He who becomes the slave of habit,
who follows the same routes every day,
who never changes pace,
who does not risk and change the color of his clothes,
who does not speak and does not experience,
dies slowly.

He or she who shuns passion,
who prefers black on white,
dotting ones “it’s” rather than a bundle of emotions, the kind that make your eyes glimmer,
that turn a yawn into a smile,
that make the heart pound in the face of mistakes and feelings,
dies slowly.

He or she who does not turn things topsy-turvy,
who is unhappy at work,
who does not risk certainty for uncertainty,
to thus follow a dream,
those who do not forego sound advice at least once in their lives,
die slowly.

He who does not travel, who does not read,
who does not listen to music,
who does not find grace in himself,
she who does not find grace in herself,
dies slowly.

He who slowly destroys his own self-esteem,
who does not allow himself to be helped,
who spends days on end complaining about his own bad luck, about the rain that never stops,
dies slowly.

He or she who abandon a project before starting it, who fail to ask questions on subjects he doesn’t know, he or she who don’t reply when they are asked something they do know,
die slowly.

Let’s try and avoid death in small doses,
reminding oneself that being alive requires an effort far greater than the simple fact of breathing.

Only a burning patience will lead
to the attainment of a splendid happiness.

Sometimes in the over-heated house, but not for long,
     Smirking and speaking rather loud,
   I see myself among the crowd,
Where no one fits the singer to his song,
Or sifts the unpainted from the painted faces
Of the people who are always on my stair;
They were not with me when I walked in heavenly places;
     But could I spare
In the blind Earth’s great silences and spaces,
   The din, the scuffle, the long stare
   If I went back and it was not there?
Back to the old known things that are the new,
The folded glory of the gorse, the sweetbriar air,
To the larks that cannot praise us, knowing nothing of what we do,
   And the divine, wise trees that do not care.

Sometimes in the over-heated house, but not for long,

     Smirking and speaking rather loud,

   I see myself among the crowd,

Where no one fits the singer to his song,

Or sifts the unpainted from the painted faces

Of the people who are always on my stair;

They were not with me when I walked in heavenly places;

     But could I spare

In the blind Earth’s great silences and spaces,

   The din, the scuffle, the long stare

   If I went back and it was not there?

Back to the old known things that are the new,

The folded glory of the gorse, the sweetbriar air,

To the larks that cannot praise us, knowing nothing of what we do,

   And the divine, wise trees that do not care.

I loved you
so I drew these tides of men into my hands
and wrote my will across the sky and stars
to earn you freedom
the seven pillared worthy house
that your eyes might be shining for me
when I came

On any person who desires such queer prizes, New York will bestow the gift of loneliness and the gift of privacy. It is this largess that accounts for the presence within the city’s walls of a considerable section of the population; for the residents of Manhattan are to a large extent strangers who have pulled up stakes somewhere and come to town, seeking sanctuary or fulfillment or some greater or lesser grail. The capacity to make such dubious gifts is a mysterious quality of New York. It can destroy an individual, or it can fulfill him, depending a good deal on luck. No one should come to New York to live unless he is willing to be lucky.

Since there’s no help, come let us kiss and part; or kiss anyway, let’s start with that, with the kissing part, because it’s better than the parting part, isn’t it – we’re good at kissing, we like how that part goes: we part our lips, our mouths get near and nearer, then we’re close, my breasts, your chest, our bodies partway to making love, so we might as well, part of me thinks – the wrong part, I know, the bad part, but still let’s pretend we’re at that party where we met and scandalized everyone, remember that part? Hold me like that again, unbutton my shirt, part of you wants to I can tell, I’m touching that part and it saysyes, the ardent partisan, let it win you over, it’s hopeless, come, we’ll kiss and part forever.

Since there’s no help, come let us kiss and part;
or kiss anyway, let’s start with that, with the kissing part,
because it’s better than the parting part, isn’t it –
we’re good at kissing, we like how that part goes:
we part our lips, our mouths get near and nearer,
then we’re close, my breasts, your chest, our bodies partway
to making love, so we might as well, part of me thinks –
the wrong part, I know, the bad part, but still
let’s pretend we’re at that party where we met
and scandalized everyone, remember that part? Hold me
like that again, unbutton my shirt, part of you
wants to I can tell, I’m touching that part and it says
yes, the ardent partisan, let it win you over,
it’s hopeless, come, we’ll kiss and part forever.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,With conquering limbs astride from land to land;Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall standA mighty woman with a torch, whose flameIs the imprisoned lightning, and her nameMother of Exiles. From her beacon-handGlows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes commandThe air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame."Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries sheWith silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

And we have countries without borders, like our idea 
of the unknown, narrow and wide - countries whose maps 
narrow to a gray tunnel as we walk in them and cry out 
in their labyrinths: ‘And still we love you.’ 
Our love is an inherited disease. Countries that grow 
by tossing us into the unknown. Their willows 
and portrayals grow, their grasses and blue mountains. 
A lake widens north of the soul. Wheat spikes 
spring up south of the soul. The lemon shines like a lamp 
in an emigrant’s night. Geography emits sacred texts. 
And the ascending chain of hills reaches higher 
and higher. The exile tells himself: ‘If I were a bird 
I would burn my wings.’ The smells of autumn 
become the image of one I love, soft rain seeps 
into the dry heart and imagination opens to its source 
and becomes reality’s terrain, the only true place. 
Everything distant becomes rural and primitive, 
as if the earth were still gathering itself to meet Adam 
descending from his paradise. I say: These are the countries 
that bear us…so when were we born? 
Did Adam take two wives? Or will we be born again 
to forget sin? 

