After a long absence

Despite good intentions (isn’t this always the way), I didn’t get much done on PoemElf during the month of August.  Vacation and sloth kept me away from the computer, and then the fall, spinal cord injury, massive infection and passing of my dear father-in-law.  I loved him so much. On returning from his funeral, I […]

More

gone, baby, gone

Then by Eavan Boland Where are the lives we lived when we were young? Our kisses, the heat of our skin, our bitter words? The first waking to the first child’s cry? With just three questions and four lines, Irish poet Eavan Boland pulls up memories for me so swiftly and so abundantly that the […]

More

Danger on the rocks

Siren Song BY MARGARET ATWOOD This is the one song everyone would like to learn: the song that is irresistible:   the song that forces men to leap overboard in squadrons even though they see the beached skulls   the song nobody knows because anyone who has heard it is dead, and the others can’t […]

More

Bad judgment at the airport

    The Overhead Rack  By John Updike Worst of all, and most hated by me
 as I sit docilely crammed into my seat,
 crammed and strapped like a psychotic in restraints, are these bland-faced complacent graduates 
of business school, trained to give each other 
and the rest of the poor world the business,
 who […]

More

Congratulations, Mr. Merwin

  poem is taped to trashcan Yesterday By W.S. Merwin   My friend says I was not a good son you understand I say yes I understand                                              – he says I did not go to see my parents very often you know and I say yes I know                                             – even when I was […]

More

Out-running the storm

Lot’s Wife by Anna Akhmatova And the just man trailed God’s shining agent, over a black mountain, in his giant track, while a restless voice kept harrying his woman: “It’s not too late, you can still look back – at the red towers of your native Sodom, the square where once you sang, the spinning-shed, […]

More

Love under the elms

Love Song by William Carlos Williams Sweep the house clean, hang fresh curtains in the windows put on a new dress and come with me! The elm is scattering its little loaves of sweet smells from a white sky! – Who shall hear of us in the time to come? Let him say there was […]

More

The poetry of roadkill

Ode to the Maggot by Yusef Komunyakaa Brother of the blowfly & godhead, you work magic Over battlefields, In slabs of bad pork – & flophouses. Yes, you Go to the root of all things. You are sound & mathematical. Jesus, Christ, you’re merciless – With the truth. Ontological & lustrous, You cast spells on […]

More