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POETS CORNER


Hi there!

Here is where I invite a friend to share with us some poetry. The poems are neither original to myself nor to my friend but something by a published poet. I am always hungry to 'meet' new writers and this seems like a nice way to do it! It's such an awesome form of expression.

Along with the piece itself, I like to post an introduction by my friend- perhaps why the piece holds significance to them.. I hope you enjoy the experience.

2011-01-11 Luke Davies the wonderful Australian poet, novelist, screenwriter and friend shares with us his original work "Childhood Terror". Thank you Luke!! For putting up with my harassment!! xx
CHILDHOOD TERROR

At Minnamurra Avenue. The bush.
The creek. My father and I.
We went to the edge of the falls for revenge,
to find my attacker the magpie.

The afternoon grey, the black bird gone,
my sobbing subsiding. Dad held my hand,
hurled rocks into the empty trees, screamed
at the black bush, “Go away!”
I loved him for pretending.

2010-01-26 My dear friend Juan-Felipe Cano, aka Pippe, is a writer and director from Bogota, Colombia. We worked together on the FOX series MENTAL. Here he brings us MARIO BENEDETTI. (I've put the English translation after the Spanish). Pippe writes:
The poem is called : No te salves.
It's from an Argentinian writer called Mario Benedetti.
This poem was used as dialogue from a movie called El Lado Oscuro del Corazon (The Dark Side of the Heart) which I recommend. It was my first philosophy for love when i was a young man, and I think maybe it could be the same now.
I saw this movie every sunday when i was 18 years old!
with all my love to your page:

NO TE SALVES

No te quedes inmóvil
al borde del camino
no congeles el júbilo
no quieras con desgana
no te salves ahora
ni nunca
no te salves

no te llenes de calma
no reserves del mundo
sólo un rincón tranquilo
no dejes caer los párpados
pesados como juicios
no te quedes sin labios
no te duermas sin sueño
no te pienses sin sangre
no te juzgues sin tiempo
pero si pese a todo

no puedes evitarlo
y congelas el júbilo
y quieres con desgana
y te salvas ahora
y te llenas de calma
y reservas del mundo
sólo un rincón tranquilo
y dejas caer los párpados
pesados como juicios
y te secas sin labios
y te duermes sin sueño
y te piensas sin sangre
y te juzgas sin tiempo
y te quedas inmóvil
al borde del camino
y te salvas
entonces
no te quedes conmigo

(the following English translation is from the subtitles of the movie Pippe mentioned: El Lado Oscuro del Corazon.)

DON'T SAVE YOURSELF

Don't stay motionless by the roadside
Don't freeze joy or love half-heartedly
Don't save yourself
now or ever

Don't save yourself Don't keep only a still corner in this world
Don't let your eyelids drop
heavy like judgements
Don't stay without lips
Don't sleep without dreams,
imagine you're bloodless
or judge yourself in haste.

But if, after all, you can't help it.
and freeze joy
and love half-heartedly
save yourself
and become serene
keep only a still corner in this world
and let your eyelids drop
heavy with judgments
stay without lips,
sleep without dreams
imagine you're bloodless,
judge yourself in haste
and stay motionless by the roadside
and save yourself
then
don't stay with me.

2009-02-09 Hi again. Here's my first choice for the year : Lawrence Ferlinghetti- poet, bookman, author and painter. I was first introduced to his work at wonderful evening organised by IRA STEPHEN BEHR (The 4400) of staged readings from the BEAT GENERATION.
I Am Waiting (By Lawrence Ferlinghetti)

