wait no more
    Wait no more
    Wait no more

    Sipping wine with angels in this torch-lit tavern by the sea
    What does it take for what’s locked up inside to be free?
    Fold me into you, you know where I’m dying to be
    When my ship sets sail on that ocean of deep mystery

    I want to wait no more
    Wait no more
    Wait no more

    What does it take for the heart to explode into stars?
    One day we’ll wake to remember how lovely we are
    Lightning’s a kiss that lands hot on the loins of the sky
    Something uncoils at the base of my spine and I cry

    I want to wait no more
    Wait no more
    Wait no more

    * * *

    One day we’ll wake to remember how lovely we are.





    –Louise Gluck

    What follows the light is what precedes it:
    the moment of balance, of dark equivalence.

    Thanks for posting this. It reminded me of Cass’ Camera. What I mean is that at first I thought of Cass’ Camera as a lens through which we see the world as it should be, but then, that would be Pollyanna’s camera, I suppose, not Cass’. Perhaps Cass’ camera is a lens which views the world honestly in the sense that what we see isn’t filtered and distorted by chattering commentary or by twenty-five years of resentment, grudges, myths, memes, and conditioning as it was for the Yost family when we first met them. There was so much baggage between them every sentence seemed loaded, every glance and gesture charged, like tasering old wounds. I’ve been thinking that for me, Cass’s camera has become the ability to simply see the world clearly, from “the moment of balance.”

    Or something like that.

    I guess.

    It seems hardly a day goes by when I don’t think about this remarkable series.

    Eccles, first about Cass’s camera. I think that no one, besides the creator is able to see the world without any preconception unless they are 2-3 years old, (even then the life of the heart has pains and memories). And the creator in this case might be a power so many times removed from the human existence and indifferent to see the reality that way. So, who’s seeing the world from the camera? Not us. Just a side thought though. 

    I love Louise Gluck, she is sometime austere but that’s one thinking poet. I have all her books, will post something else of hers later.

    Some Bruce Cockburn songs I remember, you introduced his music on Algon thread on HBO, this one I didn’t know. Thank you.

    “It seems hardly a day goes by when I don’t think about this remarkable series.”

    I “live” with those characters every day and feel the same way as you about JFC.
    Thank you for saying that.



    A Man In His Life

    Yehuda Amichai

    A man doesn’t have time in his life
    to have time for everything.
    He doesn’t have seasons enough to have
    a season for every purpose. Ecclesiastes
    Was wrong about that.

    A man needs to love and to hate at the same moment,
    to laugh and cry with the same eyes,
    with the same hands to throw stones and to gather them,
    to make love in war and war in love.
    And to hate and forgive and remember and forget,
    to arrange and confuse, to eat and to digest
    what history
    takes years and years to do.

    A man doesn’t have time.
    When he loses he seeks, when he finds
    he forgets, when he forgets he loves, when he loves
    he begins to forget.

    And his soul is seasoned, his soul
    is very professional.
    Only his body remains forever
    an amateur. It tries and it misses,
    gets muddled, doesn’t learn a thing,
    drunk and blind in its pleasures
    and its pains.

    He will die as figs die in autumn,
    Shriveled and full of himself and sweet,
    the leaves growing dry on the ground,
    the bare branches pointing to the place
    where there’s time for everything.



    The Woman In The Film

    –Lesley Dauer

    Because the film is running backwards,
    a fireman carries a woman up his ladder
    and places her gently in a burning building.
    She curls softly between her bed sheets
    just as a slight line of smoke
    winds around the room. I feel I should say something
    to the projectionist–I begin to think backwards
    to my childhood, when I lit matches
    and threw them over the fence.
    A fireman shows me what might have burned
    besides the toolshed. He motions his hand
    towards my family, until my mother tells him to stop.
    I head to the projectionist’s booth.
    On screen, the fire’s receding
    towards the back of the woman’s house–
    my mind rewinds further until I’m nothing
    but a look Father gives to Mother over a candle
    in some restaurant, and further still,
    until my parents haven’t met.
    The projectionist doesn’t hear me knocking.
    The audience is laughing. I turn to find the fire’s
    gone out by itself, and the woman’s own child
    has just put a match back into its box.



