Philip Larkin: Sad Steps

Groping back to bed after a piss
I part thick curtains, and am startled by
The rapid clouds, the moon’s cleanliness.

 

Four o’clock: wedge-shadowed gardens lie
Under a cavernous, a wind-picked sky.
There’s something laughable about this,

 

The way the moon dashes through clouds that blow
Loosely as cannon-smoke to stand apart
(Stone-coloured light sharpening the roofs below)

 

High and preposterous and separate—
Lozenge of love! Medallion of art!
O wolves of memory! Immensements! No,

 

One shivers slightly, looking up there.
The hardness and the brightness and the plain
Far-reaching singleness of that wide stare

 

Is a reminder of the strength and pain
Of being young; that it can’t come again,
But is for others undiminished somewhere.

Philip Larkin: The Mower

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The mower stalled, twice; kneeling, I found
A hedgehog jammed up against the blades,
Killed.  It had been in the long grass.

I had seen it before, and even fed it, once.
Now I had mauled its unobtrusive world
Unmendably.  Burial was no help:

Next morning I got up and it did not.
The first day after a death, the new absence
Is always the same; we should be careful

Of each other, we should be kind
While there is still time.

Sylvia Plath: Ariel

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Stasis in darkness.
Then the substanceless blue
Pour of tor and distances.

God’s lioness,
How one we grow,
Pivot of heels and knees! – The furrow

Splits and passes, sister to
The brown arc
Of the neck I cannot catch,

Nigger-eye
Berries cast dark
Hooks –

Black sweet blood mouthfuls,
Shadows.
Something else

Hauls me through air –
Thighs, hair;
Flakes from my heels.

White
Godiva, I unpeel –
Dead hands, dead stringencies.

And now I
Foam to wheat, a glitter of seas.
The child’s cry

Melts in the wall.
And I
Am the arrow,

The dew that flies
Suicidal, at one with the drive
Into the red

Eye, the cauldron of morning.

Rhiannon Dance: Mrs Carlisle

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Turgid lungs creak and groan,
Festering bedsprings wax and moan,
Structures wince under the dusty press,
Of the once -fragile Female undress.

Smoke curls up from a smouldering bud,
Ash underfoot, ‘kin to mud,
Burn holes tell of restless nights,
Turn of the leg rouses putrid mites.

Twenty four hours unmov-ed corpse,
Waiting in silence for treasured recourse,
Fire in the gullet, emulsified belly,
Flesh then bone and royal jelly.

Gnarled claw parting four-poster drapes,
Skin like paper; breasts dry grapes,
Sipping from ethereal glass,
Sober and ginger, waiting to pass.

Swollen faced shock and vile surprise,
Hoarse voiced calls and guppy eyes,
Inside the corpse a burn and itch,
In hand a note reads ‘Selfish Bitch’.

Maya Angelou: I know why the caged bird sings

RIP. This poem tugs on my heart strings. 

Image

 

 

The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill 
for the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom. 

Charles Bukowski: Safe

 sad-house-b&w
the house next door makes me
sad.
both man and wife rise early and
go to work.

they arrive home in early evening.
they have a young boy and a girl.
by 9 p.m. all the lights in the house
are out.
the next morning both man and
wife rise early again and go to
work.
they return in early evening.
By 9 p.m. all the lights are
out.

the house next door makes me
sad.
the people are nice people, I
like them.

but I feel them drowning.
and I can’t save them.

they are surviving.
they are not
homeless.

but the price is
terrible.

sometimes during the day
I will look at the house
and the house will look at
me
and the house will
weep, yes, it does, I
feel it.