Home | Business Directory | Announcements | Contact | Events Calendar | FREE Listing! | Submit News   

All Things New Daily

Daily Motivation, Inspiration, and Information! HERE



Search Our Site

Search for:




 
Poem of the Day

Poem of the Day Logo Poem of the Day

Bookmark and Share

Poem of the Day: The Death of Elvis
This lip, too, used to curl a little easier,
and we, all of us, must enter our Vegas years.

Blessed the pacemakers, blessed the painkillers,
blessed our famed quiffs grown flyaway, grown thin,

the gray starting to sprout under the dye.
So much to hide beneath the spit and mascara.

So much to powder puff and trim. Nose hairs,
for instance, and sideburns, the skin seasick

as we’re made to play dress-up one final time.
A daughter’s bracelet slipped over a wrist,

and, for the ring finger, a lightning bolt ring.
How far we venture from a love of peanut butter

and Wonder Bread, how far from a Stutz Bearcat
and Kahlil Gibran. From codeine, meperidine,

diazepam, the room with the teddy bears
and the empty syringe. How far

from the last book we dived into to learn
about sexual positions and astrological signs.

And far, too, from the myth of our baritones
coming alive in Tupelo, of how we could turn on

and off the rain. “That’s the way the mop flops,”
I think he’d say, as they lay him out flat

under the chandelier, then in the limousine.
“That’s the way the mop flops,” as five men

enter his mausoleum with water, cement,
and a wheelbarrow full of sand,

the instruments set down, the stage lights dimmed,
“Thank you very much! Goodnight, Graceland.”



Source: Poetry September 2015

Ciaran Berry

Biography
More poems by this author



More...
Poem of the Day: Essay on Craft
Because the butterfly’s yellow wing
flickering in black mud
was a word
stranded by its language.
Because no one else
was coming — & I ran
out of reasons.
So I gathered fistfuls
of  ash, dark as ink,
hammered them
into marrow, into
a skull thick
enough to keep
the gentle curse
of  dreams. Yes, I aimed
for mercy — 
but came only close
as building a cage
around the heart. Shutters
over the eyes. Yes,
I gave it hands
despite knowing
that to stretch that clay slab
into five blades of light,
I would go
too far. Because I, too,
needed a place
to hold me. So I dipped
my fingers back
into the fire, pried open
the lower face
until the wound widened
into a throat,
until every leaf shook silver
with that god
-awful scream
& I was done.
& it was human.

Source: Poetry July/August 2017

Ocean Vuong

Biography
More poems by this author



More...
Poem of the Day: Radio
Don’t hurt the radio for
Against all
Solid testimony machines
Have feelings
Too

Brush past it lightly
With a fine regard
For allowing its molecules
To remain 100% intact

Machines can think like Wittgenstein
And the radio’s a machine
Thinking softly to itself
Of the Midnight Flower
As her tawny parts unfold

In slow motion the boat
Rocks on the ocean
As her tawny parts unfold

The radio does something mental
To itself singingly
As her tawny parts unfold
Inside its wires
And steal away its heart

Two minutes after eleven
The color dream communicates itself
The ink falls on the paper as if magically
The scalp falls away
A pain is felt
Deep in the radio

I take out my larynx and put it on the blue chair
And do my dance for the radio
It’s my dance in which I kneel in front of the radio
And while remaining motionless elsewise
Force my eyeballs to come as close together as possible
While uttering a horrible and foreign word
Which I cannot repeat to you without now removing my larynx
And placing it on the blue chair

The blue chair isn’t here
So I can’t do that trick at the present time

The radio is thinking a few licks of its own
Pianistic thoughts attuned to tomorrow’s grammar
Beautiful spas of seltzery coition
Plucked notes like sandpaper attacked by Woody Woodpecker

The radio says Edwardian farmers from Minnesota march on the Mafia
Armed with millions of radioactive poker chips

The radio fears foul play
It turns impersonal
A piggy bank was smashed
A victim was found naked
Radio how can you tell me this
In such a chipper tone
Your structure of voices is a friend
The best kind
The kind one can turn on or off
Whenever one wants to
But that is wrong I know
For you will intensely to continue
And in a deeper way
You do

Hours go by
And I watch you
As you diligently apply
A series of audible frequencies
To tiny receptors
Located inside my cranium
Resulting in much pleasure for someone
Who looks like me
Although he is seated about two inches to my left
And the both of us
Are listening to your every word
With a weird misapprehension
It’s the last of the tenth
And Harmon Killebrew is up
With a man aboard

