When is it Time? (To Be a Child)

When is it Time?
(To Be a Child)

What does it mean to act your age?
When is it time to put childhood dreams away?
Why do we seek answers to unanswerable questions?

Perhaps we aren’t looking hard enough,
or maybe we are looking too hard.
Will a gentle breeze remind you of home?
What will you feel then?

Loosing a memory long locked away behinds guards
now being undone and set free.
The thrill of emotions overcome you
and the war between childhood and now, tear you apart.

But is there a difference?
Maybe there is no difference.
Perhaps they are one.
To be a child, you hold your future in the palm of an outstretched hand,

Like sunshine on a bright summer day you are free.
Drenched in the sluggish honey heat, time hangs listlessly, unable to touch you.
There is no time.
To be a child is in
the memory,
the future,
and the now.

~Keys2Change

A Few Words on the Soul

A Few Words on the Soulby Wislawa Szymborska 

We have a soul at times.
No one’s got it non-stop,
for keeps.

Day after day,
year after year
may pass without it.

Sometimes
it will settle for awhile
only in childhood’s fears and raptures.
Sometimes only in astonishment
that we are old.

It rarely lends a hand
in uphill tasks,
like moving furniture,
or lifting luggage,
or going miles in shoes that pinch.

It usually steps out
whenever meat needs chopping
or forms have to be filled.

For every thousand conversations
it participates in one,
if even that,
since it prefers silence.

Just when our body goes from ache to pain,
it slips off-duty.

It’s picky:
it doesn’t like seeing us in crowds,
our hustling for a dubious advantage
and creaky machinations make it sick.

Joy and sorrow
aren’t two different feelings for it.
It attends us
only when the two are joined.

We can count on it
when we’re sure of nothing
and curious about everything.

Among the material objects
it favors clocks with pendulums
and mirrors, which keep on working
even when no one is looking.

It won’t say where it comes from
or when it’s taking off again,
though it’s clearly expecting such questions.

We need it
but apparently
it needs us
for some reason too.

translated from the Polish by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh

 

DUSZA

Duszę się miewa.
Nikt nie ma jej bez przerwy i na zawsze.

Dzień za dniem,rok za rokiem
może bez niej minąć.

Czasem tylko w zachwytach
i lękach dzieciństwa
zagnieżdża się na dłużej.
Czasem tylko w zdziwieniu,
że jesteśmy starzy.

Rzadko nam asystuje
podczas zajęć żmudnych,
jak przesuwanie mebli,
dźwiganie walizek,
czy przemierzanie drogi w ciasnych butach.

Przy wypełnianiu ankiet
i siekaniu mięsa
z reguły ma wychodne.

Na tysiąc naszych rozmów uczestniczy w jednej
a i to niekoniecznie, bo woli milczenie.

Kiedy ciało zaczyna nas boleć i boleć,
cichcem schodzi z dyżuru.

Jest wybredna:niechętnie widzi nas w tłumie,
mierzi ją nasza walka o byle przewagę
i terkot interesów.

Radość i smutek
to nie są dla niej dwa różne uczucia.
Tylko w ich połączeniu jest przy nas obecna.

Możemy na nią liczyć
kiedy niczego nie jesteśmy pewni,
a wszystkiego ciekawi.

Z przedmiotów materialnych
lubi zegary z wahadłem
i lustra, które pracują gorliwie,
nawet gdy nikt nie patrzy.

Nie mówi skąd przybywa
i kiedy znowu nam zniknie,
ale wyraźnie czeka na takie pytania.

Wygląda na to,
że tak jak ona nam,
również i my
jesteśmy jej na coś potrzebni.

Why Nobody Pets the Lion at the Zoo

Hannes Lochner, South Africa

“Why Nobody Pets the Lion at the Zoo” by John Ciardi

The morning that the world began
The Lion growled at Man.

And I suspect the Lion might
(If he’d been closer) tried a bite.

I think that’s as it ought to be
And not as it was taught to me.

I think the Lion has a right
To growl a growl and bite a bite.

And if the Lion bothered Adam,
He should have growled right back at ‘im.

The to treat a Lion right
Is growl for growl and bite for bite.

True, the Lion is better fit
For biting than for being bit.

But if you look him in the eye
You’ll find the Lion’s rather shy.

He really wants someone to pet him.
The trouble is: his teeth won’t let him.

He has a heart of gold beneath
But the Lion just can’t trust his teeth.

Catalogue

“Catalogue” by Rosalie Moore

Cats sleep fat and walk thin.
Cats, when they sleep, slump;
When they wake, stretch and begin
Over, pulling their ribs in.
Cats walk thin.

Cats wait in a lump,
Jump in a streak.
Cats, when they jump, are sleek
As a grape slipping its skin–
They have technique.
Oh, cats don’t creak.
They sneak.

Cats sleep fat.
They spread out comfort underneath them
Like a good mat,
As if they picked the place
And then sat;
You walk around one
As if he were the City Hall
After that.

If male,
A cat is apt to sing on a major scale;
This concert is for everybody, this
Is wholesale.
For a baton, he wields a tail.

(He is also found,
When happy, to resound
With an enclosed and private sound.)

A cat condenses.
He pulls in his tail to go under bridges,
And himself to go under fences.
Cats fit
In any size box or kit,
And if a large pumpkin grew under one,
He could arch over it.

When everyone else is just ready to go out,
The cat is just ready to come in.
He’s not where he’s been.
Cats sleep fat and walk thin.

How to Eat a Poem

“How to Eat a Poem” by Eve Merriam 

Don’t be polite.
Bite in.
Pick it up with your fingers and lick the juice that
may run down you chin.
It is ready and ripe now, whenever you are.

 

You do not need a knife or a fork or spoon or plate or napkin or tablecloth.

 

For there is no core
or stem
or rind
or pit
or seed
or skin
to throw away.

Where I Go

Sometimes, I wish that I could just fly away,
if only for a moment.

To set my heart free,
to soar above the clouds and sing my joy.

Reach into the darkest corners of my mind,
to tear away the shroud that hides my soul.

 

To be free,

at peace,

if only for a moment.

~Keys2Change

 

White Sky

White Sky

That my imagination

would leave room for the imagination.

A canvas to stretch and prime.

I move the sun above the earth and stop

Like an architect at her blank table

The mistakes of my ink bleed across the sky

Red, orange, blue, and white.

My favorite mistake is white.

Like the paper airplanes and

the lilies and the snow, new.

Daring me to try again and again,

I dash my pen and burn my eraser

Against the indomitable wall of white.

My mistakes cannot be forgotten.

They cannot be erased.

But they can be transformed.

Like the demeanor of a white sky

Listening to a heartbeat at peace,

It waits for the winds of something new

Stirring the clouds until pieces of blue break through.

~ Keys2Change