The violets their soft, dark lashes part,
While robins serenade them far and near ;
But the anemone, with ebon heart
And blood-shot eyes, pretends she does not
The violets invite the nightingale
Whose carols fall in dew upon their bed ;
But the hydrangea, as saffron pale,
Holds high above the wall her nodding head.
From Myrtle and Myrrh (The Gorham Press, 1905) by Ameen Rihani. This poem is in the public domain.
The quiet opening
between fence strands
perhaps eighteen inches.
Antlers to hind hooves,
four feet off the ground,
the deer poured through.
No tuft of the coarse white belly hair left behind.
I don't know how a stag turns
into a stream, an arc of water.
I have never felt such accurate envy.
Not of the deer:
To be that porous, to have such largeness pass through me.
Originally published in Come, Thief (Knopf, 2011); all rights reserved. Copyright © by Jane Hirshfield. Used by permission of the author, all rights reserved.
Well, I guess no one can have everything. I must learn to celebrate when I fail. Inner growth and fortitude follow the sting, right? Won't I rise with holy wind in my sails? Yet they always seem to get what I want, door after door flung open. Why are the keepers of doors, who haunt the hopeful halls of fate and desire so partial to them, but not to me? Yes, I do feel sorry for myself—don't, brother, pretend the bitter blanket of self-pity, hasn't warmed your bones. It's not lovers or fame I crave, nor even happiness, particularly. Only to be lifted, just once, above all others.
Copyright © 2019 by Craig Morgan Teicher. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 5, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.