Category Archives: Poetry

a poem for sunday. 1

“Little Girls in Church” by Kathleen Norris 1. I’ve made friends with a five-year-old Presbyterian. She tugs at her lace collar, I sympathize. We’re both bored. I give her a pencil: she draws the moon, grass, stars and I name them for her, printing in large letters. The church bulletin begins to fill. Carefully, she […]

every common bush afire. 2

From “Aurora Leigh” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning Earth’s crammed with heaven And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes, The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries

emerging from the night and heart of me. 0

Hard Night by Christian Wiman What words or harder gift does the light require of me carving from the dark this difficult tree? What place or farther peace do I almost see emerging from the night and heart of me? The sky whitens, goes on and on. Fields wrinkle into rows of cotton, go on […]

how weightless words are when nothing will do. 1

“Gospel” by Philip Levine The new grass rising in the hills, the cows loitering in the morning chill, a dozen or more old browns hidden in the shadows of the cottonwoods beside the streambed. I go higher to where the road gives up and there’s only a faint path strewn with lupine between the mountain […]

it might have been otherwise. 1

“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 […]

on turning ten. 0

This is the poem Mike carried yesterday. He teaches ten-year-olds. He said it might have depressed them a little bit. “On Turning Ten” by Billy Collins The whole idea of it makes me feel like I’m coming down with something, something worse than any stomach ache or the headaches I get from reading in bad […]

poem in your pocket day 2014. 1

A few weeks ago, when I wrote about her book, Carolyn Arends left a nice comment. After I picked myself up off the floor, I of course emailed her back. I tried not to fangirl all over the place but I may or may not have succeeded. But the best part was that she also […]

possible answers to prayer. 2

“Possible Answers to Prayer” by Scott Cairns Your petitions—though they continue to bear just the one signature—have been duly recorded. Your anxieties—despite their constant, relatively narrow scope and inadvertent entertainment value—nonetheless serve to bring your person vividly to mind. Your repentance—all but obscured beneath a burgeoning, yellow fog of frankly more conspicuous resentment—is sufficient. Your […]

of the surface of things. 0

“Of the Surface of Things” by Wallace Stevens I In my room, the world is beyond my understanding; But when I walk I see that it consists of three or four hills and a cloud. II From my balcony, I survey the yellow air, Reading where I have written, “The spring is like a belle […]

holy saturday. 0

This morning, Atticus woke up in Florida. When we told him we were flying home later in the day, he started wailing. He does not comprehend time or understand that when good things end there are still good things ahead. All he sees is the sadness, and we let him cry because his sadness was […]

what the living do. 2

“What the Living Do” by Marie Howe Johnny, the kitchen sink has been clogged for days, some utensil probably fell down there. And the Drano won’t work but smells dangerous, and the crusty dishes have piled up waiting for the plumber I still haven’t called. This is the everyday we spoke of. It’s winter again: […]

hope is the thing with feathers (meditations on emily dickinson for holy week). 3

This is a poem where people know the first line but not the whole thing. Be sure to read to the end. “Hope is the thing with feathers” by Emily Dickinson “Hope” is the thing with feathers – That perches in the soul – And sings the tune without the words – And never stops […]

mission accomplished. 2

Hey, how are you? I’m good, thanks for asking. Well, yeah, I am a little sore because I ran a half marathon today. I would like to dedicate this running to Mike, who made it possible for me to do so much training, and to Beyonce, who gives me wings. Here are some words from […]

(half) marathon. 0

“Marathon” by E. Ethelbert Miller it’s a strange time which finds me jogging in early morning the deadness of sleep alive in this world the empty parks filled with unloved strangers buildings grey with solitude now near the end of another decade i am witness to the loss of my twenties a promise invisible i […]

chekhov’s gun by matt rasmussen. 0

“Chekhov’s Gun” by Matt Rasmussen Nothing ever absolutely has to happen. The gun doesn’t have to be fired. When our hero sits on the edge of his bed contemplating the pistol on his nightstand, you have to believe he might not use it. Then the theatre is sunk in blackness. The audience is a log […]

unholy sonnet 11 by mark jarman 0

“Unholy Sonnet 11″ by Mark Jarman Half asleep in prayer I said the right thing And felt a sudden pleasure come into The room or my own body. In the dark, Charged with a change of atmosphere, at first I couldn’t tell my body from the room. And I was wide awake, full of this […]

muffin of sunsets by elaine equi 1

“Muffin of Sunsets” by Elaine Equi The sky is melting. Me too. Who hasn’t seen it this way? Pink between the castlework of buildings. Pensive syrup drizzled over clouds. It is almost catastrophic how heavenly. A million poets, at least, have stood in this very spot, groceries in hand, wondering: “Can I witness the Rapture […]

a poem and a book for the end of the world. 1

“The Mystery of Meteors” by Eleanor Lerman I am out before dawn, marching a small dog through a meager park Boulevards angle away, newspapers fly around like blind white birds Two days in a row I have not seen the meteors though the radio news says they are overhead Leonid’s brimstones are barred by clouds; […]

scandal by lola ridge (because thursdays are for scandal). 0

“Scandal” by Lola Ridge Aren’t there bigger things to talk about Than a window in Greenwich Village And hyacinths sprouting Like little puce poems out of a sick soul? Some cosmic hearsay— As to whom—it can’t be Mars! put the moon—that way…. Or what winds do to canyons Under the tall stars… Or even How […]

in praise of zig zags (a poem for the math teachers). 2

“In Praise of Zigzags” by Jane O. Wayne For a Girl Failing Geometry Maybe she does her homework the way she does her chores. She moves quickly when she vacuums, forgetting corners in the living room, repeating others, zigzags recklessly across the carpet, raising those pale tracks behind her in the wool, crossing and recrossing […]