Nor The Sun Its Selling Power – Brian Patten

They say her words were like balloons 

with strings I could not hold, 

that her love was something in a shop 

cheap and far too quickly sold; 
but the tree does not price its apples 

nor the sun its selling power 

the rain does not gossip 

or speak of where it goes.

So Many Different Lengths Of Time – Brian Patten

How long does a man live after all? 

A thousand days or only one? 

One week or a few centuries? 

How long does a man spend living or dying 

and what do we mean when we say gone forever? 
Adrift in such preoccupations, we seek clarification. 

We can go to the philosophers 

but they will weary of our questions. 

We can go to the priests and rabbis 

but they might be busy with administrations. 
So, how long does a man live after all? 

And how much does he live while he lives? 

We fret and ask so many questions – 

then when it comes to us 

the answer is so simple after all. 
A man lives for as long as we carry him inside us, 

for as long as we carry the harvest of his dreams, 

for as long as we ourselves live, 

holding memories in common, a man lives. 
His lover will carry his man’s scent, his touch: 

his children will carry the weight of his love. 

One friend will carry his arguments, 

another will hum his favourite tunes, 

another will still share his terrors. 
And the days will pass with baffled faces, 

then the weeks, then the months, 

then there will be a day when no question is asked, 

and the knots of grief will loosen in the stomach 

and the puffed faces will calm. 

And on that day he will not have ceased 

but will have ceased to be separated by death. 
How long does a man live after all? 

A man lives so many different lengths of time.

The Innocence Of Any Flesh Sleeping – Brian Patten 

Sleeping beside you I dreamt 

I woke beside you; 

Waking beside you 

I thought I was dreaming. 
Have you ever slept beside an ocean? 

Well yes, 

It is like this. 
The whole motion of landscapes, of oceans 

Is within her. 

She is 

The innocence of any flesh sleeping, 

So vulnerable 

No protection is needed. 
In such times 

The heart opens, 

Contains all there is, 

There being no more than her. 
In what country she is 

I cannot tell. 

But knowing – because there is love 

And it blots out all demons – 

She is safe, 

I can turn, 

Sleep well beside her. 
Waking beside her I am dreaming. 

Dreaming of such wakings 

I am all love’s senses woken.

Minister For Exams – Brian Patten

When I was a child I sat an exam. 

This test was so simple 

There was no way i could fail. 
Q1. Describe the taste of the Moon. 
It tastes like Creation I wrote, 

it has the flavour of starlight. 
Q2. What colour is Love? 
Love is the colour of the water a man 

lost in the desert finds, I wrote. 
Q3. Why do snowflakes melt? 
I wrote, they melt because they fall 

on to the warm tongue of God. 
There were other questions. 

They were as simple. 
I described the grief of Adam 

when he was expelled from Eden. 

I wrote down the exact weight of 

an elephant’s dream 
Yet today, many years later, 

For my living I sweep the streets 

or clean out the toilets of the fat 

hotels. 
Why? Because constantly I failed 

my exams. 

Why? Well, let me set a test. 
Q1. How large is a child’s 

imagination? 

Q2. How shallow is the soul of the 

Minister for exams?

The Right Mask – Brian Patten

One night a poem came up to a poet 

From now on, it said, you must wear a mask. 

What kind of mask? asked the poet. 

A rose mask, said the poem. 

I’ve used it already, said the poet, 

I’ve exhausted it. 

Then wear the mask that’s made out of 

a nightingale’s song, use that mask. 

Oh, it’s an old mask, said the poet, 

it’s all used up. 

Nonsense, said the poem, it’s the perfect mask, 

still, try on the god mask, 

now that mask illuminates heaven. 

It’s a tight mask, said the poet, 

and the stars crawl about in it like ants. 

Then try on the troubador’s mask, or the singer’s mask,

try on all the popular masks. 

I have, said the poet, but they fit so easily. 
The poem was getting impatient, 

it stamped its feet like a child, 

it screamed. Then try on your own face, 

try the one mask that terrifies, 

the mask only you could possibly use, 

the mask only you could wear out. 
The poet tore at his face til it bled, 

this mask? he yelled, this mask? 

Yes, said the poem, yes. 
But the poet was tired of masks, 

he had lived too long with them, 

he snatched at the poem and stuck it in his face. 

Its screams were muffled, it wept, it tried to be lyrical, 

it wriggled into his eyes and mouth. 
Next day his friends were afraid of him, 

he looked so distorted. 

Now it’s the right mask, said the poem, the right mask. 

It clung to him lovingly and never let go again.

Party Piece – Brian Patten

He said: 

‘Let’s stay here 

Now this place has emptied 

And make gentle pornography with one another, 

While the partygoers go out 

And the dawn creeps in, 

Like a stranger. 
Let us not hesitate 

Over what we know 

Or over how cold this place has become, 

But let’s unclip our minds 

And let tumble free 

The mad, mangled crocodile of love.’ 
So they did, 

There among the woodbines and guinness stains, 

And later he caught a bus and she a train 

And all there was between them then 

was rain.

Sometimes It Happens – Brian Patten

And sometimes it happens that you are friends and then 

You are not friends, 

And friendship has passed. 

And whole days are lost and among them 

A fountain empties itself. 
And sometimes it happens that you are loved and then 

You are not loved, 

And love is past. 

And whole days are lost and among them 

A fountain empties itself into the grass. 
And sometimes you want to speak to her and then 

You do not want to speak, 

Then the opportunity has passed. 

Your dreams flare up, they suddenly vanish. 
And also it happens that there is nowhere to go and then 

There is somewhere to go, 

Then you have bypassed. 

And the years flare up and are gone, 

Quicker than a minute. 
So you have nothing. 

You wonder if these things matter and then 

As soon you begin to wonder if these things matter 

They cease to matter, 

And caring is past. 

And a fountain empties itself into the grass.

Geography Lesson – Brian Patten

Our teacher told us one day he would leave 

And sail across a warm blue sea 

To places he had only known from maps, 

And all his life had longed to be. 

The house he lived in was narrow and grey 

But in his mind’s eye he could see 

Sweet-scented jasmine clinging to the walls, 

And green leaves burning on an orange tree. 

He spoke of the lands he longed to visit, 

Where it was never drab or cold. 

I couldn’t understand why he never left, 

And shook off the school’s stranglehold. 

Then halfway through his final term 

He took ill and never returned, 

And he never got to that place on the map 

Where the green leaves of the orange trees burned. 

The maps were redrawn on the classroom wall; 

His name was forgotten, it faded away. 

But a lesson he never knew he taught 

Is with me to this day. 

I travel to where the green leaves burn 

To where the ocean’s glass-clear and blue, 

To all those places my teacher taught me to love 

But which he never knew.

The Newcomer – Brian Patten

‘There’s something new in the river,’ 

The fish said as it swam. 

‘It’s got no scales, no fins and no gills, 

And ignores the impassable dam.’ 
‘There’s something new in the trees.’ 

I heard a bloated thrush sing. 

‘It’s got no beak, no claws, and no feathers, 

And not even the ghost of a wing.’ 
‘There’s something new in the warren,’ 

Said the rabbit to the doe. 

‘It’s got no fur, no eyes and no paws, 

Yet digs further than we dare go.’ 
‘There’s something new in the whiteness,’ 

Said the snow-bright polar bear. 

‘I saw its shadow on a glacier, 

But it left no pawmarks there.’ 
Through the animal kingdom 

The news was spreading fast. 

No beak, no claws, no feather, 

No scales, no fur, no gills, 

It lives in the trees and the water, 

In the soil and the snow and the hills, 

And it kills and it kills and it kills.

Shoveling Snow With Buddha – Billy Collins

In the usual iconography of the temple or the local Wok

you would never see him doing such a thing, 

tossing the dry snow over a mountain 

of his bare, round shoulder, 

his hair tied in a knot, 

a model of concentration. 
Sitting is more his speed, if that is the word 

for what he does, or does not do. 
Even the season is wrong for him. 

In all his manifestations, is it not warm or slightly humid? 

Is this not implied by his serene expression, 

that smile so wide it wraps itself around the waist of the universe? 
But here we are, working our way down the driveway, 

one shovelful at a time. 

We toss the light powder into the clear air. 

We feel the cold mist on our faces. 

And with every heave we disappear 

and become lost to each other 

in these sudden clouds of our own making, 

these fountain-bursts of snow. 
This is so much better than a sermon in church, 

I say out loud, but Buddha keeps on shoveling. 

This is the true religion, the religion of snow, 

and sunlight and winter geese barking in the sky, 

I say, but he is too busy to hear me. 
He has thrown himself into shoveling snow 

as if it were the purpose of existence, 

as if the sign of a perfect life were a clear driveway 

you could back the car down easily 

and drive off into the vanities of the world 

with a broken heater fan and a song on the radio. 
All morning long we work side by side, 

me with my commentary 

and he inside his generous pocket of silence, 

until the hour is nearly noon 

and the snow is piled high all around us; 

then, I hear him speak. 
After this, he asks, 

can we go inside and play cards? 
Certainly, I reply, and I will heat some milk 

and bring cups of hot chocolate to the table 

while you shuffle the deck. 

and our boots stand dripping by the door. 
Aaah, says the Buddha, lifting his eyes 

and leaning for a moment on his shovel 

before he drives the thin blade again 

deep into the glittering white snow.

Snow Day – Billy Collins

Today we woke up to a revolution of snow, 

its white flag waving over everything, 

the landscape vanished, 

not a single mouse to punctuate the blankness, 

and beyond these windows 
the government buildings smothered, 

schools and libraries buried, the post office lost 

under the noiseless drift, 

the paths of trains softly blocked, 

the world fallen under this falling. 
In a while I will put on some boots 

and step out like someone walking in water, 

and the dog will porpoise through the drifts, 

and I will shake a laden branch, 

sending a cold shower down on us both. 
But for now I am a willing prisoner in this house, 

a sympathizer with the anarchic cause of snow. 

I will make a pot of tea 

and listen to the plastic radio on the counter, 

as glad as anyone to hear the news 
that the Kiddie Corner School is closed, 

the Ding-Dong School, closed, 

the All Aboard Children’s School, closed, 

the Hi-Ho Nursery School, closed, 

along with – some will be delighted to hear – 
the Toadstool School, the Little School, 

Little Sparrows Nursery School, 

Little Stars Pre-School, Peas-and-Carrots Day School, 

the Tom Thumb Child Center, all closed, 

and – clap your hands – the Peanuts Play School. 
So this is where the children hide all day, 

These are the nests where they letter and draw, 

where they put on their bright miniature jackets, 

all darting and climbing and sliding, 

all but the few girls whispering by the fence. 
And now I am listening hard 

in the grandiose silence of the snow, 

trying to hear what those three girls are plotting, 

what riot is afoot, 

which small queen is about to be brought down.

Some Days – Billy Collins

Some days I put the people in their places at the table, 

bend their legs at the knees, 

if they come with that feature, 

and fix them into the tiny wooden chairs. 
All afternoon they face one another, 

the man in the brown suit, 

the woman in the blue dress, 

perfectly motionless, perfectly behaved. 
But other days, I am the one 

who is lifted up by the ribs, 

then lowered into the dining room of a dollhouse 

to sit with the others at the long table. 
Very funny, 

but how would you like it 

if you never knew from one day to the next 

if you were going to spend it 
striding around like a vivid god, 

your shoulders in the clouds, 

or sitting down there amidst the wallpaper, 

staring straight ahead with your little plastic face?

The Best Cigarette – Billy Collins

There are many that I miss 

having sent my last one out a car window 

sparking along the road one night, years ago. 
The heralded one, of course: 

after sex, the two glowing tips 

now the lights of a single ship; 

at the end of a long dinner 

with more wine to come 

and a smoke ring coasting into the chandelier; 

or on a white beach, 

holding one with fingers still wet from a swim. 
How bittersweet these punctuations 

of flame and gesture; 

but the best were on those mornings 

when I would have a little something going 

in the typewriter, 

the sun bright in the windows, 

maybe some Berlioz on in the background. 

I would go into the kitchen for coffee 

and on the way back to the page, 

curled in its roller, 

I would light one up and feel 

its dry rush mix with the dark taste of coffee. 
Then I would be my own locomotive, 

trailing behind me as I returned to work 

little puffs of smoke, 

indicators of progress, 

signs of industry and thought, 

the signal that told the nineteenth century 

it was moving forward. 

That was the best cigarette, 

when I would steam into the study 

full of vaporous hope 

and stand there, 

the big headlamp of my face 

pointed down at all the words in parallel lines.

The First Night – Billy Collins

Before I opened you, Jiménez, 

it never occurred to me that day and night 

would continue to circle each other in the ring of death, 
but now you have me wondering 

if there will also be a sun and a moon 

and will the dead gather to watch them rise and set 
then repair, each soul alone, 

to some ghastly equivalent of a bed. 

Or will the first night be the only night, 
a darkness for which we have no other name? 

How feeble our vocabulary in the face of death, 

How impossible to write it down. 
This is where language will stop, 

the horse we have ridden all our lives 

rearing up at the edge of a dizzying cliff. 
The word that was in the beginning 

and the word that was made flesh— 

those and all the other words will cease. 
Even now, reading you on this trellised porch, 

how can I describe a sun that will shine after death? 

But it is enough to frighten me 
into paying more attention to the world’s day-moon, 

to sunlight bright on water 

or fragmented in a grove of trees, 
and to look more closely here at these small leaves, 

these sentinel thorns, 

whose employment it is to guard the rose.

Walking Across The Atlantic – Billy Collins

I wait for the holiday crowd to clear the beach 

before stepping onto the first wave. 
Soon I am walking across the Atlantic 

thinking about Spain, 

checking for whales, waterspouts. 

I feel the water holding up my shifting weight. 

Tonight I will sleep on its rocking surface. 
But for now I try to imagine what 

this must look like to the fish below, 

the bottoms of my feet appearing, disappearing.

Workshop – Billy Collins

I might as well begin by saying how much I like the title.

It gets me right away because I’m in a workshop now 

so immediately the poem has my attention, 

like the Ancient Mariner grabbing me by the sleeve. 
And I like the first couple of stanzas, 

the way they establish this mode of self-pointing 

that runs through the whole poem 

and tells us that words are food thrown down 

on the ground for other words to eat. 

I can almost taste the tail of the snake 

in its own mouth, 

if you know what I mean. 
But what I’m not sure about is the voice, 

which sounds in places very casual, very blue jeans, 

but other times seems standoffish, 

professorial in the worst sense of the word 

like the poem is blowing pipe smoke in my face. 

