“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!

November 23, 2020

Love Like Salt

By Lisel Mueller

It lies in our hands in crystals

Too intricate to decipher

It goes into the skillet

Without being given a second thought

It spills on the floor so fine

We step all over it

We carry a pinch behind each eyeball

It breaks out on our foreheads

We store it inside our bodies

In secret wineskins

At supper, we pass it around the table

Talking of holidays by the sea.

 

November 16, 2020

The Sky Gave me its Heart

Translated By Daniel Ladinsky

 

The sky gave me its heart

Because it knew mine was not large enough to care

For the earth the way

It did.

 

Why is it we think of God so much?

Why is there so much talk 

About love?

 

When an animal is wounded

No one has to tell it, “You need to heal;” so naturally it will nurse

Itself the best it can.

 

My eye kept telling me, “Something is missing from

All I see.” So it went in search of the cure.

 

The cure for me was His beauty, the remedy–

For me was to

love

 

November 9, 2020

The Magnolia’s Shadow

By Eugenio Montale

Is thinning now and its royal-blue buds

Have fallen. On and off a lone cicada

Chirps at the top.  Clizia, the time

Of voices joined as one, of the boundless god

Devouring and replenishing his faithful, 

Is over.  To spend oneself was easier,

To die at the first rush of wings, the first

Encounter with the enemy, a game. 

Now the harder way begins: but not

You, devoured by the sun and rooted

Yet gentle woodthrush soaring high above

The cold banks of your river–not you does

The shuddering cold bow low,

Fragile fugitive for whom

Zenith nadir cancer capricorn

Stayed indistinct because the war

Was in you and in him who loves

The Stigmata of your spouse upon you…

 

November 2, 2020

The Raven

By Edgar Allen Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—

While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—

            Only this and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;

And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.

Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow

From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—

For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—

            Nameless here for evermore.

For the full version go to https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/48860/the-raven

October 26, 2020

Starfish Poem

By Philip J Kocisko

 

One day an old man was walking down the beach just before dawn. 

In the distance he saw a young man picking up stranded starfish

and throwing them back into the sea. As the old man approached the young man, he asked, “Why do you spend so much energy doing what seems to be a waste of time?” 

 

The young man explained that the stranded starfish would die if left in the morning sun.  The old man exclaimed, “But there must be thousands of starfish.  How can your efforts make any difference?”  The young man looked down at the starfish in his hand and as he threw it to safety in the sea, he said,” It makes a difference to this one!”

At times in our lives, we are all the old man, the young man, or the starfish.  Sometimes, as the old man, we don’t see the purpose to actions.  Sometimes, as the young man, we persevere and make a difference.  And sometimes, we are the starfish who just need a little help.

October 19, 2020

In Beauty May I Walk

Translated from the Navajo

 

In beauty may I walk;

All day long may I walk;

Through the returning seasons may I walk.

Beautifully will I possess again

Beautifully birds

Beautifully butterflies…

On the trail marked with pollen may I walk;

With grasshoppers about my feet may I walk;

With dew around my feet may I walk.

With beauty before me may I walk

With beauty behind me may I walk

With beauty above me may I walk

With beauty all around me,

may I walk.

In old age, wandering on a trail of beauty, lively;

In old age, wandering on a trail of beauty, living again…

It is finished in beauty.

It is finished in beauty.

October 12, 2020

The Widower in the Country

By Les Murray

 

I’ll get up soon, and leave my bed unmade.

I’ll go outside and split off kindling wood,

From the yellow-box log that lies beside the gate,

And the sun will be high, for I get up late now.

I’ll drive my axe in the log and come back in

With my armful of wood, and pause to look across

The Christmas paddocks aching in the heat,

The windless trees, the nettles in the yard…

And then I’ll go in, boil water and make tea.

 

This afternoon, I’ll stand out on the hill

And watch my house away below, and how

The roof reflects the sun and makes my eyes

Water and close on bright webbed visions smeared

On the dark of my thoughts to dance and fade away,

Then the sun will move on, and I will simply watch,

Or work, or sleep. And evening will draw in.

 

Coming on dark, I’ll go home, light the lamp

And eat my corned-beef supper, sitting there

At the head of the table. Then I’ll go to bed.

Last night I thought I dreamt – but when I woke

The screaming was only a possum skiing down

The iron roof on little moonlit claws.

October 5, 2020

Come to the Edge

By Christopher Logue

 

Come to the edge.

We might fall.

Come to the edge.

It’s too high!

COME TO THE EDGE!

And they came

And he pushed

And they flew.

September 28, 2020

Your Laughter

By Pablo Neruda

 

Take bread away from me, if you wish,
take air away, but
do not take from me your laughter.

Do not take away the rose,
the lance flower that you pluck,
the water that suddenly
bursts forth in joy,
the sudden wave
of silver born in you.

My struggle is harsh and I come back
with eyes tired
at times from having seen
the unchanging earth,
but when your laughter enters
it rises to the sky seeking me
and it opens for me all
the doors of life.

My love, in the darkest
hour your laughter
opens, and if suddenly
you see my blood staining
the stones of the street,
laugh, because your laughter
will be for my hands
like a fresh sword.

Next to the sea in the autumn,
your laughter must raise
its foamy cascade,
and in the spring, love,
I want your laughter like
the flower I was waiting for,
the blue flower, the rose
of my echoing country.

Laugh at the night,
at the day, at the moon,
laugh at the twisted
streets of the island,
laugh at this clumsy
boy who loves you,
but when I open
my eyes and close them,
when my steps go,
when my steps return,
deny me bread, air,
light, spring,
but never your laughter
for I would die.

 

September 21, 2020

The Real Work

By Wendell Berry

 

It may be that when we no longer know what to do

we have come to our real work,

and that when we no longer know which way to go

we have come to our real journey.

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.

The impeded stream is the one that sings.

 

September 14, 2020

When Someone Deeply Listens to You

By John Fox

 

When someone deeply listens to you

it is like holding out a dented cup

you’ve had since childhood

and watching it fill up with

cold, fresh water.

When it balances on top of the brim,

you are understood.

When it overflows and touches your skin,

You are loved.

When someone deeply listens to you,

the room where you stay

starts a new life

and the place where you wrote

your first poem

begins to glow in your mind’s eye.

It is as if gold has been discovered!

When someone deeply listens to you,

your bare feet are on the earth

and a beloved land that seemed distant

is now at home within you.

September 7, 2020

Lilacs in September

By Katha Pollitt

 

Shocked to the root

Like the lilac bush

In the vacant lot

By the Hurricane–

Whose black branch split

By wind or rain

Has broken out 

Unseasonably

Into these scant ash-

Colored blossoms

Lifted high

As if to say

To the Passersby

What will unleash

Itself in you

When your storm comes?

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