My pair of feet
Smack the flag-stones
That are something left over from your walking
The wind stuffs the scum of the white street
Into my lungs and my nostrils
Prolonging flight into the night
Never reaching — — — — — — —
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on January 9, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.
I’ve lived my life as if I were my wife packing for a trip—I’ll need this and that and I can’t possibly do without that! But now I’m about what can be done without. I just need a thin valise. There’s no place on earth where I can’t unpack in a flash down to a final spark of consciousness. No place where I can’t enter the joyless rapture of almost remembering I’ll need this and I’ll need that, hoping to weigh less than silence, lighter than light.
From The Memory of Water, published by New Issues Press. Copyright © 2011 by Jack Myers. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.
I hear you call, pine tree, I hear you upon the hill, by the silent pond
where the lotus flowers bloom, I hear you call, pine tree.
What is it you call, pine tree, when the rain falls, when the winds
blow, and when the stars appear, what is it you call, pine tree?
I hear you call, pine tree, but I am blind, and do not know how to
reach you, pine tree. Who will take me to you, pine tree?
This poem is in the public domain.
The faint shadow of the morning moon?
Nay, the snow falling on the earth.
The mist of blossoming flowers?
Nay, poetry smiling up the sky.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on January 8, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.
for Janice Mirikitani
I watched you survivesurvive
your thick hair and wide laugh
a list of words we were not allowed
to write into poems
the blanket is the night
you were too bright to be a star
to give blankets is an ancient trick
for you, a balm
and June who if she was her month
straddling spring and summer
with her arches, tunnels, bridges
then you, might have been her
balance, an autumn predicting
softness, snow that never reaches fog
snow that illuminates no mattermatter the time
you and she making us make words
and we brokebroke by making words
matter and you blanket and stars both and all.
Copyright © 2022 by Youmna Chlala. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 9, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.
Beat, old heart, these are the old bars
All stragglers have beat against.
Beat on these bars like the old sea
Beats on the rocks and beaches.
Beat here like the old winter winds
Beat on the prairies and timbers.
Old grizzlies, eagles, buffalo,
Their paws and beaks register this.
Their hides and heads say it with scars.
From Slabs of the Sunburnt West (New York, Harcourt, Brace and company, 1922) by Carl Sandburg. This poem is in the public domain.