I am waiting for my case to come up
and I am waiting
for a rebirth of wonder
and I am waiting for someone to really discover America
and wail
and I am waiting
for the discovery
of a new symbolic western frontier

and I am waiting
for the American Eagle
to really spread its wings
and straighten up and fly right
and I am waiting
for the Age of Anxiety
to drop dead
and I am waiting
for the war to be fought
which will make the world safe
for anarchy
and I am waiting
for the final withering away
of all governments
and I am perpetually awaiting
a rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for the Second Coming
and I am waiting
for a religious revival
to sweep thru the state of Arizona
and I am waiting
for the Grapes of Wrath to be stored
and I am waiting
for them to prove
that God is really American
and I am waiting
to see God on television
piped onto church altars
if only they can find
the right channel
to tune it in on
and I am waiting
for the Last Supper to be served again
with a strange new appetizer
and I am perpetually awaiting
a rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for my number to be called
and I am waiting
for the Salvation Army to take over
and I am waiting
for the meek to be blessed
and inherit the earth
without taxes
and I am waiting
for forests and animals
to reclaim the earth as theirs
and I am waiting
for a way to be devised
to destroy all nationalisms
without killing anybody
and I am waiting
for linnets and planets to fall like rain
and I am waiting for lovers and weepers
to lie down together again
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for the Great Divide to be crossed
and I anxiously waiting
for the secret of eternal life to be discovered
by an obscure general practitioner
and I am waiting
for the storms of life
to be over
and I am waiting
to set sail for happiness
and I am waiting
for a reconstructed Mayflower
to reach America
with its picture story and tv rights
sold in advance to the natives
and I am waiting
for the lost music to sound again
in the Lost Continent
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for the day
that maketh all things clear
and I am waiting for retribution
for what America did
to Tom Sawyer
and I am waiting
for the American Boy
to take off Beauty's clothes
and get on top of her
and I am waiting
for Alice in Wonderland
to retransmit to me
her total dream of innocence
and I am waiting
for Childe Roland to come
to the final darkest tower
and I am waiting
for Aphrodite
to grow live arms
at a final disarmament conference
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting
to get some intimations
of immortality
by recollecting my early childhood
and I am waiting
for the green mornings to come again
youth's dumb green fields come back again
and I am waiting
for some strains of unpremeditated art
to shake my typewriter
and I am waiting to write
the great indelible poem
and I am waiting
for the last long careless rapture
and I am perpetually waiting
for the fleeing lovers on the Grecian Urn
to catch each other up at last
and embrace
and I am awaiting
perpetually and forever
a renaissance of wonder

-Lawrence Ferlinghetti , "I am Waiting" from "A Coney Island of the Mind" 1958.

2007-12-12 The zany and boysterous Tierani aka Ms BH of Myspace fame...brings us some WALT WHITMAN to see out 2007...
She writes: m'lovely Jac in the box... Walt whitman melts my heart. Let him melt yours, mop up the puddle, and put your tender heart into an ice box. so that he can melt it all over again with another one of his long (honestly!) though delicious southern creations. Without further adieu, the man who is constantly reminding me, "it's not where you are, it's where you're going..."

Leaves of Grass
by
Walt Whitman

This is what you shall do:
Love the earth and sun and the animals,
despise riches,
give alms to every one that asks,
stand up for the stupid and crazy,
devote your income and labor to others,
hate tyrants, argue not concerning God,
have patience and indulgence toward the people,
take off your hat to nothing known,
or unknown or to any man or number of men,
go freely with the powerful uneducated persons
and with the young and with the mothers of families,
read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life,
reexamine all you have been told at school or church or in any book,
dismiss whatever insults your own soul,
and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words
but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes
and in every motion and joint of your body.

2007-10-09 Hi there! Alan Cox is a British actor I had the pleasure of seeing work the Royal National Theatre in London with dame Judi Dench in The Seagull... He is brilliant, crazy as a loon and one funny dude. Here he brings us Arthur O'Shaughnessy.
Hey there Jac Mac

This is one of my mum's favourite poems. I love it because it gives a dignity to we who work in the entertainments industry. It is an incantation; a rallying cry to maintain our solidarity and sense of purpose in front of change. It reminds us to maintain a scope and perspective; to see that we are related to what has gone before and what may be coming after.It helps me maintain a faith in the processes of this crazy, cruel and beautiful world. Gene Wilder also quotes it in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when Veruca Salt quizzes him about Snozberries.

Arthur O'Shaughnessy. 1844–1881

6. Ode

WE are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world's great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire's glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song's measure
Can trample an empire down.

