dreams of shade-covered _ _ _ _ _ _.
Employees dedicate themselves to
the World's fulfilling, the family way. Know
the conforming American gets the mortgage.
Dream easier. Dream of good. Dream
today's/tomorrow's guaranteed lead.
Common solutions have purchase. Done it.
Un. Non. All dreams will chip.
Copyright © 2017 Claire McQuerry. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in Tin House, Fall 2017.
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
This poem is in the public domain.
My name is Miss Mary Mack Mack Mack
you sing it my name
I turned into a bluebird last summer, I flew
through all the South. My wings are blue
and I touch the sky.
At first, I decided I was never coming back.
I took off my black
housedress. I knew freedom
was not the act of flying,
but the steady beat of wings.
It was my steady black,
blue and my blues were gone,
I wanted to be
a bird and became.
Copyright © 2020 Tyree Daye. From Cardinal (Copper Canyon Press, 2020). Used with permission of the author and Copper Canyon Press (coppercanyonpress.org)
ignites in me plenitude
that scents rain. Sense
the sky is full of surprising
music. Timpani, trumpet
a blue tent torn that orders
cogent, cumulative event in which no false intonation
claims itself king
over all. Every last woman
man, and child proof the rain falls
never to be worn out
Freedom is the breaking point beyond rage
I’m not scared and I don’t care where the dream
undertakers have warned me not
to take too much, not to
love too much, not to look too closely at the past,
What could there be left to break?
Nothing left to be broken
Nothing left to be taken.
From Jump the Clock: New and Selected Poems (Nightboat Books, 2020). Copyright © 2020 by Erica Hunt. Used with the permission of the poet.