A poem from Split This Rock

This poem was featured on their site last week. It caught my attention, and hope it catches yours:

Prayer for those who run 

I wish you swift wind.
I wish you a changed phone number
that stays changed.

I wish you throwing away the cell the parents bought to track you with.
I wish you the Greyhound,
PATH train, whatever transit you’re waiting for
coming on time
and taking you away express with no stops.

I wish you a city with affordable housing.
An apartment where you smear blood above the door
so their angel of death
will pass you by.

I send you this story:
my people are the fuck ups
the runaways, the ones who waited to tell their parents they were queer,
or remembered, til they were over 21
and couldn’t be committed
— not as much.

Continue reading “A poem from Split This Rock”


It’s hard to remember it’s Monday when it’s a holiday, especially a vague one like President’s Day. But it is, and here is your Monday vitamin

Lately when sorrows come

—fast, without warning—
whipping their wings down the sky,
I know to let them.
Not inviting them, but allowing each
with a deep breath as if inhaling a wish I can’t undo.

Some days the sky is so full of sorrows
they could be mistaken for shadows of unnamed
gods flapping the air with their loose black sleeves:
the god of head-on collisions,
the god of amputated limbs,
the god of I’ll-dress-you-in-mourning.

Is the buzz in the August trees,
that pulsing husk of repetition, an omen?
I hear it build to a final shaking. I hear it build
louder and louder, then nothing.
Like a long, picaresque novel that’s suddenly over.
Like the last inning of kickball until the rain.

Continue reading “Sorrows”

Tomaž Šalamun

A February Poem, translated from the Slovenian. Of course, here in Northern California, February is a month of emerald green and blossoms. But for the rest of you, a more apt description.

There is a time when

There is a time when
pure emotions
invade us like
bags from the black pressed
of a shark—
February. The month
of raked leaves under
the thick blanket of snow, Continue reading “Tomaž Šalamun”

Mark Strand on Monday

Mark Strand has written many poems I like, but this one seems particularly relevant as the year turns and the light begins to return.

The Coming of Light

Even this late it happens:
the coming of love, the coming of light.
You wake and the candles are lit as if by themselves,
stars gather, dreams pour into your pillows,
sending up warm bouquets of air.
Even this late the bones of the body shine
and tomorrow’s dust flares into breath.

Mark Strand