Archive for August, 2018

Friday, 31 August 2018

Adolescence by Courtney Queeney

There was a ravine with a rain-choked creek,
water barreling down its cork-screwed spine.
When I paused on the bridge

to regard a twisted, rusted car hulk below,
the water muttered, I too am a way to escape.
The wreck pled, Dream me.


Date: 2013

By: Courtney Queeney (1978- )

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Misfit by Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay

There was the earth, turning and turning.
The stars receded, as if
Finding no wrong with anything.

Birds flew by all morning—
The sky lit
From the earth’s turning and turning.

My hands, as usual, were flapping.
The birds knew I was Autistic;
They found no wrong with anything.

Men and women stared at my nodding;
They labeled me a Misfit
(A Misfit turning and turning).

And then I was the wind, blowing.
Did anyone see my trick?
I found no wrong with anything.

Somewhere a wish was rising,
Perhaps from between my laughing lips.
Why stop turning and turning
When right can be found with everything?


Date: 2010

By: Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay (1989- )

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Holding My Breath by Charles W. Pratt

It was a favorite aunt who used to tell
How, when I learned to swim, I’d cry out
To the attendant angels on the float,
“Going undah now,” and disappear
For as long as I could hold my breath,
Then breach spouting: call me Moby Dick.

She’s gone under now, and all her memories.
She won’t come up at sunset on the porch
To suck the orange slice from her old-fashioned,
Or cross-stitch dresses for the German dolls
Ranged in a glass-front case for neighbor children —
She had none — to visit. Where are they?

Bedtime. I pull the covers up and murmur
(So my attendant angel doesn’t hear),
“Going undah now.”


Date: 2008

By: Charles W. Pratt (1934-2012)

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Homesickness by Mary Frances Barber Butts

We oft are sorrowful yet have no word
To tell why gloom has settled on the day
Like clouds that blot the azure field with gray;
We know not why the singing of a bird
Touches the soul to pain as if we heard
Within the voice another music say
Things not translated in our human way;
We pierce ourselves with blame yet have not erred.
Exiles we are, and when the outreaching heart
Is quickened to sense its native atmosphere,—
When through the fair world’s form the spirit part
Reveals itself an instant passing dear,—
When in a flower’s sweet face new meanings dart
We mourn, shut out, for that which is so near.


Date: 1891

By: Mary Frances Barber Butts (1836-1902)

Monday, 27 August 2018

Verses Sent by Lord Melcombe to Dr. Young, Not Long Before His Lordship’s Death by George Bubb Dodington

Kind companion of my youth,
Lov’d for genius, worth, and truth!
Take what friendship can impart,
Tribute of a feeling heart;
Take the muse’s latest spark,
Ere we drop into the dark.
He, who parts and virtue gave,
Bade thee look beyond the grave:
Genius soars, and virtue guides,
Where the love of God presides.
There’s a gulph ‘twixt us and God;
Let the gloomy path be trod:
Why stand shivering on the shore;
Why not boldly venture o’er;
Where unerring virtue guides
Let us brave the winds and tides:
Safe, thro’ seas of doubts and fears,
Rides the bark which virtue steers.


Date: c1762

By: George Bubb Dodington (1691-1762)

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Instructions for Winter by Ted Genoways

Eagle, Alaska

You must private away a secret summer,
cached and fed by darkness like sourdough
in a larder, so that each noon numbered
in lamplight is matched by a midnight, yellow

with the slant of June. Against such permafrost,
you must toughen yourself on carrion;
you must fatten on summer—berries and moss—
to carry you across the windswept barrens.

Live—but remember the reason, source
and abyss where everything lives dies.
And when the first flakes swirl into drifts, hold

summer close and let winter run its course.
Curl in your den, sleep; and when you arise,
shoulder forth lean and perfected by cold.


Date: 2005

By: Ted Genoways (1972- )

Saturday, 25 August 2018

The Enigma of Arrival by Anis Shivani

First the Coptics came smiling to the Maryland shores,
drowning black cats, when they weren’t worshiping
the bells that never rang around their knobby necks;
then came the Assyrians, settling around Boston hills,
digging in the land like raggedy rabbits run out of chase,
weaned of scraps, agonized by the shadow of their tails;
then came the Phoenicians, complete with identity clasps
strangling their thin throats, swishing their romantic robes
as if they were a nation entirely of loving kings and queens;
Finally, the Huns, who chose Philadelphia to build
in the image of castles where murders are publicized
to maids not afraid enough of their raping masters,
so that harmony in the new world may prevail.


