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.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Adlestrop

Adlestrop BY EDWARD THOMAS

Yes. I remember Adlestrop—
The name, because one afternoon
Of heat the express-train drew up there
Unwontedly. It was late June.

The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.
No one left and no one came
On the bare platform. What I saw
Was Adlestrop—only the name

And willows, willow-herb, and grass,
And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,
No whit less still and lonely fair
Than the high cloudlets in the sky.

And for that minute a blackbird sang
Close by, and round him, mistier,
Farther and farther, all the birds
Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.
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Source: Poems (1917)

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

POETEdward Thomas 1878–1917

POET’S REGIONEngland

SUBJECTSNatureSummerLandscapes & Pastorals

POETIC TERMSRhymed Stanza


With Their Wings

With Their Wings by Jean Nordhaus  
for Delia

On the evening you were born,
after the tremendous churning
that brought you forth, an owl
flew onto the rail of the balcony
where we sat, as darkness bled
from backlit hills into the sky.
In twilight, she perched on the ledge
measured us with wide, light-
gleaning eyes, then sailed off
on soft wings. Shades of my mother,
I thought, half-believing—the wide-
set eyes and level gaze.
For those who say the dead
have no more truck with us
are wrong. The dead are all around us
feathering the air with their wings.
They see in the fertile darkness
that surrounds this sac of light.
And in these hours we call them back
to steady us, who live in time.

“With Their Wings” by Jean Nordhaus from Memos from the Broken World. © Mayapple Press, 2016.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Love a Life

The Love a Life can show Below
Is but a filament, I know,
Of that diviner thing
That faints upon the face of Noon—
And smites the Tinder in the Sun—
And hinders Gabriel’s Wing—

‘Tis this—in Musi—hints and sways—
And far abroad on Summer days—
Distils uncertain pain—
‘Tis this enamors in the East—
And tints the Transit in the West
With harrowing Iodine—

‘Tis this—invites—appalls—endows—
Flits—glimmer—proves—dissolves—
Returns—suggests—convicts—enchants—
Then—flings in Paradise—

Emily Dickinson

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

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. Reprinted with permission.