Friday, May 26, 2017

May Moon


(8 quatrains)

1. new moon

kwanzan petals have fallen on rose bush leaves;
another pair drifts to the waiting sidewalk,

drops in a slow pink shower—sun blooms through cloud
foliage, invisible moon at the root

2. waxing crescent

one cherry tree’s profile curves to the south, &
wind inclines its boughs more in that direction

in swoops & nods; one planet above the roof:
waxing moon reverses the cherry tree’s form

3. half moon

half a plastic Easter egg on a mown lawn,
two dandelion clocks by the brick edging,

marking their own time; uniform sky all day:
silver half moon atop its blue other half

4. waxing gibbous

white ball dribbled on concrete, bounced off the roof;
rumble of a prop plane’s flight west, just out of

reach; dozens of crows sail through a fading sky
southeast, the darker quadrant despite this moon

5. full moon

pine tree boughs with their freight of cones lead the gaze
upward past the intersection streetlight, white

eye watching one car, red rhododendrons,
that plane tree rocking the full moon in her arms

6. waning gibbous

resonance of the repeating train whistle
fills gray morning; black parking reflects green

cedars as they stand in this blank, liquid sky:
somewhere above the rain, the moon’s exhaling

7. last quarter

the dandelion growing under the blue
mail collection box has gone past, but the blue

bus will pull up at this stop any moment: blue
sky where the half moon sinks through clouds, reappears

8. waning crescent

three swifts darting above the rooftops: cursive
alphabet drawn against the sun then gone; from

this angle the power line's a silver thread:
daytime crescent erased in blue effulgence



Jack Hayes
© 2017

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Dao De Jing 12



Dao De Jing 12

The five colors blind the eye;
The five tones deafen the ear;
The five flavors ruin taste;
Galloping over fields in the hunt make the mind insane;
Rare goods are an impediment along the road.
The sage therefore follows the belly & not the eye,
Putting aside the one in favor of the other.

Laozi, 道德經
Translation by John Hayes
Unlike with my original poetry & poetry translations, I don’t asset a copyright claim on my translation of the Dao De Jing. It may be freely used under the terms of the Creative Commons license.


Image links to its source on Wiki Commons:

Musicians. Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 AD). Shanghai Museum. These two lively musicians play a bamboo flute and a plucked instrument. The figure on the right wears an elaborate headdress with three large flowers.

Photograph by Wiki user G41rn8 (Michael Gunther), who makes it available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0International license.


Meng Wall Gap



Meng Wall Gap


a new house by the Meng Wall gate;
of the ancient trees, fading willows remain—
who will live here in later days?
his grief will be vain for him who came before


Translation by Jack Hayes
© 2017
based on Wang Wei: 孟城坳
mèng chéng ào


Image links to its source on Wiki Commons:

“Sitting Alone by a Stream”: Fan Kuan. 11th century; hanging scroll - light color on silk.

Public domain



Monday, May 22, 2017

Mississippi Ave Metamorphosis Octets


Mississippi Ave Metamorphosis Octet #1
(5/14/17)

moss on the retaining wall looks like rust in
three dimensions—despite this, the thistle blooms

purple & spiked as an undersea creature
brought up into sun & concrete & the drone

of the #4 bus downhill, the folded
crimson sidewalk umbrellas, the locked black bike—

over wine at the picnic table, their arms
entwined, the couple meld into someone new


                      


Mississippi Ave Metamorphosis Octet #2
(5/14/17)

crow flies up the avenue hangs a right on
Skidmore, is gone—one person on crutches waits

at the bus stop—Japanese maple below
that white enamel pot dangling & dented in

the restaurant window has been restored to
green—what had seemed so certainly a dogwood

inflorescence flies off as a cabbage white;
catalpa’s heart leaves caw a crow’s waltz time song


Jack Hayes
© 2017

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Whiten



Today we continue our Sunday series on cellist Hildur Guðnadóttir with a video of her performing at Vox in Maldegem, Belgium in 2010. The composition is her piece “Whiten” from her 2009 Touch Music release, Without Sinking. Although the video itself is not of the best quality, the audio is good & the performance is beautiful.

