Featured Topic: Dreams

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...

At Torrey Pines

A cruel salt wind molests the twisted pine who grovels on his gnarled knees for rain; his futile prayers won't mend his broken spine nor will he stand, as in his dreams, again. The cliffs themselves all crumble in the sea and the tumble-down rocks resent the mocking...

Spider Dream: a Limerick

I saw a spider fall into my bed right onto the pillow beside my head. Now I'm hunting him, like preachers hunt sin, and dare not sleep till he or I is dead. Other attempts at humor here on Moss Kingdom: You Violated Right-of-way: a rondel about how I hope you die in a...

Ephemera: Beauty Lies

"It is the failing of a certain literature to believe that life is tragic because it is wretched. Life can be magnificent and overwhelming — that is its whole tragedy. Without beauty, love, or danger it would be almost easy to live." "Beauty is unbearable, drives us...

All This Juice and All This Joy

Alive and heavy with health,      syrup swells the root, and sun-dappled fields are filled      with walking flowers: the blossoms of the body      and the promise of fruit. We know, and delight, and dream      away the hours; let us have sweet Summer's cream    ...

Sunday Morning Lethargy

It's Sunday morning; I don't make the bed. Somehow worn from an oversupply of sleep, I feel empty and overfed all at once. Should I eat or should I try a second cup of coffee, or the tea? I am too weary to decide and I tire of this mush of humid luxury. The night held...

Dream After Making 300 Valentines for Lifelong Aids Alliance: by Amy Doran

We sat, pasting crows from construction paper waiting for them to come to life. They did come to life, shuddering with breath, flapping cautiously, realizing. Jesus could be a camera watching over us when we're sick with letters sick with names, lying on a hospital...

A Child’s Sleep

I wonder if the tearful child, not yet perceiving what it means to fall asleep, might believe she dies each night. Afraid to go alone, she chokes on her goodbyes, "Please don't forget me! O please leave the door ajar!" But the swallowing Unknown will not share her...

Tooth by Rotten Tooth

Legs stirring before the alarm's tormenting beep, I wake from strange dreams in the autumn of my youth, and choke on broken promises I meant to keep-- a sludge that settles to the bottom with the truth where bottled thoughts belch the foam of cold fermented sleep and...

Featured Product: Seasons

After Walking in the Rain

I need to find a place to dry my shoes   and a fresh towel after a hot shower,     then clean sheets tucked tight beneath the corners       of the bed. I've been too long in the wind,...

Wizard Nap

This dull and wintry day is still a weeping grey. But with the turning of a dial perhaps I'll force a smile by conjuring the warmth of June against this gloomy afternoon. Like a bored cat, I linger. I boil water with my finger. Yet, despite this warlock power, I mope...

The Leaves Remember

Why are my poems so obsessed with doom? Is there no light their dark will not consume, no work they will not turn into a chore, nor child they cannot drown in metaphor? Sometimes beauty is neither fraud nor thief; sometimes a leaf is just a common leaf— a welcome...

Praying in the Sanctuary of Snow

These twirling billions born in storms of grey descend forever from such unseen heights that Summer's sons are hypnotized to pray for Winter not to waste her wealth of white.  Other poems on Moss Kingdom about winter: The View From Winter, December 21: an Advent poem...

All This Juice and All This Joy

Alive and heavy with health,      syrup swells the root, and sun-dappled fields are filled      with walking flowers: the blossoms of the body      and the promise of fruit. We know, and delight, and dream      away the hours; let us have sweet Summer's cream    ...

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. Other poems on Moss Kingdom about Spring: Spring by Edna St. Vincent...

Come Thou Dayspring

Where is warmth and where can the light be found? These days, the workers put in longer hours than the sun who goes too soon to sleep. All the leaves, once bright, now have dulled and browned with the sunken gourds and withered flowers to feed the molds and mushrooms...

A Closer Kind of Warm: a break-up-with-summer song

The tyrant sun with unforgiving light bends the boys and girls like the August wheat. He makes them strip their clothes and beg for night like mountains made immodest in the heat. Rustling in a windless night, they seethe and sweat in anguish—should they cut their...

Winter Words: a poem about the uselessness of poems

What can be offered to the afternoon but words and words; there's nothing new to say and so I'm silent as the winter's moon with her half smile over the brilliant day. The clouds have all been chased off by the sun, her sole companion in an empty sky, and I despoil...

To the Grasshopper and the Cricket by Leigh Hunt

Green little vaulter in the sunny grass, Catching your heart up at the feel of June, Sole voice that's heard amidst the lazy noon, When even the bees lag at the summoning brass; And you, warm little housekeeper, who class With those who think the candles come too...

Featured Writer: poets better and more famous than me

The Pulley by George Herbert

    When God at first made man, Having a glass of blessings standing by, “Let us,” said he, “pour on him all we can. Let the world’s riches, which dispersèd lie,     Contract into a span.”     So strength...

Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae Sub Regno Cynarae by Ernest Dowson

Last night, ah, yesternight, betwixt her lips and mine There fell thy shadow, Cynara! thy breath was shed Upon my soul between the kisses and the wine; And I was desolate and sick of an old passion, Yea, I was desolate and bowed my head: I have been faithful to thee,...

Rock of Ages by Augustus Montague Toplady

Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee; Let the water and the blood, From Thy wounded side which flowed, Be of sin the double cure; Save from wrath and make me pure. Not the labor of my hands Can fulfill Thy law’s demands; Could my zeal no respite...

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...

Les Bijoux by Charles Baudelaire (translated by Jacques LeClercq)

Naked was my dark love, and, knowing my heart, Adorned in but her most sonorous gems, Their high pomp decked her with the conquering art Of Moorish slave girls crowned with diadems. Dancing for me with lively, mocking sound, This world of stone and metal, brittle and...

To Autumn by John Keats

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; Conspiring with him how to load and bless With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run; To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees, And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;...

Love and Sleep by Algernon Charles Swinburne

Lying asleep between the strokes of night   I saw my love lean over my sad bed,   Pale as the duskiest lily’s leaf or head, Smooth-skinned and dark, with bare throat made to bite, Too wan for blushing and too warm for white,   But...

Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs, And towards our distant rest began to trudge. Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots, But limped on,...

Footnote to All Prayer by C.S. Lewis

He whom I bow to only knows to whom I bow When I attempt the ineffable Name, murmuring Thou, And dream of Pheidian* fancies and embrace in heart Symbols (I Know) which cannot be the thing Thou art. Thus always, taken at their word, all prayers blaspheme Worshiping...

It was a hard thing to undo this knot by Gerard Manley Hopkins

It was a hard thing to undo this knot. The rainbow shines but only in the thought Of him that looks. Yet not in that alone, For who makes rainbows by invention? And many standing round a waterfall See one bow each, yet not the same to all, But each a hand's breadth...

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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A Child’s Sleep

A Child’s Sleep

I wonder if the tearful child, not yet perceiving what it means to fall asleep, might believe she dies each night. Afraid to go alone, she chokes on her goodbyes, "Please don't forget me! O please leave the door ajar!" But the swallowing Unknown will not share her...

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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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