Posts tagged ‘1979’

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Afternoon of a Toad by David Thompson Watson McCord

The purblind toad, a stain of rust
In uncooperative dust,
Is happy now to readjust

His hop-and-stop in stippled shade
Of dahlias where the hose has made
Primordial ooze. Slugs, bugs parade

With flying batons, floats, balloons;
One surfacing pink worm festoons
Himself. Such summer afternoons

Are paradise. The swift unhung
Now flickering amphibian’s tongue
Forks lightning out amid, among.

From: McCord, David, “Afternoon of a Toad” in Poetry, August 1979, p. 281.

Date: 1979

By: David Thompson Watson McCord (1897-1997)

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Racism/Many Faces by Roberta “Bobbi” Barkley Patterson Sykes

A woman said to me
T’ other day…..
I read one of your poems
About women,
I thought it very good
It didn’t say that you
were BLACK.

Now I meet you and
see that you
I wonder
Why you wrote the poem?

Do they think
we spend
our whole lives
being BLACK
for them?


Date: 1979

From: Roberta “Bobbi” Barkley Patterson Sykes (1943-2010)

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Nightmares by Siv Cedering Fox

Some say the nightmare is
a horse
that starts to gallop in a dream
and scares the sleeping one awake.

Some say the nightmare is
a sea
where storms have made the waves so big
that they frighten me.

I do not know
what nightmares are,
I only know
they are.

But though the nightmares come
at times,
they do not come as often as
the pretty horse, as often as
the calmer sea, that bring
all other dreams to me.

From: Fox, Siv Cedering, The Blue Horse and Other Night Poems, 1979, The Seabury Press: New York, p. 24.

Date: 1979

By: Siv Cedering Fox (1939-2007)

Friday, 13 October 2017

Transit by Richard Purdy Wilbur

A woman I have never seen before
Steps from the darkness of her town-house door
At just that crux of time when she is made
So beautiful that she or time must fade.

What use to claim that as she tugs her gloves
A phantom heraldry of all the loves
Blares from the lintel? That the staggered sun
Forgets, in his confusion, how to run?

Still, nothing changes as her perfect feet
Click down the walk that issues in the street,
Leaving the stations of her body there
Like whips that map the countries of the air.


Date: 1979

By: Richard Purdy Wilbur (1921- )

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Damselfly, Trout, Heron by John Engels

The damselfly folds its wings
over its body when at rest. Captured,
it should not be killed
in cyanide, but allowed to die
slowly: then the colors,
especially the reds and blues,
will last. In the hand
it crushes easily into a rosy
slime. Its powers of flight
are weak. The trout

feeds on the living damselfly.
The trout leaps up from the water,
and if there is sun you see
the briefest shiver of gold,
and then the river again.
When the trout dies
it turns its white belly
to the mirror of the sky.
The heron fishes for the trout

in the gravelly shallows on the far
side of the stream. The heron
is the exact blue of the shadows
the sun makes of trees on water.
When you hold the heron most clearly
in your eye, you are least certain
it is there. When the blue heron dies,
it lies beyond reach
on the far side of the river.


Date: 1979

By: John Engels (1931-2007)

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Millworker by James Vernon Taylor

Now my grandfather was a sailor
He blew in off the water
My father was a farmer
And I, his only daughter
Took up with a no good millworking man
From Massachusetts
Who dies from too much whiskey
And leaves me these three faces to feed

Millwork ain’t easy
Millwork ain’t hard
Millwork it ain’t nothing
But an awful boring job
I’m waiting (on) a daydream
To take me through the morning
And put me in my coffee break
Where I can have a sandwich
And remember

Then it’s me and my machine
For the rest of the morning
(and) the rest of the afternoon
And the rest of my life

Now my mind begins to wander
To the days back on the farm
I can see my father smiling at me
Swinging on his arm
I can hear my granddad’s stories
Of the storms out on Lake Eerie
Where vessels and cargos and fortunes
And sailors’ lives were lost

(Yeah), but it’s my life has been wasted
And I have been the fool
To let this manufacturer
Use my body for a tool
(I’ll) ride home in the evening
Staring at my hands
Swearing by my sorrow that a young girl
Ought to stand a better chance

So may I work the mills just as long as I am able
And never meet the man whose name is on the label

(Still it’s) me and my machine
For the rest of the morning
And the rest of the afternoon (and on and on and on…)
For the rest of my life.


Date: 1979

By: James Vernon Taylor (1948- )

Monday, 7 December 2015

The God We Hardly Knew by Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez

No one can celebrate
a genuine Christmas
without being truly poor.
The self-sufficient, the proud,
those who, because they have
everything, look down on others,
those who have no need
even of God- for them there
will be no Christmas.
Only the poor, the hungry,
those who need someone
to come on their behalf,
will have that someone.
That someone is God.
Emmanuel. God-with-us.
Without poverty of spirit
there can be no abundance of God.


Date: 1979 (original in Spanish); 1984 (translation in English)

By: Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (1917-1980)

Translated by: James R. Brockman (1926-1999)

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

In April by James Schell Hearst

This I saw on an April day:
Warm rain spilt from a sun-lined cloud,
A sky-flung wave of gold at evening,
And a cock pheasant treading a dusty path
Shy and proud.

And this I found in an April field:
A new white calf in the sun at noon,
A flash of blue in a cool moss bank,
And tips of tulips promising flowers
To a blue-winged loon.

And this I tried to understand
As I scrubbed the rust from my brightening plow:
The movement of seed in furrowed earth,
And a blackbird whistling sweet and clear
From a green-sprayed bough.


Date: 1979

By: James Schell Hearst (1900-1983)

Monday, 20 August 2012

Love Letter by Carole Clemmons Gregory

Dear Samson,

I put your hair
in a jar
by the pear tree
near the well.
I been thinkin’
over what I done
and I still don’t think
God gave you
all that strength
for you to kill
my people.

Love – Delilah


Date: 1979

By: Carole Clemmons Gregory (1945- )

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Hawk by David Campbell

The hawk’s shadow slides
Through summer grass
Tracing contour and hollow
To pause fluttering below
The hawk like a lover.

The hawk from its hover
Drops on a small

Animal in its shadow,
In this act devours
And renews itself.

Hawk, hawk,
Weld of thought and mineral,
Beautiful, catching the breath:
Hunter and lover spring
From the same source.


Date: 1979

By: David Campbell (1915-1979)