It has been a long time, hasn’t it?
But here we are.
Keeping up a train of published thoughts or even collected inspirations alongside a baby-turned-toddler and a job turns out to be not so easy.
But in free moments, those not given to sleep or TV escapes, I still read. Not thinking as cohesively as one might like – I can’t remember for what seasonal change I originally wrote the title of this post (May?) – but the trade-off has good. “Time is the school in which we learn,” writes Delmore Schwartz in his poem below. “Time is the fire in which we burn.” John Ashbery says the poem features “above all an apprehension of the whirling universe in the mundane décor of a municipal park.”
And here we are.
“What Kind of Times Are These” by Adrienne Rich. “I won’t tell you where the place is, the dark mesh of the woods / meeting the unmarked strip of light— / ghost-ridden crossroads, leafmold paradise: / I know already who wants to buy it, sell it, make it disappear.”
“Calmly We Walk through This April’s Day” by Delmore Schwartz. “Each minute bursts in the burning room, / The great globe reels in the solar fire, / Spinning the trivial and unique away. / (How all things flash! How all things flare!) ”
“They Sit Together on the Porch” by Wendell Berry. “Their supper done with, they have washed and dried / The dishes–only two plates now, two glasses, / Two knives, two forks, two spoons–small work for two.”
Related, this Jason Isbell song:
“spring song” by Lucille Clifton. “the green of Jesus / is breaking the ground / and the sweet / smell of delicious Jesus / is opening the house and….”
“in the end it was all flowers” by friend Malaka Gharib. “in the end it was all flowers: / the arrhythmia / moles and scars / wrinkles and white hair / veins and callouses….”
“Turning Forty” by Kevin Griffith. “The major countries—mind and heart—have / called a truce for now. If this planet had a ruler, / no one remembers him well. All / decisions are made by committee.”
“What I Would Give” by Rafael Campo. “I’d like to give them my astonishment / at sudden rainfall like the whole world weeping, / and how ridiculously gently it / slicked down my hair; I’d like to give them that, / the joy I felt while staring in your eyes….”
“Ode to Marbles” by Max Mendelsohn. “I love the sound of marbles / scattered on the worn wooden floor, / like children running away in a game of hide-and-seek.”
“On being told my poetry was found in a broken photo-copier” by Malcolm Guite:
“Extinction of Silence” by A.E Stallings. “That it was shy when alive goes without saying. / We know it vanished at the sound of voices / Or footsteps.”
“Blue Elvis” by Faith Shearin. “I listened / to the sound of southern women’s voices / expressing disbelief; they said I swan / and I pictured something rippling / and solitary….”
“First Love” by Stephen Rybicki. “But who sat in the drawing room / Sipping tea from white china / Without me—and sketched / A vision of you from memory?”
“Semicolons” by Zubair Ahmed. “Forget me: my truth. / My masterpiece is / my nonexistence. / Sunrise: unbreakable dawn. / I open your book. / It has no pages.”
“The Kindness of Others” by Cathy Song. “Those of the small flame, / who feed off envy and grow old quickly, / live out their lives / hungry….”