Posts Tagged ‘ poetry ’

otherwise

Otherwise
by Jane Kenyon

  I got out of bed
on two strong legs.
It might have been
otherwise. I ate
cereal, sweet
milk, ripe, flawless
peach. It might
have been otherwise.
I took the dog uphill
to the birch wood.
All morning I did
the work I love.

At noon I lay down
with my mate. It might
have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together
at a table with silver
candlesticks. It might
have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed
in a room with paintings
on the walls, and
planned another day
just like this day.
But one day, I know,
it will be otherwise.

Peace, dwight



untitled too

Untitled Too

by Lynette Friesen

 

She stood on the side of the road

In a dress of cut cardboard.

She looked a bit in need of a bath and a warm cozy fire,

But then so did I.

An empty CD case was crushed by her feet

And there was a moving dog pile of paper trash beside her

As well as a black bag of belongings.

I reached out my car window to give her five bucks,

And, I might add, it made me feel generous.

But she waved my hand away,

And pointed to the sign in her hand that she seemed to think

I clearly hadn’t read.

“I have money.

I have meaning.

I have purpose.

I’m looking for love.”

 

peace, dwight



what is this third body

 The Third Body

 
A man and a woman sit near each other, and they do not long
At this moment to be older, or younger, or born
In any other nation, or any other time, or any other place.
They are content to be where they are, talking or not talking.
Their breaths together feed someone whom we do not know.
The man sees the way his fingers move;
He sees her hands close around a book she hands to him.
They obey a third body that they share in common.
They have promised to love that body.
Age may come; parting may come; death will come!
A man and a woman sit near each other;
As they breathe, they feed someone we do not know,
Someone we know of, whom we have never seen. 
 
peace, dwight


sea of faith

Sea of Faith

by John Brehm

(In The Southern Review)

 

Once when I was teaching “Dover Beach”

to a class of freshmen, a young woman

raised her hand and said, “I’m confused

about this ‘Sea of Faith.'” “Well,” I said,

“let’s talk about it. We probably need

to talk a bit about figurative language.

What confuses you about it?”

“I mean, is it a real sea?” she asked.

“You mean, is it a real body of water

that you could point to on a map

or visit on a vacation?”

“Yes,” she said. “Is it a real sea?”

Oh Christ, I thought, is this where we are?

Next year I’ll be teaching them the alphabet

and how to sound words out.

I’ll have to teach them geography, apparently,

before we can move on to poetry.

I’ll have to teach them history, too-

a few weeks on the Dark Ages might be instructive.

“Yes,” I wanted to say, “it is.

It is a real sea. In fact it flows

right into the Sea of Ignorance

IN WHICH YOU ARE DROWNING

Let me throw you a Rope of Salvation

before the Sharks of Desire gobble you up.

Let me hoist you back up onto this Ship of Fools

so that we might continue our search

for the Fountain of Youth. Here, take a drink

of this. It’s fresh from the River of Forgetfulness.”

But of course I didn’t say any of that.

I tried to explain in such a way

as to protect her from humiliation,

tried to explain that poets

often speak of things that don’t exist.

It was only much later that I wished

I could have answered differently,

only after I’d betrayed myself

and been betrayed that I wished

it was true, wished there really was a Sea of Faith

that you could wade out into,

dive under its blue and magic waters,

hold your breath, swim like a fish

down to the bottom, and then emerge again

able to believe in everything, faithful

and unafraid to ask even the simplest of questions,

happy to have them simply answered.

 

peace, dwight



great poet passes

Anthony Hecht who was one of America’s great poets, passed away this week.  Here is one of his many poems, click here to hear him read it.

Chorus from Oedipus at Colonos
What is unwisdom but the lusting after
Longevity: to be old and full of days!
For the vast and unremitting tide of years
Casts up to view more sorrowful things than joyful;
And as for pleasures, once beyond our prime,
They all drift out of reach, they are washed away.
And the same gaunt bailiff calls upon us all.
Summoning into Darkness, to those wards
Where is no music, dance, or marriage hymn
That soothes or gladdens.  To the tenements of Death.

Not to be born is, past all yearning, best.
And second best is, having seen the light.
To return at once to deep oblivion.
When youth has gone, and the baseless dreams of youth,
What misery does not then jostle man's elbow,
Join him as a companion, share his bread?
Betrayal, envy, calumny and bloodshed
Move in on him, and finally Old Age--
Infirm, despised Old Age--joins in his ruin,
The crowning taunt of his indignities.

So is it with that man, not just with me.
He seems like a frail jetty facing North
Whose pilings the waves batter from all quarters;
From where the sun comes up, from where it sets,
From freezing boreal regions, from below,
A whole winter of miseries now assails him,
Thrashes his sides and breaks over his head.

Peace, dwight


God says yes to me

God Says Yes To Me

by Kaylin Haught

I asked God if it was okay to be melodramatic
and she said yes
I asked her if it was okay to be short
and she said it sure is
I asked her if I could wear nail polish
or not wear nail polish
and she said honey
she calls me that sometimes
she said you can do just exactly
what you want to
Thanks God I said
And is it even okay if I don’t paragraph
my letters
Sweetcakes God said
who knows where she picked that up
what I’m telling you is
Yes Yes Yes

From “Poetry 180: a poem a day for American high schools

Peace, dwight