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 World Where News Travelled Slowly

It could take from Monday to Thursday

and three horses. The ink was unstable,

the characters cramped, the paper tore where it creased.

Stained with the leather and sweat of its journey,

the envelope absorbed each climatic shift,

as well as the salt and grease of the rider

who handed it over with a four-day chance

that by now things were different and while the head

had to listen, the heart could wait.

 

Semaphore was invented at a time of revolution;

the judgement of swing in a vertical arm.

News travelled letter by letter, along a chain of towers,

each built within telescopic distance of the next.

The clattering mechanics of the six-shutter telegraph

still took three men with all their variables

added to those of light and weather,

to read, record and pass the message on.

 

Now words are faster, smaller, harder

… we’re almost talking in one another’s arms.

Coded and squeezed, what chance has my voice

to reach your voice unaltered and then to leave no trace?

Nets tighten across the sky and the sea bed.

When London made contact with New York,

there were such fireworks, City Hall caught light.

It could have burned to the ground.

 

Lavinia Greenlaw

Mai Trung Thứ (1906-1980): Conversation, 1966, oil on silk, 47 x 60 cm, private collection, source: artist.zhuokearts.com.

Mai Trung Thứ (1906-1980): Conversation, 1966, oil on silk, 47 x 60 cm, private collection, source: artist.zhuokearts.com.

creese:

Michael Creese, Lipizzan Stallion (2014), oil on canvas.

Please visit creese.tumblr.com. or stores.ebay.com/artbycreese for more wonderful works of art from Michael Creese!

creese:

Michael Creese, Lipizzan Stallion (2014), oil on canvas.

Please visit creese.tumblr.com. or stores.ebay.com/artbycreese for more wonderful works of art from Michael Creese!

A Famous Hebrew Love Poem

Graceful gazelle, you’ve captured me with your beauty,

enslaved me ruthlessly by your captivation.

Ever since parting came between us

I’ve not found one as beautiful as you.

So I take comfort in a reddish apple,

whose fragrance is like the frankincense of your breath,

its shape like your breasts, its colour

like the blush visible upon your cheeks.

 

Judah ben Samuel Halevi [Yehuda Halevi; ha-Levi; יהודה הלוי; يهوذا هاليفي] (c. 1075 – 1141)

 

Translation from the Hebrew by Hayyim [Jefim] Schirmann

 

צבית חן שביתני בצביך

 

צְבִיַּת חֵן שְׁבִיתִנִי בְּצִבְיֵךְ

בְּפֶרֶךְ הֶעֱבַדְתִּנִי בְּשִׁבְיֵךְ

וּמִיּוֹם הַנְּדֹד בָּא בֵין שְׁנֵינוּ

דְּמוּת לֹא אֶמְצְאָה נִמְשָׁל לְיָפְיֵךְ

וְאֶסָּעֵד בְּתַפּוּחַ אֲדַמּדָּם

אֲשֶׁר רֵיחוֹ כְּמֹר אַפֵּךְ וְעֶדְיֵךְ

וְתַבְנִיתוֹ כְשָׁדַיִךְ וְעֵינוֹ

כְּעֵין אֹדֶם אֲשֶׁר נִרְאָה בְלֶחְיֵךְ.

Radha and Krishna in the Grove, [detail], Pahari, Kangra, Punjab Hills, India, ca. 1780, gouache on paper, 150 mm x 193 mm, sources: indianquarterly.com. and collections.vam.ac.uk.

Radha and Krishna in the Grove, [detail], Pahari, Kangra, Punjab Hills, India, ca. 1780, gouache on paper, 150 mm x 193 mm, sources: indianquarterly.com. and collections.vam.ac.uk.

graceoneillillustration:

Grace O’Neill: Senior Thesis Poster, acrylic, Grace Genevieve Illustration. Please visit Miss Grace O’Neill’s beautiful website: graceoneill.com. or graceoneillillustration.tumblr.com. for more amazing works of art!

graceoneillillustration:

Grace O’Neill: Senior Thesis Poster, acrylic, Grace Genevieve Illustration. Please visit Miss Grace O’Neill’s beautiful website: graceoneill.com. or graceoneillillustration.tumblr.com. for more amazing works of art!

A Puppy Called Puberty

It was like keeping a puppy in your underpants

A secret puppy you weren’t allowed to show to anyone

Not even your best friend or your worst enemy

 

You wanted to pat him stroke him cuddle him

All the time but you weren’t supposed to touch him

 

He only slept for five minutes at a time

Then he’d suddenly perk up his head

In the middle of school medical inspection

And always on bus rides

 

So you had to climb down from the upper deck

All bent double to smuggle the puppy off the bus

Without the buxom conductress spotting

Your wicked and ticketless stowaway.

 

Jumping up, wet-nosed, eagerly wagging –

He only stopped being a nuisance

When you were alone together

Pretending to be doing your homework

But really gazing at each other

Through hot and hazy daydreams

 

Of those beautiful schoolgirls on the bus

With kittens bouncing in their sweaters.

 

Adrian Mitchell (1932-2008)

Muhammad Baqir (active from the 1740s to the 1800s): A Dancing Girl, [detail], Persia, Iran, Late Zand, 1778 [1192], oil on canvas, 150 x 80 cm, private collection, source: sothebys.com.

Muhammad Baqir (active from the 1740s to the 1800s): A Dancing Girl, [detail], Persia, Iran, Late Zand, 1778 [1192], oil on canvas, 150 x 80 cm, private collection, source: sothebys.com.

Madhu Jain (1947, Gurgaon, Haryana, India): Moon Lit Pond, tempera on cardboard; natural mineral pigments, oyster shells, corals, semi-precious stones on handmade paper, (nihonga, Japanese style of painting), 25” x 21”, private collection, source: saatchiart.com. and madhujain.com. Please visit Mrs. Madu Jain’s own website: madhujain.com. for more wonderful works of art! 

Madhu Jain (1947, Gurgaon, Haryana, India): Moon Lit Pond, tempera on cardboard; natural mineral pigments, oyster shells, corals, semi-precious stones on handmade paper, (nihonga, Japanese style of painting), 25” x 21”, private collection, source: saatchiart.com. and madhujain.com. Please visit Mrs. Madu Jain’s own website: madhujain.com. for more wonderful works of art! 

Salt of My Tongue

Listen, listen: I still

have something to say.

It isn’t important, I know, it won’t

save the world, it won’t change

anyone’s life — but who

today could save the world

or even change one person’s

sense of what life is?

Listen to me, I won’t hold you long.

It’s a little thing, like the light rain

that’s starting slowly to fall.

Just three or four words, not much

more. Words I want to entrust to you.

So their flame won’t go out,

their brief flame.

Words I deeply loved,

perhaps love still.

They are my home, the salt of my tongue.

 

Eugénio de Andrade (1923-2005)

 

Translation from the Portuguese by Alexis Levitin

 

 

O sal da língua

 

Escuta, escuta: tenho ainda

uma coisa a dizer.

Não é importante, eu sei, não vai

salvar o mundo, não mudará

a vida de ninguém – mas quem

é hoje capaz de salvar o mundo

ou apenas mudar o sentido

da vida de alguém?

Escuta-me, não te demoro.

É coisa pouca, como a chuvinha

que vem vindo devagar.

São três, quatro palavras, pouco

mais. Palavras que te quero confiar,

para que não se extinga o seu lume,

o seu lume breve.

Palavras que muito amei,

que talvez ame ainda.

Elas são a casa, o sal da língua.