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About this Poem 

"A glass or two sometimes has a way of distilling things that, unadorned by the windings of a day, can send into orbit what might otherwise be left on the vine."
—Howard Altmann

In Vino Veritas

Howard Altmann

And I gave myself to the poem.
And the poem gave to me.
And I gave myself to the sky.
And the sky gave to me.
And I gave myself to the wind.
And the wind took what I gave
and passed it to the sky.

And I gave myself to women.
And women gave to me.
And I gave myself to the wound.
And the wound gave to me.
And I gave myself to hope.
And hope took what I gave
and passed it to the wound.

And I gave myself to wine.
And wine gave to me.
And I gave myself to candlelight.
And candlelight gave to me.
And I gave myself to memory.
And memory took what I gave
and passed it to candlelight.

And I gave myself to music.
And music gave to me.
And I gave myself to the tree.
And the tree gave to me.
And I gave myself to change.
And change took what I gave
and passed it to the tree.

And I gave myself to silence.
And silence gave to me.
And I gave myself to light.
And light gave to me.
And I gave myself to night.
And night took what I gave
and passed it to the stars. 

Copyright © 2013 by Howard Altmann. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on December 6, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Copyright © 2013 by Howard Altmann. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on December 6, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Howard Altmann

Howard Altmann is the author of In This House (Turtle Point Press, 2010). He lives in New York City.

by this poet

poem

History sits on a chair
in a room without windows.
Mornings it searches for a door,
afternoons it naps.
At the stroke of midnight,
it stretches its body and sighs.
It keeps time and loses time,
knows its place and doesn’t know its place.
Sometimes it considers the chair a

poem
To the night I offered a flower
and the dark sky accepted it
like earth, bedding
for light.

To the desert I offered an apple
and the dunes received it
like a mouth, speaking 
for wind.

To the installation I offered a tree
and the museum planted it
like a man, viewing 
his place.

To the ocean I offered a seed