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Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Nocturnal Resolutions


Angel Announcing (detail): Giovanni Bellini, c. 1500, oil on canvas (Gallerie dell'Academia, Venice)

Be opaque
Have no memory
Make no attempt to be understood
Stop suffering fools
Be kind to animals no matter what
Listen to the angel
Try to look upon death as a friend
Accept pain as the condition
Be more patient
Don't turn on the light

aetat 72



Words to live by, on your soon-to-be birthday.


light coming into sky above still black
ridge, white circle of moon by branches
in foreground, wave sounding in channel

vicinity to the word in use,
even if we do not but

before, landscape with blue,
color in distant view

first silver of sun rising above ridge,
cormorant flapping across toward point

Anonymous said...

love this poem Tom...!

TC said...

Thank you very much my dears.

Steve, sublime new poem this:

vicinity to the word in use,
even if we do not but

before, landscape with blue,
color in distant view

Couldn't have said it so well myself, as usual.

Light has come into the sky here now, also -- you will recall the landscape -- and with it a fleet of heavy-industrial asphalt paving trucks, dueling with the several garbage trucks for noise-rights to the infernal stretch of roadway between the Bay and the Circle... where the three potbellied stone grizzly cubs on the Fountain, elderly by now, continually yawn and dribble, as if to say, We've heard all this before.

But of course, fortunate stone hulks that they are, they can truly succeed at the feat of Having no memory even without requiring resolve to manage it. And what mayhem they look upon impassively -- 30,000 vehicles a day, by one count taken in the relatively tranquil epoch of the turn of this century. Fifty-five years ago a motorist plowed through the Fountain, and the stone grizzly-cub gargoyles had to be replaced. But do the replacements know the difference? If they cry out to the angel, as she toils on foot up the hill toward Indian Rock, will she hear them, over the engine roar?

Anonymous said...


To the point & to the quick, as much address to those who do as those who don't, the way any self-respecting resolution should be. What need to turn on the light, indeed, when it inevitably creeps in through the cracks, like memory, like desire. Makes me think of an unspoken beatitude: Suffer not suffering, for we will suffer it plenty.

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...


I shall try
to do these things
and I shall not
have to sleep on it.


TC said...

Scribbling on scraps of newsprint by flashlight under blankets in the dark (so as not to disturb sleeping furry deities) is, if nothing else, conducive to brevity.

Wooden Boy said...

Make no attempt to be understood

If I'd taken this on board a good few years back...

Wooden Boy said...

Bellini's Angel: you'd be looking so hard you'd forget to listen.

Those are fierce lilies. Not of the field but of the will.

TC said...

The Bellini, magnificent.

I've shown a detail from the left half of a diptych.

The whole work is here.

tpw said...

Really nice, both painting and poem.

TC said...

Thanks very much, Duncan and Terry. The Bellini gets better and better for me every night. As to the nocturnal resolutions however...after a few days of testing and nights of abandoning them, I have found them to comprise a very slippery slope, one might even say chute, dipping inevitably and rapidly down and back toward if not irrevocably into a former state (slough) of irresolution.