Date: 2013

By: Anis Shivani (19??- )

Friday, 24 August 2018

Wooed and Married and A’ by Alexander Ross

The bride cam’ out o’ the byre,
And O, as she dighted1 her cheeks,
‘Sirs, I’m to be married the-night,
And ha’e neither blankets nor sheets–
Ha’e neither blankets nor sheets,
Nor scarce a coverlet too;
The bride that has a’ thing to borrow,
Has e’en right meikle2 ado!’

Wooed and married and a’!
Married and wooed and a’!
And was she na very weel aff
That was wooed and married and a’?

Out spake the bride’s father
As he cam’ in frae the pleugh,
‘O haud your tongue, my dochter,
And ye’se3 get gear4 eneugh.
The stirk5 stands i’ the tether,
And our braw bawsint yade6
Will carry hame your corn:—
What wad ye be at, ye jade?’

Out spake the bride’s mither:
‘What, deil, needs a’ this pride?
I hadna a plack7 in my pouch
That night I was a bride.
My gown was linsey-wolsey,
And ne’er a sark8 ava;
And ye ha’e ribbons and buskin’s9
  Mae10 than ane or twa.’

Out spake the bride’s brither
As he cam’ in wi’ the kye:11
‘Puir Willie wad ne’er ha’e ta’en ye
Had he kent ye as weel as I.
For ye’re baith proud and saucy,
And no for a puir man’s wife;
Gin12 I canna get a better
I’se ne’er tak’ ane i’ my life!’

Out spake the bride’s sister
As she cam’ in frae the byre;
‘Oh, gin I were but married,
It’s a’ that I desire!
But we puir folk maun live,
And do the best we can;
I dinna ken what I should want
If I could get but a man!’

1. Wiped.
2. Much.
3. You shall.
4. Property.
5. Steer.
6. Fine white-faced mare.
7. Four-pence Scots.
8. Chemise.
9. Ornaments.
10. More.
11. Cows.
12. If.


Date: 1768

By: Alexander Ross (1699-1784)

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Origin Story by Kaya Lattimore

I am from southern islands.
I am from migration, from tides low enough
to walk on sand bars across countries.
I am from the curved horizon, from the sudden
descent of dusk, hazy as smoke.
From hands rough as palm tree bark,
from the young green coconuts, fresh as seawater.
I am from my mother’s crowded mouth, her
crooked teeth and many accents; from my father’s folklore
and five languages. I am from a dusty town, from handfuls
of kin, their history and blood.
I am from rice paddies and floods.

I am from brown-skin summers.
From native tongue and too-good English;
I am from bamboo borders, the hallowed crossing.
From ancient rivers with Antarctic-ocean veins, from
a mountain-walled city and my many names.
I am from the culture shock, a mouth too crowded
with language to speak.
From blue passport and airplanes,
from the “where are you from?”
I am from the waiting.
I am from unlearning every word for home.
I am from my oldest memory, this chameleon skin.
I am from the roots where every story begins.


Date: 2018

By: Kaya Lattimore (19??- )

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

A Prosopopoicall Speache of the Booke by Abraham Fleming (Flemyng)

Some tell of starres th’influence straunge,
Some tell of byrdes which flie in th’ayre,
Some tell of beastes on land which raunge,
⁠Some tell of fishe in rivers fayre,
Some tell of serpentes sundry sortes,
⁠Some tell of plantes the full effect,
Of English dogges I sound reportes,
⁠Their names and natures I detect,
My forhed is but baulde and bare:
⁠But yet my bod’ys beutifull,
For pleasaunt flowres in me there are,
⁠And not so fyne as plentifull;
And though my garden plot so greene,
⁠Of dogges receave the trampling feete,
Yet is it swept and kept full cleene,
⁠So that it yeelds a savour sweete.

From: Caius, John and Fleming, Abraham (transl.), Of Englishe Dogges, the Diversities, the Names, the Natures, and the Properties: A Short Treatise Written in Latine, 1850, A. Bradley: London, p. [unnumbered].

Date: 1576

By: Abraham Fleming (Flemyng) (c1552-1607)