But maybe that’s just what it wants to do. 
What I did find engaging were the middle stanzas, 

especially the fourth one. 

I like the image of clouds flying like lozenges 

which gives me a very clear picture. 

And I really like how this drawbridge operator 

just appears out of the blue 

with his feet up on the iron railing 

and his fishing pole jigging—I like jigging— 

a hook in the slow industrial canal below. 

I love slow industrial canal below. All those l’s. 
Maybe it’s just me, 

but the next stanza is where I start to have a problem. 

I mean how can the evening bump into the stars? 

And what’s an obbligato of snow? 

Also, I roam the decaffeinated streets. 

At that point I’m lost. I need help. 
The other thing that throws me off, 

and maybe this is just me, 

is the way the scene keeps shifting around. 

First, we’re in this big aerodrome 

and the speaker is inspecting a row of dirigibles, 

which makes me think this could be a dream. 

Then he takes us into his garden, 

the part with the dahlias and the coiling hose, 

though that’s nice, the coiling hose, 

but then I’m not sure where we’re supposed to be. 

The rain and the mint green light, 

that makes it feel outdoors, but what about this wallpaper? 

Or is it a kind of indoor cemetery? 

There’s something about death going on here. 
In fact, I start to wonder if what we have here 

is really two poems, or three, or four, 

or possibly none. 
But then there’s that last stanza, my favorite. 

This is where the poem wins me back, 

especially the lines spoken in the voice of the mouse. 

I mean we’ve all seen these images in cartoons before,

but I still love the details he uses 

when he’s describing where he lives. 

The perfect little arch of an entrance in the baseboard, 

the bed made out of a curled-back sardine can, 

the spool of thread for a table. 

I start thinking about how hard the mouse had to work 

night after night collecting all these things 

while the people in the house were fast asleep, 

and that gives me a very strong feeling, 

a very powerful sense of something. 

But I don’t know if anyone else was feeling that. 

Maybe that was just me. 

Maybe that’s just the way I read it.

The Old Keg Of Rum – Banjo Paterson

My name is old Jack Palmer, 

I’m a man of olden days, 

And so I wish to sing a song 

To you of olden praise. 

To tell of merry friends of old 

When we were gay and young; 

How we sat and sang together 

Round the Old Keg of Rum. 
Oh! the Old Keg of Rum! the Old Keg of Rum! 

How we sat and sang together 

Round the Old Keg of Rum. 
There was I and Jack the plough-boy, 

Jem Moore and old Tom Hines, 

And poor old Tom the fiddler, 

Who now in glory shines; 
And several more of our old chums, 

Who shine in Kingdom Come, 

We all associated round the 

Old Keg of Rum. 
Oh! the Old Keg of Rum! the Old Keg of Rum! 

We all associated round the 

Old Keg of Rum. 
And when harvest time was over, 

And we’d get our harvest fee, 

We’d meet, and quickly rise the keg, 

And then we’d have a spree. 

We’d sit and sing together 

Till we got that blind and dumb 

That we couldn’t find the bunghole 

Of the Old Keg of Rum. 
Oh! the Old Keg of Rum! the Old Keg of Rum! 

That we couldn’t find the bunghole 

Of the Old Keg of Rum. 
Its jovially together, boys 

We’d laugh, we’d chat, we’d sing; 

Sometimes we’d have a little row 

Some argument would bring. 
And oftimes in a scrimmage, boys, 

I’ve corked it with my thumb, 

To keep the life from leaking 

From the Old Keg of Rum. 
Oh! the Old Keg of Rum! the Old Keg of Rum! 

To keep the life from leaking 

From the Old Keg of Rum. 
But when our spree was ended, boys, 

And waking from a snooze, 

For to give another drain 

The old keg would refuse. 

We’d rap it with our knuck 

If it sounded like a drum, 

We’d know the life and spirit 

Had left the Old Keg of Rum. 
Oh! the Old Keg of Rum! the Old Keg of Rum! 

We’d know the life and spirit 

Had left the Old Keg of Rum. 
Those happy days have passed away, 

I’ve seen their pleasures fade; 

And many of our good old friends 

Have with old times decayed. 
But still, when on my travels, boys, 

If I meet with an old chum, 

We will sigh, in conversation, 

Of the Grand Old Keg of Rum. 
Oh! the Old Keg of Rum! the Old Keg of Rum! 

We will sigh, in conversation, 

Of the Grand Old Keg of Rum. 
So now, kind friends, I end my song, 

I hope we’ll meet again, 

And, as I’ve tried to please you all, 

I hope you won’t complain. 

You younger folks who learn my song, 

Will, perhaps, in years to come, 

Remember old Jack Palmer 

And the Old Rum Of Rum. 
Oh! the Old Keg of Rum! the Old Keg of Rum! 

Remember old Jack Palmer 

And the Old Keg of Rum.

The Lost Drink – Banjo Paterson

I had spent the night in the watch-house — 

My head was the size of three — 

So I went and asked the chemist 

To fix up a drink for me; 

And he brewed it from various bottles 

With soda and plenty of ice, 

With something that smelt like lemon, 

And something that seemed like spice. 

It fell on my parching palate 

Like the dew on a sunbaked plain, 

And my system began to flourish 

Like the grass in the soft spring rain; 

It wandered throughout my being, 

Suffusing my soul with rest, 

And I felt as I “scoffed” that liquid 

That life had a new-found zest. 
I have been on the razzle-dazzle 

Full many a time since then 

But I never could get the chemist 

To brew me that drink again. 

He says he’s forgotten the notion — 

‘Twas only by chance it came — 

He’s tried me with various liquids 

But oh! they are not the same. 
We have sought, but we sought it vainly, 

That one lost drink divine; 

We have sampled his various bottles, 

But somehow they don’t combine: 

Yet I know when I cross the River 

And stand on the Golden Shore 

I shall meet with an angel chemist 

To brew me that drink once more.

The Plains – Banjo Paterson

A land, as far as the eye can see, where the waving grasses grow 

Or the plains are blackened and burnt and bare, where the false mirages go 

Like shifting symbols of hope deferred – land where you never know. 
Land of the plenty or land of want, where the grey Companions dance, 

Feast or famine, or hope or fear, and in all things land of chance, 

Where Nature pampers or Nature slays, in her ruthless, red, romance. 
And we catch a sound of a fairy’s song, as the wind goes whipping by, 

Or a scent like incense drifts along from the herbage ripe and dry 

  • Or the dust storms dance on their ballroom floor, where the bones of the cattle lie.

The Shepherd – Banjo Paterson 

He wore an old blue shirt the night that first we met, 

An old and tattered cabbage-tree concealed his locks of jet; 

His footsteps had a languor, his voice a husky tone; 

Both man and dog were spent with toil as they slowly wandered home. 
I saw him but a moment—yet methinks I see him now 

While his sheep were gently feeding ‘neath the rugged mountain brow. 

When next we met, the old blue shirt and cabbage-tree were gone; 

A brand new suit of tweed and “Doctor Dod” he had put on; 

Arm in arm with him was one who strove, and not in vain, 

To ease his pockets of their load by drinking real champagne. 
I saw him but a moment, and he was going a pace, 

Shouting nobbler after nobbler, with a smile upon his face. 

When next again I saw that man his suit of tweed was gone, 

The old blue shirt and cabbage-tree once more he had put on; 

Slowly he trudged along the road and took the well-known track 

From the station he so lately left with a swag upon his back. 
I saw him but a moment as he was walking by 

With two black eyes and broken nose and a tear-dropp in his eye.

The Swagman – Banjo Paterson

Kind friends, pray give attention 

To this, my little song. 

Some rum things I will mention, 

And I’ll not detain you long. 

Up and down this country 

I travel, don’t you see, 

I’m a swagman on the wallaby, 

Oh! don’t you pity me. 

I’m a swagman on the wallaby, 

Oh! don’t you pity me. 
At first I started shearing, 

And I bought a pair of shears. 

On my first sheep appearing, 

Why, I cut off both its ears. 

Then I nearly skinned the brute, 

As clean as clean could he. 

So I was kicked out of the shed, 

Oh! don’t you pity me, &c. 
I started station loafing, 

Short stages and took my ease; 

So all day long till sundown 

I’d camp beneath the trees. 

Then I’d walk up to the station, 

The manager to see. 

“Boss, I’m hard up and I want a job, 

Oh! don’t you pity me,” &c. 
Says the overseer: “Go to the hut. 

Says the overseer: “Go to the hut. 

In the morning I’ll tell you 

If I’ve any work about 

I can find for you to do.” 

But at breakfast I cuts off enough 

For dinner, don’t you see. 

And then my name is Walker. 

Oh! don’t you pity me. 

I’m a swagman, &c. 

And now, my friends, I’ll say good-bye, 

For I must go and camp. 

For if the Sergeant sees me 

He may take me for a tramp; 

But if there’s any covey here 

What’s got a cheque, d’ye see, 

I’ll stop and help him smash it. 

Oh! don’t you pity me. 

I’m a swagman on the wallaby, 

Oh! don’t you pity me.

Tom Collins – Banjo Paterson

Who never drinks and never bets, 

But loves his wife and pays his debts 

And feels content with what he gets? 

Tom Collins. 
Who has the utmost confidence 

That all the banks now in suspense 

Will meet their paper three years hence? 

Tom Collins. 
Who reads the Herald leaders through, 

And takes the Evening News for true, 

And thought the Echo’s jokes were new? 

Tom Collins. 
Who is the patriot renowned 

So very opportunely found 

To fork up Dibbs’s thousand pound? 

Tom Collins.

With The Cattle – Banjo Paterson

The drought is down on field and flock, 

The river-bed is dry; 

And we must shift the starving stock 

Before the cattle die. 

We muster up with weary hearts 

At breaking of the day, 

And turn our heads to foreign parts, 

To take the stock away. 

And it’s hunt ‘em up and dog ‘em, 

And it’s get the whip and flog ‘em, 

For it’s weary work, is droving, when they’re dying every day; 

By stock routes bare and eaten, 

On dusty roads and beaten, 

With half a chance to save their lives we take the stock away. 

We cannot use the whip for shame 

On beasts that crawl along; 

We have to drop the weak and lame, 

And try to save the strong; 

The wrath of God is on the track, 

The drought fiend holds his sway; 

With blows and cries the stockwhip crack 

We take the stock away. 

As they fall we leave them lying, 

With the crows to watch them dying, 

Grim sextons of the Overland that fasten on their prey; 

By the fiery dust-storm drifting, 

And the mocking mirage shifting, 

In heat and drought and hopeless pain we take the stock away. 

In dull despair the days go by 

With never hope of change, 

But every stage we feel more nigh 

The distant mountain range; 

And some may live to climb the pass, 

And reach the great plateau, 

And revel in the mountain grass 

By streamlets fed with snow. 

As the mountain wind is blowing 

It starts the cattle lowing 

And calling to each other down the dusty long array; 

And there speaks a grizzled drover: 

“Well, thank God, the worst is over, 

The creatures smell the mountain grass that’s twenty miles away.” 
They press towards the mountain grass, 

They look with eager eyes 

Along the rugged stony pass 

That slopes towards the skies; 

Their feet may bleed from rocks and stones, 

But, though the blood-drop starts, 

They struggle on with stifled groans, 

For hope is in their hearts. 

And the cattle that are leading, 

Though their feet are worn and bleeding, 

Are breaking to a kind of run – pull up, and let them go! 

For the mountain wind is blowing, 

And the mountain grass is growing, 

They’ll settle down by running streams ice-cold with melted snow. 
The days are gone of heat and drought 

Upon the stricken plain; 

The wind has shifted right about, 

And brought the welcome rain; 

The river runs with sullen roar, 

All flecked with yellow foam, 

And we must take the road once more 

To bring the cattle home. 

And it’s “Lads! We’ll raise a chorus, 

There’s a pleasant trip before us.” 

And the horses bound beneath us as we start them down the track; 

And the drovers canter, singing, 

Through the sweet green grasses springing 

Towards the far-off mountain-land, to bring the cattle back. 

Are these the beasts we brought away 

That move so lively now? 

They scatter off like flying spray 

Across the mountain’s brow; 

And dashing down the rugged range 

We hear the stockwhips crack – 

Good faith, it is a welcome change 

To bring such cattle back. 

And it’s “Steady down the lead there!” 

And it’s “Let ‘em stop and feed there!” 

For they’re wild as mountain eagles, and their sides are all afoam; 

But they’re settling down already, 

And they’ll travel nice and steady; 

With cheery call and jest and song we fetch the cattle home. 

We have to watch them close at night 

For fear they’ll make a rush, 

And break away in headlong flight 

Across the open bush; 

And by the camp-fire’s cheery blaze, 

With mellow voice and strong, 

We hear the lonely watchman raise the Overlander’s song: 

“Oh, it’s when we’re done with roving, 

With the camping and the droving, 

It’s homeward down the Bland we’ll go, and never more we’ll roam”; 

While the stars shine out above us, 

Like the eyes of those who love us – 

The eyes of those who watch and wait to greet the cattle home. 

The plains are all awave with grass, 

The skies are deepest blue; 

And leisurely the cattle pass 

And feed the long day through; 

But when we sight the station gate 

We make the stockwhips crack, 

A welcome sound to those who wait 

To greet the cattle back: 

And through the twilight falling 

We hear their voices calling, 

As the cattle splash across the ford and churn it into foam; 

And the children run to meet us, 

And our wives and sweethearts greet us, 

Their heroes from the Overland who brought the cattle home.

The Old Survey – Banjo Paterson

Our money’s all spent, to the deuce went it! 

The landlord, he looks glum, 

On the tap-room wall, in a very bad scrawl, 

He has chalked to us a sum. 

But a glass we’ll take, ere the grey dawn break, 

And then saddle up and away 

Theodolite-tum, theodolite-ti, theodolite-too-ral-ay. 
With a measured beat fall our horses’ feet, 

Galloping side by side; 

When the money’s done, and we’ve had our fun, 

We all are bound to ride. 

O’er the far-off plain we’ll drag the chain, 

And mark the settler’s way 

Theodolite-tum, theodolite-ti, theodolite-too-ral-ay. 
We’ll range from the creeks to the mountain peaks, 

And traverse far below; 

Where foot never trod, we’ll mark with a rod 

The limits of endless snow; 
Each lofty crag we’ll plant with a flag, 

To flash in the sun’s bright ray 

Theodolite-tum, theodolite-ti, theodolite-too-ral-ay. 
Till with cash hard-earned once more returned, 

At “The Beaver” bars we’ll shout; 

And the very bad scrawl that’s against the wall 

Ourselves shall see wiped out. 

