After learning my flight was detained 4 hours,
I heard the announcement:
If anyone in the vicinity of gate 4-A understands any Arabic,
Please come to the gate immediately.
Well—one pauses these days. Gate 4-A was my own gate. I went there.
An older woman in full traditional Palestinian dress,
Just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing loudly.
Help, said the flight service person. Talk to her. What is her
Problem? we told her the flight was going to be four hours late and she
I put my arm around her and spoke to her haltingly.
Shu dow-a, shu- biduck habibti, stani stani schway, min fadlick,
Sho bit se-wee?
The minute she heard any words she knew—however poorly used—
She stopped crying.
She thought our flight had been canceled entirely.
She needed to be in El Paso for some major medical treatment the
Following day. I said no, no, we’re fine, you’ll get there, just late,
Who is picking you up? Let’s call him and tell him.
We called her son and I spoke with him in English.
I told him I would stay with his mother till we got on the plane and
Would ride next to her—Southwest.
She talked to him. Then we called her other sons just for the fun of it.
Then we called my dad and he and she spoke for a while in Arabic and
Found out of course they had ten shared friends.
Then I thought just for the heck of it why not call some Palestinian
Poets I know and let them chat with her. This all took up about 2 hours.
She was laughing a lot by then. Telling about her life. Answering
She had pulled a sack of homemade mamool cookies—little powdered
Sugar crumbly mounds stuffed with dates and nuts—out of her bag—
And was offering them to all the women at the gate.
To my amazement, not a single woman declined one. It was like a
Sacrament. The traveler from Argentina, the traveler from California,
The lovely woman from Laredo—we were all covered with the same
Powdered sugar. And smiling. There are no better cookies.
And then the airline broke out the free beverages from huge coolers—
Non-alcoholic—and the two little girls for our flight, one African
American, one Mexican American—ran around serving us all apple juice
And lemonade and they were covered with powdered sugar too.
And I noticed my new best friend—by now we were holding hands—
Had a potted plant poking out of her bag, some medicinal thing,
With green furry leaves. Such an old country traveling tradition. Always
Carry a plant. Always stay rooted to somewhere.
And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and thought,
This is the world I want to live in. The shared world.
Not a single person in this gate—once the crying of confusion stopped
—has seemed apprehensive about any other person.
They took the cookies. I wanted to hug all those other women too.
This can still happen anywhere.
Not everything is lost."
When I was nine, my father sliced his knee
With a chainsaw. But he let himself bleed
And finished cutting down one more tree
Before his boss drove him to EMERGENCY.
Late that night, stoned on morphine and beer,
My father needed my help to steer
His pickup into the woods. “Watch for deer,”
My father said. “Those things just appear
Like magic.” It was an Indian summer
And we drove through warm rain and thunder,
Until we found that chainsaw, lying under
The fallen pine. Then I watched, with wonder,
As my father, shotgun-rich and impulse-poor,
Blasted that chainsaw dead. “What was that for?”
I asked. “Son,” my father said. “Here’s the score.
Once a thing tastes blood, it will come for more.”
tom hiddleston for flaunt magazine [x]:let us go then, you and i,
when the evening is spread out against the sky
like a patient etherized upon a table;
let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
the muttering retreats
of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
and sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells…
the love song of j alfred prufrock - t.s. eliot
Spencer Finch - 366, Emily Dickinson’s Miraculous Year (2009)
This work is based on Emily Dickinson in 1862, when she wrote 366 poems in 365 days. It is a real-time memorial to that year, which burns for exactly one year. The sculpture is comprised of 366 individual candles arranged in a linear sequence, each of which burns for 24 hours. The colour of each candle matches a colour mentioned in the corresponding poem. For the poems in which no colour is mentioned, the candles are made out of natural paraffin.
Mary Elizabeth Frye
Played 9933 times.
Reblogging my own post for those who want to hear the back tattoo poem read aloud.
From the EVENING WITH NEIL AND AMANDA CD (From the Neil Disk). Because we posted the pictures of the tattoo. Here’s me reading it in, er, Seattle I think.
(The CDs and downloads went out to people who supported the Kickstarter. We’re hoping to release them to the general public towards the end of the year.)
I would like Neil Gaiman to design all of my tattoos. Not that I actually have any. But if I did. Perhaps someday.
Tom Hiddleston reads Bright Star by John Keats
Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art—
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors—
No—yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever—or else swoon to death.
(Source: cesaray)Played 56645 times.
Played 20709 times.
“As I Walked Out One Evening” by W.H. Auden
Read by Tom Hiddleston
An app by the name of iF Poems has come out recently, and while I am in no way affiliated with the project, I beg of you - purchase this app. It has marvelous recordings of poetry, and 10% of all sales of the app go to the Save the Children charity. The app can be found here.
Tom Hiddleston reads When You Are Old by W. B. YeatsWhen you are old and grey and full of sleep,And nodding by the fire, take down this book,And slowly read, and dream of the soft lookYour eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;How many loved your moments of glad grace,And loved your beauty with love false or true,But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,And loved the sorrows of your changing face;And bending down beside the glowing bars,Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fledAnd paced upon the mountains overheadAnd hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
(Source: cesaray)Played 62087 times.