Posts tagged ‘2010’

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Of the Parrat and Other Birds that Can Speake by Nick Lantz

It is for certain knowne that they have died for very anger and griefe that they could not learn to pronounce some hard words.—Pliny the Elder

When you buy the bird for your mother
you hope it will talk to her. But weeks pass
before it does anything except pluck the bars
with its beak. Then one day it says, “infect.”

Your mother tells you this on the phone,
and you drive over, find the frozen meals
you bought for her last week sweating
on the countertop. “In fact,” she says

in answer to your question, “I have been
eating,” and it’s as you point to the empty
trash can, the spotless dishes, that you
realize the bird is only saying, “in fact,”

that this is now the preamble to all
of your mother’s lies. “In fact,” she says,
“I have been paying the bills,” and you
believe her until you find a cache

of unopened envelopes in the freezer.
More things are showing up where
they shouldn’t. Looking out the back
window one evening you see craters

in her yard. While she’s watching TV,
you go out with a trowel and excavate
picture frames, flatware that looks like
the silver bones of some exquisite

animal. You worry when you arrive
one day and see the open, empty cage
that you will find the bird dead, stuffed
in an oven mitt and left in a drawer,

but you find it sitting on her shoulder
in the kitchen. “In fact,” she says,
“he learned to open the cage himself.”
The bird learns new words. You learn

which lies you can ignore. The stroke
that kills her gives no warning, not—
the doctor assures you—that anyone
can predict such things. When you

drive home that night with the cage
belted into the passenger seat, the bird
makes a sound that is not a word
but that you immediately recognize

as the sound of your mother’s phone
ringing, and you know it is the sound
of you calling her again and again,
the sound of her not answering.

From: https://blog.bestamericanpoetry.com/the_best_american_poetry/2010/07/of-the-parrat-and-other-birds-that-can-speake-by-nick-lantz.html

Date: 2010

By: Nick Lantz (19??- )

Advertisements
Monday, 20 May 2019

An Aunt’s Advice to her Niece by Alyt van Bronckhorst uunde Batenborch

Suffering is my finery;
A cloak of suffering sewn for me
Is lined with all the grief I bear.
Oh, help me God, it shows no wear or tear.

If suffering were a joy I’d seldom grieve.
Wherever I go it accompanies me.
The lining is the grief I bear.
Help me, God, this cloak will show no wear or tear.

I see more clearly every day
That I was born for grief and pain.
If I were somehow free of all this misery,
I would be lost eternally.

So I will put all trust and hope
In no one but almighty God,
Who never will leave me alone
As long as I cling to His Word.

From: van Gemert, Lia; Joldersma, Hermina; van Marion, Olga; van der Poel, Dieuwke; Schenkeveld-van der Dussen, Biet (eds.), Women’s Writing from the Low Countries, 1200-1875: A Bilingual Anthology, 2010, Amsterdam University Press: Amsterdam, p. 197.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=Kj7YsJVHm4MC)

Date: 1586 (original in Dutch); 2010 (translation in English)

By: Alyt van Bronckhorst uunde Batenborch (fl. 1586)

Translated by: Myra J. Heerspink Scholz (1944- )

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Spiderweb by Kay Ryan

From other
angles the
fibers look
fragile, but
not from the
spider’s, always
hauling coarse
ropes, hitching
lines to the
best posts
possible. It’s
heavy work
everyplace,
fighting sag,
winching up
give. It
isn’t ever
delicate
to live.

From: http://www.persimmontree.org/v2/summer-2011/sixteen-poems/

Date: 2010

By: Kay Ryan (1945- )

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Something’s There by Barbara R. Vance

There’s something down beneath my bed;
What it is, I’m not quite sure.
But it’s only just arrived there;
I’d have noticed it before.
My mother says it’s nothing,
And my father shakes his head.
I guess they don’t believe in
The thing beneath my bed.

I am sure that it is waiting
Till I turn out the last light,
And settle on my pillows
For a very long, dark night.
And when I’m softly drowsing,
And my mind is fast asleep,
Out from underneath my bed
That something there will creep.

In the morning they’ll be sorry
When they find my bunk empty;
They’ll know they should have listened –
I was speaking truthfully.
And they’ll forever mourn the day
That they simply didn’t care,
And will always look under their bed,
For a something might be there.

From: http://www.suziebitner.com/portfolio/somethings-there/

Date: 2010

By: Barbara R. Vance (19??- )

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Honeysuckle by Janice N. Harrington

                        Vernon, Alabama, 1962

With backs bent, the daughters
of Vernon clean the graves of their dead,
casting aside the wind-scattered litter
and long necklaces of ants, leaving instead
foil-swaddled tins of plastic posies, phlox,
cockscomb, and biscuit-wide roses.

They move unspeaking between
the grassy plats, through doilies
of shade and sun, to the carved serifs
of familiar names, the lives
they knew: that one killed by fire,
the one whose heart grew watery as a melon,
there and there the others lost to cancer.

