Viser arkivet for stikkord appleman


The body
tugged like a tide, a pull
stronger than
the attraction of stars.

circling their planets,
rounding their suns.

Nothing is what
we cannot imagine:
all that we know we know
moves in the muscles.

I reach for you,
oceans away.

Philip Appleman (1926-

fra “Let there be Light”

The holy Men - Reading the Headlines

Lusty priests paw kids in dusty Texas.
In floral Florida, where love goes oral,
Preachers grope the organs of their organists.
Oh, why can’t pious people just be moral?

In Maine a pastor snitches widows’ pennies,
In court his mea culpa is pathetic.
Church trustees embezzle from the many.
Oh, why do pious people have no ethics?

In Brooklyn rabbis can’t disguise their Greed,
In Georgia, Envy causes priests to quarrel,
In Theran, mullahs’ Wrath makes many bleed.
Oh, why can’t pious people just be moral?

Religious people have their explanation, and
They don’t need morals like, say, you and me,
For Protestants elect “Predestination”, and
When Catholics mouth Hail Mary’s, they’re home free.

Philip Appleman (1926-

Fra “Perfidious Proverbs and other Poems”

The Doctor-killer reads his Bible

The defendant’s attorney argued that the killing of those who performed abortions was “consistent with biblical truth.” (New York Times, 1994)

It is written:

“The Lord God is
a consuming fire,
eye for eye,
tooth for tooth,
burning for burning;
so cast out devils,
kill every woman
who has known a man,
stone her with stones
that she might die . . .”

for it is written:

“Thou shalt not suffer
a witch to live,
beware of men
defiled of women,
destroy young and old
with the edge of the sword,
scorch them with fire
(serpents among you,
bad seed)
the sword to slay,
dogs to tear,
beasts of the field
to devour and destroy,
and let the dead
bury the dead . . .”

for it is written:

“There shall be wailing
and gnashing of teeth,
famine and plague,
generations of vipers,
locusts and scorpions,
fathers shall eat
their sons, sons
shall eat their fathers,
bad seed,
strike them,
destroy them utterly,
show no mercy,
carcasses falling
like dung on the field . . .

All these things
the Lord has spoken:
fear the Lord
and obey, for it
is written."

Philip Appleman (1926-

Fra “Perfidious Proverbs and other Poems”

Living with the Bible - Gravity

F=Gmm’/r2: directly proportional to the product of the masses, inversely proportional to the square of the distance . . .

One false step and you’re off the ladder,
plunging in free-fall through
a lifetime proportional
to the product of its losses down
through decades to Mother Earth who breaks
your heart your spirit your bones
jarring your life into ceaseless pain.

And the pain that will not stop
is a poison vine, its roots deep in your chest,
is a snake reaming your veins, gouging out endless
yesterdays, the ceaseless pain
of history: night after night
you cannot sleep – in the dreary hours
you read about the Age of Faith,
when godly ones bowed to a holy
ghost, told their beads to a blessed mother,
and ripped off the screaming fingernails
of unbelievers; when priests, inspired
by the Pope’s own personal blessing,
tore off nipples with red-hot tongs;
when monks thumbed out the eyeballs
of heretics and saints, and seared their flesh
to purify their souls.

With enough gravity and pain,
with enough pain long enough,
we will see their glowing eyes: the fervent ones
on the march again. But because our memories
are inversely proportional to
the distance between them, we don’t recall
that when the high wall between priest
and politics is wrecked by frenzied mobs
screaming Hallelujah,
then the godly ones will lead us again -
our ears sliced off,
our tongues cut through,
our foreheads branded -
they will lead us triumphantly back,
back through our hazy memories,
to burn again
in the Age of Faith..

Philip Appleman (1926-

Fra “Perfidious Proverbs and other Poems”

Salvation - Checkmate

God is all-knowing and all-powerful. (The Baltimore Catechism)
. . . and the Lord hath taken away. (Job, I:21)

Busy as you were, God,
when you were alive,
you always found time
to torment the woman I love – not just
that old kid stuff, her tonsil
- ectomy,
- ectomy,
those casual tweaks, your afternoon’s
amusement – no,
I mean the really dirty tricks, the mast
- ectomy,
blighting her beautiful body,
and then of course her hyster
- ectomy
the doomed flesh gouged away
just as you pre-ordained,
and listen, God, I haven’t forgiven you
her hacksawed knees, those twin
- ectomies,
nor am I overlooking
your other little favors:
her tricky heart, thinning bones,
lazy glands – and when you gave her
your best shot, that sneaky stroke,
you thought it’d be Strike
Three, right? Well,
not on your life, big boy,
she’s tougher than you thought,
and now that you’re dead,
she’s dancing on your grave.

