Anyone can carry his burden, however hard, until nightfall. Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, till the sun goes down. And this is all that life really means. — Robert Louis Stevenson
Thought of by you all day, I think of you. The birds sing in the shelter of a tree. Above the prayer of rain, unacred blue, not paradise, goes nowhere endlessly. How does it happen that our lives can drift far from our selves, while we stay trapped in time, queuing for death? It seems… Continue reading Carol Ann Duffy
Then love comes, like a sudden flight of birds from earth to heaven after rain. Your kiss, recalled, unstrings, like pearls, this chain of words. Huge skies connect us, joining here to there. Desire and passion on the thinking air. — Carol Ann Duffy, from “Rapture,” Rapture (Macmillan, 2005)
Just always be waiting for me. ― J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan, Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); 100 Anv edition (October 1, 2003) Originally published 1911.
I dream through a wordless, familiar place. The small boat of the day sails into morning, past the postman with his modest haul, the full sound like the sea, leaving my hands free to remember. Moments of grace. Like this. — Carol Ann Duffy, from “Moments of Grace,” Collected Poems (Picador, 2015)
What is love if it is not an unravelling against the dark? In the moonless field between house and river, remember how you stood with your arms wide to the night, under every tumid star, waiting for one to drop. — John Glenday, “Windfall,” The Golden Mean (Picador, 2015)
I am simply a wounded and dying man. Who can be more regal than a dying man? — Alasdair Gray, Lanark. (Canongate Pub Ltd March 2003) Originally published 1981.
So, all regrets aside, let’s just assume I came from distant space. How else explain the blue? how else explain this silken chill, like snowfall at the heart? — John Burnside, from section 1 “Autobiography,” in “Self Portrait as Blue Baby,” Still Life with Feeding Snake (Jonathan Cape, 2017)
Sometimes you linger days upon a word, a single, uncontaminated drop of sound; for days it trembles, liquid to the mind, then falls: mere denotation dimming the undertow of language. — John Burnside, from “Like me, you sometimes waken,” Common Knowledge (Cape Poetry 1991)
De Humani Corporis Fabrica after Vesalius I know the names of almost nothing not the bone between my elbow and my wrist that sometimes aches from breaking years ago and not the plumb line from the pelvis to the knee less ache than hum where in my nineteenth year a blade slit through nerves and… Continue reading John Burnside