Thank you to everyone who has suggested poems for us to put up on the shop window of The Good Heart during the lockdown.
Week One: Stay Home by Wendell Berry I will wait here in the fields to see how well the rain brings on the grass. In the labor of the fields longer than a man’s life I am at home. Don’t come with me. You stay home too. I will be standing in the woods where the old trees move only with the wind and then with gravity. In the stillness of the trees I am at home. Don’t come with me. You stay home too. Week Two: Covid Spring by Dan Lupton As we are confined and turned in on ourselves The rest of life is coming into bud Days lengthen, soils warm - And we are grounded A shock in one species which the rest of life ignores We humans are fixated by our dramas Of course I am too I monopolise the centre of my universe This tide between self-importance (Species and individual) And the flow of life That may shrug off both humans and covid, Mirrors winter and spring We may emerge purified By tragedy or isolation Or give a sigh of relief And jump back into our familiar prisons Week Three: Today by Mary Oliver Today I’m flying low and I’m not saying a word I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep. The world goes on as it must, the bees in the garden rumbling a little, the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten. And so forth. But I’m taking the day off. Quiet as a feather. I hardly move though really I’m traveling a terrific distance. Stillness. One of the doors into the temple. Week Four: Spring by e e cummings O sweet spontaneous earth how often have the doting fingers of prurient philosophers pinched and poked thee , has the naughty thumb of science prodded thy beauty, how often have religions taken thee upon their scraggy knees squeezing and buffeting thee that thou mightest conceive gods (but true to the incomparable couch of death thy rhythmic lover thou answerest them only with spring) Week Five: Keeping Quiet by Pablo Neruda Now we will count to twelve and we will all keep still for once on the face of the earth, let’s not speak in any language; let’s stop for a second, and not move our arms so much. It would be an exotic moment without rush, without engines; we would all be together in a sudden strangeness. Fishermen in the cold sea would not harm whales and the man gathering salt would not look at his hurt hands. Those who prepare green wars, wars with gas, wars with fire, victories with no survivors, would put on clean clothes and walk about with their brothers in the shade, doing nothing. What I want should not be confused with total inactivity. Life is what it is about; I want no truck with death. If we were not so single-minded about keeping our lives moving, and for once could do nothing, perhaps a huge silence might interrupt this sadness of never understanding ourselves and of threatening ourselves with death. Perhaps the earth can teach us as when everything seems dead and later proves to be alive. Now I’ll count up to twelve and you keep quiet and I will go. Week Six: How to make Apple Crumble by Cathy Grindrod Balance in your palm a green winter moon. Slide a steel blade in to set in motion the fall of spiralling skin wheeling in rings, twisting its light path, splashing a snake-trail on marble. Slice your naked moon. Let flour rain like dust motes through sun beams in kitchens of glass. Make a sweet blanket, rough as a cottage, pebble-dashed; where a witch once lived who stirred a spell in an earthenware dish the colour of sand. Smother your slives of applie moon like a fresh snowfall. Make it white hot. Take a cold spoon; dig deep to its creaking core.