For Roberto…

The Call Out of the nothingness of sleep, The slow dreams of Eternity, There was a thunder on the deep: I came, because you called to me. I broke the Night’s primeval bars, I dared the old abysmal curse, And flashed through ranks of frightened stars Suddenly on the universe! The eternal silences were broken; Hell became Heaven as I passed. — What shall I give you as a token, A sign that we have met, at last? I’ll break and forge the stars anew, Shatter the heavens with a song; Immortal in my love for you, Because I love you, very strong. Your mouth shall mock the old and wise, Your laugh shall fill the world with flame, I’ll write upon the shrinking skies The scarlet splendour of your name, Till Heaven cracks, and Hell thereunder Dies in her ultimate mad fire, And darkness falls, with scornful thunder, On dreams of men and men’s desire. Then only in the empty spaces, Death, walking very silently, Shall fear the glory of our faces Through all the dark infinity. So, clothed about with perfect love, The eternal end shall find us one, Alone above the Night, above The dust of the …

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Courage (A Poem by Anne Sexton)

It is in the small things we see it. The child’s first step, as awesome as an earthquake. The first time you rode a bike, wallowing up the sidewalk. The first spanking when your heart went on a journey all alone. When they called you crybaby or poor or fatty or crazy and made you into an alien, you drank their acid and concealed it. Later, if you faced the death of bombs and bullets you did not do it with a banner, you did it with only a hat to cover your heart. You did not fondle the weakness inside you though it was there. Your courage was a small coal that you kept swallowing. If your buddy saved you and died himself in so doing, then his courage was not courage, it was love; love as simple as shaving soap. Later, if you have endured a great despair, then you did it alone, getting a transfusion from the fire, picking the scabs off your heart, then wringing it out like a sock. Next, my kinsman, you powdered your sorrow, you gave it a back rub and then you covered it with a blanket and after it had slept …

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Jubilate Agno

Greg at My Life as a Fischer has a sidebar link to Ten Cat-mandments. They reminded me quite a bit of a poem by an 18th century poet (whom some called a madman), Christopher Smart, “Jubilate Agno” (Rejoice in the Lamb), which is over 1200 lines long! He adapted the exhalted form of the responsive readings in the Anglican Church liturgy to write, in part, about an ordinary subject, his cat, Geoffrey. I have excerpted some of this fantastic poem. I have yet to find it in its entirety, on the Web or elsewhere:

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