The Wave

A blog full of poetry, colourful art and age-old wisdom: a rose garden whose leaves cannot be touched by autumnal blasts.

A Famous Poem from Jamaica: The Tightrope Walker

Later, they said that

he should have had more

 

of the acrobat, of the circus

in his saunter, more tinsel

and more trumpet in his dream.

They wanted tumblers, tyrannies,

all the spangled flattery

he would not pretend;

he went too straightly, balancing

his vision towards

our common end.

 

                         You measure a man by

the space that his going makes;

the air, now, is full of his absence;

the tent is still.

Gather his books and the medals.

The lights go down

over the quiet arena,

over the sea and the hill;

the music descends

to a funeral sorrow.

Silence each clown.

But, when the show begins again,

and the big drums beat,

and the grinning performers circle the ring

on their deceptive feet,

remember the high road, he walked, higher

than the glitter or the glory

of the show,

following the simpleness

of that determined cord

across the dangerous

tempting fame below.

 

Dennis Scott (1939-1991)

A replica of a painted mural of Avalokiteśvara (Guanyin) and attendant bodhisattvas, early 8th century, Tang dynasty, Mogao Caves, Dunhuang, Gansu Province, People’s Republic of China. Figures originally adorned with gold leaf. The Mogao Caves or Mogao Grottoes (莫高窟), also known as the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas (千佛洞), form a system of 492 temples, 25 km southeast of the center of Dunhuang, an oasis strategically located at a religious and cultural crossroads on the Silk Road, in Gansu province, China. The construction of the Mogao Caves near Dunhuang is generally taken to have begun sometime in the fourth century CE. Sources: daviegan.com., en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mogao_Caves, and public.dha.ac.cn. 

A replica of a painted mural of Avalokiteśvara (Guanyin) and attendant bodhisattvas, early 8th century, Tang dynasty, Mogao Caves, Dunhuang, Gansu Province, People’s Republic of China. Figures originally adorned with gold leaf. The Mogao Caves or Mogao Grottoes (莫高窟), also known as the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas (千佛洞), form a system of 492 temples, 25 km southeast of the center of Dunhuang, an oasis strategically located at a religious and cultural crossroads on the Silk Road, in Gansu province, China. The construction of the Mogao Caves near Dunhuang is generally taken to have begun sometime in the fourth century CE. Sources: daviegan.com., en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mogao_Caves, and public.dha.ac.cn. 

Phyllis Wolff (Dorset, United Kingdom): Apples II, 2010, oil on canvas, 22 x 24”, private collection, source: phylliswolff.blogspot.com. Please visit one of mrs. Phyllis Wolff’s colourful websites: phylliswolff.blogspot.com. or phylliswolff.co.uk. for more amazing works of art!

Phyllis Wolff (Dorset, United Kingdom): Apples II, 2010, oil on canvas, 22 x 24”, private collection, source: phylliswolff.blogspot.com. Please visit one of mrs. Phyllis Wolff’s colourful websites: phylliswolff.blogspot.com. or phylliswolff.co.uk. for more amazing works of art!

Poet of Cripples

Let me be a poet of cripples,

of hollow men and boys groping

to be whole, of girls limping toward

womanhood and women reaching back,

all slipping and falling toward the cavern

we carry within, our hidden void,

a place for each to become full, whole,

room of our own, space to grow in ways

unimaginable to the straight

and the narrow, the small and similar,

the poor, normal ones who do not know

their poverty. Look with care, look deep.

Know that you are a cripple too.

I sing for cripples; I sing for you.

 

Jim Ferris

Dame Laura Knight (1877-1970): Pearl Johnson, 1927, watercolour and pastel on board, source: independent.co.uk. and thenewemotionalblackmailershandbook.blogspot.com. 

Dame Laura Knight (1877-1970): Pearl Johnson, 1927, watercolour and pastel on board, source: independent.co.uk. and thenewemotionalblackmailershandbook.blogspot.com. 

Pavel Sokolov-Skalya [Соколов-Скаля Павел Петрович](1899-1961): View of the Moscow Kremlin [Вид Московского Кремля], 1925, oil on canvas, 99.5 x 141 cm, private collection, source: macdougallauction.com. and artpoisk.info.

Pavel Sokolov-Skalya [Соколов-Скаля Павел Петрович](1899-1961): View of the Moscow Kremlin [Вид Московского Кремля], 1925, oil on canvas, 99.5 x 141 cm, private collection, source: macdougallauction.com. and artpoisk.info.

Viewpoint

The difference between narcissus

and sunflower

is a point of view: the first

stares at his image in water

and says there is no I but I

and the second looks

at the sun and says I am

what I worship.

And at night, difference shrinks

and interpretation widens.

 

Mahmoud Darwish [محمود درويش]

 

Translation from the Arabic by Fady Joudah 

Emmanuel de Dieudonné (1845-1889): Portrait of Osman Hamdy Bey, [detail], 1884, oil on canvas, 45.5 by 38 cm, private collection, source: sothebys.com.

Emmanuel de Dieudonné (1845-1889): Portrait of Osman Hamdy Bey, [detail], 1884, oil on canvas, 45.5 by 38 cm, private collection, source: sothebys.com.

Jessie Arms Botke (1883-1971): Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, 1942, details unknown, source: wiki.cultured.com.

Jessie Arms Botke (1883-1971): Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, 1942, details unknown, source: wiki.cultured.com.

Bosnia Tune

As you pour yourself a scotch

Crush a roach or check your watch

As your hands adjust your tie

people die

 

In the towns with funny names

Hit by bullets, caught in flames

By and large not knowing why

people die

 

In small places you don’t know

Yet big for having no

Chance to scream or say good-bye

people die

 

People die as you elect

New apostles of neglect,

Self restraint, etc. whereby

people die

 

Too far off to practice love

For thy neighbour, brother, Slav

Where your cherubs dread to fly

people die

 

While the statues disagree

Cain’s version, history

For its fuel tends to buy

those who die

 

As you watch the athletes score

Check your latest statement or

Sing your child a lullaby

people die

 

Time, whose sharp, bloodthirsty quill

Parts the killed from those who kill

Will pronounce the latter tribe

As your tribe

 

Joseph Brodsky (1940-1996)