I’ve mentioned the Poem-a-Day from the Academy of American Poets before. Last week, I saw one by Mark Wunderlich that I liked. I didn’t know his work, so read further and found this one, my favorite of the ones on the site, which he graciously allowed me to reprint here:
The Son I’ll Never Have
The son I’ll never have is crossing the lawn. He is lying on an
the coverlet pulled up over his knees—knees I don’t dare describe.
I recoil from imagining him as meat and bone, as a mind
and hands stroking the fur of his pet rabbit.
I never gave him the accordion I used to play, my mother and I Continue reading “Monday Poem” →
April is the cruelest month, but also, ironically?, poetry month. In any case every night this week has a poetry event I’m attending.
So far the highlight has been a spectacular reading at the North Berkeley Library by B.H. Fairchild. Fairchild has crafted narrative poems from his childhood in Texas and Kansas. He is the son of a machine shop owner, and the poems manage to capture and elevate the smoke and dust motes into light like grails of milk.
You missed the reading, but can hear a sample here. It’s a long poem; sit back and make yourself comfortable, it’s worth it! Such a treat. Continue reading “Beauty” →
I really can’t resist them, so when my Silkie hen began sitting on eggs, I isolated her and let her think she was hatching them. Three weeks later I went to the feed store and bought six baby chicks. That night I slipped out the eggs and slipped in the chicks. I brushed a little butter on the chicks’ feathers to absorb the mother hen’s smell.
The next morning, the Silkie adopted the babies (who were several days older than newborn), and the babies bonded with the hen (even though they’d been born in a hatchery). It all worked just as if they had hatched right here.
I kept them completely caged for a few days, then let them out for a bit. The first thing the Silkie did was leave the chicks and take a prolonged dust bath, as if to say, “I’ve been cooped up for weeks–I have to take a shower!”
After about ten minutes of dust bath, she rejoined the chicks and herded them around, teaching them what to eat and where to look for it. She makes the sweetest little clucks when she finds something interesting, and all the chicks gather round. Of course, it also trains me to bring them treats.
Continue reading “Baby chicks” →
If you don’t get enough poetry here, you can sign up with the Academy ofAmerican Poets (www.poets.org) and get a poem every day in your email. This is one that arrived a couple of weeks ago, for all those who knit and wear the pink pussy hats, for all of us, really.
As to Why We Will Not Stop (Making the Hats)
This time it does not begin with the beaver
Instead only halfway up the mountain
Where the sheep we keep each year come through
Winter enough to answer us, enough
For us to shear, deft before the coming storm,
To take away from the body what it did not know
It grew and then astonished each spring to feel
The quickening of the lamb, the heft of
Sudden weight crossing one more patch
Of snow. All with an eye out
For the cougar or some such animal
Of which the DNA is no longer
What it might have been, the coyote now
As part dog part wolf
Already commonplace. We have come to know the truth Continue reading “About the hats, and more than the hats” →
I have been working in the garden. The labyrinth is gone, replaced by a fountain and lots of herbs and flowers. It should all grow in and be easy to keep free of weeds–at least so I hope.
In back, we’ve been eating lettuce, fennel, green onions, chard and spinach for weeks, with snap peas just starting.
A poem as relevant today as it was in 1999. It seems we are always bombing something.
during the bombing of Kosovo
Hevel may be translated vanity
or mist or vapor
the name of the first man
whose brother was not his keeper
It is evening it is morning one day
like mist from ten thousand feet
above the hills bombs fall
like vapor the thin air
is full of them
roads crawl with tanks soldiers
like mist tens of thousands
of refugees cross the border
like vapor from morning to dusk
like mist women in slippers
children in bare feet Continue reading “First night of Passover, 2017” →
I’ve been traveling and seen fields of daffodils to the horizon, horses munching the greenest grass, trees in all phases of blossom. Spring everywhere. It made me think of this poem by James Wright:
Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.
At home once more,
They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me
And nuzzled my left hand.
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl’s wrist.
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break