semperfiona: (ampersand)
Falling down the Internet Rabbit Hole, as you do, I ran across this poem today. As I've just devoured all of the extant books in Ben Aaronovitch's "Rivers of London" series, it seemed particularly apropos. And thus I share it with you.


Rising Damp by UA Fanthorpe.



‘A river can sometimes be diverted but is a very hard thing to lose altogether.’
(Paper to the Auctioneers’ Institute, 1907)

At our feet they lie low,
The little fervent underground
Rivers of London

Effra, Graveney, Falcon, Quaggy,
Wandle, Walbrook, Tyburn, Fleet


Whose names are disfigured,
Frayed, effaced.

There are the Magogs that chewed the clay
To the basin that London nestles in.
These are the currents that chiselled the city,
That washed the clothes and turned the mills,
Where children drank and salmon swam
And wells were holy.

They have gone under.
Boxed, like the magician’s assistant.
Buried alive in earth.
Forgotten, like the dead.

They return spectrally after heavy rain,
Confounding suburban gardens. They inflitrate
Chronic bronchitis statistics. A silken
Slur haunts dwellings by shrouded
Watercourses, and is taken
For the footing of the dead.

Being of our world, they will return
(Westbourne, caged at Sloane Square,
Will jack from his box),
Will deluge cellars, detonate manholes,
Plant effluent on our faces,
Sink the city.

Effra, Graveney, Falcon, Quaggy,
Wandle, Walbrook, Tyburn, Fleet


It is the other rivers that lie
Lower, that touch us only in dreams
That never surface. We feel their tug
As a dowser’s rod bends to the surface below

Phlegethon, Acheron, Lethe, Styx.
semperfiona: (dove)
I have probably mentioned here before that my daughter is a denizen of Tumblr. She likes to bring various posts to show me, funny or clever or moving or beautiful. Today, she brought me a repost of What's Genocide, by Carlos Andres Gomez.

Having read it, I sat there stunned, for a few minutes. And then I bethought myself that this here was what they call a teachable moment, and asked her, "Do you understand that poem?" and we had a little conversation about what it meant, about what happened in Rwanda and South Africa and what is still happening right here in the USA.
semperfiona: (alicia)
I was reminded that April is National Poetry Month. A couple favorites, one particularly appropriate to the rainy day.

in Just- )



anyone lived in a pretty how town )
semperfiona: (work motto)
We're having a big desk relocation at work this week, so I've been packing up my accumulated stuff and getting rid of a lot of obsolete paper. Just now I moved the inbox, and found under it a scrap of yellow lined paper with my handwriting on both sides. Both are the same text, one with multiple edit marks and the other apparently a rewrite of the preferred version. There's no date, so I have no idea how old this is or when or why I would have written it. It might be a five-word-poem (see [livejournal.com profile] poets_challenge), or the beginnings of one. The meter's badly off, there's no punctuation, and it's pretty clearly unfinished, but I post it anyway.

The shirt has no wrinkles
Its collar starched taut as her spine
She presses meaningless circles
And line after line
Cursing circumstance quietly
The widow just yesterday wife
Her face bleached as the lightning
That took her man's life
Makes her last consecration
Ironing his clothes for the wake
A ritual
semperfiona: (hearts desire)
I was just about to throw out the wrapper from my chocolate bar, when I noticed the note on the front: "Love poem inside". So I opened it, to find this:

Song: To Celia

Drink to me only with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss but in the cup,
And I'll not look for wine.
The thirst that from the soul doth rise,
Doth ask a drink divine:
But might I of Jove's nectar sup,
I would not change for thine.

I sent thee late a rosy wreath,
Not so much honoring thee,
As giving it a hope, that there
It could not withered be.
But thou thereon didst only breathe,
And sentst it back to me;
Since when it grows and smells, I swear,
Not of itself, but thee.

--Ben Jonson
semperfiona: (higgledy piggledy)
This is a silly thing that popped into my head as I was falling asleep last night.

Found your name on Google
Bought a Priceline ticket
Showed up at your wedding
Chatting with your cousin

Your sister Sue is twin boys Jack and John
Your evil step mom's just your mom
Who'da thought that Iowa
Had sixteen Jordan Browns?

GIP

Nov. 5th, 2008 12:00 pm
semperfiona: (hope)
"Hope" is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—

And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—
And sore must be the storm—
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm—

I've heard it in the chillest land—
And on the strangest Sea—
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb—of Me.

--Emily Dickinson

Limericks!

Mar. 1st, 2005 03:10 pm
semperfiona: (higgledy piggledy)
In honor of St. Patrick's Day later this month, and because I could use
some laughs, I propose a contest: dueling limericks at forty paces.
Enter yours here as a comment, and the best one, as judged by yours
truly on March 17th, will receive a St.-Pat's-themed prize (small and
inexpensive, most likely). Extra credit for "Irish" themes. (Yes, I put
it in scare quotes on purpose. I'm thinking more of the green shiny
silliness that pervades the USA during the month of March than of actual
Ireland.)

Here's one to hopefully get you inspired.

A randy young boyo called Sean
Fucked his girl every day on the lawn;
When his hairy white ass
Started growing green grass
The girl said, "It's time I moved on."
semperfiona: (Default)
I just opened my "Erotic Kit" of magnetic poetry. It came Thursday, actually, but after I'd learned my fundie aunt and uncle were coming to visit Friday night I decided it would be best left in a drawer until after they left. I stuck it up to the fridge just now. While nearly every longish word in the box has at least one possible sexy meaning, there were only about a dozen that were solely sexual. I stuck them in a corner so that if I have guests again I can pop them off quickly. There were actually no swear words. No fuck. No cunt. Several other words for the same things, however.

Here's today's standing-by-the-fridge.poetry shard, using the new words as well as letters and words I already had.

Worship me, luscious woman, with your mouth.
Make me explode in languid screams.
My cunt is a fire of exquisite torment;
I beg for the pleasure of your tongue.

Dreaming

Feb. 19th, 2002 05:07 pm
semperfiona: (Default)
Sunny place on the sofa
Only heat and languor
Thoughts nonexistent
semperfiona: (Default)
"We are censored by the fall of Babel,
by the confusion of tongues.
Oh, let us confuse our tongues in a kiss."
-- "Censorship," Julia Vinograd
semperfiona: (Default)
(Made up on the spur of the moment for Rosa)

Fish fish, little fish
Swimming in the sea
Where are you little fish?
Come and swim to me.
semperfiona: (Default)
And a railroading song, at that?

I just wrote two verses of a song about steam-era railroading. A tune and all.

I'm sitting here thinking I'm insane, and inclined to disparage the thing, but the fact itself is so very absurd.
semperfiona: (Default)
The colors of the world shine brighter
The sunshine glows a little lighter
Winter rainfall naught but summer showers
Watering the massing flowers
Because you are my love

As I walk my steps do dance
A star in every passing glance
The birds above with joy do cry
Is there any who could wonder why?
They sing to me of love
semperfiona: (Default)
Ideas like helium balloons float overhead in a light breeze
Silver ribbons dangle enticingly
Catch a brightly colored thought and bring it home.
Free it inside the house of my mind
To live and grow into a story or poem.
semperfiona: (Default)
Flickering sunlight slants across my monitor
Soft breathy baby snores from the bed
Quiet warmth of the room
Peace is here

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semperfiona: (Default)
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