If you’re enjoying the music being featured this month, please consider supporting Hildur Guðnadóttir by purchasing her music.




Image links to its source on Wiki Commons:
“Waterdruppels op plastiek tuintafel” (“water drops on hydrophobic plastic garden table”) by Wiki user Kreta [https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Kreta], who generously has released the image into the public domain.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Interstate Ave Affirmation Octet


(5/11/17)
                for Sandy
                    
all day you speak inside me: this gentle rain
whispering kisses to the leaves & birch trees

nodding yes—catkins scattered on the sidewalk,
they’ve given it all up to the elements—

these dogwoods nodding yes & yes again, pink
hands open to what the sky has to offer—

train pulling out of Prescott Station chiming
nothing so clear as your clear voice speaking yes


Jack Hayes
© 2017

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Dao De Jing 11


Dao De Jing 11


Thirty spokes converge to form a wheel;
but it’s the empty space that makes the cart useful.
Clay is shaped to form vessels;
but it’s the empty space that makes the vessel useful.
Windows & doors are chiseled to form a room;
but it’s the empty space that makes the room useful.
Thus what it formed has its advantages,
but the empty space creates usefulness.


Laozi, 道德經
Translation by John Hayes
Unlike with my original poetry & poetry translations, I don’t asset a copyright claim on my translation of the Dao De Jing. It may be freely used under the terms of the Creative Commons license.


Image links to its source on Wiki Commons:
Proto celadon jar with ears and vertical stripes. Warring States period (475BCE-211BCE). Photo by Wiki user Uploadalt, who makes it available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.




Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Sleepless City


Sleepless City

Nobody sleeps out in the sky. Nobody, nobody.
Nobody sleeps.
Moon creatures sniff and prowl their shacks.
Live iguanas will come to bite the men who don’t dream
and whoever flees with a broken heart will meet at the corner
the unbelievable still crocodile under the tender protest of stars.

Nobody sleeps out in the world. Nobody, nobody.
Nobody sleeps.
There’s a dead man in the farthest cemetery
who moans to himself for three years
because he’s got an arid landscape in his knee;
and the boy they buried this morning was crying so
they had to call the dogs to quiet him.

Life isn’t a dream. Look out! Look out! Look out!
We climb to the snow’s edge with the choir of dead dahlias.
But there’s neither oblivion nor dreams:
living flesh. Kisses bind mouths
in a tangle of fresh veins
and he who regrets his hurt will hurt without rest
and he who fears death will carry it on his shoulders.

One day
the horses will live in the bars
and the raging ants
will attack the yellow skies that take shelter in the eyes of cows.

Another day
we'll see the ressurection of the mounted butterflies
and still walking through a landscape of gray sponges and mute ships
where we’ll see our ring shine and roses flow from our tongue.
Look out! Look out! Look out!
Those who still carry the marks of claws and cloudbursts,
that boy who cries because he doesn’t know about the invention of bridges,
or that dead man who no longer has anything but a shack and one shoe,
we have to carry them to the wall where the iguanas and snakes wait,
where the bear’s teeth wait,
where the mummified hand of a boy waits,
and the pelt of a camel bristles in a violent blue shiver.

Nobody sleeps out in the sky. Nobody, nobody.
Nobody sleeps.
But if somebody closes his eyes
whip him, my boys, whip him!

There’s a panorama of open eyes
and bitter, inflamed sores.

Nobody sleeps out in the world. Nobody, nobody.
I’ve said it already.
Nobody sleeps.
But if somebody has an excess of moss on his temples,
open the trapdoors so he can see by the moon
the fake goblets, the venom and the theater’s skull.


Federico García Lorca, “Ciudad sin sueño”
Translation by Jack Hayes
© 2017


Image links to its source on Wiki Commons:
“Brooklyn Bridge”: Joseph Stella. 1919-1920.; oil on canvas.
Public domain.



