“So what’s the deal with you and poetry?” you may ask. Well it’s simple. I love it, always have, always will and I know that there are many out there who long for an opportunity to be affected by a word, an image, or a theme in a way that leads to a deeper reflection of the human experience. In ABC of Reading, Pound, writes, ” Great literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree.”

I share simply to offer an opportunity for others to feel the electrical charge…ENJOY!

 

December 9, 2019

Sonnet 20

By Elizabeth Barrett Browning

 

Beloved, my Beloved, when I think

That thou wast in the world a year ago,

What time I sat alone here in the snow

And saw no footprint, heard the silence sink

No moment at thy voice,  but, link by link,

Went counting all my chains, as if that so

They never could fall off at any blow

Struck by thy possible hand—why, thus I drink

Of life’s great cup of wonder! Wonderful,

Never to feel thee thrill the day or night

With personal act or speech,—nor ever cull

Some prescience of thee with the blossoms white

Thou sawest growing! Atheists are as dull,

Who cannot guess God’s presence out of sight.

December 2, 2019

Around Us

By Marvin Bell

 

We need some pines to assuage the darkness

when it blankets the mind,

we need a silvery stream that banks as smoothly

as a plane’s wing, and a worn bed of

needles to pad the rumble that fills the mind,

and a blur or two of a wild thing

that sees and is not seen. We need these things

between appointments, after work,

and, if we keep them, then someone someday,

lying down after a walk

and supper, with the fire hole wet down,

the whole night sky set at a particular

time, without numbers or hours, will cause

a little sound of thanks–a zipper or a snap

to close round the moment and the thought

of whatever good we did.

November 25, 2019

November for Beginners

 

By Rita Dove

 

Snow would be the easy

way out—that softening

sky like a sigh of relief

at finally being allowed

to yield. No dice.

We stack twigs for burning

in glistening patches

but the rain won’t give.

 

So we wait, breeding

mood, making music

of decline. We sit down

in the smell of the past

and rise in a light

that is already leaving.

We ache in secret,

memorizing

 

a gloomy line

or two of German.

When spring comes

we promise to act

the fool. Pour,

rain! Sail, wind,

with your cargo of zithers!

November 18,2019

Of his life

By Wayne Dodd

 

Beside the gravel pile, the lizard

Warms himself in the dazzling greenness

Of his life, watching us casually

through half-lidded eyes.

It is May.

Next week he would have been 57.

My daughter holds my hand, 3 years old and ignorant, the air

sickness forgotten,

and the hurried trip

and interrupted sleep.

Below  the road

the whiteface cattle graze

in the morning peace.

The house is quiet.

Inside, his daughters stare unbelieving

into coffee cups, unable to imagine

the future.

My child throws some gravel

And the lizard fixes us

with both eyes, but does not

run, unwilling to leave

The warmth of the sun.

I can hear everything so clearly.

Years later she will ask

what he was like, her grandfather.

And I will try to remember

the greenness of this lizard

he loved the sun so.

November 11,2019

Mending Wall

By Robert Frost

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,

That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,

And spills the upper boulders in the sun;

And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.

The work of hunters is another thing:

I have come after them and made repair

Where they have left not one stone on a stone,

But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,

To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,

No one has seen them made or heard them made,

But at spring mending-time we find them there.

I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;

And on a day we meet to walk the line

And set the wall between us once again.

We keep the wall between us as we go.

To each the boulders that have fallen to each.

And some are loaves and some so nearly balls

We have to use a spell to make them balance:

‘Stay where you are until our backs are turned!’

We wear our fingers rough with handling them.

Oh, just another kind of out-door game,

One on a side. It comes to little more:

There where it is we do not need the wall:

He is all pine and I am apple orchard.

My apple trees will never get across

And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.

He only says, ‘Good fences make good neighbors.’

Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder

If I could put a notion in his head:

‘Why do they make good neighbors? Isn’t it

Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.

Before I built a wall I’d ask to know

What I was walling in or walling out,

And to whom I was like to give offense.

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,

That wants it down.’ I could say ‘Elves’ to him,

But it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather

He said it for himself. I see him there

Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top

In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.

He moves in darkness as it seems to me,

Not of woods only and the shade of trees.

He will not go behind his father’s saying,

And he likes having thought of it so well

He says again, ‘Good fences make good neighbors.’

November 4, 2019

To Be in Love

By Gwendolyn Brooks

To be in love
Is to touch with a lighter hand.
In yourself you stretch, you are well.
You look at things
Through his eyes.
A cardinal is red.
A sky is blue.
Suddenly you know he knows too.
He is not there but
You know you are tasting together
The winter, or a light spring weather.
His hand to take your hand is overmuch.
Too much to bear.
You cannot look in his eyes
Because your pulse must not say
What must not be said.
When he
Shuts a door-
Is not there_
Your arms are water.
And you are free
With a ghastly freedom.
You are the beautiful half
Of a golden hurt.
You remember and covet his mouth
To touch, to whisper on.
Oh when to declare
Is certain Death!
Oh when to apprize
Is to mesmerize,
To see fall down, the Column of Gold,
Into the commonest ash.

