Ba Bài Thơ

And if someone leaves you  

imagine yourself moving
like water beneath
an oil slick where
the current blurs, leaving
all eclipsed.  finish
your prayers for
death: yours, or theirs,
then portage through
time to shoulder
tomorrow; re-emerge
carried – skiff of a self –
rehearsing, stroke by
stroke: this is how to float.  

Laurie Klein

It is [the poet’s] privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past.  the poet’s voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail. – William Faulkner

Flame Apples  

Little hot apples of fire,
Burst out of the flaming stem
Of my heart,
I do not understand how you quickened and grew,
And you amaze me
While I gather you.

I lay you, one by one,
Upon a table,
And now you seem beautiful and strange to me,
And I stand before you,
Wondering.

Amy Lowell

Chamber Music

2

The twilight turns from amethyst
to deep and deeper blue,
The lamp fills with a pale green glow
The trees of the avenue.

The old piano plays an air,
Sedate and slow and gay;
She bends upon the yellow keys,
Her head inclines this way.

Shy thought and grave wide eyes and hands
That wander as they list –
The twilight turns to darker blue
With lights of amethyst.

James Joyce

Call no man happy until he is dead.  Oedipus.