We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth; 20
And o'erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world's worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.

xcox

2007-09-17 This week the genius writer/producer, the one i'm fortunate enough to call my boss, yes IRA BEHR brings us LEW WELCH.
IRA BEHR is the writer and producer and chief creative force of The 4400. He is well known to many as a writer producer of other television shows including "Star Trek Deep Space Nine" and "Twilight Zone". He is also, though some may not know, a wonderful playwright. I long to work in the theatre with Ira! He writes:

dear heart,
this is the poem i'd like you to post on yer web site:

I Saw Myself
by
lew welch

I saw myself
a ring of bone
in the clear stream
of it all

and vowed
always to be open to it
that all of it
might flow through

and then heard
"ring of bone" where
ring is what a

bell does

2007-07-31 Hi and welcome back! This week MIKE SCOTT of "The Waterboys" brings us William Butler Yeats.
So often, a song or an album will acompany me through the shoot of a film or the run of a play. For me, music is an ally, and a best friend to the creating process- always invoking life...
"The Waterboys" have kept me company and inspired me with many many roles. I first discovered them whilst filming ANGEL BABY with Irish actor John Lynch. He would play their album "This is the Sea" on a loop! And I fell in love with it too! It became like our characters unofficial theme music for the film! "Spirit", "Your love feels like trumpets" and "This is the sea"- gently urging us (as actors and as "Harry" and "Kate") through some pretty terrifying places... and giving us hope all the while.
So- here it is folks- the secret is out: Mike Scott and The Waterboys could be my favourite musicians/storytellers of all time!And.... fortunately for us, Mike has agreed to share some of his inspiration here at Poet's Corner!!
He says:

Dear Jac,
I've picked a well-known poem by the Irish writer William Butler Yeats. I love The Song Of Wandering Aengus because though profound and beautiful in a spell-casting way, it is clear and straightforward, making word pictures that we can all share and invest with the colours of our own imagination.
I love the invocation of the wood in the first verse, I love the delicate description of the vision in the second - and I love that the aged narrator, by the third verse, is possessed of a hunger every part as intense and powerful as the hungers of youth.
love
Mike

THE SONG OF WANDERING AENGUS

I went out to the hazel wood
because a fire was in my head
and cut and peeled a hazel wand
and hooked a berry to a thread
and when white moths were on the wing
and moth-like stars were flickering out
I dropped the berry in a stream
and caught a little silver trout

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire aflame
but something rustled on the floor
and someone called me by my name
It had become a glimmering girl
with apple blossom in her hair
who called me by my name and ran
and faded through the brightening air

Though I am old with wandering
through hollow lands and hilly lands
I will find out where she has gone
and kiss her lips and touch her hands
and walk among long dappled grass
and pluck, till time and times are done,
the silver apples of the moon
the golden apples of the sun

William Butler Yeats

2007-07-15 Hi there! Today, my wonderful friend, the brilliant writer/director and actor MISTI TRAYA brings us some Charles Bukowski
Dearest Jac,

The poem I've selected to share is "The History of One Tough Motherfucker," by my favorite drunk genius, Charles Bukowski. I love this piece because it is about a mangy and seemingly broken little cat who appears at Hank's door one day and reveals himself to be Bukowski's spirit animal. To me, this tattered kitten represents every artist--bruised, beaten, and breathtakingly brawny despite life's myriad travails. This creature is my patron saint and I hope he becomes yours.

