Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Olympia 12 - Pindar

Daughter of Zeus who sets free, I beseech you, Fortune,
lady of salvation, guard the wide strength of Himera.
By your power are steered fleet ships on the sea,
sudden wars by land, the gatherings heavy
with counsel. Men's hopes, oft in the air,
downward rock again as they shear a heaving sea of lies.

Friday, 27 October 2017

The Dramatic Symphony (extract) - Andrey Bely

  1. The by-street was bathed in sun. The road was turning white. In place of the sky there hung a gigantic turquoise.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

The Shining Hours (VIII) - Emile Verhaeren

As in the guileless, golden age, my heart
I gave thee, even like an ample flower
That opens in the dew's bright morning hour;
My lips have rested where the frail leaves part.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Bongwi, the Baboon - Royston Dunnachie Campbell

Grown wrinkled in the suns of noon
And mad from yearning on the moon,
With empty eyes and lifted hands
Our ancient father, Bongwi, stands
Sharp-pencilled on the moonlit sky:
And upward sends his dismal cry,
Blending with eddies of the air
Vague fragments of a mumbled prayer,
That shed upon the plains around
Their ghostly sediment of sound.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

The Breast of the Sea - Syl Cheney-Coker

After our bloody century, the sea will groan
under its weight, somewhere between breasts and anus.
Filled with toxins, her belly will not yield new islands
even though the orphans of East Timor wish it so.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

He whom a dream hath possessed - Sheamus O'Sheel

He whom a dream hath possessed knoweth no more of doubting,
For mist and the blowing of winds and the mouthing of words he scorns;
Not the sinuous speech of schools he hears, but a knightly shouting,
And never comes darkness down, yet he greeteth a million morns.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Al-Jilnar - lbn Hani al-Andalusi

In tender age amid green branches
the pomegranate tree’s daughter looked
like the heart of a falcon or of a hawk

Friday, 20 October 2017

Suicidal Tendencies - Bongiwe Dlamini

I, am pretty.
I am pretty dark, pretty distorted
like those images on your TV Screen
when you lose the signal…pshhht!

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Mapmaker - Beatriz Badikian-Gartler

I am Eratosthenes' heir — the librarian
who measured earth. He took an obelisk,
a well, the sun, and made a triangle:
geometry, simple and accurate.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

When I look abroad - Abe no Nakamaro

When I look abroad
O'er the wide-stretched "Plain of Heaven,"

Sunday, 15 October 2017

The Hour - Samuel Hanagid

She said: “Be happy that God has helped you reach
The age of fifty in this world,” not knowing
That to me there is no difference between my life’s
Past and that of Noah about whom I heard.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Boy on a swing - Oswald Mtshali

Slowly he moves
to and fro, to and fro,
then faster and faster
he swishes up and down.

Friday, 13 October 2017

History - Antonio Preciado Bedoya

Honey flowed everywhere; but that day
they gave it to me
with a rifle

Thursday, 12 October 2017

An Attempt to Await - Adeeb Kamal Ad-Deen

Which awaits which?
Does the sun await the street?
Or does the street await the people:
The simpletons and the beggars?
Do the fields await the bees?
Or do the bees await death?

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Koha - Glenn Colquhoun

Aunty Kare gave me her recipe for making steamed-pudding.
She sits with me in church.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Monday, 9 October 2017

I do - Steve Page

Ignore the lyrics:
You can't pursue love.
You don't find love.
Love's not a thing to be kept or had;

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

The Heron Who Was Hard To Please - Jean de La Fontaine

A long-legged Heron, with long neck and beak,
Set out for a stroll by the bank of a creek.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Going down there - Phillippa Yaa de Villiers

This is a letter scratched out by candlelight:
I leave it for all those who are also
confined, painfully pressed, split open.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Dies Irae - Thomas of Celano

That day of wrath, that dreadful day.
Shall the whole world in ashes lay,
As David and the Sibyls say.