Audio clip: “Anyone Who Has Left Love” (by Sharon Olds)

Asian young businesswoman in business suit

Read by me.

Anyone who has left love,
who has stepped out of the boat, onto
the water, learns what they had not known
or wanted to. Anyone
who turns their back on love, as if
it might not take too long for them to go
all the way around and come up behind it—
anyone who lets love go,
opens their hand while walking through
a crowd, as if getting, piece by piece,
rid of evidence, will lose,
along with evidence of the thing,
the thing itself. Anyone
who sets love down, and takes their eyes
away, anyone who travels far
when love is home, anyone
who homes alone when love is far,
will lose what cannot be found. Maybe they
thought love was the earth under
the road, or the road under the sole
of the shoe or the foot under the body but by now it is
back there. It was a bush like a fire,
and now—no more fragrance or light
will be inhaled, or seen, as when
you die you will not see the world again.
Even if you thought you had not
believed you were loved, something in you
knew that you were—and you stepped right off love’s roof.

Artwork credit

“The Red Poppy” (by Louise Glück)

Resultado de imagen de poppy | Flower pictures, Poppy flower, Red flowers

The great thing
is not having 
a mind. Feelings:
oh, I have those; they 
govern me. I have 
a lord in heaven 
called the sun, and open 
for him, showing him
the fire of my own heart, fire 
like his presence.
What could such glory be
if not a heart? Oh my brothers and sisters, 
were you like me once, long ago, 
before you were human? Did you 
permit yourselves
to open once, who would never 
open again? Because in truth 
I am speaking now 
the way you do. I speak 
because I am shattered.

Photo credit

“Snowdrops” (by Louise Glück)

Snowdrops are one of the first flowers to bloom in the late winter.

Do you know what I was, how I lived? You know
what despair is; then
winter should have meaning for you.

I did not expect to survive,
earth suppressing me. I didn’t expect
to waken again, to feel
in damp earth my body
able to respond again, remembering
after so long how to open again
in the cold light
of earliest spring–

afraid, yes, but among you again
crying yes risk joy

in the raw wind of the new world.

Image credit

Bird

500 blackbirds drop dead from the sky days after 100,000 fish and ...

As when we awaken startled from a damp sleep

and realize that what we thought was love

was not love was not even the hollow kindness we show

a neighbor we hardly know when we say “sorry for your loss”

was not even a “there, there” we offer a friend

of a friend whose husband took up with a younger woman

was not even the feigned pity we show a coworker

whose stepfather fell down a flight of stairs, broke his

neck, and left behind an ample wife

was never even like the small gasp

that leaves our lips when through a car window

we see the blur of black bird with an injured wing

lying still in the road.

Image credit