a matter of some regret

318 notes

It is love. I will have to hide or flee.

Its prison walls grow larger, as in a fearful dream.
The alluring mask has changed,
but as usual it is the only one.
What use now are my talismans, my touchstones:
the practice of literature,
vague learning,
an apprenticeship to the language used by the flinty Northland
to to sing of its seas and its swords,
the serenity of friendship,
the galleries of the library,
ordinary things,
the young love of my mother,
the soldierly shadow cast by my dead ancestors,
the timeless night,
the flavor of sleep and dream?

Being with you or without you
is how I measure my time.

Now the water jug shatters above the spring,
now the man rises to the sound of birds,
now those who look through the windows are indistinguishable,
but the darkness has not brought peace.

It is love, I know it;
the anxiety and relief at hearing your voice,
the hope and the memory,
the horror at living in succession.

It is love with its own mythology,
its minor and pointless magic.
There is a street corner I do not dare to pass.
Now the armies surround me, the rabble.
(This room is unreal. She has not seen it)

A woman’s name has me in thrall.
A woman’s being afflicts my whole body.

Jorge Luis Borges, from The Threatened One (via violentwavesofemotion)

Filed under jorge luis borges the threatened one poetry love

410 notes

Wear dark glasses in the rain.
Regard what was unhurt
as though through a bruise.
Guilt. A sick, green tint.
New gloves, money tucked in the palms,
the handshake crackles. Hands
can do many things. Phone.
Open the wine. Wash themselves. Now

you are naked under your clothes all day,
slim with deceit. Only the once
brings you alone to your knees,
miming, more, more, older and sadder,

creative. Suck a lie with a hole in it
on the way home from a lethal, thrilling night
up against a wall, faster. Language
unpeels a lost cry. You’re a bastard.

Do it do it do it. Sweet darkness
in the afternoon; a voice in your ear
telling you how you are wanted,
which way, now. A telltale clock

wiping the hours from its face, your face
on a white sheet, gasping, radiant, yes.
Pay for it in cash, fiction, cab-fares back
to the life which crumbles like a wedding-cake.

Paranoia for lunch; too much
to drink, as a hand on your thigh
tilts the restaurant. You know all about love,
don’t you. Turn on your beautiful eyes

for a stranger who’s dynamite in bed, again
and again; a slow replay in the kitchen
where the slicing of innocent onions
scalds you to tears. Then, selfish autobiographical sleep

in a marital bed, the tarnished spoon of your body
stirring betrayal, your heart over-ripe at the core.
You’re an expert, darling; your flowers
dumb and explicit on nobody’s birthday.

So write the script — illness and debt,
a ring thrown away in a garden
no moon can heal, your own words
commuting to bile in your mouth, terror -

and all for the same thing twice. And all
for the same thing twice. You did it.
What. Didn’t you. Fuck. Fuck. No. That was
the wrong verb. This is only an abstract noun.

Carol Ann Duffy, from Adultery (via violentwavesofemotion)

Filed under carol ann duffy poetry adultery lust love

1 note


If I produce paralysis in verse 
Where anger would be more suitable, 
Could it be because my education 
Left out the sight of death? 
They never waked my aunt Nora in the front parlour; 
Our cats hunted mice but never 
Showed us what they killed. 
I was born in the war but never noticed. 
My aunt Nora is still in the best of health 
And her best china has not been changed or broken. 
Dust has not settled on it; I noticed it first 
The same year that I saw 
How the colours of stones change as water 
Dries off them after rain. 
I know how things begin to happen 
But never expect an end. 

if I can never write “goodbye” 
On the torn final sheet, do not 
Investigate my adult life but try 
Where I started. My 
Childhood gave me hope 
And no warnings. 
I discovered the habits of moss 
That secretly freezes the stone, 
Rust softly biting the hinges 
To keep the door always open. 
I became aware of truth 
Like the tide helplessly rising and falling in one place.

—Eilean Ní Chuilleanáin

Filed under poetry ireland Eilean Ni Chuilleanáin goodbyes

1 note


Ní fhásann crann ar shleas imeallach
mar a dtomhaiseann pobal muirí
gach lá le treo na gaoithe.
Ó bhruach Fhaill a’ Stáicín
an gorm neamhaí
glasghorm na taoide
crithloinnir ar líonta
i gcéin ag cuardach
steallann solas
ar chúr na dtonn.
Tá táipéis na talún
faoi réir ag
na ndúl
na páircíní roinnte
ná fáiscfí as easnaíocha
a gcuid iomairí
feasta ach an práta
triantáin sceamhacha
is ciorcal na beatha 
mar shnátha sa dlúth lena
san inneach an chruithneacht
an t-órú meala
cuimhní na gcloch
ag cogar na bhfocal:
….Faill na gCaorach 
Gaibhlín a’ tSolais
Carraig a’ Mhadra 
Faill a’ Phíobaire…..
is nuair a bláthaíonn aiteann 
tagann luisne ar ghnúis na dúiche
ag rince seit na beatha
ar theallach an tsaoil. 

No tree grows on the marginal slope
where a seafaring people measure
each day by the way of the wind.
From the edge of Faill a’ Stáicín
the heavenly blue
the torquoise tide
nets in the distance
shimmer and search
light drenches
the foam-tipped waves.
The tapestry of land
is ruled by
the handcrafting
of the elements
little fields divided
whose rib-like ridges
could only
yield potatoes
skewed triangles
and the circle of life 
like threads in the warp with their
the wheaten weft  
the honeyed gold
the memories of rocks
will whisper the words:
….the Sheep’s Cliff 
the Pool of Light
the Dog’s Rock 
the Piper’s Cliff…..
and when furze flowers  
the countryside blushes with joy,
does the dance of its soul
on the hearthstone of life. 

—Aine Ui Fhoghlu

Filed under aine ui fhoghlu poetry ireland country