Let me not lose my dream, e'en though I scan the veil
with eyes unseeing through their glaze of tears,
Let me not falter, though the rungs of fortune perish
as I fare above the tumult, praying purer air,
Let me not lose the vision, gird me, Powers that toss
the worlds, I pray!
Hold me, and guard, lest anguish tear my dreams away!
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on December 8, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.
Sun makes the day new.
Tiny green plants emerge from earth.
Birds are singing the sky into place.
There is nowhere else I want to be but here.
I lean into the rhythm of your heart to see where it will take us.
We gallop into a warm, southern wind.
I link my legs to yours and we ride together,
Toward the ancient encampment of our relatives.
Where have you been? they ask.
And what has taken you so long?
That night after eating, singing, and dancing
We lay together under the stars.
We know ourselves to be part of mystery.
It is unspeakable.
It is everlasting.
It is for keeps.
MARCH 4, 2013, CHAMPAIGN, ILLINOIS
Reprinted from Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings by Joy Harjo. Copyright © 2015 by Joy Harjo. Used with permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
after June Jordan
Nightly my enemies feast on my comrades
like maggots on money. Money being my enemy
as plastic is my enemy. My enemy everywhere
and in my home as wifi is
a money for me to reach my comrades
and kills my house plants. My enemy
is distance growing dark, distance growing
politely in my pocket as connection.
I must become something my enemies can’t eat, don’t have
a word for yet, my enemies being literate as a drone is
well-read and precise and quiet, as when I buy something
such as a new computer with which to sing against my enemies,
there is my enemy, silent and personal.
Copyright © 2020 by Taylor Johnson. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 18, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.
They say brave but I don’t want it.
Who will we mourn today. Or won’t we.
Black all the windows. Lower
down the afternoon. I barricade
all my belonging. I am mostly never real
American or anything
availing. But I do take. And take
what’s given. The smell of blood.
I breathe it in. The dirt so thick with our good
fortune. And who pays for it. And what am I
but fear, but wanting. I’ll bite
the feeding hand until I’m fed
and buried. In the shining day.
All deadly good
intentions. A catalogue of virtues.
This is how I’ll disappear.
Copyright © 2017 by Camille Rankine. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 19, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.
We are molecules—
whose fate it is to quarrel—
who knows why?
It isn’t when we're underfoot—
it’s when we’re in the air—
two of us after one air-hole!
We don't do it—
we like being still—
it’s the wind does it!
Do lovers know why?
This poem is in the public domain, and originally appeared in Others for 1919; An Anthology of the New Verse (Nicholas L. Brown, 1920).