February 2009

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Viaje
Hoy me mira la luna
blanca y desmesurada.

Es la misma de anoche,
la misma de mañana.

Pero es otra, que nunca
fue tan grande y tan pálida.

Tiemblo como las luces
tiemblan sobre las aguas.

Tiemblo como en los ojos
suelen temblar las lágrimas.

Tiemblo como en las carnes
sabe temblar el alma.

¡Oh! la luna ha movido
sus dos labios de plata.

¡Oh! la luna me ha dicho
las tres viejas palabras:

«Muerte, amor y misterio...»
¡Oh, mis carnes se acaban!

Sobre las carnes muertas
alma mía se enarca.

Alma --gato nocturno--
sobre la luna salta.

Va por los cielos largos
triste y acurrucada.

Va por los cielos largos
sobre la luna blanca.
-Alfonsina Storni

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The Valley of Unrest
Once it smiled a silent dell
Where the people did not dwell;
They had gone unto the wars,
Trusting to the mild-eyed stars,
Nightly, from their azure towers,
To keep watch above the flowers,
In the midst of which all day
The red sunlight lazily lay.
Now each visitor shall confess
The sad valley's restlessness.
Nothing there is motionless-
Nothing save the airs that brood
Over the magic solitude.
Ah, by no wind are stirred those trees
That palpitate like the chill seas
Around the misty Hebrides!
Ah, by no wind those clouds are driven
That rustle through the unquiet Heaven
Uneasily, from morn till even,
Over the violets there that lie
In myriad types of the human eye-
Over the lilies there that wave
And weep above a nameless grave!
They wave:- from out their fragrant tops
Eternal dews come down in drops.
They weep:- from off their delicate stems
Perennial tears descend in gems.
-Edgar Allan Poe

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The Lake
In spring of youth it was my lot
To haunt of the wide world a spot
The which I could not love the less-
So lovely was the loneliness
Of a wild lake, with black rock bound,
And the tall pines that towered around.
But when the Night had thrown her pall
Upon that spot, as upon all,
And the mystic wind went by
Murmuring in melody-
Then- ah then I would awake
To the terror of the lone lake.
Yet that terror was not fright,
But a tremulous delight-
A feeling not the jewelled mine
Could teach or bribe me to define-
Nor Love- although the Love were thine.
Death was in that poisonous wave,
And in its gulf a fitting grave
For him who thence could solace bring
To his lone imagining-
Whose solitary soul could make
An Eden of that dim lake.
-Edgar Allan Poe

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Love is all we have, the only way that each can help the other.
-Euripides

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Events will take their course, it is no good of being angry at them;
he is happiest who wisely turns them to the best account.
-Euripides

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Song
Winter is icummen in,
Lhude sing Goddamm,
Raineth drop and staineth slop,
and how the wind doth ramm,
Sing: Goddamm.
Skiddeth bus and sloppeth us,
An ague hath my ham.
Freezeth river, turneth liver,
Damn you, sing: Goddamm.
Goddamm, Goddamm, 'tis why I am, Goddamm,
So 'gainst the winter's balm.
Sing goddamm, damm, sing Goddamm,
Sing goddamm, sing goddamm, DAMM.
-Ezra Pound

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Crows
From a single grain they have multiplied.
When you look in the eyes of one
You have seen them all.

At the edges of highways
They pick at limp things.
They are anything but refined.

Or they fly out over the corn
Like pellets of black fire,
Like overlords.

Crow is crow, you say.
What else is there to say?
Drive down any road,

Take a train or an airplane
Across the world, leave
Your old life behind,

Die and be born again -
Wherever you arrive
They'll be there first,

Glossy and rowdy
And indistinguishable.
The deep muscle of the world.
-Mary Oliver

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Dusk
Now the ashen shadows mingle,
tints faded, sounds remote.
Life has dwindled to a single
vague reverberating note.
In the dusk I hear the humming
of a moth I cannot see.
Whence is this oppression coming?
I'm in all, and all's in me.

Gloom so dreamy, so lulling,
flow into my deepest deep,
flow, ambrosial and dulling,
steeping everything in sleep.
With oblivion's obscuration
fill my senses to the brim,
make me taste obliteration,
in this dimness let me dim.
-Fyodor Tyutchev
(translated by Vladimir Nabokov)

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Desperation is the raw material of drastic change. Only those who can leave behind everything they have ever believed in can hope to escape.
-William S. Burroughs

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SEVEN JEWISH CHILDREN a play for Gaza

No children appear in the play. The speakers are adults, the parents and if you like other relations of the children. The lines can be shared out in any way you like among those characters. The characters are different in each small scene as the time and child are different. They may be played by any number of actors.

