The drowning

Up and to the office to get business ready for our sitting, this being the first day of altering it from afternoon during the Parliament sitting to the fore-noon again.
By and by Mr. Coventry only came (Sir John Minnes and Sir William Batten being gone this morning to Portsmouth to pay some ships and the yard there), and after doing a little business he and I down to Woolwich, and there up and down the yard, and by and by came Sir G. Carteret and we all looked into matters, and then by water back to Deptford, where we dined with him at his house, a very good dinner and mightily tempted with wines of all sorts and brave French Syder, but I drunk none.
But that which is a great wonder I find his little daughter Betty, that was in hanging sleeves but a month or two ago, and is a very little young child; married, and to whom, but to young Scott, son to Madam Catharine Scott, that was so long in law, and at whose triall I was with her husband; he pleading that it was unlawfully got and would not own it, she, it seems, being brought to bed of it, if not got by somebody else at Oxford, but it seems a little before his death he did own the child, and hath left him his estate, not long since. So Sir G. Carteret hath struck up of a sudden a match with him for his little daughter. He hath about 2000l. per annum; and it seems Sir G. Carteret hath by this means over-reached Sir H. Bennet, who did endeavour to get this gentleman for a sister of his, but Sir G. Carteret I say has over-reached him.
By this means Sir G. Carteret hath married two daughters this year both very well.
After dinner into Deptford yard, but our bellies being full we could do no great business, and so parted, and Mr. Coventry and I to White Hall by water, where we also parted, and I to several places about business, and so calling for my five books of the Variorum print bound according to my common binding instead of the other which is more gaudy I went home.
The town talk this day is of nothing but the great foot-race run this day on Banstead Downes, between Lee, the Duke of Richmond’s footman, and a tyler, a famous runner. And Lee hath beat him; though the King and Duke of York and all men almost did bet three or four to one upon the tyler’s head.

we all look
into the water where
a child was brought to his death
not long since

his little sister
calling


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 30 July 1663.

Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

Haori

“Where are you now, beloved?” ~ Jean Morris

It rained hard again tonight.
And when we returned home, found

tiny signatures of insects affixed
to the door jamb. Walking through

waterlogged patches of yard
to take out the trash, what else

do I trample in my coming
and going? On the river’s

surface, long-legged birds cry
and rake fields of invisible stars.

The flower falls before the fruit,
and the body at its base swells

inside its sleeve a little more
each day. After I stir the tea

in the cup, your name returns to me
again, its letters dream-like, shifting.

 

In response to Via Negativa: Soulmate.

Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What is Left of Wings, I Ask (2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, knits, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.

Sacrifice

I did not wonder
why the steadfast mother

did not speak as she stood
beside her husband

who railed in the public forum
against those who questioned

the service laid down
for the nation by their son.

Grief is the hum of the invisible
electric fence around the field;

and each bowed head— sunflower,
corn stalk, ragged vine— never

makes one sound even as it stands
in the burning eye of the sun.

Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What is Left of Wings, I Ask (2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, knits, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.

Strategy

Up about 6 o’clock, and found the people to have just done, and Hannah not gone to bed yet, but was making clean of the yard and kitchen. Will newly gone to bed. So I to my office.
And having given some order to Tom Hater, to whom I gave leave for his recreation to go down to Portsmouth this Pay, I went down to Wapping to Sir W. Warren, and there staid an hour or two discoursing of some of his goods and then things in general relating to this office, &c., and so home, and there going to Sir William Batten (having no stomach to dine at home, it being yet hardly clean of last night’s turds) and there I dined with my Lady and her daughter and son Castle, and mighty kind she is and I kind to her, but, Lord! how freely and plainly she rails against Commissioner Pett, calling him rogue, and wondering that the King keeps such a fellow in the Navy.
Thence by and by walked to see Sir W. Pen at Deptford, reading by the way a most ridiculous play, a new one, called “The Politician Cheated.” After a little sitting with him I walked to the yard a little and so home again, my Will with me, whom I bade to stay in the yard for me, and so to bed.
This morning my brother Tom was with me, and we had some discourse again concerning his country mistress, but I believe the most that is fit for us to condescend to, will not content her friends.

one to hate
and one to cheat

who is most fit for us
to condescend to


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 29 July 1663.

Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

Soulmate

Detail from a lithograph by André Minaux
This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series Louise Labé

 

After Louise Labé, Sonnet VII

Detail from a lithograph by André Minaux

We’ve all seen death –
the soul, the subtler part, depart the body
and if I’m the body you’re the soul, my better half.
Where are you now, beloved?
How could you leave me for so long?
I know you, you’ll be thinking
just to stretch your legs and you’ll be back –
it doesn’t work like that! You left my soulless body
swinging in the wind, unloved, unanchored.
I’m at risk, I’m nothing, you are all my worth.
So come to me, my love, but never undermine
my sanity again – no more demands,
mixed messages. Show me your softer face.
You’ve been so cruel. Time now to make amends.


