We may have flipped the pages on the calendar but it still feels like 2020. We are still languishing, introspecting, flitting between bursts of creativity and days of inaction. Poetry has been the lone solace for us these years, which is why it is an integral part of this venture. Hope you find something to hold on to in these verses as well.
Boketto – Susan Rich
Outside my window it’s never the same—
some mornings jasmine slaps the house, some mornings sorrow.
There is a word I overheard today, meaning lost
not on a career path or across a floating bridge:
Boketto—to stare out windows without purpose.
Don’t laugh; it’s been too long since we leaned
into the morning: bird friendly coffee and blueberry toast. Awhile
since I declared myself a prophet of lost cats—blind lover
of animal fur and feral appetites. Someone should tag
a word for the calm of a long marriage. Knowledge
the heat will hold, and our lights remain on— a second
sight that drives the particulars of a life: sea glass and salt,
cherry blossoms and persistent weeds. What assembles in the middle
distance beyond the mail truck; have I overlooked oceans,
ignored crows? I try to exist in the somehow, the might still be—
gaze upward to constellations of in-between.
In Several Colors – Jane Kenyon
Every morning, cup of coffee
in hand, I look out at the mountain.
Ordinarily, it’s blue, but today
it’s the color of an eggplant.
And the sky turns
from gray to pale apricot
as the sun rolls up
Main Street in Andover.
I study the cat’s face
and find a trace of white
around each eye, as if
he made himself up today
for a part in the opera.
I have nowhere to go – Dilip Chitre
I have nowhere to go
So I occupy a poem
Like a bench
In a public park
But a poem offers me
Neither space nor time
No memory of yesterday
No fantasy of tomorrow
A poem is uniquely empty
Its sets the world aside
And it unfolds
Words within words
Can you hear me?
No you cannot
Because I am
Inside a poem now
I am inside this grave
And this walled voice
Of the absolute present
The Peace of Wild Things – Wendell Berry
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free
Abundance – Amy Schmidt
in memory of Mary Oliver
It’s impossible to be lonely
when you’re zesting an orange.
Scrape the soft rind once
and the whole room
fills with fruit.
Look around: you have
more than enough.
You just didn’t notice