Monday, May 15, 2017

Three Octets from a Wednesday


Kerby Ave Aspects of the Moon Octet
(5/10/17)

where the white dogwood bracts lay open in noon
light: full moons by the dozen; the cabbage white

floating amongst the bluebells: another moon
moving across a blue sky; the rickety

pergola’s naked archway leads toward that
gray-shingled cottage—does anyone live there?

hours still until tonight's moon comes in view;
the cabbage white rises above the lilacs


                      


Vancouver Ave Childhood Octet
(5/10/17)

the ladybug moves down the rose leaf’s slope
like a drop of water down a slight incline--

the wasp darts from stem to stem as each angles
out from chain link like these photons scattering

in brilliant noon; the cabbage white threads between
three plastic rocking horses guarding front steps

like a breeze from a spring afternoon you half
recollect, half tell yourself in this story


                      


Greenwich Ave Gardening Octet
(5/10/17)

in one raised bed a cracked green teapot next to
a bent tomato cage listing slightly north—

one vermilion metal hummingbird, larger
than life, & one pale yellow watering can

found in a second—two pink flamingos, shards
of a ceramic vase show up in a third—

the beds yield their crop of dandelion clocks
& each one’s set to a different hour



Jack Hayes
© 2017

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Erupting Light



Today we continue our Sunday series on cellist Hildur Guðnadóttir with a video of her performing at the Adam Art Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand. The composition is “Erupting Light”, which is included on her 2009 Touch Music release, Without Sinking—highly recommended!

If you’re enjoying the music being featured this month, please consider supporting Hildur Guðnadóttir by purchasing her music.



Image links to its source on Wiki Commons:
Frontage of the Adam Art Gallery on the Victoria University of Wellington Kelburn campus, looking approximately North. The gallery is a glass-fronted building, of which only the top floor is visible, with a red-roofed wing in the background. Photo is by Wiki user Stuartyeates, who makes the image available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0International license.



Saturday, May 13, 2017

What's Goin' On/Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)






Image links to its source on Wiki Commons:
"The Blue Marble" is a famous photograph of the Earth taken on December 7, 1972, by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft en route to the Moon at a distance of about 29,000 kilometres (18,000 mi). It shows Africa, Antarctica, and the Arabian Peninsula.
This file is in the public domain in the United States because it was solely created by NASA. NASA copyright policy states that "NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted". 
 



Friday, May 12, 2017

Three Octets from Monday


Albina Ave Color Theory Octet
(5/8/17)

there's nothing blue like this sky, not the bluebells
swarming by the corrugated fence, shadows

of the fig boughs distorted on its rippled
surface; nothing yellow like the four dandelions

under the fig tree boughs, not the afternoon
sun, which is after all too white for human eyes;

nothing green like these fig leaves spreading fingers
through all dimensions they find a place to touch


                      


Albina Ave Octet for Bai Juyi
(5/8/17)

near the flock of black patio umbrellas
ten peonies cast their shadows; Bai Juyi

tells me it’s all about regret when twilight
draws ash-gray curtains east to west & teardrop

bulbs burn amber filaments along their black
wire; down the street, a single orchid seen through

glass bricks but barely; rugosa rose blossoms
against a square fence built from bicyle wheels


                      


Peninsula Park Conditional Octet
(5/8/17)

seen in a photo—for instance the photo
being taken of the posed man & woman

seated on its rim—the fountain’s spray would be-
come immortal diamonds arcing across

this afternoon without evaporation—
look! a few cream rose petals unfold themselves

to fathomless sky—though it’s not possible
camellia flowers still bloom in the flesh



Jack Hayes
© 2017



Note for the curious: The reference to Bai Juyi is to his poem 惜牡丹花
xī mŭ dān huā
, which can be found in my translation here.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Dao De Jing 10


Dao De Jing 10

Can your bodily soul embrace unity
& not depart from it?
Can you give full attention to the pliant breath
like a newborn child?
Can you purify your deep perception
until it has no flaw?
Can you care for the people & the nation
without exerting control?
Can you open & close the gate of heaven
as a woman would?
Can your understanding reach with clarity to all four corners
without the need for cunning?
Nourishing them,
rearing them,
caring for them without possession,
acting without presumption,
leading but not dominating,
this is what is meant by the deep morality.


Laozi, 道德經
Translation by John Hayes
Unlike with my original poetry & poetry translations, I don’t asset a copyright claim on my translation of the Dao De Jing. It may be freely used under the terms of the Creative Commons license.
 