On voit mourir toute chose animée,
Lors que du corps l’ame sutile part:
Je suis le corps, toy la meilleure part:
Ou es tu donq, o ame bien aymee?

Ne me laissez par si long temps pamee,
Pour me sauver apres viendrois trop tard.
Las ne mets point ton corps en ce hazart:
Rens lui sa part & moitié estimee.

Mais fais, Ami, que ne soit dangereuse
Cette rencontre & revue amoureuse,
L’accompagnant, non de severité,

Non de rigueur: mais de grace amiable,
Qui doucement me rende la beauté,
Jadis cruelle, à present favourable.

 

Louise Labé in Wikipedia.

Picture: detail from another lithograph by André Minaux.

Jean Morris lives in London, translates from French and Spanish, and thanks the Internet for a latish-life discovery of creative interests. Her recent online work includes an article on Reading in Translation, book reviews at Shiny New Books, translation at the Asymptote blog, photos and poems at Gnarled Oak and poems in Otata.

Hydromancy

This entry is part 5 of 9 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Summer 2016

 

Sun-blasted, sun-scorched,
leaves from the African violet

have fallen limp across the edge
of the pot— But feed it too much

water and it could drown inside
its own cells. Too much sorrow,

too much joy, and it’s as if time
saws one off one more limb

in the unseen canopy. Sometimes
you don’t know exactly where a storm

is passing, only hear the deep
bassoon in the grey distance,

while the heart floats like a pickle
in the juice of its own fears.

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What is Left of Wings, I Ask (2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, knits, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.

Insomnia

Up after sleeping very well, and so to my office setting down the Journall of this last three days, and so settled to business again, I hope with greater cheerfulness and success by this refreshment.
At the office all the morning, and at noon to Wise’s about my viall that is a-doing, and so home to dinner and then to the office, where we sat all the afternoon till night, and I late at it till after the office was risen. Late came my Jane and her brother Will to entreat for my taking of the boy again, but I will not hear her, though I would yet be glad to do anything for her sake to the boy, but receive him again I will not, nor give him anything. She would have me send him to sea; which if I could I would do, but there is no ship going out. The poor girl cried all the time she was with me, and would not go from me, staying about two hours with me till 10 or 11 o’clock, expecting that she might obtain something of me, but receive him I will not. So the poor girl was fain to go away crying and saying little. So from thence home, where my house of office was emptying, and I find they will do it with much more cleanness than I expected. I went up and down among them a good while, but knowing that Mr. Coventry was to call me in the morning, I went to bed and left them to look after the people. So to bed.

sleep is a great refreshment
but will not do anything
for the sea

which is no ship I might
obtain something from

empty
and with much more than I know


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 28 July 1663.

Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

O taste and see

Two tables over in the restaurant,
one child is pouring the contents

of the salt and pepper shakers
into the small pitcher of half-and-half.

She tears off the ends of the small tubes
of sugar and sweetener; then she pours

the juices from the bowl that may have held
soup or salad. She stirs with a wooden stirrer.

The grownups in their chatter
are oblivious. She and another child

next to her take turns sipping
and making faces. They hold out this

concoction and mouth the pleading
syllable. Now, we can hardly wait

to see what it will look like—
that moment of discovery.

Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What is Left of Wings, I Ask (2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, knits, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.

