Sunday, October 4, 2015

And Now it's October

And Now it’s October by Barbara Crooker
the golden hour of the clock of the year. Everything that can run
to fruit has already done so: round apples, oval plums, bottom-heavy
pears, black walnuts and hickory nuts annealed in their shells,
the woodchuck with his overcoat of fat. Flowers that were once bright
as a box of crayons are now seed heads and thistle down. All the feathery
grasses shine in the slanted light. It’s time to bring in the lawn chairs
and wind chimes, time to draw the drapes against the wind, time to hunker
down. Summer’s fruits are preserved in syrup, but nothing can stopper time.
No way to seal it in wax or amber; it slides though our hands like a rope
of silk. At night, the moon’s restless searchlight sweeps across the sky.

“And Now it’s October” by Barbara Crooker from Small Rain. © Purple Flag Press, 2014.
Thanks to The Writers Almanac

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Talk About Walking

Talk about Walking by Philip Booth

Where am I going? I’m going
out, out for a walk. I don’t
know where except outside.
Outside argument, out beyond
wallpapered walls, outside
wherever it is where nobody
ever imagines. Beyond where
computers circumvent emotion,
where somebody shorted specs
for rivets for airframes on
today’s flights. I’m taking off
on my own two feet. I’m going
to clear my head, to watch
mares’-tails instead of TV,
to listen to trees and silence,
to see if I can still breathe.
I’m going to be alone with
myself, to feel how it feels
to embrace what my feet
tell my head, what wind says
in my good ear. I mean to let
myself be embraced, to let go
feeling so centripetally old.
Do I know where I’m going?
I don’t. How long or far
I have no idea. No map. I
said I was going to take
a walk. When I’ll be back
I’m not going to say.

"Talk about Walking” by Philip Booth from Lifelines: Selected Poems 1950-1999 (Viking Press).

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Call Away

The Call Away by Robert Bly

A cold wind flows over the cornfields;
Fleets of blackbirds ride that ocean.
I want to be out of here, go out,
Outdoors, anywhere in wind.
My back against a shed wall, I settle
Down where no one can find me.
I stare out at the box-elder leaves
Moving frond-like in that mysterious water.
What is it that I want? Not money,
Not a large desk, not a house with ten rooms.
This is what I want to do: to sit here,
To take no part, to be called away by wind.
I want to go the new way, build a shack
With one door, sit against the door frame.
After twenty years, you will see on my face
The same expression you see in the grass.

"The Call Away” by Robert Bly from Like the New Moon, I Will Live My Life. © White Pine Press, 2015.

Monday, September 14, 2015

When Death Comes

When Death Comes by Mary Oliver

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it's over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it's over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Nemerov: September: The First Day of School

A school is where they grind the grain of thought,
And grind the children who must mind the thought.
It may be those two grindings are but one,
As from the alphabet come Shakespeare’s Plays,
As from the integers comes Euler’s Law,
As from the whole, inseperably, the lives,
The shrunken lives that have not been set free
By law or by poetic phantasy.
But may they be. My child has disappeared
Behind the schoolroom door. And should I live
To see his coming forth, a life away,
I know my hope, but do not know its form
Nor hope to know it. May the fathers he finds
Among his teachers have a care of him
More than his father could. How that will look
I do not know, I do not need to know.
Even our tears belong to ritual.
But may great kindness come of it in the end.

"September, The First Day Of School” by Howard Nemerov from The Collected Poems of Howard Nemerov. © University of Chicago Press, 1981.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


by Diane Ackerman

In the name of the daybreak
and the eyelids of morning
and the wayfaring moon
and the night when it departs,

I swear I will not dishonor
my soul with hatred,
but offer myself humbly
as a guardian of nature,
as a healer of misery,
as a messenger of wonder,
as an architect of peace.

In the name of the sun and its mirrors
and the day that embraces it
and the cloud veils drawn over it
and the uttermost night
and the male and the female
and the plants bursting with seed
and the crowning seasons
of the firefly and the apple,

I will honor all life
-wherever and in whatever form
it may dwell-on Earth my home,
and in the mansions of the stars.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

"Wynken, Blinken and Nod” by Eugene Field

Wynken, Blinken and Nod by Eugene Field

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
     Sailed off in a wooden shoe,—
Sailed on a river of crystal light
     Into a sea of dew.
“Where are you going, and what do you wish?”
     The old moon asked the three.
“We have come to fish for the herring-fish
     That live in this beautiful sea;
     Nets of silver and gold have we,”
               Said Wynken,
               And Nod.
The old moon laughed and sang a song,
     As they rocked in the wooden shoe;
And the wind that sped them all night long
     Ruffled the waves of dew;
The little stars were the herring-fish
     That lived in the beautiful sea.
“Now cast your nets wherever you wish,—
     Never afraid are we!”
     So cried the stars to the fishermen three,
               And Nod.
All night long their nets they threw
     To the stars in the twinkling foam,—
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
     Bringing the fishermen home:
‘Twas all so pretty a sail, it seemed
     As if it could not be;
And some folk thought ‘twas a dream they’d dreamed
     Of sailing that beautiful sea;
     But I shall name you the fishermen three:
               And Nod.
Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
     And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
     Is a wee one’s trundle-bed;
So shut your eyes while Mother sings
     Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
     As you rock in the misty sea
     Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:—
               And Nod.

"Wynken, Blinken and Nod” by Eugene Field.