If you remember cosmology
there is nothing to stop time
running all the way to zero
Lying up or even lying down
I will just wiggle my hand to
remind you I was timorous
Copyright © 2017 by Wayne Miller. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 7, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.
One borrows time not to be left out.
Been in the pattern of sun—secure, re-creating.
One needs one thing.
One father is left with new limits, but one
father is left. This repeat is filled with above and below.
(Do you understand that it won't cease?)
Every hour compared to dozens of previous
hours and angers, and the daughters post pictures
of vanishing. Such is a comfort.
One agrees to ask for nothing.
Under time lives silence.
Copyright © 2017 by Lauren Camp. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 26, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.
I liked Jane’s team. I’d bet money on them but it wasn’t that kind of thing. Too disorganized, plus it was just lunchtime pickup winterball with deflated goal bulbs and not enough of the good knee-gel to go around. The kids were tough. The kids goofed. Jane shone.
She worried that winter ball like a craft, then, like it was nothing, she’d plffft it dead center while everyone else looked sleepy, sidewise, a full surprise every time. Her main move always a low private conversation with the air. Then lightning knees you could never see.
The rest of the team shot sparks on occasion. Tella’s swift half-bank could rattle the shoulder of the thickest bulb-guard, and The Brain (a sticky girl in Advanced Graphmatics) had all the angles. We stood in the stands like snipers, trying to see what The Brain saw but never did till the fluke-score landed from outer space. Jane again, invisibly.
Some girls thought winter ball too mean-streaked, too psychic. My oldest daughter could hardly watch, preferring hockey. They shared a season so it was one or the other in our town. My younger daughter would rather ice-swim, but even in her ice-hole in the lake, her eyes followed Jane.
Our hearts were in Jane’s feet, her hands. All the bills we couldn’t pay, the wishing for electricity and lit-up screens of pleasure, the food gone rotten because no one could bring themselves to eat it—Jane gave us so many more chances to do it right this time.
We couldn’t give our kids the bountiful, bullet-proof homes we wanted, but we could insist on watching them try to win their childhoods back, inspecting their scraped knees before the raw red and pink dappled wounds turned burgundy, into crusts of edible leather.
Copyright © 2018 by Brenda Shaugnessy. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 17, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.
Kind height, kind in the right stomach with a little sudden mill.
Cunning shawl, cunning shawl to be steady.
In white in white handkerchiefs with little dots in a white belt all shadows are singular they are singular and procured and relieved.
No that is not the cows shame and a precocious sound, it is a bite.
Cut up alone the paved way which is harm. Harm is old boat and a likely dash.
This poem is in the public domain.
Loudell, in a loose cotton dress
the color of delphiniums,
her hair, owl-feathered and quiet
as her naked toes in their pale sandals
is a friend from this harvest part
of our lives,
a Minerva woman
of herbs and salsas, hellebore, trumpet vines
and heirloom tomatoes. She glides
among us all,
as if we too might be
Almost in a trance from the heady
August evening, and perhaps from the corner
of my indolent eye, more absorbing the murmur
than watching, I registered
this Snowy Owl of a woman
as she stripped an olive through her raptor’s mouth,
then delicately flung the pit
into the narrow garden verge next
to her deck chair.
Usually fastidious as a pharmacist
she surprised me in this seeming-act
of littering, until I realized “oh, the pit might take root,
grow!” It was her planter’s instinct/
give every seed a place.
Sipping her chardonnay and, with one hand cracking
some pistachios to neatly deposit
their shells in a bowl with pits from olives
the rest of us had eaten,
she reminds me that even
there need not be waste.
Every day the image, planted in the hull of
twilight conversation, visits me: A Snowy Owl
suddenly spreading her 10-foot wingspan
to cover this sacred earth,
its arcing motion, her arm unfolding into air
with the olive pit
Copyright @ 2014 by Diane Wakoski. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on August 15, 2014.
Many have sung of love a root of bane:
While to my mind a root of balm it is,
For love at length breeds love; sufficient bliss
For life and death and rising up again.
Surely when light of Heaven makes all things plain,
Love will grow plain with all its mysteries;
Nor shall we need to fetch from over seas
Wisdom or wealth or pleasure safe from pain.
Love in our borders, love within our heart,
Love all in all, we then shall bide at rest,
Ended for ever life’s unending quest,
Ended for ever effort, change and fear:
Love all in all; —no more that better part
Purchased, but at the cost of all things here.
This poem is in the public domain.
This salt-stain spot marks the place where men lay down their heads, back to the bench, and hoist nothing that need be lifted but some burden they've chosen this time: more reps, more weight, the upward shove of it leaving, collectively, this sign of where we've been: shroud-stain, negative flashed onto the vinyl where we push something unyielding skyward, gaining some power at least over flesh, which goads with desire, and terrifies with frailty. Who could say who's added his heat to the nimbus of our intent, here where we make ourselves: something difficult lifted, pressed or curled, Power over beauty, power over power! Though there's something more tender, beneath our vanity, our will to become objects of desire: we sweat the mark of our presence onto the cloth. Here is some halo the living made together.
From Source by Mark Doty, published by HarperCollins. Copyright © 2002 by Mark Doty. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins. All rights reserved.