Sometimes when you start to ramble
or rather when you feel you are starting to ramble
you will say Well, now I’m rambling
though I don’t think you ever are.
And if you ever are I don’t really care.
And not just because I and everyone really
at times falls into our own unspooling
—which really I think is a beautiful softness
of being human, trying to show someone else
the color of all our threads, wanting another to know
everything in us we are trying to show them—
but in the specific,
in the specific of you
here in this car that you are driving
and in which I am sitting beside you
with regards to you
and your specific mouth
parting to give way
to the specific sweetness that is
the water of your voice
tumbling forth—like I said
I don’t ever really mind
how much more
you might keep speaking
as it simply means
I get to hear you
speak for longer.
What was a stream
now a river.
Copyright © 2023 by Anis Mojgani. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 18, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.
I don’t make any separations. A poem is a poem.
A building’s a building…. I mean, it’s all structure.
I need villanelles of you pulling
my breath like lines moving down
the page and the promise of rhyme
bending my ear. I need a sestina
of touch, patterns of palm, stroke,
skim, brush, and rub returning—
a cycle of sound and pressure I
apprehend in my bones. I need
the triolet’s refrain rolling off
your tongue like a sample, new
and nuanced here and here and here.
It’s all structure is why I need angles
of play, the love our bodies build.
I miss you. The ache's more sour
than a dropped foot, a forced rhyme.
If you're free from me too long,
what will you jettison first? Meter?
Lines? Come home. Our sonnet’s
the fourteen creases in the sheets.
A couplet of light greens your eyes
only inches from mine when iambs
ascend atop iambs. Please. I need
you in haiku: distilled in syllables,
laid bare in the last line’s turn.
Reprinted from The Poet & The Architect (Terrapin Books, 2021). Copyright © 2021 by Christine-Stewart Nuñez. Used with permission of the author. All rights reserved.
Mother, I'm trying
a poem to you—
which is how most
poems to mothers must
begin—or, What I've wanted
to say, Mother...but we
as children of mothers,
even when mothers ourselves,
cannot bear our poems
to them. Poems to
mothers make us feel
little again. How to describe
that world that mothers spin
and consume and trap
and love us in, that spreads
for years and men and miles?
Those particular hands that could
smooth anything: butter on bread,
cool sheets or weather. It's
the wonder of them, good or bad,
those mother-hands that pet
and shape and slap,
that sew you together
the pieces of a better house
or life in which you'll try
to live. Mother,
I've done no better
than the others, but for now,
here is your clever failure.
From The Poet's Child (Copper Canyon Press). Copyright © 2002 by Erin Belieu. Used with permission of Copper Canyon Press.
Your love was like moonlight
turning harsh things to beauty,
so that little wry souls
reflecting each other obliquely
as in cracked mirrors . . .
beheld in your luminous spirit
their own reflection,
transfigured as in a shining stream,
and loved you for what they are not.
You are less an image in my mind
than a luster
I see you in gleams
pale as star-light on a gray wall . . .
evanescent as the reflection of a white swan
shimmering in broken water.
Sonnets are full of love, and this my tome Has many sonnets: so here now shall be One sonnet more, a love sonnet, from me To her whose heart is my heart’s quiet home, To my first Love, my Mother, on whose knee I learnt love-lore that is not troublesome; Whose service is my special dignity, And she my loadstar while I go and come. And so because you love me, and because I love you, Mother, I have woven a wreath Of rhymes wherewith to crown your honoured name: In you not fourscore years can dim the flame Of love, whose blessed glow transcends the laws Of time and change and mortal life and death.
This poem is in the public domain.
I am old. My grown daughter is helping me fall
asleep, telling me a story she once heard
as a little girl. My daughter is holding my hand
the way the ground holds a greedy shadow. The story
goes like this—a little girl’s father lived
to be a cottonwood. Every day, the girl read books
entangled in branches. Evenings, the moon
swam between leaves. Interrupting the story,
my grown daughter nods toward the dark
window. In it, a soft painting of a child
caring for a tree. That’s when I know
I’m asleep, pretending to be a white sheet
of paper. All around, June wind blows
the limbs’ whispers like familiar snow.
From Autoblivion (Conduit Books, 2023) by Trey Moody. Copyright © 2023 by Trey Moody. Used with the permission of the author.