He blasts a game-winning home run
The 559th of his career
But no one cares
Because the broadcast is studio-monitored for taping
To be replayed in 212 years

Heaven must be like this, radio
To not care about anything
Because it’s all being taped for replay much later

Heaven must be like this
For as her tawny parts unfold
The small lights swim roseate
As if of sepals were the tarp made
As it is invisibly unrolled
And sundown gasps its old Ray Charles 45 of Georgia
Only through your voice

Tom Clark, “Radio” from Light and Shade: New and Selected Poems. Copyright � 2006 by Tom Clark. Used with the permission of Coffee House Press, www.coffeehousepress.org.

Source: Sleepwalker(1992)

Tom Clark

Biography
More poems by this author



More...
Poem of the Day: Please, Not That Again
How burdensome they seemed, wartime
oldies that could drive our parents teary:
 
“I’ll Be Seeing You,” with its hint
of being swept off in a global riptide;
 
or the shaky follow-up of “I’ll Be Home
for Christmas,” followed by a shakier
 
“Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree
(with Anyone Else But Me),” “Comin’
 
in on a Wing and a Prayer,” or “Ac-
Cent-Tchu-Are the Positive.” We suffered
 
them on the old cathedral radio, crooned
by Crosby and Sinatra, had to watch them
 
strangled on The Lawrence Welk Show
or laced with Como’s heavy dose
 
of sedative. Dad told us, “Straighten Up
and Fly Right.” Mom hummed, “Keep
 
the Home Fires Burning”—till our music
cut the cord. Brash and free of corn,
 
it hailed rock ‘n’ roll, caught Maybellene
at the top of the hill, moaned “m’ baby-doll,
 
m’ baby-doll, m’ baby-doll.” We played it
loud and often, but they never understood.
 

William Trowbridge, "Please, Not That Again" from Vanishing Point.  Copyright © 2017 by William Trowbridge.  Reprinted by permission of Red Hen Press.

Source: Vanishing Point(Red Hen Press, 2017)

William Trowbridge

Biography
More poems by this author



More...
Poem of the Day: August 12 in the Nebraska Sand...
In the middle of rolling grasslands, away from lights,
a moonless night untethers its wild polka-dots,
the formations we can name competing for attention
in a twinkling and crowded sky-bowl.

Out from the corners, our eyes detect a maverick meteor,
a transient streak, and lying back toward midnight
on the heft of our car hood, all conversation blunted,
we were at once unnerved and somehow restored.

Out here, a furrow of spring-fed river threads
through ranches in the tens of thousands of acres.
Like cattle, we are powerless, by instinct can see
why early people trembled and deliberated the heavens.

Off in the distance those cattle make themselves known,
a bird song moves singular across the horizon.
Not yet 2:00, and bits of comet dust, the Perseids,
startle and skim the atmosphere like skipping stones.

In the leaden dark, we are utterly alone. As I rub the ridges
on the back of your hand, our love for all things warm
and pulsing crescendos toward dawn: this timeless awe,
your breath floating with mine upward into the stars.
 

Twyla Hansen, "August 12 in the Nebraska Sand Hills Watching the Perseids Meteor Shower" from Dirt Songs: A Plains Duet. Copyright © 2011 by Twyla Hansen.  Reprinted by permission of Backwaters Press.

Source: Dirt Songs: A Plains Duet(2011)

Twyla Hansen

Biography
More poems by this author



More...
Poem of the Day: Finding My Mother
Near dusk I find her in a newly mown field, lying still
and face down in the coarse stubble. Her arms
 
are splayed out on either side of her body, palms open
and turned upward like two lilies, the slender fingers
 
gently curling, as if holding onto something. Her legs
are drawn up underneath her, as if she fell asleep there
 
on her knees, perhaps while praying, perhaps intoxicated
by the sweet liquid odor of sheared grass.
 
Her small ankles, white and unscarred, are crossed
one on top of the other, as if arranged so in ritual fashion.
 
Her feet are bare. I cannot see her face, turned
toward the ground as it is,
 
but her long black hair is lovelier than I remember it,
spilling across her back and down onto the felled stalks
 
like a pour of glossy tar. Her flesh is smooth
and cool, slightly resistant to my touch.
 
I begin to look around me for something with which
to carry her back—carry her back, I hear myself say,
 
as if the words spoken aloud, even in a dream,
will somehow make it possible.
 
