Friday, June 30, 2017

hot and cold

I live, I die, I burn, I freeze
I'm hot while I endure the cold
Life's too much hardness, too much ease
My joy and worries interfold
At once I laugh and I'm in tears
In pain in pleasure I've long been
My good goes off and lasts for years
At once I dry up and I'm green
So jerkily love leads me on
And when I think I'll have more stress
I find myself without a trace
Then when I feel my pain is gone
And at the peak of happiness
It's back to my unhappy place

Louise Labé (1526–1565)

Monday, June 19, 2017


would that all of us played prophets
meditating on our parts
irrigating lands of promise
with a flood of melting hearts

Sunday, May 28, 2017

here comes the sun

The year has left its coat
Of wind and cold and rain
And donned embroidery
Of sunshine on clear sky
No beast forgets its cry
Nor bird to sing its note
The year has left its coat
Of wind and cold and rain
Springs, streams and river pools
For pretty livery
Wear drops of silver jewels
Each one gets dressed again
The year has left its coat
Of wind and cold and rain

Charles d'Orléans (1394–1465)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

god only knows

I don't know how I can
My sore heart melts from pain
Dares not tell or complain
My painful lot
My sore life's blot
I want nothing but death
I don't know how I can
A cover I must make
To sing my heart's low breath
Laughter to fake
God knows what I can take
I don't know how I can

Christine de Pizan (1364 – c. 1430)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

fourth quarter stand

You bang on about Bannockburn and the fields of Flodden
I keep pissing in the ocean and my feet are sodden
Our mother can't stop greeting, Dad's too thick to understand
And Grandad's still in Ypres – can you tell it to Nan?
Ask if the Bristol slavers ever docked at Leith
And when we scuttle Trident, if we still need teeth?
You've always been the clever one, I'm just a Tory toff
Have we ever had a Queen who cut her own head off?
We're going to have a King, and then another, yes, they're mean
Could their hearts be on the left side and their blood part green?
Folks still can go to Gretna and both keep their name
Will you play it where it lies or take your wee ball and gae hame?
We bridged the Forth together and let's not forget the Fifth
The lion is our savage and the unicorn's a myth

Saturday, May 20, 2017

i swear it's not too late

couldn't hold on to money
never flew for free
stuck in my own honey
overgrown bumblebee
playing chicken with the ocean
tinging blue with black
hid the yellow of caution:
might fly off, might buzz back
when i saw a white petal
growing up from green
my stinger hit metal
i was safe to be seen
to make a hard right
waiting on the red light

Friday, May 12, 2017

you only named the animals

I've been there when the walls fell
and I was there for the towers
I can't be there above hell
but I am below the flowers
I may see you tomorrow
but I won't when you are gone
I feel your joy and sorrow
and whatever else you're on
I was there in creation
but I don't even know why
I look at every nation
and I shake my head and cry
I hear you too, all Israel
but you're not my chosen stock
I might prefer these cattle
but my hand is just this rock