    My Name

    Mark Strand

    One night when the lawn was a golden green
    and the marbled moonlit trees rose like fresh memorials
    in the scented air, and the whole countryside pulsed
    with the chirr and murmur of insects, I lay in the grass
    feeling the great distances open above me, and wondered
    what I would become — and where I would find myself —
    and though I barely existed, I felt for an instant
    that the vast star-clustered sky was mine, and I heard
    my name as if for the first time, heard it the way
    one hears the wind or the rain, but faint and far off
    as though it belonged not to me but to the silence
    from which it had come and to which it would go.




    –by Dionisio D. Martinez

    Years of Hope

    What my 1731 Stradivarius cannot play, my ears will invent.
    My catalogue of inventions is worthless in the absence of desire.
    I came for the music, but I stayed for you.
    My tenuous landscape is nothing but layer upon layer of paper.
    I sleep on the faultline and dream of being swallowed. At 5:19 in the morning one bird and then another will wake me.
    What good is the dark without music?
    You are as punctual as winter light.

    Years of Solitude

    To the one who sets a second place at the table anyway.
    To the one at the back of the empty bus.
    To the ones who name each piece of stained glass projected on a white wall.
    To anyone convinced that a monologue is a conversation with the past.
    To the one who loses with the deck he marked.
    To those who are destined to inherit the meek.
    To us.

    Years of Reconciliation

    The mime troupe is in town again. They want to reconstruct us bit by bit.
    This is where the house went up in flames.
    This is how we walked away, trying to salvage nothing.
    That’s us, building our separate houses in the aftermath.
    There were ashes to be swept away, years of debris, pages and pages of unresolved music.
    Here we are, looking out of our respective windows at the space between us.
    Of all the illusions, forgetting is the most dangerous.

    Years of Fortune

    Suppose we count backwards and nothing happens.
    The palm reader says I live on intuition.
    Something tells me you’re home for good, your unpacked bags nothing to worry about.
    This morning I paid off the mortgage. By the middle of the afternoon I noticed that the house had not changed.
    Indiscriminate wishes determine the length of a season and the falling of the light around here.
    Escape has such a final ring to it. Let’s just say we’re taking our time in returning.
    For better or for worse, ours is a variant of a rather common story.

    Years of Judgment

    One lethargic word crawls out of your reach and confronts you.
    Each breath unfolds with intentions of its own.
    Even the slightest preoccupation with absolute stillness is a significant increment of time.
    Everything is measurable.
    Salvation is a deliberate leap into the eye of a cataclysm.
    Believe like a man and you will drown in a drop of faith.
    Believe in nothing and the first rains will level your house.

    Years of Vision

    In a matter of minutes I destroyed the journal I had kept for 15 years, maybe longer.
    A man in love soon learns to be unfaithful to himself.
    I changed my name and taught myself not to answer when you called me by the old familiar one.
    It became obvious that accidents are worth repeating.
    Each day I woke a little closer to the sea with little more than my cobalt blue history to keep me afloat.
    I bought a shirt to match the earth of each new country I stumbled into—terra cotta, terra firma, terra incognita.
    In countries with nothing but overabundance, language has the luxury of moving backward—red hibiscus, dark leaves.

    Years of Discourse

    are not always preceded by years of silence. More than likely, they follow unfulfilled demands.
    An arsenal of threats is dismantled.
    The hands of the adversary begin to look surprisingly life-like.
    For the agnostics, a man with cancer in his throat heals himself and begins to sing like a broken angel.
    Those most susceptible to nostalgia are reminded of the mythical Age of Miracles.
    An arsenal of memories, long abandoned, is discovered and restored.

    Familiar voices reappear. In proportion to the sky, they are whispers.