I am alone in a field, at dusk, the light leaving
the way it has to, leaking away the way it has to
 
behind a ridge of swiftly blackening hills. I lie down
on the ground beside my mother under falling darkness
 
and draw my coat over our bodies. We sleep there like that.

 

Mari L’Esperance, "Finding My Mother" from The Darkened Temple.  Copyright © 2008 by the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska.  Reprinted by permission of University of Nebraska Press.

Source: The Darkened Temple(University of Nebraska Press, 2008)

Mari L'Esperance

Biography
More poems by this author



More...
Poem of the Day: Brian Age Seven
Grateful for their tour
of the pharmacy,
the first-grade class
has drawn these pictures,
each self-portrait taped
to the window-glass,
faces wide to the street,
round and available,
with parallel lines for hair.

I like this one best: Brian,
whose attenuated name
fills a quarter of the frame,
stretched beside impossible
legs descending from the ball
of his torso, two long arms
springing from that same
central sphere. He breathes here,

on his page. It isn’t craft
that makes this figure come alive;
Brian draws just balls and lines,
in wobbly crayon strokes.
Why do some marks
seem to thrill with life,
possess a portion
of the nervous energy
in their maker’s hand?

That big curve of a smile
reaches nearly to the rim
of his face; he holds
a towering ice cream,
brown spheres teetering
on their cone,
a soda fountain gift
half the length of him
—as if it were the flag

of his own country held high
by the unadorned black line
of his arm. Such naked support
for so much delight! Artless boy,
he’s found a system of beauty:
he shows us pleasure
and what pleasure resists.
The ice cream is delicious.
He’s frail beside his relentless standard.

“Brian Age Seven” from Source by Mark Doty. Copyright © 2001 by Mark Doty. Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Source: Source(HarperCollins, 2001)

Mark Doty

Biography
More poems by this author



More...
Poem of the Day: Not Pastoral Enough
It is the sense, it is the sense, controls,
Landing every poem like a fish.
Unhuman forms must not assert their roles.
 
Glittering scales require the deadly tolls
Of net and knife. Scales fall to relish.
It is the sense, it is the sense, controls.
 
Yet languages are apt to miss on souls
If reason only guts them. Applying the wish,
Unhuman forms must not assert their roles,
 
Ignores the fact that poems have two poles
That must be opposite. Hard then to finish
It is the sense, it is the sense, controls,
 
Without a sense of lining up for doles
From other kitchens that give us the garnish:
Unhuman forms must not assert their roles.
 
And this (forgive me) is like carrying coals
To Sheffield. Irrelevance betrays a formal anguish.
It is the sense, it is the sense, controls,
“Unhuman forms must not assert their roles”.

Veronica Forrest-Thomson, "Not Pastoral Enough" from Collected Poems and Translations. Copyright © 1971 by Veronica Forrest-Thomson.  Reprinted by permission of Allardyce, Barnett, Publishers.

Source: Collected Poems(Shearsman Books, 2008)

Veronica Forrest-Thomson

Biography
More poems by this author



More...
Poem of the Day: Country Summer
Now the rich cherry, whose sleek wood,
And top with silver petals traced
Like a strict box its gems encased,
Has spilt from out that cunning lid,
All in an innocent green round,
Those melting rubies which it hid;
With moss ripe-strawberry-encrusted,
So birds get half, and minds lapse merry
To taste that deep-red, lark’s-bite berry,
And blackcap bloom is yellow-dusted.

The wren that thieved it in the eaves
A trailer of the rose could catch
To her poor droopy sloven thatch,
And side by side with the wren’s brood—
O lovely time of beggar’s luck—
Opens the quaint and hairy bud;
And full and golden is the yield
Of cows that never have to house,
But all night nibble under boughs,
Or cool their sides in the moist field.

Into the rooms flow meadow airs,
The warm farm baking smell’s blown round.
Inside and out, and sky and ground
Are much the same; the wishing star,
Hesperus, kind and early born,
Is risen only finger-far;
All stars stand close in summer air,
And tremble, and look mild as amber;
When wicks are lighted in the chamber,
They are like stars which settled there.

Now straightening from the flowery hay,
Down the still light the mowers look,
Or turn, because their dreaming shook,
And they waked half to other days,
When left alone in the yellow stubble
The rusty-coated mare would graze.
Yet thick the lazy dreams are born,
Another thought can come to mind,
But like the shivering of the wind,
Morning and evening in the corn.