Such were the ways in the good old days! 

The days of the old survey! 

Theodolite-tum, theodolite-ti, theodolite-too-ral-ay.

A Lovers Tryst – HEG George

Don’t hold me to blame. 

The road was never straight 

nor the wind mild of frame 
Your bedside monitor screeches 

one incessant, contrary acoustic. 

Giving notice to all abroad that 

time has moved on elsewhere 
Let me raise you up and brush 

away the marks that play a 

cracked tune on your broken 

parts, like a drummer breaking sticks 
The glass of your eye 

holds the drink of my heart, 

where champagne bubbles try 

to revive an empty space no 

longer receiving its rhythmic pulse 
The mood of your limbs, 

restrained by dysfunctional form 

and snared by aseptic plastic, 

bring a darkness to this room. 
And, like an Indian encircled 

wagon train, Dante’s allegorical 

limbo encircles your bed, pining 

for your life renunciated husk

A Road To A Short War – HEG George

A white hot finger points your way, 

pushing air aside with each advancing message. 

The renting of air with thunder clap abroad 

makes too much noise, chattering like rattling lungs 
Whispers to an unacknowledged Lord 

bringing forward promised prayers. 

The elastic of fear bringing Him ever closer 
Listen, above the din, a whisper. 

Just a faint whisper in the grass. 

A tap on the shoulder, a poke in the chest 
Cold, so very cold, yet burning hot. 

With stench of faeces left too long, 

the shadow of death falls over this life. 

As yet unknown to its carrier 
This cold, sucking, life-withdrawing colourless odour. 

This all-pervading, all consuming watered soul, 

so thinly veiled with blood and flesh. 
This breathing vessel of emptied life. 

With ice rink stare upon which skaters cut 

figures to the reapers dance 
This day, this very focal point, 

where time no longer elapses, shall 

feel the clod but not the shovel. 

And keep a watch without relief

An Autumn Tableau – HEG George

When you come to stay, you’ll stay In a box, 

much like any other. With its own rich vein 

of concrete running between two green 

rivers of grass; supporting islands of tainted 
leaves too corrupt to remain at home for another 

season. A bird feeder stands lonely sentinel in a 

changing Eden, the only nod to nature’s needy. 

Where a magpie, whose beak shares the accuracy 
of the boxer punching a moving bag, eats the once 

yearly offering of seed from its moving target. 

And two black – ringed turtle doves, the epitome 

of Athrodite’s children, throw a lovers spat over 
the single bird feeder. Whilst mellow music 

drifts upon the same wavelengths as the 

shrilling calls of the birds. One, more 

harmonious than the other. 
A dog, lying in the heated comfort of the box, 

tries to urge a bark, but settles for a growl, at 

an autumn intruder. It’s head following the 

ostentatious jig of a robin, like a type writer 
Jarring between upper and lower case. This 

fleeting balsam that comes once every year, 

tasting of deep velvet shiraz, willingly shares 

its richness with those that bring a glass. 
No rights witheld. That’s what you’ll see 

when you come to stay. If you look.

Self-Reproach – HEG George

An offensive mirror 

produces my face, 

and ears listen to a 

hackneyed heart beat 
The stench of stagnant 

breath confirms my 

identity and smoker’s 

status. Sixty a day 
The cold floor held 

by blood drained feet, 

a razor held in hand 

at mannequin angle 
The bile in my throat and 

the fur on my tongue 

congealed with the sickly 

sweet syrup of life dripping out 
The door behind falls open on 

its own axis and the mirror 

reveals an empty room effused 

with a pall of used smoke, 
Like grey mists rising on a moor, 

seeking fresh lungs to enbalm. 

I think I see a shadow of someone waiting. 

And I think that someone is me

The Changeling – HEG George

I am the newly born face of munificence, unquenchable beauty. 

My tides are full with bountifulness, like an orchard to the table. 

My fleece radiates guiltless white, bestowed like a lamb, fresh 

upon its mother. And the flight of a newborn world is upon the wing 
My once childish demeanour has grown into a handsome face, 

with the offer of a pristine horizon as dowry. And the fruits from 

the fleur de mer are bound for the land, to walk amoung its forests 

and cultivate its soil. Free of tarnish and burnished by a new sun 
As the cloud’s rivers carry food along my valleys, carved 

by mighty glaciers, the King Fisher learns its trade and 

apes are low in prominence. As yet to chase the flame 

and its future dividend 
But, as with any river, there are two shores upon which to live. 

And there are signs that a sheep in wolf’s clothing stands two 

legged and tall upon the other shore. And like the changing of 

the seasons, too soon its cold has become warm and its warm 

become hot. Wrapping a ring of savage finality about itself 
On that bank, benevolence has changed a once accepting face, 

to one of prideful leers. And the once responsible mien of its 

manhood has lately become the childish game of a drunken 

fool to be frittered away, like so many coins 
And changing tides recede onto unredeeming shore lines, as a 

water fall’s once prized cascade becomes scorched by a pitiless 

sun. And yet. My heart still resonates with the cries of a dying 

humanity and should our eyes and ears only perceive it, there 
is time to nurture this changeling yet. To cross the river and 

force back the spears of gluttony that have breached this paradise. 

To grasp the hands of an entire peoples despair and lift them up, 

like a father to a child and the righteous to the atoned 
For without this change of games pursued, we leave behind a 

dessicated husk of rock. To become one of many such trinkets 

that orbit the lights in the night sky.

The Funeral – HEG George

Respects have been paid 

by those with good manners 

and by the mawkish with 

restrained curiosity 
And now, I sit in a chasm of nothingness. 

Raging seas crashing from my eyes, 

whilst salty rivers run from my 

nose to the tip of my tongue 
My day is slate grey with 

nimbus clouds abroad. 

And my ambivalence riles 

against a once merciful Being 
No longer registered are the passing 

differences between the sun and moon 

or the advancing hours of a stagnated clock. 

Gone are my reasons for either 
I have become Omega, last of my family. 

And now I sit, beneath a canopy of pain. 

Waiting for her whisper. 

Oh, dear God. Let it be soon.

Cancer – HEG George

Hold back the hour. 

Stop the tears from flowing. 

Breathe again untainted air. 

Take back my bones, my breasts, 

and race forward to passion once more 
Hold back the hour, 

before the ravaging of every sinew 

and fleeting glimpse of salvation, and 

forced pity encroached upon my earth 
Hold back the hour, 

before tested strength 

proves weakened failure 

and commitment runs a ragged road 
Before privacy alludes 

and birds no longer sing for me, 

or the pinch of reality is drugged 

away before the fluttering of breath 
Now bring back the hour 

let the tears flow 

I’m ready

Without The Sea – HEG George

 
The sun’s beams penetrate me, 

with fingers delving deeply beneath 

the blanket of my surface 
And the clouds rise up, as bitter as the 

moon eclipsed sun, only to fall back 

to earth, with life on the coat-tails of 

every drop 
On these benign waters rest the swimmers, 

whose hearts I hear play the perfect beat 

and whose skins I caress like a lovers breast, 

encasing them in champagne bubbles. 
Yet, they ravage me, savage me. Narcissists 

seeking the elusive liquors of promised bounty 
And, though I envelop the rocks at the edge 

of man’s domain, I hold from him the abyssal depths; 

sparing him from his frailties, and hiding from him 

my vanities 

The rivers are my children, so easily breached 

by the lifeless, upturned fibrous husks of acorn 

shells, travelling along my viscous exterior. 

Their David to my Goliath, making fools of 

all my tributaries. 
The seagulls flying above me, singing their 

homages, drain away my windswept salt from 

holes in their beaks. Like so much brine ejected 

from salt-encrusted lakes 
Like a harbinger of bad news, the moons tides 

recede within me like elasticated yawns, 

revealing the lost souls of battles ancient; 

illuminating elysium’s reflected glory 

upon the silvery face of that Lunar watch keeper

Sleeping In The Rain – HEG George

Every step forward brings an 

energised momentum. Leading 

me toward a portal which leads 

me to the Styx ferryman 
I am confronted with this resoundingly 

unique shape, the emblem of its industry. 

His coffin puts out its tentacle seeking my 

name 
Past aisles filled with ‘fag-ash’ Lils and lipstick 

smothered whore’s, I walk inexorably 

on. Past the row of walking stick, 

benefits claiming, blue badge carrying, 

hand-me-downs. 
And those ‘mutter-under-the-Breath’ blue 

veined brigade, always ready to Judge the 

dress you’ve chosen for such a solemn occasion. 

Well, today I didn’t let them down! 
When I get there, what I see is a pseudo-realistic 

pantomime. A Frieze of alibaster-marbeled 

features, a mask of barely recognisable 

‘What used to be’ 
I’m confused. Am I supposed to love 

this empty form of you? Should I kiss 

your brow? And taste the loss of you 

on my lips. 
Or enter into a pact of believing that 

you lie there, waiting to kiss me back. 

What I want is to be guaranteed this 

will never happen to me again. 
I want to be able to give my love to 

someone and not have it thrown back 

when their ‘use by date’ has expired 
I want the time, before time stopped, 

to start again. I want the muscles in my 

neck to become unknotted and my wine 

bill to become averagely normal again. 
Oh, and I want his wife to know I 

was the other woman

Scream Into The Night – HEG George

I listened with intent and watched with 

practiced eye.That came to me through 

scream on scream, word on word and slap 

on slap. 
My mind wandered to its own recess 

To safe harbour and calmer sea 

Where was succour and treat me gentle, 

a moral compass with strength of fibre. 
Instead to tie me down and roll with 

suppression, a weakened road until 

journey’s end. Re-sowing that furrow with 

visions of war, destruction without refrain. 
No acceptance of truce to save the young. 

And in your eye shall grow this stain. 

This Mark of Cain remains as testament 

to the power of one soul over another. 
And when this life ends this mark, this riddled 

sore is carried over to begin again 

Pandora’s box with hope removed 

contains this mind of youth, 
baring plaster o’er the cracks of despair. 

The seeds of doubt retained within, 

the low esteem to fester like a weeping 

wound. Salvation lies within a temple sought. 
A She from which to learn. 

A muse from which to draw. 

A guide to lead until strength grown. 

With which to fight this Gorgon’s child 
The spawn of the triumvirate. 

But, the strength desired, the muse to be drawn 

lays disappeared beneath a crumbling fear and 

shadows felt. A surface of lies so thinly veiled to 
hold back the tides of doubt and damage caused. 

Finally, to watch the tormentor’s life drift away 

with no spark of redeeming light, or release from 

bonds held. 
No mark of passing, no retribution on hold. 

The screams still remain and bring forth 

a new sunrise of guilt to colour the day.

Anticipation – Yahya Said 

As we are lured by the morning dews 

Captivating our thoughts and build a smile 

As we are awaken by friendly rays 

We see love, 

Filling our world with smile 

Silly laughter that we cant explain 
A day that reminds about our own 

As joy and rejoice enslave us 

It show us our past 

We see the present that last 

In our hearts we hug a pet 

In warmth and cordial state 
In our dreams we take a flight 

Trailing the silent night 

As the world sleeps 

We befriend the lonely blinking minaret 

Smearing out the dark feelings 
We growl in lust for what we taste 

In long we drool therein 

Manoeuvering with the life beat 

Making us astray in this street

Comfort Them – Yahya Said 

Be their teddy bear when they are lonely 

make them feel your presence daily 

like a butterfly, make them have a silly smile 

be a reason…… 

when you are far away; they’ll have a story to tell 
spread your tender love, be kind 

to them be one of a kind 

a stream that erase their boredom 

flourishing their thoughts with a smooth smiling cream 
‘will you be available for a hike? ” 

ask them, its a lovely prick 

they’ll remember you, while their adoring eyes witness flowery tears 

longing if you could be near… 
Ere sun sets and darkness rule your soul 

Ere you become a past tense in this world 

scar their hearts with love and more love 

for they will have a moment to remember you like their lovely dove

A Beautiful Days End – Hasmukh   Amathalal 

Yes beautiful days end 

with close vicinity of friend 

a good day or bad day 

he will show us the way 
life may still move on 

it may lay intact or torn 

you may claim it as won 

it is heavier than ton 
what is sun rise and set? 

It may be nice I bet 

Take it not by chance 

see it through and have a glance 
Nothing remains permanent 

No one should curse it or lament 

It must be enjoyed at proper place 

We should always have smiling face 
Leave everything not to fate 

You will be unfortunate and late 

Love all and don’t try to hate 

Put your views clearly and state 
Who may not want lovely company? 

Why all are eager to stay and accompany? 

What is real secret and eagerness behind? 

