poets

American Rumi

  To the mountain of tributes to the great Mary Oliver, I add this little pebble.   In a world with so many hysterical people running loose, shouting and fighting and festering outrage, I miss her. Or I miss the idea of her, the poet walking along the shore in her barn jacket, quiet and […]

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Please, sir, I want some more

  Ask Much, the Voice Suggested by Jane Hirshfield   Ask much, the voice suggested, and I startled. Feeling my body like the trembling body of a horse tied to its tree while the strange noise passes over its ears. I who in extremity had always wanted less, even of eating, of sleeping. Agile, the […]

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Not really funny but . . .

  What the Gypsies told My Grandmother While She Was Still a Young Girl by Charles Simic   War, illness and famine will make you their favourite grandchild. You’ll be like a blind person watching a silent movie. You’ll chop onions and pieces of your heart into the same hot skillet. Your children will sleep […]

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Cavafy at the wedding

  Song of the Heart by Cavafy   With you, I think, all that is pleasant smiles on me, in the mirror of your eyes there is reflected joy. Stay, my light, and still I have not told you even half of all that presses down upon my heart so amorous, that rushes to my […]

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The encouragement of saddles and buttonholes

A few days ago I placed two poems of encouragement in a pretty park in northern Michigan. I was thinking about the cave rescue of the Thai boys’ soccer team (just underway as I posted), but I was also thinking about all the dis’s in the world—the disheartened, the dispirited, the discouraged, the distracted—anyone in […]

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Gold to silver, doors to fences

My eighth grade year was the Bicentennial year, and to celebrate our class put on a play. Our ever-enthusiastic music teacher Mrs. Enright put together a musical revue of U.S. history. The only part of the play I remember was singing the give-me-your-tired-your-poor portion of Emma Lazarus’ “New Colossus.” I can still sing it today, […]

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Literal literature litter

Sympathy by Paul Laurence Dunbar   I know what the caged bird feels, alas! When the sun is bright on the upland slopes; When the wind stirs soft through the springing grass, And the river flows like a stream of glass; When the first bird sings and the first bud opes, And the faint perfume […]

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Mother’s Day poem blitz (ette)

  It’s not much of a poem blitz when you only feature two poems (three if you count my giveaways) but this year I’m feeling a little disengaged from Mother’s Day, my mother being gone two years now. Even so, two poems are enough when they’re as good as these.   I left Lucille Clifton’s […]

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Pioneer in a Mountaineer

This is a picture of my sister Josie and her late husband Edison. The poem-elfing that follows is a private one, written and posted as a thank-you to my other sister, Mary K.  With Josie’s and Mary K.’s permission, I’m sharing it with you.   A little background before you read the poem. Until late […]

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A few more notes about love

Before the ever-abrupt end of our shortest month, here’s a follow-up to my annual Valentine’s Day Poem Blitz.   First, a face, a living Valentine.       Meet Pam Woolway, Short Order Poet. Her poetry is made-to-order and on-the-spot, each poem inspired by a single word supplied by the customer. She types them on […]

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