Léonie Adams, “Country Summer” from Poems: A Selection (New York: The Noonday Press, 1959). Used by permission of Judith Farr, Literary Executrix of the Estate of Léonie Adams.

Source: Poems: A Selection(The Noonday Press, 1959)

Léonie Adams

Biography
More poems by this author



More...
Poem of the Day: Moon
Last night, when the moon
slipped into my attic room
as an oblong of light,
I sensed she’d come to commiserate.

It was August. She traveled
with a small valise
of darkness, and the first few stars
returning to the northern sky,

and my room, it seemed,
had missed her. She pretended
an interest in the bookcase
while other objects

stirred, as in a rock pool,
with unexpected life:
strings of beads in their green bowl gleamed,
the paper-crowded desk;

the books, too, appeared inclined
to open and confess.
Being sure the moon
harbored some intention,

I waited; watched for an age
her cool gaze shift
first toward a flower sketch
pinned on the far wall

then glide down to recline
along the pinewood floor,
before I’d had enough. Moon,
I said, We’re both scarred now.

Are they quite beyond you,
the simple words of love? Say them.
You are not my mother;
with my mother, I waited unto death.



Source: Poetry October 2012

Kathleen Jamie

Biography
More poems by this author



More...
Poem of the Day: Stenciled Memories
There was always fabric in your lap
and a whistle in your heart. A sweet
sap to be sucked waited in the garden.
Nymphs of newts nestled under rock,
your role as She Who Brings the Waters
intact. Between the trilling of the crickets
educating into the night and the sad sack
of cans in the mornings something grew,
flourished in the dark — vines as sturdy
as telephone wire writhed in the breezes.
You patched together a blanket of us,
sewed together the mismatched and lopped
off edges. And anger grew a twin, ripped
through the bermuda grass, something stubborn
and determined: Me, in a leather patchwork skirt,
the bitter lemon song returning to its beginning
over and over on the Howdie Doody phonograph,
a handful of bandages, a faceful of ghosts
delivered from the mirrors. How did you stand it?
All of it. Us crunching through your set life,
kids scuffling through the mounds of leave.
Always making do. Your sunshine eyes,
those stenciled memories where
we still live.

Lorna Dee Cervantes, "Stenciled Memories" from Sueño. Copyright © 2013 by Lorna  Dee Cervantes.  Reprinted by permission of Wings Press.

Source: Sueño(Wings Press, 2013)

Lorna Dee Cervantes

Biography
More poems by this author



More...
Poem of the Day: Enemies
If you are not to become a monster,
you must care what they think.
If you care what they think,

how will you not hate them,
and so become a monster
of the opposite kind? From where then

is love to come—love for your enemy
that is the way of liberty?
From forgiveness. Forgiven, they go

free of you, and you of them;
they are to you as sunlight
on a green branch. You must not

think of them again, except
as monsters like yourself,
pitiable because unforgiving.

Wendell Berry, "Enemies" from Entries: Poems. Copyright © 1994 by Wendell Berry.  Reprinted by permission of Random House, Inc..

Source: Indivisible: Poems for Social Justice(Norwood House Press, 2013)

Wendell Berry

Biography
More poems by this author



More...
Poem of the Day: The Cloud
I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers,
From the seas and the streams;
I bear light shade for the leaves when laid
In their noonday dreams.
From my wings are shaken the dews that waken
The sweet buds every one,
When rocked to rest on their mother's breast,
As she dances about the sun.
I wield the flail of the lashing hail,
And whiten the green plains under,
And then again I dissolve it in rain,
And laugh as I pass in thunder.

I sift the snow on the mountains below,
And their great pines groan aghast;
And all the night 'tis my pillow white,
While I sleep in the arms of the blast.
Sublime on the towers of my skiey bowers,
Lightning my pilot sits;
In a cavern under is fettered the thunder,
It struggles and howls at fits;
Over earth and ocean, with gentle motion,
This pilot is guiding me,
Lured by the love of the genii that move
In the depths of the purple sea;
Over the rills, and the crags, and the hills,
Over the lakes and the plains,
Wherever he dream, under mountain or stream,
The Spirit he loves remains;
And I all the while bask in Heaven's blue smile,
Whilst he is dissolving in rains.

The sanguine Sunrise, with his meteor eyes,
And his burning plumes outspread,
Leaps on the back of my sailing rack,
When the morning star shines dead;
As on the jag of a mountain crag,
Which an earthquake rocks and swings,
An eagle alit one moment may sit
In the light of its golden wings.
And when Sunset may breathe, from the lit sea beneath,
Its ardours of rest and of love,
And the crimson pall of eve may fall
From the depth of Heaven above,
With wings folded I rest, on mine aëry nest,
As still as a brooding dove.

