Saturday, March 30, 2013

Spring

From the Writers Almanac: Spring by Jim Harrison

Something new in the air today, perhaps the struggle of the bud to become a leaf. Nearly two weeks late it invaded the air but then what is two weeks to life herself? On a cool night there is a break from the struggle of becoming. I suppose that's why we sleep. In a childhood story they spoke of the land of enchant- ment." We crawl to it, we short-lived mammals, not realizing that we are already there. To the gods the moon is the entire moon but to us it changes second by second because we are always fish in the belly of the whale of earth. We are encased and can't stray from the house of our bodies. I could say that we are released, but I don't know, in our private night when our souls explode into a billion fragments then calmly regather in a black pool in the forest, far from the cage of flesh, the unremitting "I." This was a dream and in dreams we are forever alone walking the ghost road beyond our lives. Of late I see waking as another chance at spring.

"Spring" by Jim Harrison, from Songs of Unreason. © Copper Canyon Press, 2011

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Fishing in the Keep of Silence

Fishing in the Keep of Silence by Linda Gregg

There is a hush now while the hills rise up
and God is going to sleep. He trusts the ship
of Heaven to take over and proceed beautifully
as he lies dreaming in the lap of the world.
He knows the owls will guard the sweetness
of the soul in their massive keep of silence,
looking out with eyes open or closed over
the length of Tomales Bay that the egrets
conform to, whitely broad in flight, white
and slim in standing. God, who thinks about
poetry all the time, breathes happily as He
repeats to Himself: there are fish in the net,
lots of fish this time in the net of the heart.

"Fishing in the Keep of Silence" by Linda Gregg, from All of It Singing. © Graywolf Press, 2008.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Spring Training

Spring Training

for Victor

Some things never change: the velvet flock
of the turf, the baselines smoothed to suede,
the ancient smell of peanuts, the harsh smack
the ball makes burrowing into the catcher's mitt.

Here in the Grapefruit League's trellised shade
you catch Pie Traynor's lofting rightfield foul
all over again. You're ten in Fenway Park
and wait past suppertime for him to autograph it

then race for home all goosebumps in the dark
to roll the keepsake ball in paraffin,
soften your secondhand glove with neat's-foot oil
and wrap your Louisville Slugger with friction tape.

The Texas Leaguers, whatever league you're in
still tantalize, the way they waver and drop.
Carl Hubbell's magical screwball is still
give or take sixty years unhittable.

Sunset comes late but comes, inexorable.
What lingers is the slender hook of hope

By Maxine Kumin

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Boy at the Window

Boy at the Window by Richard Wilbur

Seeing the snowman standing all alone
In dusk and cold is more than he can bear.
The small boy weeps to hear the wind prepare
A night of gnashings and enormous moan.
His tearful sight can hardly reach to where
The pale-faced figure with bitumen eyes
Returns him such a god-forsaken stare
As outcast Adam gave to Paradise.

The man of snow is, nonetheless, content,
Having no wish to go inside and die.
Still, he is moved to see the youngster cry.
Though frozen water is his element,
He melts enough to drop from one soft eye
A trickle of the purest rain, a tear
For the child at the bright pane surrounded by
Such warmth, such light, such love, and so much fear.

"Boy at the Window" by Richard Wilbur, from Collected Poems. © Harcourt, 2004.