Even our thin words

regretful ghosts swirling 20131129

Today is cold     —clear
Bright                —all illuminated
Even our thin words
Seen                 —regretful ghosts swirling
On our lips       — before they fade

AGG20131129

To read all the Tanka, and writing about Tanka, please click here.

To read Songs about Sex, Death & Cicadas by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

Our mirrored hearts

Residential School

Harden and polish
Your heart into a mirror
Reflect the whole world
All its suffering creatures
g                          — you said not to feel sorrow

Oh! When I see him
Sleeping on the metro bench
Snow falling outside
I’m overcome by pity
g                        —as my train passes him by

Somewhere cats and dogs
Sleep on soft satin pillows
Celebrities pose
Smugly nude   — not for humans
g                      — just the other animals

AGG20131127

Depth Charge: Another experiment in Exploded Tanka: it can be read as one long poem consisting of three tankas, or two separate poems, one of which you only read the lines that begin with an em-dash, the other of which you read only the lines that do not begin with an em-dash.

The spark for this poem was seeing a young man sleeping rough on the bench of the metro station, while a snowstorm raged outside. This was combined with reading Oliver Goldsmith’s The Citizen of the World in which he purports to paraphrase Confucius: “We should feel sorrow, says he, but not sink under its oppression; the heart of a wise man should resemble a mirror, which reflects every object without being sullied by any.”

To read all the Tanka, and writing about Tanka, please click here.

To read Songs about Sex, Death & Cicadas by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

We know the dust of our bones

Arboles de la Vida. Photo by Mario Rendon

Photo by Mario Rendon

Star-blooded beings
We can trace our ancestry
Back to the bright stars
We know the dust of our bones
Rests in galaxy-sized graves

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Depth Charge: The starting point for this poem was another line from Oliver Goldsmith’s The Citizen of the World: “The lowest mechanic however looks upon it as his duty to be a watchful guardian of his country’s freedom, and often uses a language that might seem haughty, even in the mouth of the great emperor who traces his ancestry to the moon.”  I wonder how Goldsmith would have reacted to the fact that every living thing on the planet, indeed the Earth itself, can trace its ancestry to long dead stars? If you would like to read all the cosmologically connected writings on this blog, click here.

To see all the tanka on this blog, click here.

A new chapbook, as close as the clouds by Andrew Grimes Griffin, is available for free reading online and/or download.

To read Songs about Sex, Death & Cicadas by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

When I have ceased to wonder

sunburst of fallen leaves on Mount Royal

Opening my eyes
You warm in my arms—amazed—
I must catch my breath
When I have ceased to wonder
I may possibly grow wise

Confronted with such grace
{justa pspace holde —by the grace of falling leaves—
Burdened with freedom
We will fall apart      —I’ll be—
Breathless               —and none the wiser—

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(for Cutty)

Depth Charge: “When I have ceased to wonder, I may possibly grow wise;…” Oliver Goldsmith, The Citizen of the World, Letter III. This is the quote that sparked this poem. It started as a single tanka. It then became and double tanka, and, finally, it became what I am calling an Exploded Tanka. It retains the 5-7-5-7-7 scheme but has been exploded and pulled apart by the spacing and the use of em-dashes. It can now be read in four ways: first, as two consecutive tankas; second,as just the lines that don’t start with an em-dash; third, just the portions that are between em-dashes; or, finally, not at all. Reader’s or non-reader’s choice.

A new chapbook, as close as the clouds by Andrew Grimes Griffin, is available for free reading online and/or download.

All the Problems of Freedom

He Xie River Crabs by Ai Weiwei at the AGO_20131005_155328

Hatred greed and fear
Loneliness and addiction
Problems of freedom
Can only be solved by love
Freely given and received

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Depth Charge: Affection shall solve every one of the problems of freedom,/Those who love each other shall be invincible – from [States!] by Walt Whitman. Walt was not talking about the love the Jesus, or the love for Justice, or any other cold, abstract ideal. He was talking about the spectrum of physical affection from a kiss to a hug to a good hard fuck. He was talking about shared labour and shared meals and shared beds, shared happiness and shared hardship.

A new chapbook, as close as the clouds by Andrew Grimes Griffin, is available for free reading online and/or download.

A Haiku for Prognosticators

Photo by Mario Rendon

Photo by Mario Rendon

Behind the rain clouds
They say the full moon is bright—
We’ve heard that before

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Depth Charge: A haiku for all preachers, priests, prophets, seers, soothsayers, fortune tellers, market analysts, politicians, business reporters, stockbrokers, oncologists and anyone else who is trying to tell you that it will all work out for the best.

 

To read Songs about Sex, Death & Cicadas by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

What game’s being played today?

Red Leaves_20131114 by AGG

In the back alley
Wind rattles dry leaves—rattles
Sounds of shaken dice
What game’s being played today?
I suspect the outcome’s fixed.

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To see all the tanka on this blog, click here.

A new chapbook, as close as the clouds by Andrew Grimes Griffin, is available for free reading online and/or download.

To read Songs about Sex, Death & Cicadas by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

A terrible clarity

November Sunrise_20131117 by AGG

Bare shadeless branches
The few leaves left are ragged
High clouds—pale and grey
November’s sunrise offers
A terrible clarity

AGG20131117

To see all the tanka on this blog, click here.

A new chapbook, as close as the clouds by Andrew Grimes Griffin, is available for free reading online and/or download.

To read Songs about Sex, Death & Cicadas by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”