Category Archives: Poetry

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 […]

this world by mary oliver. 13

April is National Poetry Month. Get ready, y’all. I am posting a poem every day because it was so much fun last year. “This World” by Mary Oliver I would like to write a poem about the world that has in it nothing fancy. But it seems impossible. Whatever the subject, the morning sun glimmers […]

choose life. 0

(I can’t quite get the formatting right on this one, so click on over to see it.) “Choose Life” by André Breton Choose life instead of those prisms with no depth even if their colors are purer Instead of this hour always hidden instead of these terrible vehicles of cold flame Instead of these overripe […]

a poem for sunday 0

Every time I run across an Anne Porter poem I haven’t read before, I am delighted. “An Altogether Different Language” by Anne Porter There was a church in Umbria, Little Portion, Already old eight hundred years ago. It was abandoned and in disrepair But it was called St. Mary of the Angels For it was […]

another poem for valentine’s week. 0

Turns out I’m kind of a romantic. “Credo” by Matthew Rohrer I believe there is something else entirely going on but no single person can ever know it, so we fall in love. It could also be true that what we use everyday to open cans was something much nobler, that we’ll never recognize. I […]

a poem for valentine’s week. 0

“The Promise” by Jane Hirshfield Stay, I said to the cut flowers. They bowed their heads lower. Stay, I said to the spider, who fled. Stay, leaf. It reddened, embarrassed for me and itself. Stay, I said to my body. It sat as a dog does, obedient for a moment, soon starting to tremble. Stay, […]

and our hopes such as they are. 0

Hey, it’s the end of January and it’s been pretty cold and I thought we might need a reminder that this is a new year full of promise. Even if it feels like it is just full of snow. — “To the New Year” by W. S. Merwin With what stillness at last you appear […]

a poem for awards season. 1

“Acceptance Speech” by Lynn Powell The radio’s replaying last night’s winners and the gratitude of the glamorous, everyone thanking everybody for making everything so possible, until I want to shush the faucet, dry my hands, join in right here at the cluttered podium of the sink, and thank my mother for teaching me the true […]

winter trees. 2

“Winter Trees” by William Carlos Williams All the complicated details of the attiring and the disattiring are completed! A liquid moon moves gently among the long branches. Thus having prepared their buds against a sure winter the wise trees stand sleeping in the cold.

the deep down dark. 2

“The Companionable Darkness” by Kathleen Norris Friend and neighbor you have taken away. My one companion is darkness. -Psalm 88 The companionable dark Of here and now, seed lying dormant in the earth. The dark to which all lost things come—scarves and rings and precious photographs, and of course, our beloved dead. The brooding dark, […]

hello winter. 1

“Relearning Winter” by Mark Svenvold Hello Winter, hello flanneled blanket of clouds, clouds fueled by more clouds, hello again. Hello afternoons, off to the west, that sliver of sunset, rust-colored and gone too soon. And night (I admit to a short memory) you climb back in with chilly fingers and clocks, and there is no […]

saving my life: candletime 4

“Let Evening Come” by Jane Kenyon Let the light of late afternoon shine through chinks in the barn, moving up the bales as the sun moves down. Let the cricket take up chafing as a woman takes up her needles and her yarn. Let evening come. Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned in long […]

a poem for halloween. 1

“Autumn Evening” by David Lehman (after Holderlin) The yellow pears hang in the lake. Life sinks, grace reigns, sins ripen, and in the north dies an almond tree. A genius took me by the hand and said come with me though the time has not yet come. Therefore, when the gods get lonely, a hero […]

we owe it to each other to tell stories. 0

“Locks” by Neil Gaiman We owe it to each other to tell stories, as people simply, not as father and daughter. I tell it to you for the hundredth time: “There was a little girl, called Goldilocks, for her hair was long and golden, and she was walking in the woods and she saw — […]

monday morning meditation: be still. 0

“Grace” by Wendell Berry for Gurney Norman, quoting him The woods is shining this morning. Red, gold and green, the leaves lie on the ground, or fall, or hang full of light in the air still. Perfect in its rise and in its fall, it takes the place it has been coming to forever. It […]

a poem for summer. 1

“Summer Song” by William Carlos Williams Wanderer moon smiling a faintly ironical smile at this brilliant, dew-moistened summer morning,— a detached sleepily indifferent smile, a wanderer’s smile,— if I should buy a shirt your color and put on a necktie sky-blue where would they carry me?

a poem for ordinary time. 1

“Passing Ordinary Time” by Enuma Okoro It is a hard art to learn, catching quiet by palms raised cupped in air shifting location here and there like trying to guess the pattern of falling leaves, and hoping to feel the soft descent of moments when silence slips This ordinary time is gifted with days, weeks […]

a poem for sunday. 1

“You Can’t Have It All” by Barbara Ras But you can have the fig tree and its fat leaves like clown hands gloved with green. You can have the touch of a single eleven-year-old finger on your cheek, waking you at one a.m. to say the hamster is back. You can have the purr of […]

a poem for sunday. 1

I had planned to find something other than this, but it’s really my favorite poem for Mother’s Day. “The Lanyard” by Billy Collins The other day I was ricocheting slowly off the blue walls of this room, moving as if underwater from typewriter to piano, from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor, when […]

a poem for sunday. 1

“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 light– a kind of measles of the spirit, a mumps of the psyche, a disfiguring chicken pox of the soul. […]