1
Tell her it's a game
Tell her it's serious
But don't frighten her
Don't tell her they'll kill her
Tell her it's important to be quiet
Tell her she'll have cake if she's good
Tell her to curl up as if she's in bed
But not to sing.
Tell her not to come out
Tell her not to come out even if she hears shouting
Don't frighten her
Tell her not to come out even if she hears nothing for a long time
Tell her we'll come and find her
Tell her we'll be here all the time.
Tell her something about the men
Tell her they're bad in the game
Tell her it's a story
Tell her they'll go away
Tell her she can make them go away if she keeps still
By magic
But not to sing.

2
Tell her this is a photograph of her grandmother, her uncles and
me
Tell her her uncles died
Don't tell her they were killed
Tell her they were killed
Don't frighten her.
Tell her her grandmother was clever
Don't tell her what they did
Tell her she was brave
Tell her she taught me how to make cakes
Don't tell her what they did
Tell her something
Tell her more when she's older.
Tell her there were people who hated Jews
Don't tell her
Tell her it's over now
Tell her there are still people who hate Jews
Tell her there are people who love Jews
Don't tell her to think Jews or not Jews
Tell her more when she's older
Tell her how many when she's older
Tell her it was before she was born and she's not in danger
Don't tell her there's any question of danger.
Tell her we love her
Tell her dead or alive her family all love her
Tell her her grandmother would be proud of her.

3
Don't tell her we're going for ever
Tell her she can write to her friends, tell her her friends can maybe come and visit
Tell her it's sunny there
Tell her we're going home
Tell her it's the land God gave us
Don't tell her religion
Tell her her great great great great lots of greats grandad lived there
Don't tell her he was driven out
Tell her, of course tell her, tell her everyone was driven out and
the country is waiting for us to come home
Don't tell her she doesn't belong here
Tell her of course she likes it here but she'll like it there even more.
Tell her it's an adventure
Tell her no one will tease her
Tell her she'll have new friends
Tell her she can take her toys
Don't tell her she can take all her toys
Tell her she's a special girl
Tell her about Jerusalem.

4
Don't tell her who they are
Tell her something
Tell her they're Bedouin, they travel about
Tell her about camels in the desert and dates
Tell her they live in tents
Tell her this wasn't their home
Don't tell her home, not home, tell her they're going away
Don't tell her they don't like her
Tell her to be careful.
Don't tell her who used to live in this house
No but don't tell her her great great grandfather used to live in this house
No but don't tell her Arabs used to sleep in her bedroom.
Tell her not to be rude to them
Tell her not to be frightened
Don't tell her she can't play with the children
Don't tell her she can have them in the house.
Tell her they have plenty of friends and family
Tell her for miles and miles all round they have lands of their own
Tell her again this is our promised land.
Don't tell her they said it was a land without people
Don't tell her I wouldn't have come if I'd known.
Tell her maybe we can share.
Don't tell her that.

5
Tell her we won
Tell her her brother's a hero
Tell her how big their armies are
Tell her we turned them back
Tell her we're fighters
Tell her we've got new land.

6
Don't tell her
Don't tell her the trouble about the swimming pool
Tell her it's our water, we have the right
Tell her it's not the water for their fields
Don't tell her anything about water.
Don't tell her about the bulldozer
Don't tell her not to look at the bulldozer
Don't tell her it was knocking the house down
Tell her it's a building site
Don't tell her anything about bulldozers.
Don't tell her about the queues at the checkpoint
Tell her we'll be there in no time
Don't tell her anything she doesn't ask
Don't tell her the boy was shot
Don't tell her anything.
Tell her we're making new farms in the desert
Don't tell her about the olive trees
Tell her we're building new towns in the wilderness.
Don't tell her they throw stones
Tell her they're not much good against tanks
Don't tell her that.
Don't tell her they set off bombs in cafés
Tell her, tell her they set off bombs in cafés
Tell her to be careful
Don't frighten her.
Tell her we need the wall to keep us safe
Tell her they want to drive us into the sea
Tell her they don't
Tell her they want to drive us into the sea.
Tell her we kill far more of them
Don't tell her that
Tell her that
Tell her we're stronger
Tell her we're entitled
Tell her they don't understand anything except violence
Tell her we want peace
Tell her we're going swimming.