Hearing voices

Up in the morning about 7 o’clock, and after a little study, resolved of riding to the Wells to look for our dogg, which we did, but could hear nothing; but it being much a warmer day than yesterday there was great store of gallant company, more than then, to my greater pleasure. There was at a distance, under one of the trees on the common, a company got together that sung. I, at the distance, and so all the rest being a quarter of a mile off, took them for the Waytes, so I rode up to them, and found them only voices, some citizens met by chance, that sung four or five parts excellently. I have not been more pleased with a snapp of musique, considering the circumstances of the time and place, in all my life anything so pleasant.
We drank each of us, three cupps, and so, after riding up to the horsemen upon the hill, where they were making of matches to run, we went away and to Yowell, where we found our breakfast, the remains of our supper last night hashed, and by and by, after the smith had set on two new shoes to Creed’s horse, we mounted, and with little discourse, I being intent upon getting home in time, we rode hard home, observing Mr. Gauden’s house, but not calling there (it being too late for me to stay, and wanting their dog too). The house stands very finely, and has a graceful view to the highway. Set up our horses at Fox Hall, and I by water (observing the King’s barge attending his going to the House this day) home, it being about one o’clock. So got myself ready and shifting myself, and so by water to Westminster, and there came most luckily to the Lords’ House as the House of Commons were going into the Lord’s House, and there I crowded in along with the Speaker, and got to stand close behind him, where he made his speech to the King (who sat with his crown on and robes, and so all the Lords in their robes, a fine sight); wherein he told his Majesty what they have done this Parliament, and now offered for his royall consent. The greatest matters were a bill for the Lord’s day (which it seems the Lords have lost, and so cannot be passed, at which the Commons are displeased); the bills against Conventicles and Papists (but it seems the Lords have not passed them), and giving his Majesty four entire subsidys; which last, with about twenty smaller Acts, were passed with this form: The Clerk of the House reads the title of the bill, and then looks at the end and there finds (writ by the King I suppose) “Le Roy le veult,” and that he reads. And to others he reads, “Soit fait comme vous desirez.” And to the Subsidys, as well that for the Commons, I mean the layety, as for the Clergy, the King writes, “Le Roy remerciant les Seigneurs, &c., Prelats, &c., accepte leur benevolences.”
The Speaker’s speech was far from any oratory, but was as plain (though good matter) as any thing could be, and void of elocution.
After the bills passed, the King, sitting on his throne, with his speech writ in a paper which he held in his lap, and scarce looked off of it, I thought, all the time he made his speech to them, giving them thanks for their subsidys, of which, had he not need, he would not have asked or received them; and that need, not from any extravagancys of his, he was sure, in any thing, but the disorders of the times compelling him to be at greater charge than he hoped for the future, by their care in their country, he should be: and that for his family expenses and others, he would labour however to retrench in many things convenient, and would have all others to do so too.
He desired that nothing of old faults should be remembered, or severity for the same used to any in the country, it being his desire to have all forgot as well as forgiven. But, however, to use all care in suppressing any tumults, &c.; assuring them that the restless spirits of his and their adversaries have great expectations of something to be done this summer.
And promised that though the Acts about Conventicles and Papists were not ripe for passing this Session, yet he would take care himself that neither of them should in this intervall be encouraged to the endangering of the peace; and that at their next meeting he would himself prepare two bills for them concerning them.
So he concluded, that for the better proceeding of justice he did think fit to make this a Session, and to prorogue them to the 16th of March next.
His speech was very plain, nothing at all of spirit in it, nor spoke with any; but rather on the contrary imperfectly, repeating many times his words though he read all which I was sorry to see, it having not been hard for him to have got all the speech without book.
So they all went away, the King out of the House at the upper end, he being by and by to go to Tunbridge to the Queen.
And I in the Painted Chamber spoke with my Lord Sandwich while he was putting off his robes, who tells me he will now hasten down into the country, as soon as he can get some money settled on the Wardrobe.
Here meeting Creed, he and I down to the Hall, and I having at Michell’s shop wrote a little letter to Mr. Gauden, to go with his horse, and excusing my not taking leave or so much as asking after the old lady the widow when we came away the other day from them, he and I over the water to Fox Hall, and there sent away the horse with my letter, and then to the new Spring Garden, walking up and down, but things being dear and little attendance to be had we went away, leaving much brave company there, and so to a less house hard by, where we liked very well their Codlin tarts, having not time, as we intended, to stay the getting ready of a dish of pease. And there came to us an idle boy to show us some tumbling tricks, which he did very well, and the greatest bending of his body that ever I observed in my life.
Thence by water to White Hall, and walked over the Park to St. James’s; but missed Mr. Coventry, he not being within; and so out again, and there the Duke was coming along the Pell-Mell. It being a little darkish, I staid not to take notice of him, but we went directly back again. And in our walk over the Park, one of the Duke’s footmen came running behind us, and came looking just in our faces to see who we were, and went back again. What his meaning is I know not, but was fearful that I might not go far enough with my hat off, though methinks that should not be it, besides, there were others covered nearer than myself was, but only it was my fear.
So to White Hall and by water to the Bridge, and so home to bed, weary and well pleased with my journey in all respects. Only it cost me about 20s., but it was for my health, and I hope will prove so, only I do find by my riding a little swelling to rise just by my anus. I had the same the last time I rode, and then it fell again, and now it is up again about the bigness of the bag of a silkworm, makes me fearful of a rupture. But I will speak to Mr. Hollyard about it, and I am glad to find it now, that I may prevent it before it goes too far.

I hear nothing
but a great tree

the voices that have
been with me all my life
crowd into the crown

an oratory of disorder
compelling hope for the future

like an idle boy
looking in our faces
to see who we might be


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 27 July 1663.

Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

Succession

I know it isn’t just time
that gives every relic

the look of diminishment—
From the depths of the closet,

I shake out the brown folds
of your coat, try to smooth

the creased lapels. They are
broad, of a cut and style

favored either in the decade
you came of age, or the year

you started your first job.
How do the sleeves look almost

like they were measured
for a child? Houndstooth

and stripe, musk of mothballed
skins. What will be said

of the wardrobe I’ll also leave
behind? Big bones, an appetite

for more that jostled with
the appetite for less? But this

I know: to don the garment, one side
is slipped on first, and then the other.

 

In response to Via Negativa: Father to the man.

Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What is Left of Wings, I Ask (2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, knits, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.