The History Of One Tough Motherfucker by Charles Bukowski

he came to the door one night wet thin beaten and
terrorized
a white cross-eyed tailless cat
I took him in and fed him and he stayed
grew to trust me until a friend drove up the driveway
and ran him over
I took what was left to a vet who said,"not much
chance...give him these pills...his backbone
is crushed, but is was crushed before and somehow
mended, if he lives he'll never walk, look at
these x-rays, he's been shot, look here, the pellets
are still there...also, he once had a tail, somebody
cut it off..."
I took the cat back, it was a hot summer, one of the
hottest in decades, I put him on the bathroom
floor, gave him water and pills, he wouldn't eat, he
wouldn't touch the water, I dipped my finger into it
and wet his mouth and I talked to him, I didn't go any-
where, I put in a lot of bathroom time and talked to
him and gently touched him and he looked back at
me with those pale blue crossed eyes and as the days went
by he made his first move
dragging himself forward by his front legs
(the rear ones wouldn't work)
he made it to the litter box
crawled over and in,
it was like the trumpet of possible victory
blowing in that bathroom and into the city, I
related to that cat-I'd had it bad, not that
bad but bad enough
one morning he got up, stood up, fell back down and
just looked at me.
"you can make it," I said to him.
he kept trying, getting up falling down, finally
he walked a few steps, he was like a drunk, the
rear legs just didn't want to do it and he fell again, rested,
then got up.
you know the rest: now he's better than ever, cross-eyed
almost toothless, but the grace is back, and that look in
his eyes never left...
and now sometimes I'm interviewed, they want to hear
about
life and literature and I get drunk and hold up my cross-
eyed,
shot, runover de-tailed cat and I say,"look, look
at this!"
but they don't understand, they say something like,"you
say you've been influenced by Celine?"
"no," I hold the cat up,"by what happens, by
things like this, by this, by this!"
I shake the cat, hold him up in
the smoky and drunken light, he's relaxed he knows...
it's then that the interviews end
although I am proud sometimes when I see the pictures
later and there I am and there is the cat and we are photo-
graphed together.
he too knows it's bullshit but that somehow it all helps.

2007-07-06 This week my friend ELO from France (who has a twin in America!?) brings us a poem by E.E CUMMINGS. She says:
I have to say that i didn't know this poem before watching the movie "In her shoes". This poem is read by one of the characters at an important and touching part of the movie. I remember that when i listened to it during the movie, i cried cause the words were so beautiful! The poem is about the true and deep love of a couple. But the sentence '"i carry your heart, i carry it in my heart" is exactly how i love my loved ones in general : family, friends... I always wanna protect my loved ones and i "carry their heart" in order nobody can hurt them =) And also, it's like the people i love are always with me =)
And this poem = a special dedication to the JW =)

I Carry Your heart With Me

I carry your heart with me (I carry it in
my heart) I am never without it (anywhere
I go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)

I fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) I want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

Here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)

2007-06-25 This week my very dear friend, fellow actor and artistic director of Theatre de Complicite, SIMON MCBURNEY, introduces the wonderful JOHN BERGER. He writes:

And here is the poem I send you...
It is by John.
It is about what astonishes us.
How that is always something from the future, each day that rises.
And of course it is also a poem about the mountains, the Haut Savoie, where he lives in France.

'In reality we are always between two times: that of the body and of consciousness. Hence the distinction made in all other cultures between body and soul. The soul is first, and above all, the locus of another time.'

What astounds cannot be
the remnant of what
has been.
Tomorrow still blind
advances slowly.
Sight and light
race towards each other,
and from their embrace
is born the day,
eyes open
tall as a foal.

Murmuring river
clasps the mist
for a moment more.
The peaks are signing on
the sky.
Stop and hear
the milking machines
designed to suck like calves.
In the first heat
the forested hills calculate
their steepness.
The lorry driver is taking the road
to the pass which leads
surprisingly
with its own familiarity
to another homeland.
Soon the grass will be
warmer
than the cows' horns.
The astounding comes
towards us
outrider of death and birth.

John Berger

With all the canals and paintings that yell their love Simon x

2007-06-11 This week, my dear friend Skritch of the Aussie hit rock band "Marytrembles" brings us "The Pixies". He writes: "When I think of poetry that has touched me, it is inevitably in the form of a song."
"Wave Of Mutilation"
by the pixies

Cease to resist, giving my goodbye
drive my car into the ocean
you'll think I'm dead, but I sail away
on a wave of mutilation
a wave
wave

i've kissed mermaids, rode the el nino
walked the sand with the crustaceans
could find my way to mariana
on a wave of mutilation,
wave of mutilation
wave of mutilation
wave

2007-06-02 Primo Levi
Hi, welcome back!! This week's poem is brought to us by the lovely FLORIAN from France. She is a huge fan of The 4400. Joel and I met she and her friends at a convention in LONDON last year. She writes to us:

