Friday, December 11, 2009

My Gosh, Haven't Been Here Since October

Thought I'd extend the notion of a strictly
"poetry" blog just a bit to allow for more
openness to associated chat.

For example, want to note that titles have
always appealed to me. I like to play
the name-it game for bands, books, babies.
Most recent idea for a new collection of poems
is FREEDOM AND THE NOW, probably too
portentious, pretentious to use, but still....

Sort of a Promised Land lilt of language.

Here's an old piece of mine, never published,
that seems to anticipate such a cover notion
for recent work.

after “The Jewel Mirror Samadhi”
by Ch’an Master Tung-shan Liang-chieh (Tozan Ryokai)

Because there is the base
there is house, cat, cow;
jeweled pedestals
fine clothing.

The stone woman offers up the dance;
the wooden man begins to sing.

Excitement, doubt—both pitfalls,
for nothing comes nor goes.
Path and traveler merging,
you are not it; it is actually you.

Hiding a heron in the moonlight;
filling a silver bowl with snow.

Yi with his archer’s skill
strikes home at hundreds of paces;
but arrow-heads meeting point-on? --
this lies beyond all targeting.

The stone woman offers up the dance;
the wooden man begins to sing.

This is the host within the host:
a tethered horse, secretly whirling,
ecstatic rat, outwardly calm.
You have it now, so keep it well.

Hiding a heron in the moonlight.
Filling a silver bowl with snow.


At December 22, 2009 at 12:40 PM , Blogger Stephen Margolis said...

Hello Barry: a voice out of the blue. My granddaughter, raised as a secular Jew, is a student at Mount Holyoake and was taking a course on war. She wrote a short story instead of a term paper. The short story is about a Jewish family with veterans of 1948, 1967 and Lebanon. When I saw it, I told my daughter that it reminded me of Barry Spacks, who was with me in a Virgil class, and turned in his translations in Iambic Pentameter.

I went from Central to Penn, majored in EE, went to MIT, and on from there. Currently living in suburban Twin Cities, MN.

If you see this, please email me at silogram at (Please replace at with @, I have done this to foil spam)

Sincerely, Stephen G. Margolis
Central, 192nd class
Penn, EE 1953
MIT, MS in EE 1955
University of Pittsburgh, PhD 1962
More later.


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