Our Mother who art in heaven, by Christina Stoddard
(from Hive. Madison, Wisconsin : The University of Wisconsin Press, 2015.)
Forgotten be thy name. Thy place
denied, thy will shackled
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this moon a second heart,
and forgive us our powerlessness
even as we bear those
who will one day silence us.
Endear us not to our jailers
but give us means to take up scythes
against them, for a mother
will carry her daughters
through any darkness.
For thine is the hive,
and the swarm, and the namelessness
for ever and ever amen.
To My Daughter About Love, by Mila Haugová (f. 1942)
(from Six Slovak poets / edited and introduced by Igor Hochel ; translated by John Minahane. Todmorden : Arc, 2010.)
|Rock Hudson and Julie Andrews|
"Darling Lilli" (1968)
I can't tell you anything about that,
but one day your journey'll stop outside a door,
and you won't have time to take even your clothes,
you won't be able to greet mother or father,
nameless you'll receive a name,
in the sudden brief fissure you'll see
dark, inscrutable waters,
reflection of a hazy star,
that which you love, unknown,
and all you'll manage is to
slightly part your lips.
What is Man?, by Waldo Williams (1904-1971)
(from The other mountain. Translation from welsh ; Rowan Williams. Manchester : Carcanet, 2014.)
What is living? The broad hall found
between narrow walls.
What is acknowledging? Finding the one root
under the branches’ tangle.
What is believing? Watching at home
till the time arrives for welcome.
What is forgiving? Pushing your way through thorns
to stand alongside your old enemy.
What is singing? The ancient gifted breath
drawn in creating.
What is labour but making songs
from the wood and the wheat?
What is it to govern kingdoms? A skill
still crawling on all fours.
And arming kingdoms? A knife placed
in a baby’s fist.
What is it to be a people? A gift
lodged in the heart’s deep folds.
What is love of country? Keeping house
among a cloud of witnesses.
What is the world to the wealthy and strong? A wheel,
turning and turning.
What is the world to earth’s little ones? A cradle,
rocking and rocking.