That orbèd maiden with white fire laden,
Whom mortals call the Moon,
Glides glimmering o'er my fleece-like floor,
By the midnight breezes strewn;
And wherever the beat of her unseen feet,
Which only the angels hear,
May have broken the woof of my tent's thin roof,
The stars peep behind her and peer;
And I laugh to see them whirl and flee,
Like a swarm of golden bees,
When I widen the rent in my wind-built tent,
Till calm the rivers, lakes, and seas,
Like strips of the sky fallen through me on high,
Are each paved with the moon and these.

I bind the Sun's throne with a burning zone,
And the Moon's with a girdle of pearl;
The volcanoes are dim, and the stars reel and swim,
When the whirlwinds my banner unfurl.
From cape to cape, with a bridge-like shape,
Over a torrent sea,
Sunbeam-proof, I hang like a roof,
The mountains its columns be.
The triumphal arch through which I march
With hurricane, fire, and snow,
When the Powers of the air are chained to my chair,
Is the million-coloured bow;
The sphere-fire above its soft colours wove,
While the moist Earth was laughing below.

I am the daughter of Earth and Water,
And the nursling of the Sky;
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;
I change, but I cannot die.
For after the rain when with never a stain
The pavilion of Heaven is bare,
And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams
Build up the blue dome of air,
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,
And out of the caverns of rain,
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb,
I arise and unbuild it again.




More...
Poem of the Day: The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”




Source: Emma Lazarus: Selected Poems and Other Writings(2002)

Emma Lazarus

Biography
More poems by this author



More...
Poem of the Day: The Answer
Debasement is the password of the base,
Nobility the epitaph of the noble.
See how the gilded sky is covered
With the drifting twisted shadows of the dead.

The Ice Age is over now,
Why is there ice everywhere?
The Cape of Good Hope has been discovered,
Why do a thousand sails contest the Dead Sea?

I came into this world
Bringing only paper, rope, a shadow,
To proclaim before the judgment
The voice that has been judged:

Let me tell you, world,
I—do—not—believe!
If a thousand challengers lie beneath your feet,
Count me as number thousand and one.

I don't believe the sky is blue;
I don't believe in thunder's echoes;
I don't believe that dreams are false;
I don't believe that death has no revenge.

If the sea is destined to breach the dikes
Let all the brackish water pour into my heart;
If the land is destined to rise
Let humanity choose a peak for existence again.

A new conjunction and glimmering stars
Adorn the unobstructed sky now;
They are the pictographs from five thousand years.
They are the watchful eyes of future generations.

"The Answer" by Bei Dao, translated by Bonnie S. McDougall from The August Sleepwalker, copyright © 1988 by Bei Dao. Translation copyright © 1988, 1990 by Bonnie S. McDougall. Used by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp.

Source: The August Sleepwalker(New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1990)

Bei Dao

Biography
More poems by this author



More...
Poem of the Day: Bath

The day is fresh-washed and fair, and there is a smell of tulips and narcissus in the air.
       The sunshine pours in at the bath-room window and bores through the water in the bath-tub in lathes and planes of greenish-white. It cleaves the water into flaws like a jewel, and cracks it to bright light.
       Little spots of sunshine lie on the surface of the water and dance, dance, and their reflections wobble deliciously over the ceiling; a stir of my finger sets them whirring, reeling. I move a foot and the planes of light in the water jar. I lie back and laugh, and let the green-white water, the sun-flawed beryl water, flow over me. The day is almost too bright to bear, the green water covers me from the too bright day. I will lie here awhile and play with the water and the sun spots. The sky is blue and high. A crow flaps by the window, and there is a whiff of tulips and narcissus in the air.

