Yea, there are as many stars under the Earth as over the Earth...
Plenty of room to roll around in has our planet...
And I, at the edge of the porch,
Hearing the crickets shrill in the star-thick armies of grass,
And beholding over the spread of Earth the spread of the heavens...
Drink this deep moment in my pilgrimage,
With a sense of how forever I have been alive,
With a conviction that I shall go on, ever safe, ever growing,
The stars to be included in my travels,
And the future sure before me.
This poem is in the public domain.
I know for a fact Quelly was an artist for she carried paper bags
around with little jars of paint she’d stolen.
This was in case anyone asked “Are you an artist” but no one ever did.
The waitress lives in a room above a garage
She places fruit on the sill for sun sweet warmth
She imagines she’s a guest in a room in a castle but she is not
Every night she visits the mortuary to see her future
Days she sells crescent rolls shaped like
crescent moons shaped like
crescent cats curled up
in her imaginary arm
Isn’t there some applause for her lonely life?
Some days she’s busy with anatomies wearing people
Some days she’s idle with their trappings
She watches the clock
And then the clock watches her
I would defend her if I could but she drinks from her own
Cup of blueberry tea. She calls from the window Help!
Copyright © 2019 Grace Cavalieri. This poem originally appeared in in Lips Poetry Magazine, 2019. Reprinted with permission of the author.
When the heavens with stars are gleaming
Like a diadem of light,
And the moon’s pale rays are streaming,
Decking earth with radiance bright;
When the autumn’s winds are sighing,
O’er the hill and o’er the lea,
When the summer time is dying,
Wanderer, wilt thou think of me?
When thy life is crowned with gladness,
And thy home with love is blest,
Not one brow o’ercast with sadness,
Not one bosom of unrest—
When at eventide reclining,
At thy hearthstone gay and free,
Think of one whose life is pining,
Breathe thou, love, a prayer for me.
Should dark sorrows make thee languish,
Cause thy cheek to lose its hue,
In the hour of deepest anguish,
Darling, then I’ll grieve with you.
Though the night be dark and dreary,
And it seemeth long to thee,
I would whisper, “be not weary;”
I would pray love, then, for thee.
Well I know that in the future,
I may cherish naught of earth;
Well I know that love needs nurture,
And it is of heavenly birth.
But though ocean waves may sever
I from thee, and thee from me,
Still this constant heart will never,
Never cease to think of thee.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on March 15, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.
if the cotton crop fails
if the wheat crop fails
if Oklahomans wander forever
among the back lots of Hollywood
if the potato crops fail
if the corn crops fail
if the sun corrodes a copper
mirror our faces afloat
above a crib in Guadalajara where the ceiling fan
rends our voices
and the secret lives of aloe roots
confess to a window in feathers of ice
then the bluebells yawning up in ruts
of mining roads will measure the border wall
in the serene apotheosis of their sepals
and one drop of my blood
will freeze in the eye
of an old fox, and one drop
from your eye thaw
to feed the iris bulbs
three beads from our lungs
inhaled by a prisoner
in the electric chair a queen
in a fairy tale a farmer
planting mines east of her field if
the gears of the clouds say yes
if ants flow up and down the funnels
then time will prism into its possibles
and you’ll end up in a bar
in Alabama a cherry in your mouth
watching a hotel key
float toward you
or you’ll wake in a labyrinth
called Monday called Your Life
called The Things You Prayed For
and your intricate decisions
will lead you out and deeper in
your mirrors dissolving in ghost water
and your indecisions will go on
subtracting numbers from the garden
and building houses in the air
Copyright © 2019 by Chad Sweeney. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 18, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.
Satan turns on his wheel of light,
hovering inside the Senate.
A beauty confesses to the power of air,
a roaring socket of need.
The humans bear forth from their jelly,
six rose-lipped mannequins.
—Who among these is most loved?
We will be forthright in our character analysis.
We will stenograph on bright, bright branches.
Even as someone might bribe us:
with a basket of fruit to our hearth;
with a length of black thread to our dead;
with a boy with that thread in his heart;
with a boy with a snail in his heart;
with a boy with toys in his heart, who are bowing.
Copyright © 2020 by Philip Matthews. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 13, 2020 by the Academy of American Poets.