Monthly Archives: May 2015

Keeping Quiet by Pablo Neruda 

Now we will count to twelve and we will all keep still. 

For once on the face of the earth, let’s not speak in any language; let’s stop for one second,and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment without rush, without engines; we would all be together in a sudden strangeness.

Fisherman in the cold sea would not harm whales and the man gathering salt would look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars, wars with gas, wars with fire, victories with no survivors, would put on clean clothes and walk about with their brothers in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused with total inactivity. Life is what it is about; I want no truck with death.

If we were not so single-minded about keeping our lives moving, and for once could do nothing, perhaps a huge silencemight interrupt this sadness of never understanding ourselves and of threatening ourselves with death.

Perhaps the earth can teach us as when everything seems dead and later proves to be alive.

Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.
–Pablo Neruda 

The Wind From the Sea


The sheer window curtain bellies like a pregnant Muslim woman in her dupatta, filling with secret life from beyond the horizon.

Fine incisions written as tatters say the sea has been restless for ages. The tea kettle outside the painting purrs today will start out calm.

It is enough to know these things without having to say them. Wyeth’s painting holds them before us.

Beyond the curtain is a road leading to the sea, to whales and fishermen with sore red hands. And to you, and to me.

———————————

*This poem was first published in the Ekphrastic Review

The Sea Has No Memory

in the hard corners
the walls argue

tribal masks
of pride and loss

fold the past
as ships on a dark mirror

the sea
holds all and says nothing

as if all time
were paper cranes

and could find home
without benefit of stars

Directives, by Robert Frost

Back out of all this now too much for us,Back in a time made simple by the loss

Of detail, burned, dissolved, and broken off

Like graveyard marble sculpture in the weather

….

Here are your waters and your watering place. 

Drink and be whole again beyond confusion.

–Robert Frost