"Most of Primo Levi's work is based on the Holocaust as he's been a survivor of Auschwitz, the infamous death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. That poem "If this is a man" was written to bear witness to the horrors of the Holocaust. It makes us think about our commitment to humanity and the most important it challenges us to REMEMBER. It's a simple poem but I feel really concerned by its message. My grandfather was prisoner in a concentration camp during World War Two. I only found out his story when he passed away and when I read that poem it's as if I can finally understand the look in his eyes, a look asking me to NEVER forget, to REMEMBER. He is not there anymore to be a witness but I think it is important that WE all remember that the Holocaust has happened in order to prevent such horrors from happening again."

IF THIS IS A MAN by Primo Levi

You who live secure
In your warm houses
Who return at evening to find
Hot food and friendly faces:

Consider whether this is a man,
Who labours in the mud
Who knows no peace
Who fights for a crust of bread
Who dies at a yes or a no.
Consider whether this is a woman,
Without hair or name
With no more strength to remember
Eyes empty and womb cold
As a frog in winter.

Consider that this has been:
I commend these words to you.
Engrave them on your hearts
When you are in your house, when you walk on your way,
When you go to bed, when you rise.
Repeat them to your children.
Or may your house crumble,
Disease render you powerless,
Your offspring avert their faces from you.

Translated from Italian.

2007-04-06 Emily Dickenson
Hi and welcome back. This poem has been chosen by JAMI-JON. She is a mate of mine who lives in UTAH. We've only recently become acquainted and she keeps us all very entertained! Here's a message from her to you

"I really enjoy Emily Dickinson's (ED) poems. Most of ED's work is her perception of life, love, and humanity. When asked what poem has truly inspired me, it would be this one of her's. I read this for encouragement and strength when I get genuinely afraid, sad, or want to fight instead of being compassionate (you know what I mean Bobble head :-). To summarize the poem: why be afraid to truly live, take risks, see the beauty in the little things, and enjoy every moment (carpe diem: seize every opportunity) when God gave you your life. Also, why be afraid of death and the afterlife when one knows where they are going. This poem reminds me of two things: to be honest with God & myself in how I feel and to choose to live what I say I believe. I push this belief on no one but hold myself accountable and it has carried my family and I through many a rough time."
JAMI-JON

Time and Eternity
XXIV.

Afraid? Of whom am I afraid?
Not death; for who is he?
The porter of my father's lodge
As much abasheth me.
Of life? 'T were odd I fear a thing
That comprehendeth me
In one or more existences
At Deity's decree.
Of resurrection? Is the east
Afraid to trust the morn
With her fastidious forehead?
As soon impeach my crown!

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

2007-03-23 Ok... so, just to get things rolling along, I'll start this thing off...
Today I bring you The Bard himself: William Shakespeare.
When I was at NIDA (my acting school in Australia) we had to choose a sonnet to work through as part of an acting workshop with the great NICK ENRIGHT. He wanted us to learn the words and then come to class and speak the words to another actor. It was really low-key, intimate. No tap dancing routine, no slapstick, no chair-throwing, no wigs. Honestly, it was one of the most moving classes to be a part of. The 'words' were no longer just beautiful 'words'. They were now alive- being communicated straight from the heart in real time. So simple: a person speaking and the person being spoken to and the impact this had on both. The power of theatre is a unique and wonderful thing.
ROSS HALL, a great actor in my class, worked on Sonnet 91 and it was breathtaking, something I'll never ever forget...

SONNET 91
William Shakespeare

Some glory in their birth, some in their skill,
Some in their wealth, some in their bodies' force,
Some in their garments, though new-fangled ill,
Some in their hawks and hounds, some in their horse;
And every humour hath his adjunct pleasure,
Wherein it finds a joy above the rest:
But these particulars are not my measure;
All these I better in one general best.
Thy love is better than high birth to me,
Richer than wealth, prouder than garments' cost,
Of more delight than hawks or horses be;
And having thee, of all men's pride I boast:
Wretched in this alone, that thou mayst take
All this away and me most wretched make.

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