Come slowly - Eden!
lips unused to thee,
Bashful, sip thy jasmines,
As the fainting bee,

Reaching late his flower,
Round her chamber hums,
Counts his nectars --enters,
And is lost in balms!
Come slowly - Eden!
lips unused to thee,
Bashful, sip thy jasmines,
As the fainting bee,

Reaching late his flower,
Round her chamber hums,
Counts his nectars --enters,
And is lost in balms!



This is what life does. It lets you walk up to 
the store to buy breakfast and the paper, on a 
stiff knee. It lets you choose the way you have 
your eggs, your coffee. Then it sits a fisherman 
down beside you at the counter who say, Last night, the channel was full of starfish. And you wonder,
is this a message, finally, or just another day?

Life lets you take the dog for a walk down to the
pond, where whole generations of biological 
processes are boiling beneath the mud. Reeds
speak to you of the natural world: they whisper,
they sing. And herons pass by. Are you old 
enough to appreciate the moment? Too old?
There is movement beneath the water, but it 
may be nothing. There may be nothing going on.

And then life suggests that you remember the 
years you ran around, the years you developed
a shocking lifestyle, advocated careless abandon,
owned a chilly heart. Upon reflection, you are
genuinely surprised to find how quiet you have
become. And then life lets you go home to think
about all this. Which you do, for quite a long time.

Later, you wake up beside your old love, the one
who never had any conditions, the one who waited
you out. This is life’s way of letting you know that
you are lucky. (It won’t give you smart or brave,
so you’ll have to settle for lucky.) Because you 
were born at a good time. Because you were able 
to listen when people spoke to you. Because you
stopped when you should have and started again.

So life lets you have a sandwich, and pie for your
late night dessert. (Pie for the dog, as well.) And 
then life sends you back to bed, to dreamland, 
while outside, the starfish drift through the channel, 
with smiles on their starry faces as they head
out to deep water, to the far and boundless sea.
This is what life does. It lets you walk up to 
the store to buy breakfast and the paper, on a 
stiff knee. It lets you choose the way you have 
your eggs, your coffee. Then it sits a fisherman 
down beside you at the counter who say, Last night, the channel was full of starfish. And you wonder,
is this a message, finally, or just another day?

Life lets you take the dog for a walk down to the
pond, where whole generations of biological 
processes are boiling beneath the mud. Reeds
speak to you of the natural world: they whisper,
they sing. And herons pass by. Are you old 
enough to appreciate the moment? Too old?
There is movement beneath the water, but it 
may be nothing. There may be nothing going on.

And then life suggests that you remember the 
years you ran around, the years you developed
a shocking lifestyle, advocated careless abandon,
owned a chilly heart. Upon reflection, you are
genuinely surprised to find how quiet you have
become. And then life lets you go home to think
about all this. Which you do, for quite a long time.

Later, you wake up beside your old love, the one
who never had any conditions, the one who waited
you out. This is life’s way of letting you know that
you are lucky. (It won’t give you smart or brave,
so you’ll have to settle for lucky.) Because you 
were born at a good time. Because you were able 
to listen when people spoke to you. Because you
stopped when you should have and started again.

So life lets you have a sandwich, and pie for your
late night dessert. (Pie for the dog, as well.) And 
then life sends you back to bed, to dreamland, 
while outside, the starfish drift through the channel, 
with smiles on their starry faces as they head
out to deep water, to the far and boundless sea.

Slow sail’d the weary mariners and saw 
Betwixt the green brink and the run— 
Sweet faces, rounded arms, and bossoms prest [they mused, 
To little harps of gold: and while 
Whispering to each other half in fear, 
Shrill music reach’d them on the middle sea.

Wither away, whither away, whither away?  Fly no more 
Wither away from the high green field, 
and the happy blossoming shore? 
Day and night to the billow the fountain calls; 
Down shower the gamboiling waterfalls 
From wandering over the lea: 
Out of the livgreen heart of the dells, 
They freshen the silver-crim shells, 
And thick with white bells the clover-hill swells 
High over the full toned sea:

O, hither come hither and furl your sails, 
Come hither to me and to me, 
Here is only the mew that wails; 
We will sing to you all the day; 
Mariners mariners, furl your sails, 
For here are the blessed downs and dales, 
and merrily, merrily carol the gales, 
And the rainbow forms and flies on the land 
Over the islands free; 
And the rainbow lives in the curve of the sand; 
Hither come hither and see; 
And the rainbow hangs on the posing wave, 
And sweet is the color of cove and cave, 
And sweet shall your welcome be; 
O, hither come hither and be our lords 
For merry brides are we. 
We will kiss sweet kisses and speak sweet words 
O listen, listen, your eyes shall glisten 
With the sharp clear twang of the golden chords 
Runs up the ridged sea. 
Who can light on as happy shore 
all the world o’er, all the worldo’er? 
Wither away?  Listen and stay: 
Mariner, mariner, fly no more.