Poetry by Don Paterson

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In the same way that the mindless diamond keeps
one spark of the planet’s early fires
trapped forever in its net of ice,
it’s not love’s later heat that poetry holds,
but the atom of the love that drew it forth
from the silence: so if the bright coal of his love
begins to smoulder, the poet hears his voice
suddenly forced, like a bar-room singer’s — boastful
with his own huge feeling, or drowned by violins;
but if it yields a steadier light, he knows
the pure verse, when it finally comes, will sound
like a mountain spring, anonymous and serene.
Beneath the blue oblivious sky, the water
sings of nothing, not your name, not mine.

Inger Christiansen Alphabet

Inger1916
One
Apricot trees exist. Apricot trees exist.

Two
Bracken exists and blackberries, blackberries
Bromine exists and hydrogen, hydrogen

Three
Cicadas exist, chicory, chromium, citrus trees
Cicadas exist
Cicadas, cedars, cypresses, the cerebellum

Four
Doves exist, dreamers and dolls
Killers exist and doves and doves
Haze, dioxin and days
Days exist, days and death and poems exist
Poems, days, death

Five
Early Fall exists
Aftertaste, afterthought, seclusion
And angels exist
Widows and elk exist
Every detail exists
Memory, memory’s light
Afterglow exists
Oak, elms, junipers, sameness, loneliness exist
Eider ducks, spiders, and vinegar exist in the future, the future.