Philip Appleman (1926-

Fra “Perfidious Proverbs and other Poems”

Living with the Bible - Parable of the Perfidious Proverbs

How better it is to get wisdom than gold.
Money buys prophets and teachers. poems and art.
So listen, if you’re so rich, why aren’t you smart?

He that spareth his rod hateth his son.
That line gives you a perfect way of testing
Your inner feelings about child molesting.

He that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.
But here at the parish we don’t find it overly hard
To accept his dirty cash or credit card.

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick.
That’s just why the good Lord made it mandatory
To eat your hgeart out down in purgatory.

Wisdom is better than rubies.
Among the jeweled bishops and other boobies
it’s also a whole lot rarer than rubies.

He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool.
Trusting your heart may not be awfully bright,
But trusting Proverbs is an idiot’s delight.

Philip Appleman (1926-

Fra “Perfidious Proverbs and other Poems” (Humanity Books, 2011)


O let us give thanks for the glorious spasm
that spurted atoms on an endless quest
for the far edge of everything, let’s
praise the ancient heave and buckle,
the burn, blister, and boil
that birthed our blue-green planet,
be grateful for the lucky spark
that seasoned our primal soup,
and honor the ultimate sacrifice
of the creeping pioneers
who dragged us up onto dry land.
Let’s be thankful for the heroism
of all those fallen fathers
who bequeathed to us these novelties,
our clever arms and legs,
thankful too for the company
of moles and manatees, sloths and seals,
horses and hedgehogs – and thankful for
the monkeys, gibbons, and gorillas
who once upon a time set off
on gambles of their own, aping our long,
long hunger, vines
choking trees to reach the sun,
predators lurking at water holes.
Now, somewhere out there, the atoms race on,
still searching for the edge of everything,
but here, snug in our tundra and grassland,
our forest and savanna, let us thank
the furry ancestors who brought us
along this way, and now stay at our side
as we press on to some great adventure
just beyond our dreams.

Philip Appleman (1926-

But the Daisies will not be deceived by the gods

Seductions as countless as crosses,
as icons, none of it ever
surprising, not even
the stare of the sky
keeping score.The prize for yielding,
for giving in to paradise,
is laying down the awful burden
of mind: surrender
rings from the steeples and calls
from the minarets and temples.
But challenges sing
in the sway of treetops,
in the flutter of sparrows,
in chirring and stalking,
in waking and ripening – let
there be light enough, and
everywhere backbone stiffens
in saplings and clover. Praises, then,
to sunfish and squirrels,
blessings to bugs. Turning our backs
on the bloody altars,
we cherish each other, living here
in this brave world
with our neighbors, the earthworms,
and our old friends, the ferns
and the daisies.

Philip Appleman (1926-

Fra samlingen “Let there be Light”, 1991 Harper Perennial

Our Tree

When we dug it out, thirty summers back,
it wasn’t as thick as a wrist, but it was straight,
symmetrical: a hard marple
with good genes.
Small as it was, with its little world of dirt,
it took four of us to lug it back
along the river bank, to shade
the shy grass at a brand-new house.
Once in our ground, as the Bible says,
it was nothing but chattel:
we owned it.

Now paint is scabbing off the house,
and rust is cancer in the eaves again,
but the tree is tall and full
and tropically green. Two of us
who carried that sapling home
are underground forever; the other two
are going gray and making out their wills.
The maple sees it all: every spring
it takes a deep breath, puffs
a thousand wings, and murmurs in the breeze:

There, you flesh-and-bloods who thought you owned me,
my seeds are dancing over fields and meadows,
and when you’re lying low and making earth,
I’ll send up sturdy shoots around your graves.

Philip Appleman (1926 -

Dette vakre diktet om lønnetreet er, som de fleste andre Appleman-diktene utlagt på denne sonen, hentet fra samlingen “Let there be light”, utgitt 1991 (Harper Perennial).


for the discoverer of the Grotte de Lascaux, Marcel Ravidat, 1923-1995

On all the living walls
of this dim cave,
soot and ochre, acts of will,
come down to us to say:

This is who we were.
We foraged here in an age of ice,
and, warmed by the fur of wolves,
felt the pride of predators
going for game.
Here we painted the strength of bulls,
the grace of deer, turned life into art,
and left this testimony on our walls.
Explorers of the future, see how,
when our dreams reach forward,
your wonder reaches back, and we embrace.
When we are long since dust,
and false prophets come,
then don’t forget that we were your creators.
So build your days
on what you know is real, and remember
that nothing will keep your lives alive
but art – the black and ochre visions
you draw inside your cave
will honor your lost tribe,
when explorers in some far future
marvel at the paintings on your walls.

Philip Appleman (1926 -