Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
— William Butler Yeats
But damn if there isn’t anything sexier
than a slender boy with a handgun,
a fast car, and a bottle of pills.
"Narcotics are illegal, so we used them to execute people.
For crimes. "
Why make? I used to wonder.
Is it something you have to keep on
making, like beds or dinner, stir it up
or smooth it down? Sex, I understood,
an easy creaking on the upholstered
springs of a man you meet in passing.
You have sex, you don’t have to make it,
it makes you - rise and fall and rise again,
each time, each man, new. But love?
It could be the name of a faraway
city, end of a tired journey you take
with some husband, your bodies chugging
their way up the mountain, glimpsing
the city lights and thinking, If we can
keep it up, we’ll make Love by morning.
I guess it was fun for somebody,
my grandmother once said. By then
I was safely married and had earned
the right to ask, there in the kitchen
beside the nodding aunts. Her answer
made me sad. In her time, love meant making
babies, and if I had borne twelve
and buried three, I might see my husband
as a gun shooting off inside me, each bullet
another year gone. But sex wasn’t my question.
Love was the ghost whose shape kept
shifting. For us, it did not mean babies,
those plump incarnations the minister
had promised - flesh of our flesh,
our increase. Without them, and twenty years
gone, what have we to show
for the planing and hammering, bone
against bone, chisel and wedge,
the tedious sanding of night
into morning - when we rise, stretch,
shake out the years, lean back,
and see what we’ve made: no ghost,
it’s a house. Sunlight through the window
glazing our faces, patina of dust
on our arms. At every axis, mortise
and tenon couple and hold. Doors
swing heavy on their hinges.
__ Rebecca McClanahan__
"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain. "
"I have known men to hazard their fortunes, go long journeys halfway about the world, forget friendships, even lie, cheat, and steal, all for the gain of a book. "
This poem was going around in my head today, while I wrote a short story. Someone mentioned there was a recording of David Tennant reading it out there, and I went and looked, and there is…
It’s by Louis MacNeice, and it’s called Bagpipe Music. Oh, the last two lines.
"I must learn to be content with being happier than I deserve. "
"The way you slam your body into mine reminds me I’m alive, but monsters are always hungry, darling, and they’re only a few steps behind you, finding the flaw, the poor weld, the place where we weren’t stitched up quite right, the place they could almost slip right into through if the skin wasn’t trying to keep them out, to keep them here, on the other side of the theater where the curtain keeps rising. I crawled out the window and ran into the woods. I had to make up all the words myself. The way they taste, the way they sound in the air. I passed through the narrow gate, stumbled in, stumbled around for a while, and stumbled back out. I made this place for you. A place for you to love me. If this isn’t a kingdom then I don’t know what is. "
"The killing. After awhile it infects you. And once it does you’re never rid of it. "
"The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing. "
"I am only responsible for my own heart, you offered yours up for the smashing my darling. Only a fool would give out such a vital organ. "