Amy Lowell, “Bath” from The Complete Poetical Works of Amy Lowell. Copyright © 1955 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Copyright © renewed 1983 by Houghton Mifflin Company, Brinton P. Roberts, and G. D'Andelot, Esquire. Reprinted with the permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Source: Selected Poems of Amy Lowell(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002)

Amy Lowell

Biography
More poems by this author



More...
Poem of the Day: Scary Movies
Today the cloud shapes are terrifying,   
and I keep expecting some enormous   
black-and-white B-movie Cyclops   
to appear at the edge of the horizon,

to come striding over the ocean   
and drag me from my kitchen   
to the deep cave that flickered   
into my young brain one Saturday

at the Baronet Theater where I sat helpless   
between my older brothers, pumped up   
on candy and horror—that cave,
the litter of human bones

gnawed on and flung toward the entrance,   
I can smell their stench as clearly
as the bacon fat from breakfast. This   
is how it feels to lose it—

not sanity, I mean, but whatever it is   
that helps you get up in the morning
and actually leave the house
on those days when it seems like death

in his brown uniform
is cruising his panel truck
of packages through your neighborhood.   
I think of a friend’s voice

on her answering machine—
Hi, I’m not here—
the morning of her funeral,   
the calls filling up the tape

and the mail still arriving,
and I feel as afraid as I was
after all those vampire movies   
when I’d come home and lie awake

all night, rigid in my bed,
unable to get up
even to pee because the undead   
were waiting underneath it;

if I so much as stuck a bare
foot out there in the unprotected air   
they’d grab me by the ankle and pull me   
under. And my parents said there was

nothing there, when I was older   
I would know better, and now   
they’re dead, and I’m older,   
and I know better.

Kim Addonizio, “Scary Movies” from What Is This Thing Called Love. Copyright © 2004 by Kim Addonizio. Reprinted with the permission of W. W. Norton and Company, Inc., www.nortonpoets.com.

Source: Poetry March 2000

Kim Addonizio

Biography
More poems by this author



More...
Poem of the Day: Soonest Mended
Barely tolerated, living on the margin
In our technological society, we were always having to be rescued   
On the brink of destruction, like heroines in Orlando Furioso
Before it was time to start all over again.
There would be thunder in the bushes, a rustling of coils,   
And Angelica, in the Ingres painting, was considering
The colorful but small monster near her toe, as though wondering whether forgetting
The whole thing might not, in the end, be the only solution.   
And then there always came a time when
Happy Hooligan in his rusted green automobile
Came plowing down the course, just to make sure everything was O.K.,   
Only by that time we were in another chapter and confused   
About how to receive this latest piece of information.   
Was it information? Weren’t we rather acting this out   
For someone else’s benefit, thoughts in a mind
With room enough and to spare for our little problems (so they began to seem),
Our daily quandary about food and the rent and bills to be paid?   
To reduce all this to a small variant,
To step free at last, minuscule on the gigantic plateau—
This was our ambition: to be small and clear and free.   
Alas, the summer’s energy wanes quickly,
A moment and it is gone. And no longer
May we make the necessary arrangements, simple as they are.   
Our star was brighter perhaps when it had water in it.   
Now there is no question even of that, but only
Of holding on to the hard earth so as not to get thrown off,   
With an occasional dream, a vision: a robin flies across   
The upper corner of the window, you brush your hair away
And cannot quite see, or a wound will flash
Against the sweet faces of the others, something like:   
This is what you wanted to hear, so why
Did you think of listening to something else? We are all talkers   
It is true, but underneath the talk lies
The moving and not wanting to be moved, the loose
Meaning, untidy and simple like a threshing floor.

These then were some hazards of the course,
Yet though we knew the course was hazards and nothing else   
It was still a shock when, almost a quarter of a century later,   
The clarity of the rules dawned on you for the first time.   
They were the players, and we who had struggled at the game   
Were merely spectators, though subject to its vicissitudes
And moving with it out of the tearful stadium, borne on shoulders, at last.
Night after night this message returns, repeated
In the flickering bulbs of the sky, raised past us, taken away from us,   
Yet ours over and over until the end that is past truth,   
The being of our sentences, in the climate that fostered them,   
Not ours to own, like a book, but to be with, and sometimes   
To be without, alone and desperate.
But the fantasy makes it ours, a kind of fence-sitting
Raised to the level of an esthetic ideal. These were moments, years,   
Solid with reality, faces, namable events, kisses, heroic acts,   
But like the friendly beginning of a geometrical progression
Not too reassuring, as though meaning could be cast aside some day   
When it had been outgrown. Better, you said, to stay cowering   
Like this in the early lessons, since the promise of learning   
Is a delusion, and I agreed, adding that
Tomorrow would alter the sense of what had already been learned,   
That the learning process is extended in this way, so that from this standpoint
None of us ever graduates from college,
For time is an emulsion, and probably thinking not to grow up   
Is the brightest kind of maturity for us, right now at any rate.
And you see, both of us were right, though nothing
Has somehow come to nothing; the avatars
Of our conforming to the rules and living
Around the home have made—well, in a sense, “good citizens” of us,   
Brushing the teeth and all that, and learning to accept
The charity of the hard moments as they are doled out,
For this is action, this not being sure, this careless
Preparing, sowing the seeds crooked in the furrow,
Making ready to forget, and always coming back
To the mooring of starting out, that day so long ago.

