Friday, January 31, 2014

the more loving one


Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.

How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.

Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.

Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.

–W.H. Auden


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Is this dying?


Is this dying? Is this all? 

Is this what I feared when I prayed against a hard death? 

Oh, I can bear this! I can bear this!

Cotton Mather  (1663-1728) 


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I never died, said he


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Late Fragment




And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?

I did.

And what did you want?

To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.

–Raymond Carver


Monday, January 27, 2014

this way


For the raindrop, joy is in entering the river—

Travel far enough into sorrow, tears turn to sighing;
In this way we learn how water can die into air.

When, after heavy rain, the storm clouds disperse,
Is it not that they’ve wept themselves clear to the end?



Saturday, January 25, 2014

an African proverb

When death finds you, may it find you alive.



Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Angel of Duluth, excerpt


I lied a little. There are things I don’t want to tell you. How lonely I am today and sick at heart. How the rain falls steadily and cold on a garden grown greener, more lush and even less tame. I haven’t done much, I confess, to contain it. The grapevine, as usual, threatens everything in its path, while the raspberry canes, aggressive and abundant, are clearly out of control. I’m afraid the wildflowers have taken over, being after all the most hardy and tolerant of shade and neglect. This year the violets and lilies of the valley are rampant, while the phlox are about to emit their shocking pink perfume. Oh, my dear, had you been here this spring, you would have seen how the bleeding hearts are thriving.

—Madelon Sprengnether

Sunday, January 19, 2014

when i go

Oseberg, a 9th-century burial ship, at the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo, Norway.
Photograph, Kim Walker, Robert Harding/Corbis,


When I go, bury me with nothing but my own skin.
I spent far too many days trying to outrun this thing called mine. 

So if I set myself into your arms would you hold me like the Earth, quietly? 

I am yours. Give me a field, give me a big sky. A mountain.
Give me your mouth. 

I’m just looking for a quiet place that I could die inside of.

—Anis Mojgani



Friday, January 17, 2014

Inscription for a Gravestone


I am not dead, I have only become inhuman:
That is to say,
Undressed myself of laughable prides and infirmities,
But not as a man
Undresses to creep into bed, but like an athlete
Stripping for the race. 
The delicate ravel of nerves that made me a measurer
Of certain fictions
Called good and evil; that made me contract with pain
And expand with pleasure;
Fussily adjusted like a little electroscope:
That’s gone, it is true;
(I never miss it; if the universe does,
How easily replaced!)

But all the rest is heightened, widened, set free.
I admired the beauty
While I was human, now I am part of the beauty.
I wander in the air,

Being mostly gas and water, and flow in the ocean;
Touch you and Asia
At the same moment; have a hand in the sunrises
And the glow of this grass.
I left the light precipitate of ashes to earth
For a love-token.

–Robinson Jeffers



Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Life After Death, A Burden of Proof, excerpt


Whatever it is that occurs at death, I believe it deserves to
be called a miracle. The miracle, ironically, is that we don’t die.
The cessation of the body is an illusion, and like a magician sweeping aside a curtain, the soul reveals what lies beyond. 

–Deepak Chopra


from largerloves


Sunday, January 12, 2014

i see you


'This is our choral tribute to Lily Allen who wrote this song for her mother, Alison Owen.
Orchestrated and Arranged by Rachel Santesso'


Saturday, January 11, 2014

how it works


Let's face it. We're undone by each other.
And if we're not, we're missing something.
If this seems so clearly the case with grief, it is only because it was already the case with desire.
One does not always stay intact.

–Judith Butler


image from vivre !


Saturday, January 4, 2014




If I am dying, leave the balcony open. 
The child is eating an orange. 
(From my balcony, I see him.) 

The reaper is reaping the barley. 
(From my balcony, I hear him.) 

If I am dying, leave the balcony open.

–Federico Garcia Lorca 


Friday, January 3, 2014

trying to find a way to love


Am I Not Among the Early Risers, excerpt



Here is an amazement -- once I was twenty years old and in
every motion of my body there was a delicious ease,
and in every motion of the green earth there was
a hint of paradise,
and now I am sixty years old, and it is the same.

Above the modest house and the palace -- the same darkness.
Above the evil man and the just, the same stars.
Above the child who will recover and the child who will
not recover, the same energies roll forward,
from one tragedy to the next and from one foolishness to the next.

I bow down.

–Mary Oliver
West Wind


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Just Lying on the Grass at Blackwater


I think sometimes of the possible glamour of death -
that it might be wonderful to be
lost and happy inside the green grass -
or to be the green grass! -
or, maybe the pink rose, or the blue iris,
or the affable daisy, or the twirled vine
looping its way skyward - that I might be perfectly peaceful
to be the shining lake, or the hurrying, athletic river,
or the dark shoulders of the trees
where the thrush each evening weeps himself into an ecstasy.

I lie down in the fields of goldenrod, and everlasting.
Who could find me?
My thoughts simplify.  I have not done a thousand things
or a hundred things but, perhaps, a few.
As for wondering about answers that are not available except
in books, though all my childhood I was sent there
to find them, I have learned
to leave all that behind

as in summer I take off my shoes and my socks,
my jacket, my hat, and go on
happier, through the fields.  The little sparrow
with the pink beak
calls out, over and over, so simply - not to me
but to the whole world.  All afternoon
I grow wiser, listening to him,
soft, small, nameless fellow at the top of some weed,
enjoying his life.  If you can sing, do it.  If not,

even silence can feel, to the world, like happiness,
like praise,
from the pool of shade you have found beneath the everlasting.
–Mary Oliver