I know nothing at all about Jared Carter, except that I like this poem a friend sent me:


They are useless, there is nothing
To be done with them, no reason, only

The finding, letting myself down holding
To ironwood and the dry bristle of roots

Into the creekbed, into clear water shelved
Below the outcroppings, where crawdads sport

Through silt; clawing them out of clay, scrubbing
Away the sand, setting them in a shaft of light

To dry. Sweat clings in the cliff’s downdraft.
I take each one up like a safecracker listening

For the lapse within, the moment crystal turns
On crystal. It is all waiting there in darkness.

I want to know only that things gather themselves
With great patience, that they do this forever.

Jared Carter

Storm hysteria

balightningsfc011021399It’s been awhile since I posted a rant so here’s a short one, just before we get to the season of good will. I can’t understand why the media and the ordinary folk around are so excited about what seems to me a perfectly normal and much needed rainstorm. We used to have these all the time. But everybody’s yammering about the terrible storm.

IMG_0055.JPGI’m sure the places that usually flood will flood, mud will slide, sink holes will appear, people will forget they need to take extra care on the road and there will be massive accidents on the freeway. In short, it’s a normal California winter day. Tomorrow I want to take a look at the surf on Ocean Beach.


How a poem can happen

824_egrennanHere’s your Monday poetry vitamin (and isn’t this how you imagine an Irish poet should look!):


I was watching a robin fly after a finch – the smaller bird
chirping with excitement, the bigger, its breast blazing, silent
in light-winged earnest chase – when, out of nowhere
over the chimneys and the shivering front gardens,
flashes a sparrowhawk headlong, a light brown burn
scorching the air from which it simply plucks
like a ripe fruit the stopped robin, whose two or three
cheeps of terminal surprise twinkle in the silence
closing over the empty street when the birds have gone
about their own business, and I began to understand
how a poem can happen: you have your eye on a small
elusive detail, pursuing its music, when a terrible truth
strikes and your heart cries out, being carried off.

Eamon Grennan


In the supermarket

220px-Agi_Mishol_by_Iris_NesherEven a poem for Black Friday… or part of a poem, by Agi Mishol, a Hungarian-born poet who lives in Israel and  writes in Hebrew. This is the first (and I think best) part of three part poem from the Ecco Anthology of International Poetry:

In the Supermarket

Through the supermarket aisles I push a cart
as if I were the mother of two heads of cauliflower,
and navigate according to the verse-list
I improvised this morning over coffee.
Sale banners wave to shoppers
studying the labels of packaged food
as Muzak entertains the frozen birds. And I too,
whose life is made of life, stride down the dog-food aisle
toward Mr. Flinker who confides in my ear that only the body
crumbles but the sipirt remains young forever, believe me.
I believe, but now let me turn to Granny Smith and McIntosh.
Hurry, hurry, folks, I’m the supermarket bard,
I’ll sing the rustle of cornflakes,
the curve of mutinous cucumbers,
until the cash register will hand me
the final printed version
of my poem. Continue reading “In the supermarket”