John Ashbery, “Soonest Mended” from The Double Dream of Spring. Copyright © 1966, 1970 by John Ashbery. Reprinted with the permission of Georges Borchardt, Inc. on behalf of the author.

Source: The Mooring of Starting Out: The First Five Books of Poetry(Ecco Press, 1997)

John Ashbery

Biography
More poems by this author



More...
Poem of the Day: The Opposite of Nostalgia
You are running away from everyone
who loves you,
from your family,
from old lovers, from friends.
 
They run after you with accumulations
of a former life, copper earrings,
plates of noodles, banners
of many lost revolutions.
 
You love to say the trees are naked now
because it never happens
in your country. This is a mystery
from which you will never
 
recover. And yes, the trees are naked now,
everything that still breathes in them
lies silent and stark
and waiting. You love October most
 
of all, how there is no word
for so much splendor.
This, too, is a source
of consolation. Between you and memory
 
everything is water. Names of the dead,
or saints, or history.
There is a realm in which
—no, forget it,
 
it’s still too early to make anyone understand.
A man drives a stake
through his own heart
and afterwards the opposite of nostalgia
 
begins to make sense: he stops raking the leaves
and the leaves take over
and again he has learned
to let go.
 

Eric Gamalinda, "The Opposite of Nostalgia" from Zero Gravity.  Copyright © 1999 by Eric Gamalinda.  Reprinted by permission of Alice James Books, www.alicejamesbooks.org.

Source: Zero Gravity(Alice James Books, 1999)

Eric Gamalinda

Biography
More poems by this author



More...
Poem of the Day: At the Air and Space Museum
When I was
nearly six my

father

opened his magic

doctor bag:

two

tongue depressors fastened by

a rubber

band;

one flick

of his hairy wrist

and lo!

we invented

flight.

Linda Pastan, “At the Air and Space Museum” from Heroes in Disguise, published by W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. Copyright © 1991 by Linda Pastan. Reprinted by permission of The Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency, Inc.

Source: Heroes in Disguise(W. W. Norton & Company Inc., 1991)

Linda Pastan

Biography
More poems by this author



More...
Poem of the Day: Publication – is the Auction...
Publication – is the Auction
Of the Mind of Man –
Poverty – be justifying
For so foul a thing

Possibly – but We – would rather
From Our Garret go
White – unto the White Creator –
Than invest – Our Snow –

Thought belong to Him who gave it –
Then – to Him Who bear
It's Corporeal illustration – sell
The Royal Air –

In the Parcel – Be the Merchant
Of the Heavenly Grace –
But reduce no Human Spirit
To Disgrace of Price –

Reprinted by permission of the publishers and the Trustees of Amherst College from THE POEMS OF EMILY DICKINSON: READING EDITION, edited by Ralph W. Franklin, ed., Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Copyright © 1998, 1999 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. Copyright © 1951, 1955, 1979, 1983 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College.

Source: The Poems of Emily Dickinson Edited by R. W. Franklin(Harvard University Press, 1999)

Emily Dickinson

Biography
More poems by this author



More...
Poem of the Day: On Spies
Spies, you are lights in state, but of base stuff,
Who, when you’ve burnt yourselves down to the snuff,
Stink and are thrown away. End fair enough.



More...
Poem of the Day: Burning Monk
From the remains
of his cremation,
the monks recovered
 
the seat of Thich Quang Duc’s
consciousness —
 
a bloodless protest
to awaken the heart
of the oppressor
 
offered
at the crossing of
Phanh Dinh Phung
                                     & Le Van Duyet
doused in gasoline &
immolated by 4-meter
flames the orange-robed
 
arhat folded in
the stillness
of full lotus
 
his body withering
his crown blackening
 
his flesh charring
his corpse collapsing
 
his heart refusing to burn
his heart refusing to burn
his heart refusing to burn
 

Shin Yu Pai, "Burning Monk" from Adamantine.  Copyright © 2010 by Shin Yu Pai.  Reprinted by permission of White Pine Press, www.whitepine.org.

