All the Forgotten Gods

I would think of all the forgotten gods
But how to conjure from oblivion
The most powerful of them all—Absence?
How to recall what we don’t know is gone

Come a day the way I sense your presence
The smell of the small of your neck the feel
Of your skin the smile of your face tensing
You enter me to reveal the unreal

Strange this light we share in our mirrored eyes
Must be ever receding memory
An echo no power known can preserve
These words this language our love all will be

Forgotten and moreover forgotten
A spiral into the unremembered

AGG20170529
(for Cutty)

Depth Charge: Yes, I have been watching  and reading Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.

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In the Dying Days of 2016

So far it’s coming down as a cold rain
Through the dying branches of November
Speeding the decay of newly dead leaves
But soon—very soon—it will fall as snow
White as all the white men in the White House
Who’ll stain its false promise of a fresh start
With born again crimes of seeming reason
To bleed the horrors of 2016
Into the bones of a new year stillborn
They’ll start—as they always do—with the weak
Whose final cries to them will be laughter
Amid back pats and champagne corks popping
All the while deaf to the resilient
Beings already growing underground

AGG20161120

Depth Charge:  Even as the American media rushes to normalize a completely abnormal presidency, Donald Trump is assembling a team of committed white supremacists, homophobes, Christian nationalists, anti-Semites, misogynists and corporate thieves to pillage America and blame the resulting havoc on the weakest and most marginal. Hope is hiding in very deep places.

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The Writing Is No Longer on the Wall

For months I have walked by here admiring
The bright pink heart with a halo? Bull’s horns?
A mix of Keith Haring and the Sacred
Bleeding Heart of Jesus like poetry
By Federico Garcia Lorca,
Those artists whose hearts were in the right place,
Written on the walls, scrawled for all to see,
Then hidden in a grave dark or unmarked.
But your writing’s no longer on the wall,
The passion-sprayed pink now painted over,
An invitation to new transgressions,
An absent reminder of those beauties
Doomed to exist for the briefest of stays
Because landlords prefer monotone grey.

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guoande seal script jpegTo 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…”
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Blooming Point: A Short Conversation with a Nude Eighty-Year-Old Man

Grandfather sold cod to the Portuguese.
Later in life he lost his sight, they said
He had been struck by lightning while at sea,
Which seemed strange to me. After he was dead
I learned glaucoma was the real reason.
I guess lightning made sense enough back then,
When poetry stood in for medicine.
Nineteen fifty-four was my first time here,
It already had its reputation
And there was a sense of danger and fear.
If someone you knew saw you they knew why
You were here and, for a while, a Mountie
In full uniform would patrol, swooning
From the heat as we made out in the dunes.

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Depth Charge: Blooming Point is a spectacular beach on the north shore of Prince Edward Island and, for as long as I can remember, a section of it has been an unofficial nude beach. This summer after a conversation with an man in his 80s on the beach, I learned its history as a nudist beach was much longer than I had thought.

guoande seal script jpegTo 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…”
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A Sonnet for a Scum-Sucking Arsehole

A Sonnet for a Scum-Sucking Arsehole
(Good riddance to some smelly S.H.it. )

So long you evil, scum-sucking arsehole.
Now that the electorate’s finally
Been roused enough to give your ass the boot,
Apologists say that you did some good,
But I say that’s utter fucking bullSHit.
I’ll remember you as the kind of man
Who belittled the suffering of all
Missing and Murdered Aboriginal
Women, who stripped away our protections
On the rivers, lakes and water to sell
It all to the highest foreign bidder—
Weapons and the Wheat Board to the Saudis—
A tough guy—no, just a whipped cur crooning
Corporate-cover songs from the closet.

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Depth Charge: What it lacks in rhyme, it makes up for in reason.

guoande seal script jpegTo 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…”
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Old Man, Winter: A Response to Li Qingzhao’s “Pure Serene Music”

This year there’s seventeen feet of white snow
Before we even reach the cold, hard ground,
How are we going to bury you, old man?
At this rate, the purple lilacs will not
Dare to bloom until well into August,
Flowers for your late funeral, old man.
We’ll be talking about twenty-fifteen,
At least until something worse comes along,
Forgetfulness will bury you, old man,
But right now ploughs are losing the battle
To keep the Island’s arteries unclogged,
And people are beginning to panic,
To wonder if we don’t need a new plan,
If we hope to get you buried, old man.