We must earnestly seek and find

A Birth And Death – Hasmukh Amathalal

Several deaths in single birth and death cycle 

all religious books speak the same including Bible 

who can deny the existence death probability 

that has been made permanently the continuity 
Human beings are always guided by emotions 

they emerge in the form of innumerable questions 

it may strike as everything is at stake for the future 

life is uncertain and nothing can be taken for sure 
This leads to imagination as how the life would shape 

life would move on smoothly or prove as trap 

at every stage it may appear as if the end of journey 

you may feel very poor even after having enough of money 
No one may comfortably say that he is not afraid of death 

he may not be in position to proclaim he is weary of wealth 

he too may say falsely that he can withstand any type of wrath 

he can do all with the simple reason that he does not believe in faith 
It has been clearly laid down that death is complete surety 

it has to be faced by child, poor, rich or even mighty 

it is of no use to loose the ground at every stage 

it may be countered if life at every page 
Birth is reality and we have been ushered in new world 

the life may be shaped by others who will continue to hold 

all cards and bring us up in the realistic atmosphere 

even though it is full of challenge, agony, pain and fear 
it is realized and understood that life can’t be brought to an end 

we have to adjust to the scenario with little or some amends 

how could one thing of bringing it to stage of collapse? 

even if he has to face so much hardship and remain tense 
It is not bead of roses that you may be heavenly gifted 

it is sheer your efforts that may help the standard to be lifted 

not all may be lucky to survive the onslaught of fate 

some may get the fortune early of life or very late 
It is futile to think of death at every moment 

you should not fall prey to defeatist tendency or movement 

when we know that life is destined for something new 

you have to make concerted efforts and renew 
One one birth and one death in complete life span 

no second thought or idea must work as plan 

it will be cowards death every time 

this is drawback and will be considered as biggest crime

A Bad Dream – Hasmukh Amathalal

I hastily stepped out from bed to ponder over 

It was bad dream and I started to find cover 

It made me restless and compelled to wonder 

I rubbed the eyes and regained composure however 
It happens many times when you are seized with work 

So many times you may trying to avoid or shirt 

It does not relieve you from burden and chain of thoughts invade 

The memory is fast recycling and not easily fades 
It is human mind that works as super computer 

It adjusts very fast and compels the situation to alter 

It argues in favor and against in protective manner 

It keeps hope alive and does not make chance thinner 
Dreams are in fact a safe refuge or heaven 

We are the king and also beautiful queen 

The whole set up revolves around and make us proud 

Your voice is heard clear and loud 
It is replica of sound and healthy mind 

We have enough space to find 

We can have level field to play 

It keeps you linked and do not push away 
It is said that when person is gripped by fear 

He may not be in position to think or shed tears 

He will have no place to put his views 

The dreams may provide him enough time to review 
It is by product of active human psychology 

Mind does not rest even if raised in bogey 

It strikes back to find the reasonable solution 

It will not rest until finds out with strong resolution 
I think over endlessly over the state of mind 

It some times cry and try to act very kind 

If something wrong is done unintentionally 

It will try to satisfy logic by reasons finally 
It is right application at right moment 

It does not disturb the normal movement 

The ups and down may force to think 

But the stable mind may not allow to sink 
The unstable mind sometimes pushed person to brink 

He may loose the power to balance and properly to think 

It is progressive thoughts that come to the rescue 

This is considered as positive step and may be had by only few 
So the dreams are healthy sign of mental order 

It takes active part and always ready at border 

The slight palpitation may push it to strong action 

It will be sound and positive reaction 
It is always good to sleep without any tension 

The mind may be occupied with lots of questions 

Still it is wroth try to be worry free 

It is nice idea for all of us to agree

 A Bad Feeling – Hasmukh Amathalal 

You may be feeling very bad 

The heart may be filled and feeling very sad 

It has something to do with on going play 

We are bound to face something to stay 
What can be joy if there are no challenges? 

You come out of it and successfully manage? 

It is all about success down fall or success story 

We sometimes go down with anxiety and worry 
Both sides are necessary and are relevant 

They may invite adverse and favorable comment 

We may cry and at the same time laugh it out 

The life is full of extremes and can termed as all about 
I wish to cry 

But then ask why? 

Why I run away and feel shy? 

W must stick on, face and try 
You love to stay in fray 

It may not push you away 

It has heavy substance to pull you near 

It may frighten but remove your fear

A Attempt To Lie -Hasmukh Amathalal

It did not pinch me when I attempted to lie 

It never occurred to mind and raised the question, why?

I had no symptoms of feeling shy 

It was desperate but worth try 
I was seized with lot of worries 

I was unable to live with ease 

There was enough of guilt to release 

I did not correct myself and allowed the opportunity to miss 
Was it going to remain as one time affair? 

I did not consider it proper and fair 

I knew one day I will be called liar 

People may disregard and cut satire 
I knew it from the beginning very well 

The sky was not going to fall or let loose the hell 

I was trying to escape momentary set back 

Had I not gone for it, it might have developed some cracks? 
I did it because it thought it right 

I didn’t want unnecessary fight 

I could sense the darkness in light 

I knew it was deviation but only slight 
“You tell he untruth” if it helps the cause 

Not enough truth behind it because 

It gives rise to unethical behavior 

You can’t act as somebody’s savior 
The lie may remain lie and wrong a wrong 

You can’t clam credit for it and sing a song 

It is not wisdom or show of any intelligence 

It is draw back and some sort of negligence 
It must bite your conscience and inner thought 

At what cost some good result may be brought? 

It may sever momentarily some happiness 

Your soul may revolt and will not with cleanliness 
It varies from person to person 

There is no particular reason 

You may weigh pro and cons 

It is still business of none 

You may resent it later on 

The battle may be won 

The result may also yield 

You may feel desertion in field 
Not all brave people can perform this feat 

It requires some talent to beat 

You must be in position to catch on the heat 

Your eyes may not be in position to meet 
It is game and there is no win 

The unrest may be clearly seen 

Until you go and accept the guilt 

The inner peace can’t be built 
Practicise it when you feel it may cause damage 

Think of the consequences which you are unable to manage 

It has to be one time affair or in exceptional case 

It should not be made as practice or thought base

A Never Ending – Hasmukh Amathalal 

Life is never ending process 

It has no pause or recess 

It beats on in different form 

Constant changes with very good reform 
We have come to stay for short but for a long 

Nothing to gain but committing wrong 

Find no time for looking back and sum up 

It is too late to think and stop 
Who makes your life memorable and sweet? 

Lovely friends when they come and greet? 

Call on you and occasionally meet? 

You surge ahead with energy in feet 
Endless drive and non stop journey 

Sometimes bitterness and sometimes honey 

No mad race for treasure or money 

Even though it looks sometimes funny 
I wish to enjoy it at full length 

Though I may not have enough strength 

Is it not the strange wish for oasis water? 

After all what do we search after? 
I may have come across many hurdles 

Worries too might have come in bundles 

It is all over by the grace of God 

How should I express it in words? 
I must venture in no man’s land 

Sometimes I may find very good friends 

I wish I have some treasure to share 

I searched all over but found no where 
Life seems to me as no problem at all 

I take it as challenge and useful call 

What is use of crying over split milk? 

When there is no water even to drink 
It can be made worthwhile by staying positive 

No place for thinking destructive or negative 

It has to be accepted as destiny or fate 

Life is still worthwhile even if we start late

11.11.11 –  Hasmukh Amathalal 

11.11.2011 and not 11.11.11(1111) 
It was just hoax about eleven, eleven and eleven 

The figure was odd and not even”even” 

What was then so special to talk about? 

Why was it creating flutter and fought? 
It was thought of some brain product 

Just floated from mind for others to act 

Involve in figure magic with imagery show 

To show the people that universe had few hours to go 
Well it is not 11.11.1111 but 11.11.2011 

It had nice matching if had in raw all the elevens 

Funny calculation made about is figure of eight 

In both the counting it stands eight and right 

(11 11 1111=8, 11 11 2011=8) 
Other than this equation there is no coincidence 

It is just a hype created at once 

People go after making it as special 

Nothing comes as concrete reply or denial 
Not a sun, moon is coming in single line 

So it con be considered as holy or divine 

Some people feed it with religious fervor 

To claim it as gift from power as favor 
Person on death bed may speak no lies 

He is afraid of not inviting wrath as he dies 

So if we fear a lot about our extinction 

We must resolve and take pledge not to fuel the situation 
Live for some cause and render humanity service 

Make life little worthy with ordinary promises 

That at least one hungry man will be delivered with food 

This will not only satisfy noble soul and feel too good to

14Th  January – Hasmukh Amathalal 

14th   January is called here as Uttrayan 

Tilting of Sun from South to Uttar (North) 

The position of sun will alter 

The days from now onwards will be longer 
Sky will be full of kites 

The slogans will be chanted with full religious rites 

Whole population will be on roof top 

The kites will be flying non stop 
Billions of rupees will be spent on kites 

Many birds will loose their lives 

The loss of human lives too from free fall 

Religious fever with all advices to receive unheeded call 
It has witnessed age long tradition 

Old or young take part without any reservation 

Festival of great fervor with message and joy 

Open for all irrespective of anything to participate and enjoy 
Not in many parts but in some of the Indian parts it is known 

The Chinese are believed to be originator with tradition to own 

The favorable wind bring competition to the climax 

Complete holiday to spend the day with joy and relax 
The climate change is linked with the festival 

The spring also coincides with its arrival 

The winter may be losing its grip from here on 

The hard climate may soon be forgotten or gone

A Blood Relation – Hasmukh Amathalal 

They argue it as syndrome of blood relation 

Is it matter of convenience or though elevation? 

It is not difficult to understand in simple context 

We let it pass of ignorantly as mere pretext 
There is definite push and pull mechanism 

It is equally good to have bond in humanism 

It least somewhere we show some kind of attachment 

There is long list of hierachy and goes on as movement
There is restriction at each and every level 

It goes on and to develop and exceedingly marvel 

How loosely we remain to be connected in sphere 

It is always peaceful, harmonious and I healthy atmosphere 
How parents rear their children in responsible manner 

They may grow in full adulthood later or sooner 

There is complete love in the eyes of every member 

Proper care is taken in all the aspects and closely remembered 
Time and tide change with the advent or passage 

The strong bond or relation remains only message 

Everybody loves to remain under one shield 

Family as such remains one identity and only field 
Children unduly demand and expect something more 

They often enter into clash and go for the possibilities to explore 

Sometimes it turns into battle field and unruly scene is created 

Relation turn sour and all the niceties is cremated 
Brother to brother act as sworn enemy 

The relation goes on vane simply for money 

Parents watch helplessly and condemn the move 

They often curse the luck but unable to prove 
The entire relation hangs on bare thread 

No one bothers to understand or read 

Elders try for patch and plead 

Elders go in different direction and try to lead 
It is happening everywhere and no one is exception 

There is different dimension in relation since inception 

No one can claim free from any diversion or friction 

Still family bond remains as complete addiction 

Had there been complete transparency in relation? 

It should have excelled in all the direction 

Of late it has developed visible cracks 

The complete theory is thrown out of tracks 
The joint families are breaking and new concept takes over 

They try to limit their goals and don’t try to recover 

We remain only on name remain in blood relation 

There is always mistrust and does not sound well with indication 
Even close acquiesce turn into blood thirsty 

We can lament only and feel pity 

Though it remains still as strong bond with attachment 

All get united when it is felt for a moment

 Khushi Or Joy – Hasmukh Amathalal

I looked at her appearance first 

She seemed to be perfect soul as best 

‘She must be an artist’ I imagined 

The thoughts raced in chain 
She may not be quick in response 

May retort for want of no reasons 

I dared to approach for adding her as reader 

Possibly she may consent to it as silent bidder 
You are in my list 

Perfect choice to enlist 

What more about me? 

Writer of verses and style very free 
I was in jovial mood and elated 

My search for it was certainly related 

It is how we make friends for cause 

They may be ready there of course 
She said nothing but consented 

Appreciated approach and not resented 

This is how world and people come closer 

Feel warmth and get easily nearer 
Nice and beautiful females are centre of attraction 

They get alienated by our thoughtless actions 

Otherwise who may not want to be praised? 

Level of beyond reach is certainly raised 
I don’t know what poets are supposed to perform 

Read and write more to be in or out of form 

But one thing is sure to be taken note of 

They are worth to be taken along and make a laugh 
It is said there is no medicine to enhance life span 

You may depart at destined time even after full proof plan 

The depth and insight enhances the will power to survive 

Get back all lost energy and zeal to put in and vigorously survive 
I find favor with my style of functioning 

Their talent and achievement is worth mentioning 

So many may be shying away on gender base 

But it is worthwhile to probe their mind and chase

Do Not Go, My Love – Rabindranath Tagore

The Gardener XXXIV:

 Do not go, my love, without asking 

my leave. 

I have watched all night, and now 

my eyes are heavy with sleep. 

I fear lest I lose you when I’m 

sleeping. 

Do not go, my love, without asking 

my leave. 

I start up and stretch my hands to 

touch you. I ask myself, “Is it a 

dream?” 

Could I but entangle your feet with 

my heart and hold them fast to my 

breast! 

Do not go, my love, without asking 

my leave.

Speak To Me My Love – Rabindranath Tagore

The Gardener XXIX:

Speak to me, my love! Tell me in 

words what you sang. 

The night is dark. The stars are 

lost in clouds. The wind is sighing 

through the leaves. 

I will let loose my hair. My blue 

cloak will cling round me like night. I 

will clasp your head to my bosom; and 

there in the sweet loneliness murmur 

on your heart. I will shut my eyes 

and listen. I will not look in your face. 

When your words are ended, we will 

sit still and silent. Only the trees will 

whisper in the dark. 

The night will pale. The day will 

dawn. We shall look at each other’s 

eyes and go on our different paths. 

Speak to me, my love! Tell me in 

words what you sang.

The Further Bank – Rabindranath Tagore

I long to go over there to the further bank of the river. 

Where those boats are tied to the bamboo poles in a line; 

Where men cross over in their boats in the morning with 

ploughs on their shoulders to till their far-away fields; 

Where the cowherds make their lowing cattle swim across to the 

riverside pasture; 

Whence they all come back home in the evening, leaving the 

jackals to howl in the island overgrown with weeds. 

Mother, if you don’t mind, I should like to become the boatman 

of the ferry when I am grown up. 

They say there are strange pools hidden behind that high bank. 

Where flocks of wild ducks come when the rains are over, and 

thick reeds grow round the margins where water-birds lay their 

eggs; 

Where snipes with their dancing tails stamp their tiny 

footprints upon the clean soft mud; 

Where in the evening the tall grasses crested with while

flowers invite the moonbeam to float upon their waves. 

Mother, if you don’t mind, I should like to become the boatman 

of the ferryboat when I am grown up. 

I shall cross and cross back from bank to bank, and all the 

boys and girls of the village will wonder at me while they are 

bathing. 

When the sun climbs the mid sky and morning wears on to noon, 

I shall come running to you, saying, “Mother, I am hungry.” 

When the day is done and the shadows cower under the trees, 

I shall come back in the dust. 

I shall never go away from you into the town to work like 

father. 

Mother, if you don’t mind, I should like to become the boatman 

of the ferryboat when I am grown up.

Stray Birds 11- 20 – Rabindranath Tagore

11 

SOME unseen fingers, like idle breeze, 

are playing upon my heart the music of the ripples. 
12 
‘WHAT language is thine, O sea?’ 

‘The language of eternal question.’ 

‘What language is thy answer, O sky? 

‘The language of eternal silence.’ 
13 
LISTEN, 

my heart, 

to the whispers of the world 

with which it makes love to you. 
14 
THE mystery of creation 

is like the darkness of night– 

it is great. 
Delusions of knowledge are like 

the fog of the morning. 
15 
DO not seat your love upon a precipice because it is high. 

16 
I SIT at my window this morning 

where the world like a passer-by stops for a moment, 

nods to me and goes. 
17 
THESE little thoughts are the rustle of leaves; 

they have their whisper of 

joy in my mind. 
18 
WHAT you are you do not see, 

what you see is your shadow. 

