Archive for September, 2019

Monday, 30 September 2019

Rage of the Long-Distance Mother by Karen Elias-Button

My hand moves through centuries of anger,
palm open, ready to strike. This is not
the common indignation of the mothers
with their brooms and switches, dusting
their children from beneath their feet, but
the fury of the seasons, of the second-
hand, and you, little straggler, beyond recall.

But my hand does not connect.
Insulated from this small death
you are soft as rubber, you drink
my blows. Again and again I strike
at nothing. Rage fills the pockets
of my face like unshed tears.

Later, the words I write curve off the page,
settling elsewhere, like particles of dust.
Your hand appears, palm open, between
the lines, hungry as paper. At dinner
you show up with a word on your forehead
reading caution or authentic, either one.


Date: 1978

By: Karen Elias-Button (19??- )

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Picking Whitman’s Pocket by Philip Dacey

                              “I had my pocket picked in a jam and hurry, changing cars, in Philadelphia.”

I have picked Walt Whitman’s pocket.
Oh, we have all picked his pocket,
put our hands deep into his fibrous dark
and left them there,
no ordinary pickpockets,
left them there so that he could not help but feel them,
though he did not mind,
rather enjoyed the intimacy,
appreciated the compliment
of our thievery.

We were not quick about it,
were slow, like lovers,
the extraction a process of years,
a tender thievery,
our fingers sticky indeed,
their tips so sensitive
they were like eyes reading the finest print.

And before long, he slipped his own hand
into the pocket where our hands burrowed,
his own wrapping around ours
to hold them there, lest we consider
removing and inserting them elsewhere,
so that he became accomplice in this theft of himself,
encouraging us to take what we found there,
for it is what he always wanted,
that his lovers empty him out,
that he be left with nothing,
the perfect baggage
for the open road.


Date: 2012

By: Philip Dacey (1939-2016)

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Not One Thing Bright by Florence Chard Dacey

I hoard the gold
of poplars, silver bark of birch
till they brown in earth
and fade as we do
under the witness of trees.

My bulls and bears
trample and snarl at my need.
I’ll eat each slice
of moon’s shadowy bread.
Live on waves.
Dash on rocks.

Nothing keeps me safe
as colors found then squandered.
Not paper made to buy our separation.
Not one thing bright that cost a life.


Date: 2015

By: Florence Chard Dacey (19??- )

Friday, 27 September 2019

Form, Formlessness by Janet Elizabeth Aalfs

My one small life is formed from more than a hundred million breaths. In, out

I am still breathing. Even as I count the only breath is now.

This heart that is my only heart pulses without a break thousands of times a day whether I am grateful or not.

Thank you heart. Thank you breath.

Songbirds ecstatic, clouds swirl like feathers. Multiplying cell by cell I dissolve.

Gratitude is nothing, a breath nothing you can keep. Neither a heartbeat. Neither this moment, formless,

more powerful than all our lives. In one fleeting sigh a simple feeling washes through me. Hello Love, I recognize your face.


Date: 2005

By: Janet Elizabeth Aalfs (1956- )

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Night Work by Rowyda Amin

From your bed, noctilucent paths
are rambling, one of which could lead
through the Tudor knot of yew hedge
to that rose arbour at its centre
where white-slippered sleep is breathing.

Simple to untangle one path after the next
if you still had all night, but fat mice
are eating through the blue and green wool
with which the maze is tapestried.

Though tawny owls, silver-beaked, dive
to unpick the plump bodies, bursting
every pink and yellow cross-stitch,
you’re still awake at dawn, tattered
in your threadbare nest of bones.


Date: 2011

By: Rowyda Amin (19??- )

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

The Pagan by George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair)

So here are you, and here am I,
Where we may thank our gods to be;
Above the earth, beneath the sky,
Naked souls alive and free.
The autumn wind goes rustling by
And stirs the stubble at our feet;
Out of the west it whispering blows,
Stops to caress and onward goes,
Bringing its earthy odours sweet.
See with what pride the the setting sun
Kinglike in gold and purple dies,
And like a robe of rainbow spun
Tinges the earth with shades divine.
That mystic light is in your eyes
And ever in your heart will shine.


Date: 1918

By: George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair) (1903-1950)

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Peace. A Study by Charles Stuart Calverley

He stood, a worn-out City clerk —
Who’d toil’d, and seen no holiday,
For forty years from dawn to dark —
Alone beside Caermarthen Bay.
He felt the salt spray on his lips;
Heard children’s voices on the sands;
Up the sun’s path he saw the ships
Sail on and on to other lands;
And laugh’d aloud. Each sight and sound
To him was joy too deep for tears;
He sat him on the beach, and bound
A blue bandana round his ears
And thought how, posted near his door,
His own green door on Camden Hill,
Two bands at least, most likely more,
Were mingling at their own sweet will
Verdi with Vance. And at the thought
He laugh’d again, and softly drew
That Morning Herald that he’d bought
Forth from his breast, and read it through.


Date: 1890

By: Charles Stuart Calverley (1831-1884)

Monday, 23 September 2019

Wretten By Me On the Death of My Child Robert Payler by Mary Jackson Carey/Peyler

My lord hath called for my sonne
my hart breth’s forth; thy will be done:

my all; that mercy hath made mine
frely’s surendered to be thine:

But if I give my all to the
lett me not pyne for poverty:

Change Wth me; doe, as I have done
give me thy all; Even thy deare sonne:

Tis Jesus Christ; lord I would have;
he’s thine, mine all; ’tis him I crave:

Give him to me; and I’le reply
Enoughe my lord; now lett me dye.


Date: c1650

By: Mary Jackson Carey/Peyler (c1609-c1680)

Sunday, 22 September 2019

Retrospective, Agnes Martin by Susan Barba

painstaking grid of immanence
appearing effortless as leaves or ice

tundra of inscape
reef of nothingness—

on a cold day we climbed inside
the white-walled nautilus

and saw the echoes of the sea.
my young companion,

if I could give you one thing
it would be untitled space.


Date: 2019

by: Susan Barba (19??- )

Saturday, 21 September 2019

Origin by Sarah Lindsay

The first cell felt no call to divide.
Fed on abundant salts and sun,
still thin, it simply spread,
rocking on water, clinging to stone,
a film of obliging strength.
Its endoplasmic reticulum
was a thing of incomparable curvaceous length;
its nucleus, Golgi apparatus, RNA
magnificent. With no incidence
of loneliness, inner conflict, or deceit,
no predator nor prey,
it had little to do but thrive,
draw back from any sharp heat
or bitterness, and change its pastel
colors in a kind of song.
We are descendants of the second cell.


Date: 2013

By: Sarah Lindsay (1958- )