Poems for all seasons, catching up

From a NYT article on Chinese poet Yu Xiuhua:

“What is poetry?” she wrote in an epilogue to “Moonlight.” “I don’t know and can’t tell. It’s when my heart roars, it emerges like a newborn. It’s like a crutch when one walks unsteadily in this unsteady world. Only when I write poetry do I feel complete, at peace and content.”

I’ve been saving these up for far too long! Favorites as they’ve passed across my email and feeds. All worth reading for some kind of fire or peace.

After the Wedding” by John Daniel, via Lori. “…how good it is / to find you now beyond all / the loud joy, driving north in rain / and the lovely ease of our silence.”

Enemies,” Wendell Berry. “If you are not to become a monster, / you must care what they think. / If you care what they think, / how will you not hate them, / and so become a monster / of the opposite kind?”

Antique” by Robert Pinsky. “I drowned in the fire of having you, I burned / In the river of not having you, we lived / Together for hours in a house of a thousand rooms / And we were parted for a thousand years.”

Early October Snow” by Robert Haight. “The pumpkins, still in the fields, are planets / shrouded by clouds. / The Weber wears a dunce cap / and sits in the corner by the garage….”

Enough Music” by Dorianne Laux. “…we fall into this rhythm of silence. / It swings back and forth between us / like a rope over a lake.”

Peace” by C.K. Williams, via Lori. “We fight for hours, through dinner, through the endless evening, who / even knows now what about, / what could be so dire to have to suffer so for, stuck in one another’s craws / like fishbones….”

Thanksgiving for Two”  by Marjorie Saiser. “The adults we call our children will not be arriving / with their children in tow for Thanksgiving. / We must make our feast ourselves….”

Ennui” by Elizabeth Murawski. “lightning bolts of sorrow / knowing he’s neither here / nor there my new life / making my way through drifts….”

Dust of Snow” by Robert Frost. “The way a crow / Shook down on me / The dust of snow / From a hemlock tree….”

Bread” by Richard Levine. “Each night, in a space he’d make / between waking and purpose, / my grandfather donned his one / suit, in our still dark house, and drove….”

A Perfect Mess” by Mary Karr. “I read somewhere / that if pedestrians didn’t break traffic laws to cross / Times Square whenever and by whatever means possible, / 
the whole city / would stop, it would stop.”

Frederick Douglass” by Robert Hayden. “…beaten to his knees, exiled, visioning a world / where none is lonely, none hunted, alien, / this man, superb in love and logic, this man / shall be remembered.”

Ballad of Birmingham” by Dudley Randall. “Mother dear, may I go downtown / Instead of out to play, / And march the streets of Birmingham / In a Freedom March today?”

I, Too” by Langston Hughes. “Tomorrow, / I’ll be at the table / When company comes. / Nobody’ll dare / Say to me, / ‘Eat in the kitchen,’ / Then.”

May You Always be the Darling of Fortune” by Jane Miller. “March 10th and the snow flees like eloping brides / into rain. The imperceptible change begins / out of an old rage and glistens, chaste, with its new / craving, spring.”

St. Patrick’s Day” by Derek Mahon. “Not even the love of friends can quite appease / the vertigo, sore ears and inner voices; / deep-draughted rain clouds, a rock lost in space, / yahoos triumphant in the marketplace, / the isle is full of intolerable noises.”

Don’t Bother the Earth Spirit” by Joy Harjo. “Don’t bother the earth spirit who lives here. She is working on a story. It is the oldest story in the world and it is delicate, changing. If she sees you watching she will invite you in for coffee, give you warm bread, and you will be obligated to stay and listen. But this is no ordinary story.”

In a Word, a World” by C. D. Wright. “I love the particular lexicons of particular occupations. The substrate of those activities. The nomenclatures within nomenclatures.”

Walking on Tiptoe” by Ted Kooser. “Long ago we quit lifting our heels / like the others—horse, dog, and tiger— / though we thrill to their speed / as they flee.”

The Late Wisconsin Spring” by John Koethe. “The sky shakes itself out. And the invisible birds / Winter put away somewhere return, the air relaxes, / People start to circulate again in twos and threes.”

Voyage” by Carmen Tafolla. “I was the fourth ship. / Behind Niña, Pinta, Santa María, / Lost at sea while watching a seagull, / Following the wind and sunset skies, / While the others set their charts.”

Prayer” by Francisco X. Alarcon. “a god / who spits / blood from / tuberculosis and / doesn’t even have / enough for bus fare.”

More Than Enough” by Marge Piercy. “Season of / joy for the bee. The green will never / again be so green, so purely and lushly / new, grass lifting its wheaty seedheads / into the wind.”

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