19 
MY wishes are fools, they shout across thy songs, my Master. 

Let me but listen. 
20 
I CANNOT choose the best. 

The best chooses me.

Stray Birds 1 – 10 – Rabindranath Tagore


STRAY birds of summer come to my window 

to sing and fly away. 

And yellow leaves of autumn, 

which have no songs, 

flutter and fall there with a sigh. 

O TROUPE of little vagrants of the world, 

leave your footprints in my words. 

THE world puts off its mask of vastness to its lover. 

It becomes small as one song, 

as one kiss of the eternal. 

IT is the tears of the earth 

that keep her smiles in bloom. 

THE mighty desert is burning 

for the love of a blade of grass 

who shakes her head and laughs 

and flies 

away. 

IF you shed tears when you miss the sun, 

you also miss the stars. 

THE sands in your way beg for your song 

and your movement, 

dancing water. 

Will you carry the burden of their lameness? 

HER wistful face haunts my dreams 

like the rain at night. 

ONCE we dreamt that we were strangers. 

We wake up to find that we were dear to each other. 
10 
SORROW is hushed into peace in my heart 

like the evening among the silent trees.

The Mother – Happy Hannah

When life is harder than she thinks, 
she becomes stronger than she used to be. 
She struggles to survive all her life, 
dealing with obstacles as best she could. 

Not only for one life she owns 
but also for her own child’s. 
Everyone has own life to live as in own way. 
But the mother has own life to live 
as in her child way. 

Seven times she falls down 
Eight times she gets up. 
It is because she thinks of her child 
as her driving force even when 
the situation is tough to held her head up. 

As remain as the gravity law 
The mother’s love will stay last.

The Grey Monk – William Blake

1 ‘I die, I die!’ the Mother said, 

2 ‘My children die for lack of bread. 

3 What more has the merciless Tyrant said?’ 

4 The Monk sat down on the stony bed. 
5 The blood red ran from the Grey Monk’s side, 

6 His hands and feet were wounded wide, 

7 His body bent, his arms and knees 

8 Like to the roots of ancient trees. 
9 His eye was dry; no tear could flow: 

10 A hollow groan first spoke his woe. 

11 He trembled and shudder’d upon the bed; 

12 At length with a feeble cry he said: 
13 ‘When God commanded this hand to write 

14 In the studious hours of deep midnight, 

15 He told me the writing I wrote should prove 

16 The bane of all that on Earth I lov’d. 
17 My Brother starv’d between two walls, 

18 His Children’s cry my soul appalls; 

19 I mock’d at the rack and griding chain, 

20 My bent body mocks their torturing pain. 
21 Thy father drew his sword in the North, 

22 With his thousands strong he marched forth; 

23 Thy Brother has arm’d himself in steel 

24 To avenge the wrongs thy Children feel. 
25 But vain the Sword and vain the Bow, 

26 They never can work War’s overthrow. 

27 The Hermit’s prayer and the Widow’s tear 

28 Alone can free the World from fear. 
29 For a Tear is an intellectual thing, 

30 And a Sigh is the sword of an Angel King, 

31 And the bitter groan of the Martyr’s woe 

32 Is an arrow from the Almighty’s bow. 
33 The hand of Vengeance found the bed 

34 To which the Purple Tyrant fled; 

35 The iron hand crush’d the Tyrant’s head 

36 And became a Tyrant in his stead.’

To The Muses – William Blake

Whether on Ida’s shady brow, 

Or in the chambers of the East, 

The chambers of the sun, that now 

From ancient melody have ceas’d; 
Whether in Heav’n ye wander fair, 

Or the green corners of the earth, 

Or the blue regions of the air, 

Where the melodious winds have birth; 
Whether on crystal rocks ye rove, 

Beneath the bosom of the sea 

Wand’ring in many a coral grove, 

Fair Nine, forsaking Poetry! 
How have you left the ancient love 

That bards of old enjoy’d in you! 

The languid strings do scarcely move! 

The sound is forc’d, the notes are few!

To Winter – William Blake

O Winter! bar thine adamantine doors: 

The north is thine; there hast thou built thy dark 

Deep-founded habitation. Shake not thy roofs, 

Nor bend thy pillars with thine iron car.’ 

He hears me not, but o’er the yawning deep 

Rides heavy; his storms are unchain’d, sheathèd 

In ribbèd steel; I dare not lift mine eyes, 

For he hath rear’d his sceptre o’er the world. 

Lo! now the direful monster, whose 1000 skin clings 

To his strong bones, strides o’er the groaning rocks: 

He withers all in silence, and in his hand 

Unclothes the earth, and freezes up frail life. 

He takes his seat upon the cliffs,–the mariner 

Cries in vain. Poor little wretch, that deal’st 

With storms!–till heaven smiles, and the monster 

Is driv’n yelling to his caves beneath mount Hecla.

To  Autumn – William Blake 

O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stainèd 

With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit 

Beneath my shady roof; there thou may’st rest, 

And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe, 

And all the daughters of the year shall dance! 

Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers. 

`The narrow bud opens her beauties to 

The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins; 

Blossoms hang round the brows of Morning, and 

Flourish down the bright cheek of modest Eve, 

Till clust’ring Summer breaks forth into singing, 

And feather’d clouds strew flowers round her head. 
`The spirits of the air live on the smells 

Of fruit; and Joy, with pinions light, roves round 

The gardens, or sits singing in the trees.’ 

Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat; 

Then rose, girded himself, and o’er the bleak 

Hills fled from our sight; but left his golden load.

The Garden Of Love – William Blake

I went to the Garden of Love, 

And saw what I never had seen; 

A Chapel was built in the midst, 

Where I used to play on the green. 
And the gates of this Chapel were shut 

And ‘Thou shalt not,’ writ over the door; 

So I turned to the Garden of Love 

That so many sweet flowers bore. 
And I saw it was filled with graves, 

And tombstones where flowers should be; 

And priests in black gowns were walking their rounds, 

And binding with briars my joys and desires.

The Blossom – William Blake

Merry, merry sparrow! 

Under leaves so green 

A happy blossom 

Sees you, swift as arrow, 

Seek your cradle narrow, 

Near my bosom. 

Pretty, pretty robin! 

Under leaves so green 

A happy blossom 

Hears you sobbing, sobbing, 

Pretty, pretty robin, 

Near my bosom.

शून्यमा शून्य सरी  – लक्ष्मी प्रसाद देवकोटा 

संसार रुपी सुख स्वर्गभित्र,

रमें रमाएँ लिइ भित्र चित्र ।

सारा भयो त्यो मरुभूमि तुल्य,

रातै परेझैं अब बुझ्छु बल्ल ।

रहेछ संसार निशा समान,

आएन ज्यूँदै रहँदा नि ज्ञान ।

आखीर श्रीकृष्ण रहेछ एक,

न भक्ति भो, ज्ञान, नभो विवेक ।

महामरुमा कणझैं म तातो,

जलेर मर्दो बिनु आश लाटो ।

सुकी रहेको तरुझैं छु खाली,

चिताग्नि तापी जल डाल्न फाली ।

संस्कार आफ्नो सब नै गुमाएँ,

म शून्यमा शून्य सरी बिलाएँ ।

जन्मेँ म यो स्वर्गविषे पलाएँ,

आखीर भै खाक त्यसै बिलाएँ

गौंथली र देवकोटा – लक्ष्मी प्रसाद देवकोटा 

क.

गौंथली र देवकोटाको

एउटै गुँड छ ! एउटै गुण छ !
ख.

यस घाटमा क्या बाघ र पाठो पानी पिउँछ !

प्रकृति बसेर, दुइटैको दिल,

एक धागोमा सिउँछ, सिउँछ !

त्यो तर्सिन्न, म शङ्किन !

मध्यरातमा एक कोठामा

दुइटै जीवको जाग्ने निहुँ छ

तलतिर लागे यस संसारमा

आगो, आगो,

मास्तिर ज्यादा लागेदेखिन्

यशको चिसो हिउँ छ, हिउँ छ !

बीच बासो,

फ्यारफ्यार मध्यम,

रसले जिउँछ, रसले जिउँछ !
ग.

बिजुलीको तार लामो, मसिनो,

तानिएको हेर ! यहाँ छ !

तरङ्ग, लहर क्यै त्यसमा जिउँछ !

त्यसमा गौंथली रातमा रुँग्छ,

कविको मन पनि त्यस्तै उँग्छ !

स्वर्गले रोई हेरिरहेको

भिजेकी पृथिवी मनले सुँघ्छ !

दिनभर, दिनभर,

दिलले, साधन त्यस्तै हिलोमा

प्यारका एउटा महल बनाउन,

ठुँग्छ, ठुँग्छ !

सूनसानमा निशिको, सुत्दा

सारा संसार, जागी, जागी,

कल्पनाको आँखा उँग्छ !
घ.

सुहृद्मधु छन्, कविता, पोथी,

सँगकी ज्योति !

यस जगत्मा खँदिलो बासो

निम्ति, उनको ‘चिउँ’ छ ! ‘पिउँ’ छ !

मधुमास बिताउन नेपाल छान्यौं,

विवाहपछाडि,

स्वस्थ र अग्लो ठाउँ जुन छ ।

गौंथली र देवकोटाको

अध्यात्म मितेरी चुपचाप रुन्छ !

सृष्टिको हाम्रो पीडा देखी,

करुणादृग झैं तारामय नभ,

करयाइँबाट झ्यालमा चिहाई,

एक तारमा गुड्छ गुड्छ !

गौंथली र देवकोटाको

एउटै गुँड छ ! एउटै गुण छ !
ङ.

वसन्त पछाडि लागी आयौं !

स्वपनाको फुल बिपना हुन्छ !

गौरी–शङ्कर गाना गायौं —

प्रकृति पुरुषको जुहारी परस्पर,

गाना जुन छ !

त्यो चुच्चाको, यस रसनाको,

गाउँदो रचना हाम्रो घर हो !

युगका बच्चा आँखा उघार्लान्,

हेर्दै पर हो !

दिनभर, दिनभर,

जगत्ले कुल्ची हिंड्ने हिलोमा,

हाम्रो नजर छ

त्यही हो हाम्रो घरको साधन !

यस्तो ईँट र यस्तो माटो, नेपालभर छ !

पृथिवीभर छ !

दिनभर, दिनभर, फ्यारफ्यार, भुर्भुर,

माटोको गन्ध नाकले सुँघ्छ !

स्वर्ग रोई, गीला, बनेका हिला चुचाले

उचाल्न खोजी ठुँग्छ, ठुँग्छ

गौंथली र देवकोटाको

एउटै गुँड छ ! एउटै गुण छ !
च.

बच्चा काढी यस गुँडमा जब

तिनको पखेटा उम्रन्छ !

वनमा लगीकन तिनलाई उडाउन,

हाम्रो मीठो मनसूब छ !

त्यसपछि प्यारा, प्यारी हामी

कविकविताको गौंथली जोडी

उड्छ, उड्छ !

सागर–किनार पुग्छौं, फ्यारफ्यार

एक बार फर्की,

आँसुले हेर्न,

मानिसहरुको जङ्गल जुन छ !

डुब्छौं, दम्पति सागरमा तब,

सुखमा हाम्रो आत्मा बुड्छ !

प्रसव–वेदनाको यो सदनको

पीडा उड्छ !

गौंथली र देवकोटाको,

एउटै गुँड छ ! एउटै गुण छ !

ज्यापु – लक्ष्मी प्रसाद देवकोटा 

छाती चिरीकन पृथिवीको

 दूधचुस्छन् मानिस,

दुहुने मै हुँ ।

धूप झरीमा आत्मा परिशुद्ध

बर्ख यी तनी बीस

नहुँदो भौँ हुँ !

श्रृङ्गार हिलो, नङ्गा फिलो,

आँखा चमचम,

आदिम खनुवा,

शरीर शिला र कलेजा गिलो

चिथरा सिमसिम,

एकलो मनुवा ।

धान धापमा रीप छ टापू,

कुहिँदो छाना,

पत्थर सिरान,

तीन पुस्तातक बन्धक आपूm

पितृ नाना,

बन्धक चिहान ।

सम्पत् पित्तलको यो थाली,

हाँडी काली,

गोल्पू घैँटो,

धुजारु दौरा झिलमिल जाली,

चिथ्रे डाली,

गोबर गुँइठो

साथी भन्नु कानो कुक्कुर,

लुते घाँटी,

उपियाँदार ।

मालिक भन्दछ कुइँकुइँ थुरथुर,

भुक्तछ छ राति,

धन–रखबार ।

विवाह स्वपना सरि झैँ पर भो,

वायुको बीज,

टिप्ला काक,

पृथिवी फलाएँ, अरुको घर गो,

बलि हो एक चीज,

ईश्वर अवाक् !

Power Will Start Falling – Tamara Robalo

Tears fell forever before 

Mirrors of death in thousands of wars 

Witnesses of life in our brightest moments 

Now, fall like simple drops of rain, 

Healing the rage, feeding the drain 

Of our buried life instead 

Tears turn to lies 

Our cries never came for life 

And our dreams fade out with time 

Our heroes are dead bodies or souls 

However we cannot feel more alive 

Heroes become ghosts 

We trade hope for certainty 

We shut our mouth to belong 

Let our silence be the riot 

Let it unfold what words were hiding 

Words come unnecessary 

We waited to come home till the runrise 

Now, we’re left behind 

We used to fear the blinding light 

Now, we’re coming out of the dark 

The dark was the refugy 

Humans? 

They’re beautiful dread souls 

Existing fo us 

Letting us join the masses club 

Giving us a shot to be someone 

Teaching us how to die (just) inside 

Souls get sillent 

They’re nothing new 

Conquering your dreams before you heard a thing 

Making us slaves of our own instinct 

They´re the men who rule our world 

You’re the unknown soldier

Society Rises – Tamara Robalo

What would a blind man do 

In a land of foreign views? 

Why would the rain fall down 

In an ocean of hot sand blue? 
I’ve been walking through a desert 

Full of people and white venom 

I have seen the children smoking 

Drowing slowly, singing hungry 
They found an escape 

On the exit mind gate 

The simple twist of fate 

The Running 

Round and Around 
Heaven is on the otherside, they say 

So don’t live, let yourself die instead 
Do they believe in afterlife? 