    The Return

    John Forbes

    I often dream about the ocean
                                  and would like to write
    a long ode to water, because I live
    on a drought stricken flood plain
    next to a sea where a baked delta
    opens between glittering sandstone cliffs
    & the dunes and beaches make holiday resorts
    seem like colonies in outer space.
    Where are the green islands? Where are
                                                    the sticky hibiscus flowers,
    the paddocks full of clover and grass,
    the intricate mangrove swamps
    & the mud that squelches between your toes?
                                                  Instead I am covered in salt—
    the same brother you forgot
    whose wounds were like rumours
    of the rains’ failure
    but who returns even so, just as the wet arrives
    after weeks of dry storm lightning out to sea
                                                    & who stands in front of you
                                                dressed in his flash city clothes
    but suddenly shy, like a stranger embarrassed
    by wet footprints and tears
    & the sudden atmosphere of drama.



    The Earth

    Anne Sexton

    God loafs around heaven,

    without a shape
    but He would like to smoke His cigar
    or bite His fingernails
    and so forth.

    God owns heaven
    but He craves the earth,
    the earth with its little sleepy caves,
    its bird resting at the kitchen window,
    even its murders lined up like broken chairs,
    even its writers digging into their souls
    with jackhammers,
    even its hucksters selling their animals
    for gold,
    even its babies sniffing for their music,
    the farm house, white as a bone,
    sitting in the lap of its corn,
    even the statue holding up its widowed life,
    but most of all He envies the bodies,
    He who has no body.

    The eyes, opening and shutting like keyholes
    and never forgetting, recording by thousands,
    the skull with its brains like eels–
    the tablet of the world–
    the bones and their joints
    that build and break for any trick,
    the genitals,
    the ballast of the eternal,
    and the heart, of course,
    that swallows the tides
    and spits them out cleansed.

    He does not envy the soul so much.
    He is all soul
    but He would like to house it in a body
    and come down
    and give it a bath
    now and then.



    Filthy Savior

      –Laure-Anne Bosselaar

    Look at this storm, the idiot,
    pouring its heart out here, of all places,
    an industrial suburb on a Sunday,
    soaking nothing but cinder-block
    and parking lots,

    wasting its breath on smokeless
    smoke-stacks, not even a trash can
    to send rumbling through the streets.
    And that lightning bolt, forking itself
    to death, to hit

    nothing — what a waste.
    What if I hadn’t been here, lost too,
    four in the morning, driving around
    in a jean-shirt over my night-gown,
    reciting Baudelaire aloud —

    like an idiot ¬— unable to sleep,
    scared to death by my longing for it,
    death, so early in the morning, driving
    until the longing runs on empty?
    The windshield wipers can’t

    keep up with this deluge,
    and I almost run over it, a flapping
    white thing in the middle of the street.
    I step out, it’s a gull, one leg
    caught in a red plastic net

    snared around its neck.
    I throw my shirt over the shrieking thing,
    take it back to the car, search my bag
    for something, anything, find a nail file,
    start sawing at the net.

    The gull is huge, filthy, it shits
    on my shirt, pecks at me — idiot, I’m trying
    to save you. I slip a sleeve over its head,
    hold it down with one hand, saw, cut,
    pull with the other,

    free the leg, the neck,
    wrap the gull again, hold it against me,
    fighting for its life, its crazed heart
    beats against mine. I put my package
    on the hood, open the shirt, and

    there it goes, letting the wind
    push it, suck it into a cloud; then it’s
    gone — like some vague, inhuman
    longing — as the rain lifts, and the suburbs
    emerge in dirty white light.



    Stay Close to Any Sound


    Stay close to any sounds
    that make you glad
    you are alive.

    in this world is
    helplessly reeling.

    An invisible wake
    was created
    when God said
    to His beautiful dead lover,

    Hafiz, who will understand you
    if you do not explain that last line?

    Well then,
    I will sing it this way:

    When God said to illusion,

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