October 28, 2019

Gravity

By Leonard Cohen

I never tried to see your face,

Nor did I want to know

The details of some lower place

Where I would have to go

But love is strong as gravity,

And everyone must fall.

At first it’s from the apple tree

And then the western wall.

 

At first it’s from the apple tree

And then the western wall.

And then from you and then from me

And then from one and all.

 

October 21, 2019

Bear in There

By Shel Silverstein

There’s a Polar Bear

In our Frigidaire–

He likes it ’cause it’s cold in there.

With his seat in the meat

And his face in the fish

And his big hairy paws

In the buttery dish,

He’s nibbling the noodles,

He’s munching the rice,

He’s slurping the soda,

He’s licking the ice.

And he lets out a roar

If you open the door.

And it gives me a scare

To know he’s in there–

That Polary Bear

In our Fridgitydaire

October 14, 2019

We Wear the Mask

By Paul Laurence Dunbar

We wear the mask that grins and lies,

It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,–

This debt we pay to human guile;

With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,

And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be overwise,

In counting all our tears and sighs?

Nay, let them only see us, while

We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries

To thee from tortured souls arise.

We sing, but oh the clay is vile

Beneath our feet, and long the mile;

But let the world dream otherwise,

We wear the mask!

October 7, 2019

Vulture

By Robinson Jeffers

I had walked since dawn and lay down to rest on a bare hillside

Above the ocean. I saw through half-shut eyelids a vulture wheeling

high up in heaven,

And presently it passed again, but lower and nearer, its orbit

narrowing,

I understood then

That I was under inspection. I lay death-still and heard the flight-

feathers

Whistle above me and make their circle and come nearer.

I could see the naked red head between the great wings

Bear downward staring. I said, ‘My dear bird, we are wasting time

here.

These old bones will still work; they are not for you.’ But how

beautiful

he looked, gliding down

On those great sails; how beautiful he looked, veering away in the

sea-light

over the precipice. I tell you solemnly

That I was sorry to have disappointed him. To be eaten by that beak

and

become part of him, to share those wings and those eyes–

What a sublime end of one’s body, what an enskyment; what a life

after death.

September 30, 2019

Wild Geese

By Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain

are moving across the landscapes,

over the prairies and the deep trees,

the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,

are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting-

over and over announcing your place

In the family of things.

September 23, 2019

I Choose The Mountain

By Howard Simon

The low lands call

I am tempted to answer

They are offering me a free dwelling

Without having to conquer

The massive mountain makes its move

Beckoning me to ascend

A much more difficult path

To get up the slippery bend

I cannot choose both

I have a choice to make

I must be wise

This will determine my fate

I choose, I choose the mountain

With all its stress and strain

Because only by climbing

Can I rise above the plain

 

I choose the mountain

And I will never stop climbing

I choose the mountain

And I shall forever be ascending

I choose the mountain

 

September 16, 2019

If You Forget Me

By Pablo Neruda

 

I want you to know

one thing. 

 

You know how this is: 

if I look 

at the crystal moon, at the red branch 

of the slow autumn at my window, 

if I touch 

near the fire 

the impalpable ash 

or the wrinkled body of the log, 

everything carries me to you, 

as if everything that exists, 

aromas, light, metals, 

were little boats 

that sail 

toward those isles of yours that wait for me. 

Well, now, 

if little by little you stop loving me 

I shall stop loving you little by little. 

If suddenly 

you forget me 

do not look for me, 

for I shall already have forgotten you. 

If you think it long and mad, 

the wind of banners 

that passes through my life, 

and you decide 

to leave me at the shore 

of the heart where I have roots, 

remember 

that on that day, 

at that hour, 

I shall lift my arms 

and my roots will set off 

to seek another land. 

But 

if each day, 

each hour, 

you feel that you are destined for me 

with implacable sweetness, 

if each day a flower 

climbs up to your lips to seek me, 

ah my love, ah my own, 

in me all that fire is repeated, 

in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten, 

my love feeds on your love, beloved, 

and as long as you live it will be in your arms 

without leaving mine.  

 

September 9, 2019

The Dream Keeper

By Langston Hughes

Bring me all of your dreams,

You dreamer,

Bring me all your

Heart melodies

That I may wrap them

In a blue cloud-cloth

Away from the too-rough fingers

Of the world. 

September 2, 2019

From John Wesley’s Rule

 

By Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Do all the good you can,

By all the means you can,

In all the ways you can,

In all the places you can,

At all the times you can,

To all the people you can,

As long as ever you can.

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