by Robert Pinsky [for my fellow Christians of the pagan persuasion]   Easter was the old North    Goddess of the dawn.    She rises daily in the East    And yearly in spring for the great    Paschal candle of the sun.    Her name lingers like a spot    Of gravy in the figured vestment    Of the language of the Britains.    Her totem the randy bunny.    Our very Thursdays and Wednesdays    Are stained by syllables of thunder    And Woden's frenzy.    O my fellow-patriots loyal to this    Our modern world of high heels,    Vaccination, brain surgery—    May they pass over us, the old    Jovial raptors, Apollonian flayers,    Embodiments. Egg-hunt,    Crucifixion. Supper of encrypted    Dishes: bitter, unrisen, a platter    Compass of martyrdom,    Ground-up apples and walnuts    In sweet wine to embody mortar    Of affliction, babies for bricks.    Legible traces of the species    That devises the angel of death   

This One Precious Human Life

by Ken Ireland for Grant Dillon “One theory says you won’t remember dying any more than being born.” – Franz Wright At noon they sat the lama down in front of TV. Some real experience of life outside a meditation crib seemed like a simple request. Remote control in hand, he flipped to All My Children. Stop. “Stop! “Oh watch out!” he cried inside. “Amanda, you can’t hide your lies, silly bitch. “Jake knows David is the daddy. “You’ll never get away with it. “How can you be that stupid?” Where did that thought come from? These families, really? Westerners, really. Love your momma. Flip more. One Life to Live. Now we’re getting somewhere. Better title— Too Many Lives to Live . "No—Oh no, David, don’t kiss Oliver! “Please don’t! “That Path leads in only one direction— “All the Teachings agree, male or female, “male and male, female and female, no difference, "but... “Good luck. Looks like trouble ahead.” R

Outside My Window

by Ken Ireland dedicated to Chris Wilson, head of practice at Spring sesshin, a generous, guiding spirit and friend The constant light rain clears momentarily.  Cold. A bird's three bare notes— infinite variations flood over me. Red Camilla blossoms fall upside down. to read more of my poems

Why Did Bodhidharma Kick Up His Heels?

by Ken Ireland All boys of eight Should don white gloves Clean as traffic cops, And bow before giggling girls, 'May I have the next dance?' How else stem the rush of hormones, and Pray for ease As tiny couples shyly move In the line of direction, Marching to the measured pace Of Miss Comer's spinster sister's piano waltz? With luck, the beat of The Dragon's dance Will stay in China where it belongs. to read more of my poems

One of Their Gods

by C.P. Cavafy When one of them moved through the marketplace of Selefkia just as it was getting dark— moved like a young man, tall, extremely handsome, with the joy of being immortal in his eyes, with his black and perfumed hair— the people going by would gaze at him, and one would ask the other if he knew him, if he was a Greek from Syria, or a stranger. But some who looked more carefully would understand and step aside; and as he disappeared under the arcades, among the shadows and the evening lights, going toward the quarter that lives only at night, with orgies and debauchery, with every kind of intoxication and desire, they would wonder which of Them it could be, and for what suspicious pleasure he had come down into the streets of Selefkia from the August Celestial Mansions. Seleukia-Ktesiphon Translated by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard (C.P. Cavafy, Collected Poems. Translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. Edited by George Savid


by C. P. Cavafy He’d been sitting in the café since ten-thirty expecting him to turn up any minute. Midnight had gone, and he was still waiting for him. It was now after one-thirty, and the café was almost deserted. He’d grown tired of reading newspapers mechanically. Of his three lonely shillings Only one was left: waiting that long, he’d spent the others on coffees and brandy. And he’s smoked all his cigarettes. So much waiting had worn him out. Because alone like that for so many hours, he’d also begun to have disturbing thoughts about the immoral life he was living. But when he saw his friend come in- weariness, boredom, thought all disappeared at once. His friend brought unexpected news. He’s won sixty pounds playing cards. Their good looks, their exquisite youthfulness, the sensitive love they shared were refreshed, livened, invigorated by the sixty pounds from the card table. Now all joy and vital

For Cavafy

by Bruce Williams The poems are sad and short: love half-remembered, history--beautiful, closed and Greek. But what I like best is the blank three-quarters page, white as a statue's marble eyes-- a space to write or cry. If you’d like to read poems by C. P. Cavafy, please go to this page I created.