Archive for april

Poem – As I

As I watch the April sunrise across
the turbulent waters I am reminded again
of my place beneath cedar and pine
while sitting on the rocks with two puppies.

Poetry – Mark Doty – To Jackson Pollock

To Jackson Pollock
Mark Doty

Last night somebody murdered a young tree on Seventh Avenue
between 18th and 19th—only two in that block,
and just days ago we’d taken refreshment in the crisp and particular shade

of that young ginkgo’s tight leaves, its beauty and optimism,
though I didn’t think of that word until the snapped trunk this morning,
a broken broomstick discarded, and tell me what pleasure

could you take from that? Maybe I understand it,
the sudden surge of rage and the requirement of a gesture,
but this hour I place myself firmly on the side of thirst,

the sapling’s ambition to draw from the secret streams
beneath this city, to lift up our subterranean waters.
Power in a pointless scrawl now on the pavement.

Pollock, when he swung his wild arcs in the barn-air
by Accabonac, stripped away incident and detail till all
that was left was swing and fall and return,

austere rhythm deep down things, beautiful
because he’s subtracted the specific stub and pith,
this wreck on the too-hot pavement where scavengers

spread their secondhand books in the scalding sunlight.
Or maybe he didn’t. Erase it I mean: look into the fierce ellipse
of his preserved gesture, and hasn’t he swept up every bit,

all the busted and incomplete, half-finished and lost?
Alone in the grand rooms of last century’s heroic painters
—granted entrance, on an off day, to a museum

with nobody, thank you, this once nobody talking—
and for the first time I understood his huge canvases
were prayers. No matter to what. And silent as hell;

he rode the huge engine of his attention toward silence,
and silence emanated from them, and they would not take no
for an answer, though there is no other. Forget supplication,

beseechment, praise. Look down
into it, the smash-up swirl, oil and pigment and tree-shatter:
tumult in equilibrium.

Shared from

Poetry – Jim Harrison – Return

“Return” by Jim Harrison

The sun’s warm against slats of the granary,
a puddle of ice in the shadow of the steps;
my uncle’s hound
across the winter wheat,
fresh green cold green.
The windmill long out of use, screeches
and twists in the wind.
Spring day, too loud for talk,
when bones tire of their flesh
and want something better.

2016 National Poetry Month

National Poetry Month is upon us. We will be posting selections from writers that we have been influenced by over the years, including John Haines of course. If anyone has suggested writers and personal favorites please share here as I would love to expand my library and keep poetry alive and relevant.

Poem – Carl Sandburg – Fog

This reader suggested poem is “Fog” by Carl Sandburg.

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

Poem shared from the following resources.

Poetry Month – Poem by Wendy Brown-Baez

For the 2014 National Poetry Month, a poem by Wendy Brown-Baez

At the Western Wall, by Wendy Brown-Baez
From transparencies of light, 2011, Finishing Line Press

I saw here at the Wall
flattened against the stones by prayer
and I thought:
Where is her God
now that our tears
have tuned to blood?

She brushed the wind
out of her hair, and wiped
her eyes on the tiny slip of paper
folded and refolded
as if to protect
the fragile message inside,
as if the crushing weight of war
had not already torn it into shreds.

Can God read
invisible ink?
and I thought of how our
hearts were like that paper
folded within themselves
destined to the least crack in the stones.


2013 Poetry Month – My Father’s Closet

I have chosen “My Father’s Closet” by D. Nurkse as the first piece for National Poetry Month.  This is taken from the book “Burnt Island”, published in 2005 by Alfred A. Knopf.

1. HAT

As soon as I put in on
Brooklyn went dark,
but when I took it off
my wooden horse stared at me
with dazzling glass eyes.


The shirred hem
swished on the floor.
Huge shoulders sloped
like pines under snow.
A panel in the lapel
read: Kuut, Tallinn
in thread letters.
I hid at the center
behind jet buttons
too round to undo.
That coarse-nap wool
outlasted Estonian winter
but now the moths
left a trellis of holes
so it was never dark
when I curled up
hugging my knees.
My mother cried out:
Who are you? I answered
in my deepest voice:
His coat.


I shoved my hands in
and taught them to walk:
now stumble: now march
against your will, left, right.
to the Narva Front:

now dance:
and somewhere
in that immense city
where snow trembled
in high lit windows,
a footstep receded,
rapid, urgent,
indelible as a name.