Image links to its source on Wiki Commons:
A painting of the Yuanshi Tianzun ('the Primeval Lord of Heaven') one of the supreme divinities of Daoism.
Public domain (as stated by Wiki Commons).

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Bouquet Poetics Octet


                        for Sandy

where you see purple iris petals you should
read solstice midnight; narcissus petals form

stars come down to gaze close up at this
birch table, white faces; rosemary needles would

tattoo a single name on the heart muscle,
because the mind too has made its house inside

that vase, its poetics beyond what I write,
stems magnified in glass conformed to water



Jack Hayes
© 2017

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

God



God

I feel God who walks
so much in me, with the evening and the sea.
With him we move along together. It gets dark.
With him we get dark. Orphaned…

But I feel God. And it even seems
he teaches me such a good color I’m speechless.
Like a hospital, he’s kind and sad;
shows a lover’s sweet disdain:
your heart, it must ache so much.

Oh my God, I’ve just come to you,
today I love so much in the evening, today
in the false balance of some breasts,
I gauge and weep for a fragile Creation.

And you, what will you weep for?… You, lover
with such an enormous whirling breast…
I consecrate you, God, because you love so much;
because you never smile; because always
your heart, it must ache so much.


César Vallejo, “Dios”
Translation by Jack Hayes


Image links to its source on Wiki Commons:
"La Solitude du Christ": Alphonse Osbert - oil on painting. 1897.

Public domain

Monday, May 8, 2017

Two Octets from Early May


Lawrence Ave Epithalamic Octet
(5/2/17)

planted inside the lot’s roofless Saab, bamboo
lifts multiple arms through drizzle, a gesture

that might be ecstatic—inside the warehouse
a violin concerto glissades through scales

as if the strings were thawing ice—deflated
red basketball lies under the sculptural

rhododendrons—gray sedan wears petals for
this afternoon’s nuptials of rain & pavement


                      


Greenwich Ave Spring Mysteries Octet
(5/3/17)

bee drone like spasmodic coughs in the faded
andromeda bells; Ganesha lifts his one

right hand—something never seen in nature—in
an act of blessing: a statue leaned against

raised beds with sun-bleached flamingos & teapots;
how bewildering the dogwood’s coral pink

inflorescence isn’t really a flower;
these scattered cherry petals smell like the sea



Jack Hayes
© 2017

Sunday, May 7, 2017

You



Sundays in May we’re featuring the music of Icelandic cellist & all-around musical phenomenon, Hildur Guðnadóttir. It’s going to be fun!

The first composition is “You”, from her 2006 12 Tónar release, Mount A, which she issued under her artist name, Lost in Hildurness. On this track she combines gamelan percussion with cello to form a truly lovely sonic pallette.

Hope you enjoy the music.




Image of Hildur Guðnadóttir by Mani Tomasson, from her official site

Friday, May 5, 2017

Dao De Jing 9




Dao De Jing 9

Rather than carry what’s brimming,
it’s better to stop filling the vessel;
keep working the edge & the blade can’t hold its keenness.
A hall filled with gold & jade can’t be defended;
When riches & honors lead to arrogance, the self is lost.
When the work is accomplished, withdraw:
this is the Way of Heaven.

Laozi, 道德經
Translation by John Hayes
Unlike with my original poetry & poetry translations, I don’t asset a copyright claim on my translation of the Dao De Jing. It may be freely used under the terms of the Creative Commons license.

Image links to is source on Wiki Commons:
Sunrise viewed from Mount Tai – 9 April 2011 by AlexHe34 who makes it available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0Unported license.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

There’s No Forgetting (Sonata)



There’s No Forgetting (Sonata)


If you ask me where I’ve been,
I’d have to say, “It happens”.
I’d have to speak of the soil clouding the stones,
of the enduring river that’s destroyed:
I know only the things birds lose,
the sea abandons, or my sister's weeping.
Why so many regions, why one day
close on another day, why black night
collecting in the mouth? Why the dead?

If you ask where I come from I’d have to speak with broken things,
with implements grown too bitter,
with large beasts most of the time gone rotten
and with my stricken heart.