Have they seen the rich man cry? 
Their whispered voices 

Sing in the Winter’s evening of life 

Like Christian songs at the ears of the deaf 

In the darkness of the light

Ecologue II – Virgil

ALEXIS 
The shepherd Corydon with love was fired 

For fair Alexis, his own master’s joy: 

No room for hope had he, yet, none the less, 

The thick-leaved shadowy-soaring beech-tree grove 

Still would he haunt, and there alone, as thus, 

To woods and hills pour forth his artless strains. 

‘Cruel Alexis, heed you naught my songs? 

Have you no pity? you’ll drive me to my death. 

Now even the cattle court the cooling shade 

And the green lizard hides him in the thorn: 

Now for tired mowers, with the fierce heat spent, 

Pounds Thestilis her mess of savoury herbs, 

Wild thyme and garlic. I, with none beside, 

Save hoarse cicalas shrilling through the brake, 

Still track your footprints ‘neath the broiling sun. 

Better have borne the petulant proud disdain 

Of Amaryllis, or Menalcas wooed, 

Albeit he was so dark, and you so fair! 

Trust not too much to colour, beauteous boy; 

White privets fall, dark hyacinths are culled. 

You scorn me, Alexis, who or what I am 

Care not to ask- how rich in flocks, or how 

In snow-white milk abounding: yet for me 

Roam on Sicilian hills a thousand lambs; 

Summer or winter, still my milk-pails brim. 

I sing as erst Amphion of Circe sang, 

What time he went to call his cattle home 

On Attic Aracynthus. Nor am I 

So ill to look on: lately on the beach 

I saw myself, when winds had stilled the sea, 

And, if that mirror lie not, would not fear 

Daphnis to challenge, though yourself were judge. 

Ah! were you but content with me to dwell. 

Some lowly cot in the rough fields our home, 

Shoot down the stags, or with green osier-wand 

Round up the straggling flock! There you with me 

In silvan strains will learn to rival Pan. 

Pan first with wax taught reed with reed to join; 

For sheep alike and shepherd Pan hath care. 

Nor with the reed’s edge fear you to make rough 

Your dainty lip; such arts as these to learn 

What did Amyntas do?- what did he not? 

A pipe have I, of hemlock-stalks compact 

In lessening lengths, Damoetas’ dying-gift: 

‘Mine once,’ quoth he, ‘now yours, as heir to own.’ 

Foolish Amyntas heard and envied me. 

Ay, and two fawns, I risked my neck to find 

In a steep glen, with coats white-dappled still, 

From a sheep’s udders suckled twice a day- 

These still I keep for you; which Thestilis 

Implores me oft to let her lead away; 

And she shall have them, since my gifts you spurn. 

Come hither, beauteous boy; for you the Nymphs 

Bring baskets, see, with lilies brimmed; for you, 

Plucking pale violets and poppy-heads, 

Now the fair Naiad, of narcissus flower 

And fragrant fennel, doth one posy twine- 

With cassia then, and other scented herbs, 

Blends them, and sets the tender hyacinth off 

With yellow marigold. I too will pick 

Quinces all silvered-o’er with hoary down, 

Chestnuts, which Amaryllis wont to love, 

And waxen plums withal: this fruit no less 

Shall have its meed of honour; and I will pluck 

You too, ye laurels, and you, ye myrtles, near, 

For so your sweets ye mingle. Corydon, 

You are a boor, nor heeds a whit your gifts 

Alexis; no, nor would Iollas yield, 

Should gifts decide the day. Alack! alack! 

What misery have I brought upon my head!- 

Loosed on the flowers Siroces to my bane, 

And the wild boar upon my crystal springs! 

Whom do you fly, infatuate? gods ere now, 

And Dardan Paris, have made the woods their home. 

Let Pallas keep the towers her hand hath built, 

Us before all things let the woods delight. 

The grim-eyed lioness pursues the wolf, 

The wolf the she-goat, the she-goat herself 

In wanton sport the flowering cytisus, 

And Corydon Alexis, each led on 

By their own longing. See, the ox comes home 

With plough up-tilted, and the shadows grow 

To twice their length with the departing sun, 

Yet me love burns, for who can limit love? 

Ah! Corydon, Corydon, what hath crazed your wit? 

Your vine half-pruned hangs on the leafy elm; 

Why haste you not to weave what need requires 

Of pliant rush or osier? Scorned by this, 

Elsewhere some new Alexis you will find.’

Ecologue I – Virgil

MELIBOEUS, TITYRUS 
Meliboeus. 

You, Tityrus, ‘neath a broad beech-canopy 

Reclining, on the slender oat rehearse 

Your silvan ditties: I from my sweet fields, 

And home’s familiar bounds, even now depart. 

Exiled from home am I; while, Tityrus, you 

Sit careless in the shade, and, at your call, 

‘Fair Amaryllis’ bid the woods resound. 
Tityrus. 

O Meliboeus, ’twas a god vouchsafed 

This ease to us, for him a god will I 

Deem ever, and from my folds a tender lamb 

Oft with its life-blood shall his altar stain. 

His gift it is that, as your eyes may see, 

My kine may roam at large, and I myself 

Play on my shepherd’s pipe what songs I will. 
Meliboeus. 

I grudge you not the boon, but marvel more, 

Such wide confusion fills the country-side. 

See, sick at heart I drive my she-goats on, 

And this one, O my Tityrus, scarce can lead: 

For ‘mid the hazel-thicket here but now 

She dropped her new-yeaned twins on the bare flint, 

Hope of the flock- an ill, I mind me well, 

Which many a time, but for my blinded sense, 

The thunder-stricken oak foretold, oft too 

From hollow trunk the raven’s ominous cry. 

But who this god of yours? Come, Tityrus, tell. 
Tityrus. 

The city, Meliboeus, they call Rome, 

I, simpleton, deemed like this town of ours, 

Whereto we shepherds oft are wont to drive 

The younglings of the flock: so too I knew 

Whelps to resemble dogs, and kids their dams, 

Comparing small with great; but this as far 

Above all other cities rears her head 

As cypress above pliant osier towers. 
Meliboeus. 

And what so potent cause took you to Rome? 
Tityrus. 

Freedom, which, though belated, cast at length 

Her eyes upon the sluggard, when my beard 

‘Gan whiter fall beneath the barber’s blade- 

Cast eyes, I say, and, though long tarrying, came, 

Now when, from Galatea’s yoke released, 

I serve but Amaryllis: for I will own, 

While Galatea reigned over me, I had 

No hope of freedom, and no thought to save. 

Though many a victim from my folds went forth, 

Or rich cheese pressed for the unthankful town, 

Never with laden hands returned I home. 
Meliboeus. 

I used to wonder, Amaryllis, why 

You cried to heaven so sadly, and for whom 

You left the apples hanging on the trees; 

‘Twas Tityrus was away. Why, Tityrus, 

The very pines, the very water-springs, 

The very vineyards, cried aloud for you. 
Tityrus. 

What could I do? how else from bonds be freed, 

Or otherwhere find gods so nigh to aid? 

There, Meliboeus, I saw that youth to whom 

Yearly for twice six days my altars smoke. 

There instant answer gave he to my suit, 

‘Feed, as before, your kine, boys, rear your bulls.’ 
Meliboeus. 

So in old age, you happy man, your fields 

Will still be yours, and ample for your need! 

Though, with bare stones o’erspread, the pastures all 

Be choked with rushy mire, your ewes with young 

By no strange fodder will be tried, nor hurt 

Through taint contagious of a neighbouring flock. 

Happy old man, who ‘mid familiar streams 

And hallowed springs, will court the cooling shade! 

Here, as of old, your neighbour’s bordering hedge, 

That feasts with willow-flower the Hybla bees, 

Shall oft with gentle murmur lull to sleep, 

While the leaf-dresser beneath some tall rock 

Uplifts his song, nor cease their cooings hoarse 

The wood-pigeons that are your heart’s delight, 

Nor doves their moaning in the elm-tree top. 
Tityrus. 

Sooner shall light stags, therefore, feed in air, 

The seas their fish leave naked on the strand, 

Germans and Parthians shift their natural bounds, 

And these the Arar, those the Tigris drink, 

Than from my heart his face and memory fade. 
Meliboeus. 

But we far hence, to burning Libya some, 

Some to the Scythian steppes, or thy swift flood, 

Cretan Oaxes, now must wend our way, 

Or Britain, from the whole world sundered far. 

Ah! shall I ever in aftertime behold 

My native bounds- see many a harvest hence 

With ravished eyes the lowly turf-roofed cot 

Where I was king? These fallows, trimmed so fair, 

Some brutal soldier will possess these fields 

An alien master. Ah! to what a pass 

Has civil discord brought our hapless folk! 

For such as these, then, were our furrows sown! 

Now, Meliboeus, graft your pears, now set 

Your vines in order! Go, once happy flock, 

My she-goats, go. Never again shall I, 

Stretched in green cave, behold you from afar 

Hang from the bushy rock; my songs are sung; 

Never again will you, with me to tend, 

On clover-flower, or bitter willows, browse. 
Tityrus. 

Yet here, this night, you might repose with me, 

On green leaves pillowed: apples ripe have I, 

Soft chestnuts, and of curdled milk enow. 

And, see, the farm-roof chimneys smoke afar, 

And from the hills the shadows lengthening fall!

On Monsieur’s Departure – Queen Elizabeth I

I grieve and dare not show my discontent, 

I love and yet am forced to seem to hate, 

I do, yet dare not say I ever meant, 

I seem stark mute but inwardly to prate. 

I am and not, I freeze and yet am burned. 

Since from myself another self I turned. 
My care is like my shadow in the sun, 

Follows me flying, flies when I pursue it, 

Stands and lies by me, doth what I have done. 

His too familiar care doth make me rue it. 

No means I find to rid him from my breast, 

Till by the end of things it be supprest. 
Some gentler passion slide into my mind, 

For I am soft and made of melting snow; 

Or be more cruel, love, and so be kind. 

Let me or float or sink, be high or low. 

Or let me live with some more sweet content, 

Or die and so forget what love ere meant.

An Urgent Poem – Pavol Janik

Ceaselessly you enter my mind 

like an urgent poem 

to dispute fixed views on life 

and change accepted images of the word. 

Unstoppably you come 

to electrify 

the unshakeable conviction 

that a man is a self-sufficient being. 

Thus we always live unthinkingly together, 

and far from one another 

in our two-in-one dream. 

Always you enter my mind 

when I’m woken from sleep by air raids 

of themes, images and pictures of poetry. 

And thus I know that everything belongs indivisibly to ourselves 

just as we do to each other. 

This is the urgent poem, 

whose point you force me to keep silent 

like a secret, 

where there’s no place for another 

and which can exist completely without words 

and other witnesses. 
 

Name – Pavol Janik 

By just a point 

you surpass successful fortune. 

By just a drop 

you outdo sparkle. 

By sobbing 

you surmount aquarelle. 

You spread pollen. 

We put our faces to yours 

as to a flower’s corolla 

weary of so much circumstance. 

You’ll gain a name from us, 

which you’ll consider as your own. 

Unsent Telegram – Pavol Janik 

Inside me a little bit of 

a blue Christmas begins. 

In the hotel room it’s snowing 

a misty scent – of your 

endlessly distant perfume. 

We’re declining bodily 

while in us the price 

of night calls rises, 

waves of private earth tremors 

and the limits of an ocean of blood 

on the curve of a lonely coast. 

Night Bus – Pavol Janik 

I admire the smiles 

of the wax figures 

and the drunks. 

Their faith. 

Their humility. 

Their precision. 

Their infallible wisdom 

determined by the office of normalization. 

I admire 

their wallpapered souls 

full of light and brocade. 

Their responsibility and legality 

surpassing 

the price of taxis and wine. 

I’m terrified by the indifference 

with which they listen 

to the heavy breathing of the last trolley buses. 

Hedda Gabler – Love Sheeran

On the other side, what will await? 

Surely, it must be better than this. 

Everyone here so easily takes the bait. 

My life is one huge abyss; 

Guarded by an inescapable gate. 
The money and reputation serve their purpose, 

But they only scratch the surface. 

I am lost in the sea of debt; 

And eventually I will have to face my debt. 
I run and run in this maze; 

My past is coming to hunt me. 

But I will not fall into the blank space; 

I will choice what my fate will be.

 Free – Anethra Shook 

Free me Lord, from the whips and chains that bind my soul. Free me Lord so that I may walk with you down the streets of Gold. Free me Lord so that I stand big and bold. Free me Lord, Free my soul. 

Free me Lord so that I can lead the lost to you. Free me Lord so that I may testify to the world about what you have brought me through. 

Free me Lord to allow me to be more like you. Free me Lord, Free my soul show me that you have all control. 

I thank you Lord for now I see that you indeed already freed me, with each lash of the whip, and every thorn to your brow, every nail that was hammered, and every harsh word that was spoken the binding of my soul you have already broken. 

You freed me Lord so I’ll thank you each day. You freed me Lord my debt you paid!

My Child – Anethra Shook 

My child, my child, you refuse to open your mind. My child, my child, your brilliance you must find. Lead you by the hand I can and have, now you must stand on your on behalf. My child, my child, does the love I have for you not show. 

My child, my child, I’ll be there every step to help you grow. I know that you hurt and that you have pain, but you must realize we all from time to time have to walk through the rain. My child, my child, don’t you dare give up now, my child, my child, be strong like the oxen pulling the plow. 

It’s not just me there by your side, for God is there a love that will not hide yet forever be there to be your guide. My child, my child, when things get hard get down on your knees and call on the Lord. My child, my child, he’s there you see not just for you, but also for me. Jesus, Jesus, I give you my child, keep him forever not just a little while!

 

Life Is For Giving – Eric Mutei

Cycle of life 

Conveyor belt 

Orchestrated behind scenes 

Grand plan 

Master plan 

Vibrations of the cosmos 

Thoughts 

Energy 

Synergy 

Hideous caves 

Life’s busy hives 

Fatigue of the haves 

Failure of the knights 

Hazy from the crave 

Days and lives to save 
Rot is inevitable 

The juggling of probabilities 

Impossibilities 

Seeking a balance 

Between the glamour of the roses 

And the rust of the chains 

Of fading lives 

Immortality- 

The changing form 

Locked 

Inertia, 

Potency 

SEEDS 

For life never ends- 

Just a change in form 

Death is an illusion- 

“Where art thou thy sting ooh death! ! ? ’ 

A transformation; 

Resurrection; 

Reincarnation; 

A subtle line of faith 

A lure into the unknown 

Embracing the darkness 

Illuminating the stale tales 

Holding unto a thought- 

That all these are passing glances 

Tons of clouds 

Unraveling the truest nature 

Marred in greed and conspiracy 

Dark secrets 

Smeared with blood 
A remembrance that life is divine 

The singularity of the moment 

Coming to an understanding 

Of divine 

Holistic 

Pure 

Sanctified mission, 
That 

Life is FOR-GIVING

Home – Cody Peck

Everyone Wants it, everyone yearns it, 

yet not everyone gets it, 

not everyone earns it. 

