Tuesday, August 26, 2014

but the poet persists


by Jack Kerouac 

A poet is a fellow who
spends his time thinking
about what it is that's
wrong, and although he
knows he can never quite
find out what this wrong
is, he goes right on
thinking it out and writing
it down.
A poet is a blind optimist.
The world is against him for
many reasons. But the
poet persists. He believes
that he is on the right track,
no matter what any of his
fellow men say. In his
eternal search for truth, the
poet is alone.
He tries to be timeless in a
society built on time.

I know that usually around January some people have the habit of selecting a word for a sort of touchstone for the upcoming new year. I like the idea, but for myself just wasn't feeling it, as my teenager might say. But there are words I keep coming back to, words that I need. Persistence is one of them, for sure.

Love is another one.

"To look life in the face, always, to look life in the face, and to know it for what it is… at last, to love it for what it is.”

- Virginia Woolf

Well. Yes. (Which is another good word.....Yes).

Thanks to the wonders of Google and the Poetry International site, I found this incredible poem by a poet from India, Anjum Hasan. I'm just reeling from all the buttery and gorgeous descriptions of light and sound. You'll want to read it more than once.

Late Summer and Mornings

by Anjum Hasan

Late summer, and mornings have nothing to do with evenings,
evenings untouched by mornings. The ghee light pouring over
streets and terraces out of a bottomless sky, loving everything
all morning, taking nothing back, concentrating in the small
gold champak flowers that men greedily balance on branches for.
Late summer sounds – dogs and nadeswarams, the last rites
of weddings, bikes with almost disco thundering, crack-lunged
buyers of old paper, buckets filling anew, and the butter light
melting in its own heat against compound walls and parked cars:
the generous light in which butterflies turn the same colour as the champak
stars among the last clumps of jacaranda, and the cassia tree flowering and
flowering in wilting yellow like no one told it to stop. Slow drip
of late summer thoughts – forgiving one’s faults, everything becoming
a plan to find a place where it’s always this late summer merge
between drums and bees knocking hard against panes, the dish-washing
clamour, and the flickering voices inside that one sits trying, with both
hands, to keep alive, not realising that this is that place, this is that place,
and when one does it’s too late because the palms striped with sky
are thrashing about with something that almost has a human name,
and then it rains and rains and rains.

Later the children come out and collect in corners like wet ants.
The air is crowded with their new-born questions –
Are you pushing me? Is that a snake?

On Saturday morning, I made waffles and the three of us had a lovely breakfast together. Nothing fancy, just lovely and simple.

And afterwards, Chloe washed the dishes. And I watched. Daydreamed, listened. Enjoyed "the slow drip of late summer thoughts."

I'll be away from the computer for the next few days, but being the nerd that I am, I've queued up some posts for that time. If you leave any comments, for which I'm always grateful, I'll see them on the weekend. Many thanks, Shawna


  1. I am often sorry that no blog like yours seems to exist in my native language. But since I have always loved the english language it is not too bad. I hope you will not give up this blog anytime soon. I am enjoying it every day. Have some good days off!

    1. Khendra - I won't. And thank you. So glad to know you enjoy Calm Things.


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