AGG20150326

Depth Charge: At the time of writing this, Charlottetown, PEI, has an accumulated winter 2014-15 snowfall of 515 cm, about 17 feet, most of which has fallen since late-January.

Tune : “Pure Serene Music”
By Li Qingzhao

Year after year in the snow I used to get drunk
While picking plum blossoms to put in my hair.
Now twisting all the fallen petals to no good purpose,
I only drench my clothes with pure tears.

This year at the end of the earth,
My hair at the temples is streaked with grey.
Now that the evening wind is growing in force,
I shall be hard put to it to enjoy plum blossoms.

You might as well as the bright red flowers
Why they bloom and for whom they perfume the air?

Translated by Jiaosheng Wang.

清平乐李清照 
年年雪里,常插梅花醉。挼尽梅花无好意,赢得满衣清泪。 
今年海角天涯,萧萧两鬓生华。看取晚来风势,故应难看梅花 
 
Qīngpíng Yuè Lǐ Qīngzhào  
 
Nián nián xuě lǐ,  
Cháng chā méihuā zuì.  
Ruó jǐn méihuā wú hǎoyì ,  
Yíngdé mǎn yī qīng lèi.  
 
Jīnnián hǎi jiǎo tiānyá ,  
Xiāoxiāo liǎng bìn shēng huá . 
Kàn qǔ wǎn lái fēngshì,  
Gù yīng nánkàn méihuā .

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…”

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Our Fathers, Who Are in the Heavens: A Response to Li Qingzhao’s “Immortal on the Riverbank”

“The price of granting the reality of change is to grant nothingness a kind of reality also,”
Peter Pesic, Seeing Double: Shared Identities in Physics, Philosophy and Literature

Nothing more seeming fragile than the snow,
Yet there exists a single, tiny flake
Condensed from mist ten thousand years ago,
Deep, deep, deep within a melting glacier,
Slowly, surely grinding the mountains down,
Inevitable as our frail fathers
Falling into their final silences,
Each death a solitary, unique loss,
A slow accumulation of nothing,
Perhaps the surest sign we yet have seen
In this our shared dream of humanity,
This ceaseless sweeping away of the dust,
The dust that gave life to the dust we are
Returning to the self-consuming stars.

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In Memoriam Robert E. Lavery, 1928-2015

Depth Charge: It seems my friends and I are entering into that stage of life where our fathers are leaving en masse.

Tune: “Immortal On The Riverbank”
To the Plum Blossom
By Li Qingzhao

Deep, how profoundly deep the courtyard is!
Spring comes late to these casements and terraces
Buried in mists and clouds.
For whom do you pine away, 0 Flower!
And lose your lovely looks quite
When but last night I dreamed-
How sweet and vivid that dream-
Your southern branches were bursting into bloom?

That you should be frail as jade
And your boughs lose much of their crimson sweetness
As though weighed down with infinite sorrow!
Away with that Tartar flute in the South Tower
Blowing away your rich perfume
Nobody knows whither,
And let the days lengthen
When balmy breezes blow.
But do stay till the apricot blossoms round out!

Translated by Jiaosheng Wang.

临江仙·梅·李清照
庭院深深深几许,云窗雾阁春迟。为谁憔悴损芳姿,夜来清梦好,应是发南枝。
玉瘦檀轻无限恨,南楼羌管休吹。浓香吹尽有谁知,暖风迟日也,别到杏花肥。

Lín jiāng xiān·Méi·Lǐ Qīngzhào
Tíngyuàn shēn shēn shēn jǐxǔ, yún chuāng wù gé chūn chí. Wèi shuí qiáocuì sǔn fāng zī, yèlái qīng mèng hǎo, yīng shì fā nán zhī.
Yù shòu tán qīng wúxiàn hèn, nán lóu qiāng guǎn xiū chuī. Nóng xiāng chuī jìn yǒu shuí zhī, nuǎn fēng chí rì yě, bié dào xìng huāféi.

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…”

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