Source: Adamantine(White Pine Press, 2010)

Shin Yu Pai

Biography
More poems by this author



More...
Poem of the Day: At the Putney Co-Op, an Opera
"Go ahead," I say to my neighbor at the Putney Co-op who tells
     me he can't complain. "Let it out. It's mid-March and there's still
two feet of snow on the ground. Fukushima has just melted down and
the Washington Monument cracked at its pyramidion. Put down your
     bags and sing. How many times dear father, graybeard, lonely old
     courage teacher must you walk down the aisles as a randy eidolon
humming your tunes for us to start? Our song begins in silence and grows
to a buzz. We make it up as we go along, then watch our numbers swell—
     ten thousand members who have eyes to see and ears to hear. Who fly
     like a swarm to join us in our chambers, which are these aisles."

     I'm singing without knowing it, carrying the tune of main things,
     lamenting the prices with Bernie Sanders. My neighbor joins me
for no other reason than singing along as a member of the cast we call
the multitudes of lonely shoppers. I roam the aisles with the sadness
     of America, juggling onions, blessing the beets. It's a local stage on
     which the country opens like a flower that no one sees beside the road.

In my hungry fatigue, I'm shopping for images, which are free on the highest
shelf but costly in their absence—the only ingredient here that heals my sight
     of blindness. I see you, Walt Whitman, pointing your beard toward axis
     mundi by the avocados, reading the labels as if they were lines, weighing
the tomatoes on the scale of your palms, pressing the pears with your thumbs
the way you did in Huntington, Camden, and Brooklyn. And you, also, Ruth
     and Hayden, at the checkout counter with empty bags you claim are full
     of apples, almonds, and bananas. What can you say to those outside who
haven't read your poems? Who find it hard to get the news from poetry
but die miserably every day for lack of what is found there.

     It's night. The Connecticut slips by across Rt. 5. The moon is my egg
     and stars, my salt. I score the music of the carrots, scallions, and corn in
the frost of the freezer windows. The sough of traffic on 91 washes my ears
with the sound of tires on blue macadam. The doors close in an hour....
     We'll both be lonely when we return on the long dark roads to our silent
     houses. I touch your book and dream of our odyssey westward to a field
in Oregon, Kansas, or California where we plant our oars and die ironically.
Where we finish our journey as strangers in our native land. These are the
     lyrics to our song in the aisles—the buzz of the swarm with our queen
     at the center. What America did you have, old howler, when you scattered
into the sky, then floated like a cloud as another form in the making outside
of time, forgetful at last and empty of all you sang?

Chard deNiord, "At the Putney Co-Op, an Opera" from Interstate. Copyright © 2015 by Chard deNiord.  Reprinted by permission of University of Pittsburgh Press.

Source: Interstate(University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015)

Chard DeNiord

Biography
More poems by this author



More...
Poem of the Day: Radiance versus Ordinary Light
Meanwhile the sea moves uneasily, like a man who
suspects what the room reels with as he rises into it
is violation—his own: he touches the bruises at each
shoulder and, on his chest,
                                                  the larger bruise, star-shaped,
a flawed star, or hand, though he remembers no hands,
has tried—can't remember . . .
                                                        That kind of rhythm to it,
even to the roughest surf there's a rhythm findable,
which is why we keep coming here, to find it, or that's
what we say. We dive in and, as usual,
                                                                      the swimming
feels like that swimming the mind does in the wake
of transgression, how the instinct to panic at first
slackens that much more quickly, if you don't
look back. Regret,
                                 like pity, changes nothing really, we
say to ourselves and, less often, to each other, each time
swimming a bit farther,
                                           leaving the shore the way
the water—in its own watered, of course, version
of semaphore–keeps leaving the subject out, flashing
Why should it matter now and Why,
                                                                  why shouldn 't it,
as the waves beat harder, hard against us, until that's
how we like it, I'll break your heart, break mine.



Carl Phillips, "Radiance Versus Ordinary Light" from Riding Westward. Copyright © 2006 by Carl Phillips. Used by permission of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, LLC, www.fsgbooks.com. All rights reserved.

Caution: Users are warned that this work is protected under copyright laws and downloading is strictly prohibited. The right to reproduce or transfer the work via any medium must be secured with Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC.

Source: Riding Westward(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006)

Carl Phillips

Biography
More poems by this author



More...
Articles last updated at Aug 16, 2017 17:19:16pm.
Next update in 60 minutes.
 
Date and Time





Copyright 2017, TheAttleboroZone.com