Sunday, May 8, 2016

Sea Fever

Sea Fever By John Masefield

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Robert Frost

Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.
Shovel them under and let me work –
                I am the grass; I cover all. 

And pile them high at Gettysburg
And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
Shovel them under and let me work.
Two years, ten years, and passengers ask the conductor:
                What place is this?
                Where are we now? 

                I am the grass.
                Let me work.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Tongue Says Loneliness

Today begins National poetry Month:

The tongue says loneliness, anger, grief,
but does not feel them.

As Monday cannot feel Tuesday,
nor Thursday
reach back to Wednesday
as a mother reaches out for her found child.

As this life is not a gate, but the horse plunging through it.

Not a bell,
but the sound of the bell in the bell-shape,
lashing full strength with the first blow from inside the iron.

Jane Hirshfield

Thursday, March 31, 2016

The visible and the in- by Marge Piercy

The visible and the in- by Marge Piercy 

Some people move through your life
like the perfume of peonies, heavy
and sensual and lingering.

Some people move through your life
like the sweet musky scent of cosmos
so delicate if you sniff twice, it’s gone.

Some people occupy your life
like moving men who cart off
couches, pianos and break dishes.

Some people touch you so lightly you
are not sure it happened. Others leave
you flat with footprints on your chest.

Some are like those fall warblers
you can’t tell from each other even
though you search Petersen’s.

Some come down hard on you like
a striking falcon and the scars remain
and you are forever wary of the sky.

We all are waiting rooms at bus
stations where hundreds have passed
through unnoticed and others

have almost burned us down
and others have left us clean and new
and others have just moved in.

"The visible and the in-" by Marge Piercy from Made in Detroit. © Knopf, 2015.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Don't Look Now

Don’t Look Now by William Trowbridge 

It never dies:
the old gag where
Wile E. Coyote,
in hot pursuit
of his rocketing foe,
sprints off a cliff
and keeps running
on thin air till he
happens to look down,
nailing us every time
with that why-me look
in the drawn-out
second after fortune’s
yanked the rug;
and then we follow
the poor chump’s image
growing smaller and
smaller till the quiet
puff of dust
on the canyon floor.

“Don’t Look Now” by William Trowbridge from Put This On, Please. © Red Hen Press, 2014.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Dirge Without Music

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains,—but the best is lost.

The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the
love,—
They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not
approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the
world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned. 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

For a Friend Lying in Intensive Care Waiting for Her White Blood Cells to Rejuvenate After a Bone Marrow Transplant

by Barbara Crooker

The jonquils. They come back. They split the earth with
      their green swords, bearing cups of light.
The forsythia comes back, spraying its thin whips with
      blossom, one loud yellow shout.
The robins. They come back. They pull the sun on the
      silver thread of their song.
The irises come back. They dance in the soft air in silken
      gowns of midnight blue.
The lilacs come back. They trail their perfume like a scarf
      of violet chiffon.
And the leaves come back, on every tree and bush, millions
      and millions of small green hands applauding your return.

“For a Friend Lying in Intensive Care Waiting for Her White Blood Cells to Rejuvenate After a Bone Marrow Transplant” by Barbara Crooker from Selected Poems. © Future Cycle Press, 2015.