Friday, April 3, 2009

April 2009 poems

In Blackwater Woods
by Mary Oliver

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars

of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,

the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders

of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is

nameless now.
Every year
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

In Colorado , In Oregon , upon
by Joshua Beckman

In Colorado , In Oregon , upon
each beloved fork, a birthday is celebrated.
I miss each and every one of my friends.
I believe in getting something for nothing.
Push the chair, and what I can tell you
with almost complete certainty
is that the chair won't mind.
And beyond hope,
I expect it is like this everywhere.
Music soothing people.
Change rolling under tables.
The immaculate cutoff so that we may continue.
A particular pair of trees waking up against the window.
This partnership of mind, and always now
in want of forgiveness. That forgiveness be
the domain of the individual,
like music or personal investment.
Great forward-thinking people brought us
the newspaper, and look what we have done.
It is time for forgiveness. Dear ones,
unmistakable quality will soon be upon us.
Don't wait for anything else.

Mysteries, Yes

By Mary Oliver

Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous
to be understood.

How grass can be nourishing in the
mouths of the lambs.
How rivers and stones are forever
in allegiance with gravity
while we ourselves dream of rising.
How two hands touch and the bonds
will never be broken.
How people come, from delight or the
scars of damage,
to the comfort of a poem.

Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.

Let me keep company always with those who say
"Look!" and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads.

By Franz Wright, God’s Silence, 2006
But if they were condemned to suffer
this unending torment, sooner or later
wouldn’t they become the holy?

The Hymnal (blue) 1982

By James Richardson

O Gracious Light (twenty-five)

to dawn’s early light (seven-hundred-twenty)

You’ll find the block numbers up on the wall

       they change every week.

Then find a blue book in front of you.

So many hands hold it,

       their eyes careening across scratches

              and dots.

       mouths in Os, open, take a breath,

oh please take a breath

So many hands smudge the corners

       afraid to touch above the tiny italic,

       never veering above

              Watts, Proulx or Winkworth.

The book, after all, is silent, always.

       Or is it?

       The tunes leaping from eye to fingers to keyboard

The rest of us faking it a little,

       Or a lot.

       Warbling up and down with the dots and scratches,

              cross hatches become sounds,

              and that is a miracle if ever there was one.

Ever notice the lower corners on the cover of the Hymnal (blue) 1982?

       A little tatered, bent, flattened

specks of brown paper sticking out,

bits of cardboard fraying,

Like my voice.

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