Featured Topic: Spring

Spring by Edna St. Vincent Millay

To what purpose, April, do you return again? Beauty is not enough. You can no longer quiet me with the redness Of little leaves opening stickily. I know what I know. The sun is hot on my neck as I observe The spikes of the crocus. The smell of the earth is good. It is...

The Cherry Trees by Edward Thomas

The cherry trees bend over and are shedding On the old road where all that passed are dead, Their petals, strewing the grass as for a wedding This early May morn when there is none to wed.

A Seduction: in Four Seasons

Look my young fool, born with the Spring's first green, our morning is all spent and now the afternoon bleeds red in the west. Will you really be so mean as to ignore the pot you set upon the coals? I want you, and the water will be boiling soon. Come, Fool, with me...

Walking One Spring Morning

Walking one spring morning I weighed the cherry blossoms all brimming with new, full with such impossible hues that every petal, every blade, was like a schoolgirl at her promenade adorned for but an hour or two in reds or purples, pinks and blues before it's shorn...

In the Park on the First Clear Day of Spring

There's something of Spring that makes us self-deceive, that makes-believe the world has never sinned. A dozen squinting Adams search for Eve through a sunlight that's not yet warmed the wind. Weary of winter, the clearing is brim full of hairless legs...

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The Sea Bends her Knees to the Moon

All flowers lift their hands to praise the sun— raising their lauds at dawn, their sexts at noon and vespers when the dwindling day is done— but the sea bends her knees to the moon. Such is the worship of waves and the liturgy of leaves. But what of human kings,...

Roll On Columbia: a sonnet for our tenth anniversary.

The bargain wine and complimented treats were finished hours ago: the hotel's gift for our tenth anniversary. Now, as we shift our bodies beneath borrowed cotton sheets, could there be a better time to rehearse the old arguments, those familiar friends? Our fingers...

The Half-Hearted Conquest of a Half-Hearted Christian

We agonize like enemies, like spies, before the King's abundant table spread; we'd consume each other, but only chew instead. The glimmering creatures are full of lies. We tongue the scraps and bones but cannot feed and though we do not drink, our lips are full of...

The prayer of a wife who will not be had.

The wedding invitation I refuse; I cannot match your hunger for delight. In black robes instead of white I recuse myself; I do not have the appetite. Only a perfect one could be your muse; I wear more sensible shoes.   Why do you keep me, pampered as a house-cat...

Daedalus Talks to his Discontent

You are in me like an absence, a void, one that could be filled with all the wanted things— an emptiness made of what I've not enjoyed. My bird wears none so fine a set of wings. The woman is not ill-dressed, but if only she would display her treasures on the shelf—...

Sleep

Thou art more than the day or the morrow, the seasons that laugh or that weep; For these give joy and sorrow; but thou, Proserpina, sleep. —Algernon Charles Swinburne, Hymn to Prosperine If asked to choose: eternal life or sleep,    he's not sure how he'd answer. And...

A Freedom Worthy of God: a Villanelle

A circle can't be squared and still a circle be; the points are fixed, they cannot bend or sway. A man cannot be forced and still considered free. The change begins, the end we can't foresee; some ideas do not mold as easily as clay. A circle can't be squared and...

The Kite: a villanelle on my fear of falling into the sky

Tied to a stake, the string stretched ponderously far arcing into the blue and almost out of sight; it cast no shadow and seemed as distant as a star and slit the sky to a pointed diamond-shaped scar. The minuscule and near invisible sprite hung motionless and still...

Alyosha’s Troubled Mind

Parallel lines extend along the graph and far as eyes can see draws mystery. All our lives we wonder if this paragraph is the final or the first of history? We see both hell and heaven occupied and know the perfect judge of all must be by justice or by mercy...

An Apathy: a reflection on joyless bible reading

"Boredom: the desire for desires. " —Leo Tolstoy What is the point of sitting here? I turn the pages chore by chore puzzling as I read, "He's Near!" "He stands beside the open door," it claims, yet I am still a man without a prophet to ignore, without a tribe, without...

Featured Writer: poets better and more famous than me

Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie (Excerpt) by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Prelude. THIS is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks, Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight, Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic, Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms....

Ozymandius by Horace Smith

In Egypt's sandy silence, all alone,        Stands a gigantic leg, which far off throws        The only shadow that the desert knows:—      "I am great OZYMANDIAS," saith the stone,        "The King of Kings; this mighty City shows      "The wonders of my hand."— The...

New Loneliness by Sarah Harmer

There is just one apple on the tree It isn't like I'd hoped it'd be. Yesterday when there was still you I looked, and I swear that I saw two. Maybe a wandering white tail deer came in the night to make it even more clear and left me just one, a spartan no less, to...

A Poem for Father’s day by John Piper

No tree however deep the roots, However high and green the shoots, However strong the trunk has stood, Or firm the fibers of the wood, No tree was ever meant to be A never-ending shade for me Or you. Save one: where Jesus died With bleeding branches spread as wide And...

Villanelle Example #3: Mad Girl’s Love Song by Sylvia Plath

  "I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my lids and all is born again. (I think I made you up inside my head.) The stars go waltzing out in blue and red, And arbitrary blackness gallops in: I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead. I dreamed that you...

The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows...

Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveler from an antique land Who said: “Two vast and trunk-less legs of stone Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those...

October by Robert Frost

O hushed October morning mild, Thy leaves have ripened to the fall; Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild, Should waste them all. The crows above the forest call; Tomorrow they may form and go. O hushed October morning mild, Begin the hours of this day slow. Make the day...

Villanelle of the Temptress by James Joyce

Are you not weary of ardent ways, Lure of the fallen seraphim? Tell no more of enchanted days. Your eyes have set man’s heart ablaze And you have had your will of him. Are you not weary of ardent ways? Above the flame the smoke of praise Goes up from ocean rim to rim....

Leda and the Swan by William Butler Yeats

A sudden blow: the great wings beating still Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill, He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.  How can those terrified vague fingers push  The feathered glory from her loosening...

Featured Form: Rondel

Where is the Boy? a Rondel for Stephaun

"Look at the picture.      Where is the boy?" "Use your finger, like this, and point right here." Some sounds come out of the scowling man, "We're wasting time. Better to let him enjoy himself, stare at the sun, fondle a toy." "When we talk, it's like he can't even...

Yes, I Was Once Afraid of Bees

Back when I was afraid of bees with a fear most grave and sober; I would flinch when they'd flyover, would shrink and beg my mother, "Please let me stay inside away from these!" Whining from May to October. Yes, I was once afraid of bees but now I see with eyes more...

You Violated Right-of-way: a rondel about how I hope you die in a fire.

You violated right-of-way when you cut in front of all of us-- a hundred drivers and a city bus-- to be the first car parked on the freeway. There were a few words I wanted to say but it's Lent and my wife growls when I cuss; you violated right-of-way when you cut in...

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August’s End

August’s End

The thorn branches are a knot of tangled capillaries. They quarter armies of spiders standing silent and sentinel over the blackest of the blackberries-- the last and heaviest summer sweet before the coming rot. These are the scouts and outriders of the advancing...

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