yes, it’s still national poetry month

and I haven’t posted nearly as many poems as I would have liked. Will certainly save them for another time. But, because I’ve cheated you from daily poetry readings, I’m closing with two of my favorites, both of which I have posted before.

 

 

HER

There is no noisier place than the suburbs,
someone once said to me
as we were walking along a fairway,
and every day is delighted to offer fresh evidence:

the chainsaw, the leaf-blower blowing
one leaf around an enormous house with columns,
on Mondays and Thursdays the garbage truck
equipped with air brakes, reverse beeper, and merciless grinder.

There’s dogs, hammers, backhoes
or serious earthmovers if today is not your day.
How can the birds get a peep
or a chirp in edgewise, I would like to know?

But this morning is different,
only a soft clicking sound
and the low talk of two workmen working
on the house next door, laying tile I am guessing.

Otherwise, all quiet for a change,
just the clicking of tiles being handled
and their talking back and forth in Spanish
then one of them asking in English

“What was her name?” and the silence of the other.  – Billy Collins, Horoscopes for the Dead

art: ramiro gomez

 

 

 

THE PEACE OF WILD THINGS

When despair grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free. – Wendell Berry

art: ray ellis

I have a deep attachment to the Berry poem and a childish, “I found it first” possessiveness about it. It was framed and given to me by another alcoholic very early on in my sobriety, 20 some years ago.

 

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