Featured Topic: Spring

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...

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.

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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Tomorrow Hunts: the worries of those passing their prime in idleness

The crescent moon encroaches on the day, a pale trespasser in the realm of sun. She will not wait her turn, she will not stay until the golden reign is fully done. The gleaming future will not stand in front but lurks behind you with a loaded bow; she is moon-browed...

Entropy

Afraid I'll become some sick and slack-jawed slouch, I beat back the Fall with a broom but the dust of me still lingers 'neath the couch; I toil and toil on the doorsteps of...

A Dante Aches for Beatrice—a Woman not his Wife

There is a soft and gentle wanting— to hold, even to touch, the painted hand. It is a shamed yet pleasant haunting— to reach, unseen to brush, the fallen strand. Her knee just shows between the boot and skirt and eyes flirt with the hemmed in edges of  a beautiful...

Self-Atonement: a wrist-cutter’s psalm

No motion carries here without my final vote for the meddler in my head, he sounds a lot like me; I hear no snake's hiss, no gravel in his throat. My will is not a raindrop carried mindless to the sea; and yet, it is my self I can't control and the devil of my...

A Firm Foundation of Unyielding Despair: reflections on a line of statues

Somewhere outside the Grands Boulevard, I can't remember where, there stands a line of stone-made sisters with breasts completely bare in that style that seemed so french to me, a tourist in Paris. Their thin marble arms would live on while all these beautiful fairy-...

A Song So Loud

It's no use to stoke the coals of my discontent with the damp leaves of weak desires. My prayers are not the incense in its swirling ascent; they are the sticky haze of the still-green brier's blaze, and I am smothered in the smoke. I long still to be absorbed by...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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Exerpt from “The Lanyard” by Billy Collins: a poem for Mother’s Day

I was told that all the firsts would be hard. Today is my first Mother's Day without my mom. Billy Collins, in his poem "The Lanyard," has captured my own feelings better than I could myself. In it he tells how, as a child, he'd thought that giving his mother a...

Thoughts in a Zoo by Countee Cullen

They in their cruel traps, and we in ours, Survey each other’s rage, and pass the hours Commiserating each the other’s woe, To mitigate his own pain’s fiery glow. Man could but little proffer in exchange Save that his cages have a larger range. That lion with his...

Immortal Sails by Alfred Noyes

Now, in a breath, we’ll burst those gates of gold, And ransack heaven before our moment fails. Now, in a breath, before we, too, grow old, We’ll mount and sing and spread immortal sails. It is not time that makes eternity. Love and an hour may quite out-span the...

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...

Batter My Heart, Three-person’d God by John Donne

Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend; That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new. I, like an usurp'd town to another due, Labor to admit you, but oh, to...

Spring by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Nothing is so beautiful as spring – When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush; Thrush's eggs look little low heavens, and thrush Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing; The glassy peartree...

“What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why” by Edna St. Vincent Millay

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why, I have forgotten, and what arms have lain Under my head till morning; but the rain Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh Upon the glass and listen for reply, And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain For...

Sonnet 75 by William Shakespeare

So are you to my thoughts as food to life, Or as sweet seasoned show'rs are to the ground; And for the peace of you I hold such strife As ’twixt a miser and his wealth is found; Now proud as an enjoyer, and anon Doubting the filching age will steal his treasure; Now...

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...

The Author to Her Book by Anne Bradstreet

Thou ill-form’d offspring of my feeble brain, Who after birth didst by my side remain, Till snatched from thence by friends, less wise than true, Who thee abroad, expos’d to public view, Made thee in rags, halting to th’ press to trudge, Where errors were not lessened...

Featured Form: Rondel

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...

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...

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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The Icebox

The Icebox

In my dream, I held too many things in my hands and my fingers grappled and fumbled with the load afraid I'd drop one as I stumbled down the road for I'd balanced several things atop an icebox and my dream-drunk brain was slow, weighted down with sand until I knelt to...

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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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