Louise Gluck On Walking At Night

7da4c-img_2282Louise Gluck (April 22, 1943 -)

Now that she is old,
the young men don’t approach her
so the nights are free,
the streets at dusk that were so dangerous
have become as safe as the meadow.

By midnight, the town’s quiet.
Moonlight reflects off the stone walls;
on the pavement, you can hear the nervous sounds
of the men rushing home to their wives and mothers; this late,
the doors are locked, the windows darkened.

When they pass, they don’t notice her.
She’s like a dry blade of grass in a field of grasses.
So her eyes that used never to leave the ground
are free now to go where they like.

When she’s tired of the streets, in good weather she walks
in the fields where the town ends.
Sometimes, in summer, she goes as far as the river.

The young people used to gather not far from here
but now the river’s grown shallow from lack of rain, so
the bank’s deserted–

There were picnics then.
The boys and girls eventually paired off;
after a while, they made their way into the woods
where it’s always twilight–

The woods would be empty now–
the naked bodies have found other places to hide.

In the river, there’s just enough water for the night sky
to make patterns against the grey stones. The moon’s bright,
one stone among many others. And the wind rises;
it blows the small trees that grow at the river’s edge.

When you look at a body you see a history.
Once that body isn’t seen anymore,
the story it tried to tell gets lost–

On nights like this, she’ll walk as far as the bridge
before she turns back.
Everything still smells of summer.
And her body begins to seem again the body she had
as a young woman, glistening under the light summer clothing.

Tao Writer On Moments

B56E5F81-883D-4D7A-8545-E49C6A2562D1.jpegTao Writer (April 17, 1948 -)

If I could master just one art,
it would be the art of letting go:
of people I have known and loved,
of places I’ve traveled to and lived
of sunsets and full moons I’ve witnessed.
I would let go of this moment
as quickly as it appears, faster if I could.
I would let go of things I wished for and
especially those wishes which came true.
I’d carry nothing from this moment into the next.
For each moment would have but one life,
never preceded by a memory
never, ever, followed by a wish.

Alan Lightman On Questions

71268E6E-2C96-4880-9516-8C457B47A81DAlan Lightman (November 28, 1948 -)

Excerpt From Song of Two Worlds

So much I’ve lost,
I have nothing
Except a fierce hunger
To fathom this world.
Naked, I knock on the door,
Wearing only my questions.

One thousand questions, and each gives
An answer, which then forms a question.
The questions and answers will meld with each other
Like colors of light,
Like the light rays that once crossed the space
Of the cosmos
And rest now in the small warmth of a hand.

I knock on the doors of the universe,
Asking: What makes the swirl
Of Ghazali love songs?
And the parallel singing of loss?
And the choice to live life alone?

I surrender my calipers, rules, and clocks,
Microscopes, diodes, transistors,
Glass flasks. For how can I measure
The stroke of a passion? Or dissect a grief
With the digits of pi?

Thus, I stand naked, with nothing
Except a fierce hunger to fathom this world,
To embark on this road
Without length without breadth.

 

Lucie Brock Broido On Freedom Of Speech

F2390138-B3F2-433B-8EC5-9A135AEC2A3ALucie Brock Broido (May 22, 1956 – March 6, 2018)

If my own voice falters, tell them hubris was my way of adoring you.
The hollow of the hulk of you, so feverish in life, cut open,

Reveals ten thousand rags of music in your thoracic cavity.
The hands are received bagged and examination reveals no injury.

Winter then, the body is cold to the touch, unplunderable,
Kept in its drawer of old-world harrowing.

Teeth in fair repair. Will you be buried where; nowhere.

Your mouth a globe of gauze and glossolalia.
And opening, most delft of blue, Your heart was a mess—

A mob of hoofprints where the skittish colts first learned to stand,
Catching on to their agility, a shock of freedom, wild-maned.

The eyes have hazel irides and the conjunctivae are pale,

With hemorrhaging. One lung, smaller, congested with rose smoke.
The other, filled with a swarm of massive sentimentia. I adore you more.
I know
The wingspan of your voice, whole gorgeous flock of harriers,

Cannot be taken down. You would like it now, this snow, this hour.
Your visitation here tonight not altogether unexpected.

The night-laborers, immigrants all, assemble here, aching for to speaking, Longing for to work.