7
Tell her she can't watch the news
Tell her she can watch cartoons
Tell her she can stay up late and watch Friends.
Tell her they're attacking with rockets
Don't frighten her
Tell her only a few of us have been killed
Tell her the army has come to our defence
Don't tell her her cousin refused to serve in the army.
Don't tell her how many of them have been killed
Tell her the Hamas fighters have been killed
Tell her they're terrorists
Tell her they're filth

Don't
Don't tell her about the family of dead girls
Tell her you can't believe what you see on television
Tell her we killed the babies by mistake
Don't tell her anything about the army
Tell her, tell her about the army, tell her to be proud of the army.
Tell her about the family of dead girls, tell her their names why
not, tell her the whole world knows why shouldn't she know? tell
her there's dead babies, did she see babies? tell her she's got
nothing to be ashamed of. Tell her they did it to themselves. Tell
her they want their children killed to make people sorry for them,
tell her I'm not sorry for them, tell her not to be sorry for them,
tell her we're the ones to be sorry for, tell her they can't talk
suffering to us. Tell her we're the iron fist now, tell her it's the fog
of war, tell her we won't stop killing them till we're safe, tell her I
laughed when I saw the dead policemen, tell her they're animals
living in rubble now, tell her I wouldn't care if we wiped them out,
the world would hate us is the only thing, tell her I don't care if
the world hates us, tell her we're better haters, tell her we're
chosen people, tell her I look at one of their children covered in
blood and what do I feel? tell her all I feel is happy it's not her.
Don't tell her that.
Tell her we love her.
Don't frighten her.
-Caryl Churchill

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Retrato
Mi infancia son recuerdos de un patio de Sevilla,
y un huerto claro donde madura el limonero;
mi juventud, veinte años en tierras de Castilla;
mi historia, algunos casos que recordar no quiero.

Ni un seductor Mañara, ni un Bradomín he sido
--ya conocéis mi torpe aliño indumentario--,
más recibí la flecha que me asignó Cupido,
y amé cuanto ellas puedan tener de hospitalario.

Hay en mis venas gotas de sangre jacobina,
pero mi verso brota de manantial sereno;
y, más que un hombre al uso que sabe su doctrina,
soy, en el buen sentido de la palabra, bueno.

Adoro la hermosura, y en la moderna estética
corté las viejas rosas del huerto de Ronsard;
mas no amo los afeites de la actual cosmética,
ni soy un ave de esas del nuevo gay-trinar.

Desdeño las romanzas de los tenores huecos
y el coro de los grillos que cantan a la luna.
A distinguir me paro las voces de los ecos,
y escucho solamente, entre las voces, una.

¿Soy clásico o romántico? No sé. Dejar quisiera
mi verso, como deja el capitán su espada:
famosa por la mano viril que la blandiera,
no por el docto oficio del forjador preciada.

Converso con el hombre que siempre va conmigo
--quien habla solo espera hablar a Dios un día--;
mi soliloquio es plática con ese buen amigo
que me enseñó el secreto de la filantropía.

Y al cabo, nada os debo; debéisme cuanto he escrito.
A mi trabajo acudo, con mi dinero pago
el traje que me cubre y la mansión que habito,
el pan que me alimenta y el lecho en donde yago.

Y cuando llegue el día del último vïaje,
y esté al partir la nave que nunca ha de tornar,
me encontraréis a bordo ligero de equipaje,
casi desnudo, como los hijos de la mar.
-Antonio Machado

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Yo voy soñando caminos
Yo voy soñando caminos
de la tarde. ¡Las colinas
doradas, los verdes pinos,
las polvorientas encinas!...
¿Adónde el camino irá?
Yo voy cantando, viajero
a lo largo del sendero...
la tarde cayendo está.
"En el corazón tenía
"la espina de una pasión;
"logré arrancármela un día:
"ya no siento el corazón".
Y todo el campo un momento
se queda, mudo y sombrío,
meditando. Suena el viento
en los álamos del río.
La tarde más se oscurece;
y el camino que serpea
y débilmente blanquea
se enturbia y desaparece.

Mi cantar vuelve a plañir:
"Aguda espina dorada,
"quién te pudiera sentir
"en el corazón clavada".
-Antonio Machado

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Tu Risa
Quítame el pan, si quieres,
quítame el aire, pero
no me quites tu risa.

No me quites la rosa,
la lanza que desgranas,
el agua que de pronto
estalla en tu alegría,
la repentina ola
de plata que te nace.

Mi lucha es dura y vuelvo
con los ojos cansados
a veces de haber visto
la tierra que no cambia,
pero al entrar tu risa
sube al cielo buscándome
y abre para mi todas
las puertas de la vida.

Amor mío, en la hora
más oscura desgrana
tu risa, y si de pronto
ves que mi sangre mancha
las piedras de la calle,
ríe, por que tu risa
será para mis manos
como una espada fresca.

Junto al mar en otoño,
tu risa debe alzar
su cascada de espuma,
y en primavera, amor,
quiero tu risa como
la flor que yo esperaba,
la flor azul, la rosa
de mi patria sonora.

Ríete de la noche,
del día, de la luna,
ríete de las calles
torcidas de la isla,
ríete de este torpe
muchacho que te quiere,
pero cuando yo abro
los ojos y los cierro,
cuando mis pasos van,
cuando vuelven mis pasos,
niégame el pan, el aire,
la luz, la primavera
pero tu risa nunca
porque me moriría.
-Pablo Neruda

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Last edited: 23 August 2009 09:33:56