They tarry beside particular deaths,
their sorrow both daybook and parable:
how afterwards they too wanted to die
and couldn’t stop cryin’. No, couldn’t stop
cryin’.
The daughters of Vernon step
carefully, as they were taught.

Hush. Do not disturb these dead ones.
Let them sleep. Free of burden.
Let them sleep. At rest beneath that yella clay.
Let them sleep, Lord, let them sleep.

But the dead hear anyway and, listening
to those muffled feet, the rub of work-worn
hands against a gravestone’s edge, the whis,
whis of a sweeping whisk, they stare out
of dead spaces at the shapes above and see
the industry of shadows. They watch
for a moment, incurious, and then, closing
dead eyes, return to solitude’s unmoving dust.
But the honeysuckle remains, having planted itself,
feral and heavy-scented, left by grief’s gleaning
to fill the silence and draw from passing bees
a music that any might hear who still listen.

From: https://www.connotationpress.com/hoppenthaler-s-congeries/2010/january-2010/256-janice-n-harrington-poetry

Date: 2010

By: Janice N. Harrington (1956- )

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

The Optometrics of Love by Tony Gruenewald

Thank you for being the one
who never looked
through lenses distorted
by the residue
of former boyfriends,
spouses and lovers
and saw
me.

From: http://old.ragazine.cc/2010/08/tony-gruenewald/

Date: 2010

By: Tony Gruenewald (19??- )

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?

From: http://dsq-sds.org/article/view/1192/1256

Date: 2010

By: Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay (1989- )

Monday, 28 May 2018

The Victorian Age by Karin Gottshall

One thousand lockets minus a lace handkerchief
equals a flock of passenger pigeons, each
carrying a Valentine heart. Seven hundred

ladies’ gloves plus a fishing village
amounts to one temperamental swan and a missing
engagement ring. The alphabet backwards

equals the cemetery on the hill. Marzipan
equals almonds, eggs, sugar, and a scullery maid
weeping into her apron. We’ve lost count

of cravats, hair brooches, and riding boots, traded
a deck of cards for two gentlemen playing
at charades. Top hats can be added to tapioca—

flavor with rum. Two hundred and fifty
petticoats multiplied by twelve chimneysweeps
equals a shattered femur. One locomotive

plus a dozen headmasters comes to a bakery
on Easter morning: hot cross buns with currants.
A dirge equals a dirge. Twenty-seven

daguerreotypes times three overwrought aviaries
is a solar eclipse. Christmas divided by deep mourning
equals burnt porridge. Thirteen hundred orphans left over.

From: https://augurybooks.com/2-poems-by-karin-gottshall/

Date: 2010

By: Karin Gottshall (19??- )

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Morning Song by Marcia F. Brown

Here, I place
a blue glazed cup
where the wood
is slightly whitened.
Here, I lay down
two bright spoons,
our breakfast saucers, napkins
white and smooth as milk.

I am stirring at the sink,
I am stirring
the amount of dew
you can gather in two hands,
folding it into the fragile
quiet of the house.
Before the eggs,
before the coffee
heaving like a warm cat,
I step out to the feeder—
one foot, then the other,
alive on wet blades.
Air lifts my gown—I might fly—

This thistle seed I pour
is for the tiny birds.
This ritual,
for all things frail
and imperiled.
Wings surround me, frothing
the air. I am struck
by what becomes holy.

A woman
who lost her teenage child
to an illness without mercy,
said that at the end, her daughter
sat up in her hospital bed
and asked:

What should I do?
What should I do?

Into a white enamel bath
I lower four brown eggs.
You fill the door frame,
warm and rumpled, kiss
the crown of my head.
I know how the topmost leaves
of dusty trees
feel at the advent
of the monsoon rains.

I carry the woman with the lost child
in my pocket, where she murmurs
her love song without end:
Just this, each day:
Bear yourself up on small wings
to receive what is given.
Feed one another
with such tenderness,
it could almost be an answer.

From: http://www.gold-foundation.org/newsroom/blog/morning-song-by-marcia-f-brown/

Date: 2010

By: Marcia F. Brown (19??- )

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Ode to Chocolate by Barbara Crooker

I hate milk chocolate, don’t want clouds
of cream diluting the dark night sky,
don’t want pralines or raisins, rubble
in this smooth plateau. I like my coffee
black, my beer from Germany, wine
from Burgundy, the darker, the better.
I like my heroes complicated and brooding,
James Dean in oiled leather, leaning
on a motorcycle. You know the color.

Oh, chocolate! From the spice bazaars
of Africa, hulled in mills, beaten,
pressed in bars. The cold slab of a cave’s
interior, when all the stars
have gone to sleep.

Chocolate strolls up to the microphone
and plays jazz at midnight, the low slow
notes of a bass clarinet. Chocolate saunters
down the runway, slouches in quaint
boutiques; its style is je ne sais quoi.
Chocolate stays up late and gambles,
likes roulette. Always bets
on the noir.

From: https://gratefulness.org/resource/ode-to-chocolate/

Date: 2010

By: Barbara Crooker (1945- )