The ones who’ve crossed over aren’t remembered,
nor is the sallow dove that sleeps in forgetting,
only faces with tears,
fingers on the throat,
and what collapses from the leaves:
the darkness of a transpired day,
of a day fed on our sorrowful blood.

Here there are violets, swallows,
as many as please us and appear
in the sweet cards of the long line
where time and sweetness go walking.
But let’s not penetrate beyond those teeth,
let's not bite the husks the silence collects.
Because I don’t know how to answer:
there are so many dead,
and so many breakwaters the red sun split,
and so many heads banging against boats,
and so many hands that have locked away kisses,
and so much I want to forget.



Pablo Neruda, “No hay olvido (Sonata)”
Translation by Jack Hayes
© 2017


Image links to its source on Wiki Commons:
"
Grafiti pintado en la fachada del restaurante Capri, calle Cochrane 664, Valparaíso" 27 November 2015, by Rodrigo Fernández [link provided with his name is empty], 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Two Octets from Late April


28th Ave Coincidence of Opposites Octet
(4/26/17)

across this one page of today the letters
for sunlight scribbled in the cherry petals’

flutter & spin, the walk light flashing, a plane
sailing west between black power lines & white

cirrus spindrift, steel-gray sedan’s back window
mottled with blossoms at the intersection,

the stoplight changing—black sign rising by that
blue bus stop bench, a white heart at its center


                      


Greenwich Ave Transfiguration Octet
(4/27/17)

the maple’s new leaves carry a charge of light,
as if offshoots of the same April air poured

into the tulips’ purple cups; the same air
the rosemary branches reach through; the silence

of bluebells, dry song of bamboo wind chimes on
the porch in a breeze I hadn’t noticed; air

currents rippling with geese transformed to trumpets,
their big formation flying into the sun



Jack Hayes
© 2017

Monday, May 1, 2017

April Moon


(8 quatrains)

1. new moon

irregular ticking of the first raindrops
rattles ironwood leaves, last autumn's echoes;

in streetlights the plum blossoms change to fresh snow:
hard to say if that blank sky’s empty or full

2. waxing crescent

petals drop from those two star magnolias
standing against sunset light & the airplanes

emerging from it; a few blossoms nod in
this breeze subtle as the silver lunar curve

3. half moon

where the street curves north the serviceberries bloom
white five-pointed stars & tree lilacs quiver

in the breeze & the flurry of mason bees:
half moon dozes silver past the maple’s hands

4. waxing gibbous

white daffodils show their faces through chain link
diamonds; a woman passes, transparent

umbrella warding off the streetlight drizzle:
pear tree blossoms reflect this flowering moon

5. full moon

blinds opened, each slat shifts from light to shadow
angling away from the floor lamp: black roof draws

its edge between security lights below
& that moon shifting between the slats of clouds

6. waning gibbous

that scrub jay flying west turns black against clouds;
one crow walks across a white picnic table;

pattern of wires across an unsettled sky
where a shrinking moon sinks into blue morning

7. last quarter

cherry petals in this west wind: falling
stars, the pavement a galaxy of what was—

raindrops turn visible striking the sidewalk:
half moon sinks in the folds of white cloud blossoms

8. waning crescent

low clouds follow the curve of weeping birch boughs
pointing toward a white sun where overcast

accumulates again above one crow’s flight:
last crescent in search of one last blue island



Jack Hayes
© 2017

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Tabula Rasa



We conclude our brief survey of Arvo Pärt’s works with his 1977 composition, Tabula Rasa, a double concerto for two violins, prepared piano, & chamber orchestra. As was the case with the other works featured this month, Tablua Rasa is written in Pärt’s tintinnabuli style.



Image links to its source on Wiki Commons:
"Wachstafel mit Griffel" (Wax tabley with stylus). Photograph by Sippel2707 at German Wikipediawho makes it available under the following licenses:
the GNU FreeDocumentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts; & under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.




Saturday, April 29, 2017

Peace on Earth







Image links to its source on Wiki Commons:
"Peace on Earth" in Portland, Oregon; 17 December 2013 by Visitor7 [the link provided is empty], who makes it available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0Unported license.