For you’re in the backyard, 

and there is also the shed, 

the place where you’re beat, 

the place where you’re whipped. 

But everyone wants home, 

everyone hates the shed, 

for the homeowner never wanted a shed, 

he only wanted a home, 

but the people in the backyard, 

they forced it, 

forced the shed, 

for they don’t like it, 

but it’s where they belong. 

the home, the perfect place, 

the shed, the misfits fate.

Loving You – Natalia Yordanova

It’s just a feeling, can’t you see? 

We both know it’s not meant to be. 

Loving you from distance is making me sick, 

baby would you stop and take the risk? 

Would you do it for me? 

Would you just try? 

Would you love me like the old times? 

I’ll be your muse, 

I’ll stand by you. 

Just show me that you are feeling the same as I do. 

You left me endlessly thinking of you, 

In a world thah everything seems like a flu. 

You are driving me crazy 

and you know it too. 

Oh, baby just touch me, cure my wounds 

and give me the hope that I will survive. 

Cause living without you is like burning place 

Oh, will I come out of this growing shades?

Being Mother – Rishita Rana

Being MotherStatue of love is called a mother, 

Her love can’t resemble another… 
When in pain she gives a birth, 

A priceless gift for her comes on earth, 

Its preciousness for her is without any worth, 

The love bond created is measureless girth! ! ! 

Statue of love….. 
The life to her child which she gave, 

When in problem & needs to be save, 

She become a mighty stop less wave, 

& lays down a road & make it pave! ! ! ! 

Statue of love….. 
She takes many form in her love, 

She becomes a bird & fly like dove, 

Beyond the limit & head above, 

Wherever she goes spread her love! ! ! 

Statue of love….. 
She has a heart as deep as ocean, 

Her widthless feelings are a common notion, 

In her words she carry a magical lotion, 

In her soul there is no hatred motion! ! ! ! ! 

Statue of love…..

 I Am Not So Alone – Shradanjali Rai

I am not So Alone 

I am not so alone 

The room’s empty now 

The wind has died 

The whispers it carried away 

There is just me and a tiny bit of hope 

To see me through today 

I am not so alone 

A tiny hint of your smile, a tearful goodbye… 

Time might take that away. 

But until these memories fade… 

And our lives get torn. 

I know I am not so alone.

Let Me Be – Shradanjali Rai

I am done with these lies and excuses 

Pretending all those grins and all those sins were mine 

Let me stand and scream.. 

Scream out the real me 

Let me stop pretending I care 

About those lies and laughs we shared 

These black prints inked with sorrow 

With opinions and mockery bleeding red 

Let me tear these pages apart for this wind 

Is this world not sad enough? 

With your tears and my fears 

So hear me scream in agony and ecstasy 

And let me live again

Famine And Hunger – Tulsi Shrestha

FAMINE AND HUNGER 

Really, I have no drop of tears 

To reveal my grief and pain 

Inside my sagging dried breast 

Hardly, there is a few milk – drops 

I cannot feed my own child 

But still he is hope of my life 

Humanity had died before my birth 

We are beyond reach of God’s grace 

We do die before our death 

That too is from, hunger and famine. 

Why does the earth feed on our flesh? 

Let feel guilty of living, by rest of the world. 

We do eat bread of our own death. 

We do breathe the moment of grief 

No one share one’s heart with us 

But everyone seizes the resources belong to us. 

The world prefers to feed moon and mars 

Throw us before vulture to tear our flesh 

Religion encloses inside the scripture 

Love turns only property of rich – culture.

Dancing In The Rain -Tulsi Shrestha

DANCING IN THE RAIN 

Clouds entwine with each other 

So to enforce rainfall to the earth 

Colourful rainbow across the sky 

Beneath it, we sing and dance 

Ribbles add melody to our song. 

A solitary place, isolate world 

We both soak, wet and cold 

Transparent clothes caress your flesh 

Rain beats gently over our heads 

Droplets of rain kiss your cheek. 

What an explosive, a sight is! 

When you jump with bouncing peaks 

Let spin around each other with bare feet 

We both, twist and twirl in the rain 

As long as rain dropping from the sky. 

Thunder roars with flashing- lights 

You entangle me with a sudden fear 

We exchange heart beats with each other 

Our kiss enjoy a breath of joy 

Blowing breeze whistles then. 

I ensure life as gift of your kiss 

And wish the moment to live forever 

Let isolate ourselves from rest of world 

Just the rain, and you and me 

What all I need is, just to see you.

Little Angel – Tulsi Shrestha

LITTLE ANGEL 

Little Angel, a pretty rose 

A new vision, a new future 

Light of eyes, beats of heart 

Symbol of purity, an essence of life. 

I sing lullabies to lull you to sleep 

I tickle your toes, to wake up you again 

The womb of nostalgic gets disclosed 

I tend to behave like a child with you. 

Let queen of dream reside inside you 

Under the shadow of your own eye -lids 

Be calm! I whisper with wind itself 

Not to wake up you, from your dream. 

Let you, Queen of flowers blooms everyday 

To perfume our garden with your fragrance 

Prosperous future and new expectation 

Let reside together inside you. 

Flow of nectar from your mom’s breasts 

The infinite joy of maternal compassion 

Affection of father at every moment 

Pave a path for you, happiness and joy 

You are a part of my own heart 

But still you belong to someone else 

Such a feeling pants my own heart 

What a strange custom of the world!

Beautiful Philosophy – Sanket Adhikari

One thing in the world never can be bought; 

This is the sacred one, keep that in your thoughts. 

And love is that thing I’m talking about 

And you must choose a single one in the crowd 

To love.It must be full of faith, 

No doubt, nothing bad, and hard to break. 

And my girl I’ve found that love in you, 

And don’t know any reason why I love you. 

But I love you, yes, I do, more than a lot. 

And you are the one whom I’ve found in the crowd 

And I can say ‘I Love You’ in the crowd, so loud. 
Your blink is like a spark, that shakes me; 

Your kiss is like a mint, that refreshes me. 

When I got the touch of your hand, it just blows my mind, 

Then I pull you closer and closer to me, leaving out all behind. 

You’re my life, my each and everything; 

I bid you all my life, all of me, leaving nothing. 

There is no ego in my love, it is not satanic; 

My love is true for you, and it is platonic.

Prison Of Love – Sanket Adhikari

I’m not a person who can tolerate your rejection

 everytime again and again, 

Calling the stress on your face you’ve blamed me again and again. 

I don’t wanna feel anything you’ve tried to make me feel, 

I don’t wanna hear anything when you’ve told me it’s real. 

There’s nothing left of me to be. 

There’s nothing left of you to see. 

Now, I’m so alone, I’m screaming. 

Now, I’m so unfit for running. 

But I just wanna runaway from your Prison of Love.

These Yet To Be United States – Maya Angelou 

Tremors of your network 

cause kings to disappear. 

Your open mouth in anger 

makes nations bow in fear. 
Your bombs can change the seasons, 

obliterate the spring. 

What more do you long for ? 

Why are you suffering ? 
You control the human lives 

in Rome and Timbuktu. 

Lonely nomads wandering 

owe Telstar to you. 
Seas shift at your bidding, 

your mushrooms fill the sky. 

Why are you unhappy ? 

Why do your children cry ? 
They kneel alone in terror 

with dread in every glance. 

Their nights [‘rights’ ? – Schrift nicht lesbar] are threatened daily 

by a grim inheritance. 
You dwell in whitened castles 

with deep and poisoned moats 

and cannot hear the curses 

which fill your children’s throats.

The Mothering Blackness – Maya Angelou 

She came home running 

back to the mothering blackness 

deep in the smothering blackness 

white tears icicle gold plains of her face 

She came home running 
She came down creeping 

here to the black arms waiting 

now to the warm heart waiting 

rime of alien dreams befrosts her rich brown face 

She came down creeping 
She came home blameless 

black yet as Hagar’s daughter 

tall as was Sheba’s daughter 

threats of northern winds die on the desert’s face 

She came home blameless

All You Who Sleep Tonight – Vikram Seth 

All you who sleep tonight 

Far from the ones you love, 

No hand to left or right 

And emptiness above – 
Know that you aren’t alone 

The whole world shares your tears, 

Some for two nights or one, 

And some for all their years.

A Style Of Loving – Vikram Seth

Light now restricts itself 

To the top half of trees; 

The angled sun 

Slants honey-coloured rays 

That lessen to the ground 

As we bike through 

The corridor of Palm Drive 

We two 
Have reached a safety the years 

Can claim to have created: 

Unconsumated, therefore 

Unjaded, unsated. 

Picnic, movie, ice-cream; 

Talk; to clear my head 

Hot buttered rum – coffee for you; 

And so not to bed 
And so we have set the question 

Aside, gently. 

Were we to become lovers 

Where would our best friends be? 

You do not wish, nor I 

To risk again 

This savoured light for noon’s 

High joy or pain.

Running Track – Rohit Singh 

It’s an overcrowded running track, 

We are on. 

Need to keep running, 

Faster than the one, right behind you. 

Or he will run over you. 

And will clear his conscience, 

By saying it, competition. 

Will be recognized as a winner, 

Holding up the cup and the glory. 
But he will know what he did. 

And will be all alone, 

With his deed.

Voices In My Head – Rohit Singh 

The voices in my head, 

Never go to bed. 
The memory streams, 

Just screams and screams. 

It laughs at my dreams. 

Reminds me of all sins, 

And never talks of my wins. 
All of my secrets 

Are known to it, 

And trying to drown me, 

In my own regret pit. 
I try to run and hide 

But it’s not possible. 

Since, I am the one, 

In which it resides.

Child And Man – Rohit Singh 

When I was a child, 

I used to close my eyes, 

When I saw something scary. 

Or ran away when, 

There was a problem. 
Neither they tried to, 

Take my hands off of my eyes, 

Nor they chased me when I ran. 
Now, I am a young man. 

I try to close my eyes, 

When I see something scary, 

But now they try to take, 

My hands off of my eyes, 

And I ran if there is a problem, 

But now they chase me. 
So, I learned to fight back, 

Fight back the fear, 

That compelled me to, 

Close my eyes. 

Fight back the thought, 

That chased me all around. 
I see the devil no more. 

I guess all it takes is a little courage, 

To not let your eyes get closed.

A New Day – Rohit Singh

When a day starts and sun rises, 

Nature gets excited, 

To plan a new day, as decided. 
But when we see a rising sun, in the east. 

We need to ask this at least. 

Is this really a new day or new days are deceased? 
Because we see ourselves going round and round 

Doing same things everyday, like we got bound. 

Now sun rises everyday but a new day is nowhere to be found. 
Dates are changing but not the day. 

We are getting older and older, living the same way. 

We have got life span of many years as they say. 

I don’t know if that’s true but I can only pray.
 

Collar Chain – Rohit Singh 

Have you seen a pet, 

Chained in a collar chain? ? 
He gets to live the most of his life 

In a planet of radius, equal to 

That collar chain. 
Beyond that, he sees it all 

And wish to experience those things. 

But that’s possible only on the mercy of his master. 
How much is our life different from that pet? ? 

We all are chained in our own chain of systems. 
But we got one thing better than that pet 

To be happy about. 

Bigger planet.

Last Breathe – Rohit singh

If you are breathing, 

Then death is the most certain thing, 

That can ever happen to you. 
Death is the only, 

Perfect creation of the almighty. 
After showing us all of his creations, 

He unveils his master piece. 

Our journey always ends with it. 
We don’t know, 

Which breathe of ours, 

Is going to be the last one. 

But still while breathing, 

We take the next breath for granted.

 

Past And Future – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Past And Future.MY future will not copy fair my past 

On any leaf but Heaven’s. Be fully done, 

Supernal Will ! I would not fain be one 

Who, satisfying thirst and breaking fast 

Upon the fulness of the heart, at last 

Saith no grace after meat. My wine hath run 

Indeed out of my cup, and there is none 

To gather up the bread of my repast 

Scattered and trampled ! Yet I find some good 

In earth’s green herbs, and streams that bubble up 

Clear from the darkling ground, — content until 

I sit with angels before better food. 

Dear Christ ! when thy new vintage fills my cup, 

This hand shall shake no more, nor that wine spill.

Only A Curl – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I. 

FRIENDS of faces unknown and a land 

Unvisited over the sea, 

Who tell me how lonely you stand 

With a single gold curl in the hand 

Held up to be looked at by me, — 

II. 

While you ask me to ponder and say 

What a father and mother can do, 

With the bright fellow-locks put away 

Out of reach, beyond kiss, in the clay 

Where the violets press nearer than you. 

III. 
Shall I speak like a poet, or run 

Into weak woman’s tears for relief ? 

Oh, children ! — I never lost one, — 

Yet my arm ‘s round my own little son, 

And Love knows the secret of Grief. 

IV. 

And I feel what it must be and is, 

When God draws a new angel so 

Through the house of a man up to His, 

With a murmur of music, you miss, 

And a rapture of light, you forgo. 

V. 
How you think, staring on at the door, 

Where the face of your angel flashed in, 

That its brightness, familiar before, 

Burns off from you ever the more 

For the dark of your sorrow and sin. 

VI. 
`God lent him and takes him,’ you sigh ; 

— Nay, there let me break with your pain : 

God ‘s generous in giving, say I, — 

And the thing which He gives, I deny 

That He ever can take back again. 

VII. 
He gives what He gives. I appeal 

To all who bear babes — in the hour 

When the veil of the body we feel 

Rent round us, — while torments reveal 

The motherhood’s advent in power, 

VIII. 
And the babe cries ! — has each of us known 

By apocalypse (God being there 

Full in nature) the child is our own, 

Life of life, love of love, moan of moan, 

Through all changes, all times, everywhere. 

IX. 
He ‘s ours and for ever. Believe, 

O father ! — O mother, look back 

To the first love’s assurance. To give 

Means with God not to tempt or deceive 

With a cup thrust in Benjamin’s sack. 

X. 
He gives what He gives. Be content ! 

He resumes nothing given, — be sure ! 

