Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Old Postcard Wednesday--Silhouette, Christian Science Sanitorium, San Francisco, Calif.




Les Silhouettes by Oscar Wilde

The sea is flecked with bars of grey,
The dull dead wind is out of tune,
And like a withered leaf the moon
Is blown across the stormy bay.

Etched clear upon the pallid sand
Lies the black boat: a sailor boy
Clambers aboard in careless joy
With laughing face and gleaming hand.

And overhead the curlews cry,
Where through the dusky upland grass
The young brown-throated reapers pass,
Like silhouettes against the sky.


Silhouette by Langston Hughes

Southern gentle lady,
Do not swoon.
They've just hung a black man
In the dark of the moon.

They've hung a black man
To a roadside tree
In the dark of the moon
For the world to see
How Dixie protects
Its white womanhood.

Southern gentle lady,
Be good!
Be good!

    



Silhouette by Emily Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake)

The sky-line melts from russet into blue,
Unbroken the horizon, saving where
A wreath of smoke curls up the far, thin air,
And points the distant lodges of the Sioux.

Etched where the lands and cloudlands touch and die
A solitary Indian tepee stands,
The only habitation of these lands,
That roll their magnitude from sky to sky.

The tent poles lift and loom in thin relief,
The upward floating smoke ascends between,
And near the open doorway, gaunt and lean,
And shadow-like, there stands an Indian Chief.

With eyes that lost their lustre long ago,
With visage fixed and stern as fate's decree,
He looks towards the empty west, to see
The never-coming herd of buffalo.

Only the bones that bleach upon the plains,
Only the fleshless skeletons that lie
In ghastly nakedness and silence, cry
Out mutely that naught else to him remains.



A Prison Evening by Faiz Ahmad Faiz (from The Rebel's Silhouette: Selected Poems)

Each star a rung,
night comes down the spiral
staircase of the evening.
The breeze passes by so very close
as if someone just happened to speak of love.
In the courtyard,

the trees are absorbed refugees
embroidering maps of return on the sky.
On the roof,
the moon - lovingly, generously -
is turning the stars
into a dust of sheen.
From every corner, dark-green shadows,
in ripples, come towards me.
At any moment they may break over me,
like the waves of pain each time I remember
this separation from my lover.

This thought keeps consoling me:
though tyrants may command that lamps be smashed
in rooms where lovers are destined to meet,
they cannot snuff out the moon, so today,
nor tomorrow, no tyranny will succeed,
no poison of torture make me bitter,
if just one evening in prison
can be so strangely sweet,
if just one moment anywhere on this earth.



.

4 comments:

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

some great poems here - i like Emily Pauline Johnson's the best and in return i offer you the words of Peter Gabriel (The Rhythm Of The Heat):

Looking out the window
I see the red dust clear
High up on the red rock
Stands the shadow with the spear

The land here is strong
Strong beneath my feet
it feeds on the blood
it feeds on the heat

The rhythm is below me
The rhythm of the heat
The rhythm is around me
The rhythm has control
The rhythm is inside me
The rhythm has my soul

Drawn across the plainland
To the place that is higher
Drawn into the circle
That dances round the fire
We spit into our hands
And breathe across the palms
Raising them up high
Held open to the sun

Self-conscious, uncertain
I'm showered with the dust
The spirit enter into me
And I submit to trust

Smash the radio
No outside voices here
Smash the watch
Cannot tear the day to shreds
Smash the camera
Cannot steal away the spirits
The rhythm is around me
The rhythm has control
The rhythm is inside me
The rhythm has my soul

Lydia said...

Pixies~ What a marvelous poem to add here! Thanks so much; it suits the post and suits my mood.
(My favorite is the Faiz, because tonight I fell in love with his poetry...)

rosaria said...

I will sit still for a while.

Lydia said...

rosaria~ Just realized that I had not replied to your comment, which I thought was quietly fitting for this post. Thanks.

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