God lend ? Where the usurers lent 

In His temple, indignant He went 

And scourged away all those impure. 

XI. 
He lends not ; but gives to the end, 

As He loves to the end. If it seem 

That He draws back a gift, comprehend 

‘Tis to add to it rather, — amend, 

And finish it up to your dream, — 

XII. 
Or keep, — as a mother will toys 

Too costly, though given by herself, 

Till the room shall be stiller from noise, 

And the children more fit for such joys, 

Kept over their heads on the shelf. 

XIII. 
So look up, friends ! you, who indeed 

Have possessed in your house a sweet piece 

Of the Heaven which men strive for, must need 

Be more earnest than others are,–speed 

Where they loiter, persist where they cease. 

XIV. 
You know how one angel smiles there. 

Then weep not. ‘Tis easy for you 

To be drawn by a single gold hair 

Of that curl, from earth’s storm and despair, 

To the safe place above us. Adieu.

Love – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

We cannot live, except thus mutually 

We alternate, aware or unaware, 

The reflex act of life: and when we bear 

Our virtue onward most impulsively, 

Most full of invocation, and to be 

Most instantly compellant, certes, there 

We live most life, whoever breathes most air 

And counts his dying years by sun and sea. 

But when a soul, by choice and conscience, doth 

Throw out her full force on another soul, 

The conscience and the concentration both make 

mere life, Love. For Life in perfect whole 

And aim consummated, is Love in sooth, 

As nature’s magnet-heat rounds pole with pole.

Comfort – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

SPEAK low to me, my Saviour, low and sweet 

From out the hallelujahs, sweet and low 

Lest I should fear and fall, and miss Thee so 

Who art not missed by any that entreat. 

Speak to mo as to Mary at thy feet ! 

And if no precious gums my hands bestow, 

Let my tears drop like amber while I go 

In reach of thy divinest voice complete 

In humanest affection — thus, in sooth, 

To lose the sense of losing. As a child, 

Whose song-bird seeks the wood for evermore 

Is sung to in its stead by mother’s mouth 

Till, sinking on her breast, love-reconciled, 

He sleeps the faster that he wept before.

A Woman’s Shortcomings – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

She has laughed as softly as if she sighed, 

She has counted six, and over, 

Of a purse well filled, and a heart well tried – 

Oh, each a worthy lover! 

They “give her time”; for her soul must slip 

Where the world has set the grooving; 

She will lie to none with her fair red lip: 

But love seeks truer loving. 
She trembles her fan in a sweetness dumb, 

As her thoughts were beyond recalling; 

With a glance for one, and a glance for some, 

From her eyelids rising and falling; 

Speaks common words with a blushful air, 

Hears bold words, unreproving; 

But her silence says – what she never will swear – 

And love seeks better loving. 
Go, lady! lean to the night-guitar, 

And drop a smile to the bringer; 

Then smile as sweetly, when he is far, 

At the voice of an in-door singer. 

Bask tenderly beneath tender eyes; 

Glance lightly, on their removing; 

And join new vows to old perjuries – 

But dare not call it loving! 
Unless you can think, when the song is done, 

No other is soft in the rhythm; 

Unless you can feel, when left by One, 

That all men else go with him; 

Unless you can know, when unpraised by his breath, 

That your beauty itself wants proving; 

Unless you can swear “For life, for death!” – 

Oh, fear to call it loving! 
Unless you can muse in a crowd all day 

On the absent face that fixed you; 

Unless you can love, as the angels may, 

With the breadth of heaven betwixt you; 

Unless you can dream that his faith is fast, 

Through behoving and unbehoving; 

Unless you can die when the dream is past – 

Oh, never call it loving!

A Musical Instrument – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

What was he doing, the great god Pan, 

Down in the reeds by the river? 

Spreading ruin and scattering ban, 

Splashing and paddling with hoofs of a goat, 

And breaking the golden lilies afloat 

With the dragon-fly on the river. 
He tore out a reed, the great god Pan, 

From the deep cool bed of the river: 

The limpid water turbidly ran, 

And the broken lilies a-dying lay, 

And the dragon-fly had fled away, 

Ere he brought it out of the river. 
High on the shore sat the great god Pan 

While turbidly flowed the river; 

And hacked and hewed as a great god can, 

With his hard bleak steel at the patient reed, 

Till there was not a sign of the leaf indeed 

To prove it fresh from the river. 
He cut it short, did the great god Pan, 

(How tall it stood in the river!) 

Then drew the pith, like the heart of a man, 

Steadily from the outside ring, 

And notched the poor dry empty thing 

In holes, as he sat by the river. 
‘This is the way,’ laughed the great god Pan 

(Laughed while he sat by the river), 

‘The only way, since gods began 

To make sweet music, they could succeed.’ 

Then, dropping his mouth to a hole in the reed, 

He blew in power by the river. 
Sweet, sweet, sweet, O Pan! 

Piercing sweet by the river! 

Blinding sweet, O great god Pan! 

The sun on the hill forgot to die, 

And the lilies revived, and the dragon-fly 

Came back to dream on the river. 
Yet half a beast is the great god Pan, 

To laugh as he sits by the river, 

Making a poet out of a man: 

The true gods sigh for the cost and pain, — 

For the reed which grows nevermore again 

As a reed with the reeds in the river.

A Man’s Requirements – Elizabeth Barrett Browning


Love me Sweet, with all thou art, 

Feeling, thinking, seeing; 

Love me in the lightest part, 

Love me in full being. 
II 
Love me with thine open youth 

In its frank surrender; 

With the vowing of thy mouth, 

With its silence tender. 
III 
Love me with thine azure eyes, 

Made for earnest grantings; 

Taking colour from the skies, 

Can Heaven’s truth be wanting? 
IV 
Love me with their lids, that fall 

Snow-like at first meeting; 

Love me with thine heart, that all 

Neighbours then see beating. 

Love me with thine hand stretched out 

Freely — open-minded: 

Love me with thy loitering foot, — 

Hearing one behind it. 
VI 
Love me with thy voice, that turns 

Sudden faint above me; 

Love me with thy blush that burns 

When I murmur ‘Love me!’ 
VII 
Love me with thy thinking soul, 

Break it to love-sighing; 

Love me with thy thoughts that roll 

On through living — dying. 
VIII 
Love me in thy gorgeous airs, 

When the world has crowned thee; 

Love me, kneeling at thy prayers, 

With the angels round thee. 
IX 
Love me pure, as muses do, 

Up the woodlands shady: 

Love me gaily, fast and true, 

As a winsome lady. 

Through all hopes that keep us brave, 

Farther off or nigher, 

Love me for the house and grave, 

And for something higher. 
XI 
Thus, if thou wilt prove me, Dear, 

Woman’s love no fable, 

I will love thee — half a year — 

As a man is able.

A Dead Rose – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

O Rose! who dares to name thee? 

No longer roseate now, nor soft, nor sweet; 

But pale, and hard, and dry, as stubble-wheat,— 

Kept seven years in a drawer—thy titles shame thee. 
The breeze that used to blow thee 

Between the hedgerow thorns, and take away 

An odour up the lane to last all day,— 

If breathing now,—unsweetened would forego thee. 
The sun that used to smite thee, 

And mix his glory in thy gorgeous urn, 

Till beam appeared to bloom, and flower to burn,— 

If shining now,—with not a hue would light thee. 
The dew that used to wet thee, 

And, white first, grow incarnadined, because 

It lay upon thee where the crimson was,— 

If dropping now,—would darken where it met thee. 
The fly that lit upon thee, 

To stretch the tendrils of its tiny feet, 

Along thy leaf’s pure edges, after heat,— 

If lighting now,—would coldly overrun thee. 
The bee that once did suck thee, 

And build thy perfumed ambers up his hive, 

And swoon in thee for joy, till scarce alive,— 

If passing now,—would blindly overlook thee. 
The heart doth recognise thee, 

Alone, alone! The heart doth smell thee sweet, 

Doth view thee fair, doth judge thee most complete,— 

Though seeing now those changes that disguise thee. 
Yes, and the heart doth owe thee 

More love, dead rose! than to such roses bold 

As Julia wears at dances, smiling cold!— 

Lie still upon this heart—which breaks below thee!

A Curse For A Nation – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I heard an angel speak last night, 

And he said ‘Write! 

Write a Nation’s curse for me, 

And send it over the Western Sea.’ 
I faltered, taking up the word: 

‘Not so, my lord! 

If curses must be, choose another 

To send thy curse against my brother. 
‘For I am bound by gratitude, 

By love and blood, 

To brothers of mine across the sea, 

Who stretch out kindly hands to me.’ 
‘Therefore,’ the voice said, ‘shalt thou write 

My curse to-night. 

From the summits of love a curse is driven, 

As lightning is from the tops of heaven.’ 
‘Not so,’ I answered. ‘Evermore 

My heart is sore 

For my own land’s sins: for little feet 

Of children bleeding along the street: 
‘For parked-up honors that gainsay 

The right of way: 

For almsgiving through a door that is 

Not open enough for two friends to kiss: 
‘For love of freedom which abates 

Beyond the Straits: 

For patriot virtue starved to vice on 

Self-praise, self-interest, and suspicion: 
‘For an oligarchic parliament, 

And bribes well-meant. 

What curse to another land assign, 

When heavy-souled for the sins of mine?’ 
‘Therefore,’ the voice said, ‘shalt thou write 

My curse to-night. 

Because thou hast strength to see and hate 

A foul thing done within thy gate.’ 
‘Not so,’ I answered once again. 

‘To curse, choose men. 

For I, a woman, have only known 

How the heart melts and the tears run down.’ 
‘Therefore,’ the voice said, ‘shalt thou write 

My curse to-night. 

Some women weep and curse, I say 

(And no one marvels), night and day. 
‘And thou shalt take their part to-night, 

Weep and write. 

A curse from the depths of womanhood 

Is very salt, and bitter, and good.’ 
So thus I wrote, and mourned indeed, 

What all may read. 

And thus, as was enjoined on me, 

I send it over the Western Sea. 
The Curse 
Because ye have broken your own chain 

With the strain 

Of brave men climbing a Nation’s height, 

Yet thence bear down with brand and thong 

On souls of others, — for this wrong 

This is the curse. Write. 
Because yourselves are standing straight 

In the state 

Of Freedom’s foremost acolyte, 

Yet keep calm footing all the time 

On writhing bond-slaves, — for this crime 

This is the curse. Write. 
Because ye prosper in God’s name, 

With a claim 

To honor in the old world’s sight, 

Yet do the fiend’s work perfectly 

In strangling martyrs, — for this lie 

This is the curse. Write. 
Ye shall watch while kings conspire 

Round the people’s smouldering fire, 

And, warm for your part, 

Shall never dare — O shame! 

To utter the thought into flame 

Which burns at your heart. 

This is the curse. Write. 
Ye shall watch while nations strive 

With the bloodhounds, die or survive, 

Drop faint from their jaws, 

Or throttle them backward to death; 

And only under your breath 

Shall favor the cause. 

This is the curse. Write. 
Ye shall watch while strong men draw 

The nets of feudal law 

To strangle the weak; 

And, counting the sin for a sin, 

Your soul shall be sadder within 

Than the word ye shall speak. 

This is the curse. Write. 
When good men are praying erect 

That Christ may avenge His elect 

And deliver the earth, 

The prayer in your ears, said low, 

Shall sound like the tramp of a foe 

That’s driving you forth. 

This is the curse. Write. 
When wise men give you their praise, 

They shall praise in the heat of the phrase, 

As if carried too far. 

When ye boast your own charters kept true, 

Ye shall blush; for the thing which ye do 

Derides what ye are. 

This is the curse. Write. 
When fools cast taunts at your gate, 

Your scorn ye shall somewhat abate 

As ye look o’er the wall; 

For your conscience, tradition, and name 

Explode with a deadlier blame 

Than the worst of them all. 

This is the curse. Write. 
Go, wherever ill deeds shall be done, 

Go, plant your flag in the sun 

Beside the ill-doers! 

And recoil from clenching the curse 

Of God’s witnessing Universe 

With a curse of yours. 

This is the curse. Write.

A Child Asleep – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How he sleepeth! having drunken 

Weary childhood’s mandragore, 

From his pretty eyes have sunken 

Pleasures, to make room for more- – 

Sleeping near the withered nosegay, which he pulled the day before. 
Nosegays! leave them for the waking: 

Throw them earthward where they grew. 

Dim are such, beside the breaking 

Amaranths he looks unto- – 

Folded eyes see brighter colours than the open ever do. 
Heaven-flowers, rayed by shadows golden 

From the paths they sprang beneath, 

Now perhaps divinely holden, 

Swing against him in a wreath- – 

We may think so from the quickening of his bloom and of his breath. 
Vision unto vision calleth, 

While the young child dreameth on. 

Fair, O dreamer, thee befalleth 

With the glory thou hast won! 

Darker wert thou in the garden, yestermorn, by summer sun. 
We should see the spirits ringing 

Round thee,- -were the clouds away. 

‘Tis the child-heart draws them, singing 

In the silent-seeming clay- – 

Singing! – -Stars that seem the mutest, go in music all the way. 
As the moths around a taper, 

As the bees around a rose, 

As the gnats around a vapour,- – 

So the Spirits group and close 

Round about a holy childhood, as if drinking its repose. 
Shapes of brightness overlean thee,- – 

Flash their diadems of youth 

On the ringlets which half screen thee,- – 

While thou smilest,… not in sooth 

Thy smile… but the overfair one, dropt from some aethereal mouth. 
Haply it is angels’ duty, 

During slumber, shade by shade: 

To fine down this childish beauty 

To the thing it must be made, 

Ere the world shall bring it praises, or the tomb shall see it fade. 
Softly, softly! make no noises! 

Now he lieth dead and dumb- – 

Now he hears the angels’ voices 

Folding silence in the room- – 

Now he muses deep the meaning of the Heaven-words as they come. 
Speak not! he is consecrated- – 

Breathe no breath across his eyes. 

Lifted up and separated, 

On the hand of God he lies, 

In a sweetness beyond touching- -held in cloistral sanctities. 
Could ye bless him- -father- -mother? 

Bless the dimple in his cheek? 

Dare ye look at one another, 

And the benediction speak? 

Would ye not break out in weeping, and confess yourselves too weak? 
He is harmless- -ye are sinful,- – 

Ye are troubled- -he, at ease: 

From his slumber, virtue winful 

Floweth outward with increase- – 

Dare not bless him! but be blessed by his peace- -and go in peace.