Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tuesday Poem: "Weathering" by Fleur Adcock

My face catches the wind
from the snow line
and flushes with a flush
that will never wholly settle.
Well, that was a metropolitan vanity,
wanting to look young forever, to pass.
I was never a pre-Raphaelite beauty
and only pretty enough to be seen
with a man who wanted to be seen
with a passable woman.

But now that I am in love
with a place that doesn't care
how I look and if I am happy,
happy is how I look and that's all.
My hair will grow grey in any case,
my nails chip and flake,
my waist thicken, and the years
work all their usual changes.

If my face is to be weather beaten as well,
it's little enough lost
for a year among the lakes and vales
where simply to look out my window
at the high pass
makes me indifferent to mirrors
and to what my soul may wear
over its new complexion.

By Fleur Adcock

For more about the poet, Fleur Adcock, see:

I love this poem because the poet says I am what I am and as I age I no longer care about pleasing anyone but myself and it's all superficial in comparison to the beauty of the world all around us.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tuesday Poem: "Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota" by James Wright

Over my head, I see the bronze butterfly,   
Asleep on the black trunk,
Blowing like a leaf in green shadow.   
Down the ravine behind the empty house,   
The cowbells follow one another   
Into the distances of the afternoon.   
To my right,
In a field of sunlight between two pines,   
The droppings of last year’s horses   
Blaze up into golden stones.
I lean back, as the evening darkens and comes on.   
A chicken hawk floats over, looking for home.
I have wasted my life.

By James Wright

To find out more about the poet James Wright, see:


I love the meditative nature of this poem. I don't agree with the last line, but perhaps he is being ironic. Moments of reflection and contemplation of beauty are never wasted, I feel.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tuesday Poem: "Sunset" by Rainer Maria Rilke

Slowly the west reaches for clothes of new colours
which it passes to a row of ancient trees.

You look, and soon these two worlds both leave you

one part climbs toward heaven, one sinks to earth.

Leaving you, not really belonging to either,

not so hopelessly dark as that house that is silent,

not so unswervingly given to the eternal as that thing

that turns to a star each night and climbs--

leaving you (it is impossible to untangle the threads)

your own life, timid and standing high and growing,

so that, sometimes blocked in, sometimes reaching out,

one moment your life is a stone in you, and the next, a star.

By Rainer Maria Rilke

For more about the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, see:

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Tuesday Poem: "For The Sake Of Strangers" by Dorianne Laux

No matter what the grief, its weight,
we are obliged to carry it.
We rise and gather momentum, the dull strength
that pushes us through crowds.
And then the young boy gives me directions
so avidly. A woman holds the glass door open,
waits patiently for my empty body to pass through.
All day it continues, each kindness
reaching toward another – a stranger
singing to no one as I pass on the path, trees
offering their blossoms, a retarded child
who lifts his almond eyes and smiles.
Somehow they always find me, seem even
to be waiting, determined to keep me
from myself, from the thing that calls to me
as it must have once called to them –
this temptation to step off the edge
and fall weightless, away from the world.

by Dorianne Laux, from What We Carry (1994)

For more about the poet, Dorianne Laux, see:

I like this poem because it is careworn, a little lost, but carries the spark of optimism. When life presses hard upon us, sometimes it is the small kindnesses of strangers that lift our spirit and sustain us for another day.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tuesday Poem: "Song of a Man Who Has Come Through" by D.H. Lawrence

Not I, not I, but the wind that blows through me!
A fine wind is blowing the new direction of Time.
If only I let it bear me, carry me, if only it carry me!
If only I am sensitive, subtle, oh, delicate, a winged gift!
If only, most lovely of all, I yield myself and am borrowed
By the fine, fine wind that takes its course through the chaos of the world
Like a fine, an exquisite chisel, a wedge-blade inserted;
If only I am keen and hard like the sheer tip of a wedge
Driven by invisible blows,
The rock will split, we shall come at the wonder, we shall find the Hesperides.

Oh, for the wonder that bubbles into my soul,
I would be a good fountain, a good well-head,
Would blur no whisper, spoil no expression.

What is the knocking?
What is the knocking at the door in the night?
It is somebody wants to do us harm.

No, no, it is the three strange angels.
Admit them, admit them.

By D.H. Lawrence

For more about the poet and writer, David Herbert Lawrence, see:

Although in our more cool, dispassionate, cynical modern era, we would be inclined not to pepper our poems with exclamation marks, I like the passion Lawrence displays in this poem. It seems to me that he is writing about that indefinable quality involved in the act of creation which various people have described as "being in the zone" or "in the flow".

As any creative person will tell you, the act of writing a poem or painting a picture or writing a song is often hard slog, searching for inspiration, but fashioning it from your sweat and toil. But every once in a while, we get lucky, we get blessed and something, some unseen force seems to flow through us and fashions the work. It is almost like we become a vessel, a conduit for some creative force at play in the world.

I think Lawrence was talking about endeavouring to make himself as open as he possibly could be for that unseen creative force to flow through him in order to create the best possible creative work that was humanly possible for him to create.

But you, my friend, might read something entirely different into this poem and that is the beauty of words and poetry - open for you to bring your life and heart to bear upon the work.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all the Tuesday Poets and my Blog readers

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and a safe, fun holiday break.

I'll leave you all with the title poem of my recent published poetry collection and let's hope in 2015 we can do more to heal our planet and live more in harmony with our fellow creatures and with Mother Nature.


I was here before you and after
the Big Heat
I will be here after you.
While you have lived,
I have struggled to live.
Some of you have been my guardians,
some have been my enemies,
but your ferocious machines will fall silent
and the insects will return.
Even my enemies will ride the sky again
as the smudges of your smoke
are wiped clear to blue.
Your footprints will wash away
and your domination become a folk tale,
ghost stories told to frighten our children.
We have kept the faith
and, through the ages,
our stories have kept our hopes alive.

In our Dreaming,
you vanish
and Gondwana is once more.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tuesday Poem: The Art of Disappearing by Naomi Shihab Nye

When they say Don't I know you?
say no.

When they invite you to the party
remember what parties are like
before answering.

Someone telling you in a loud voice
they once wrote a poem.
Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate.
Then reply.

If they say We should get together
say why?

It's not that you don't love them anymore.
You're trying to remember something
too important to forget.
Trees. The monastery bell at twilight.
Tell them you have a new project.
It will never be finished.

When someone recognizes you in a grocery store
nod briefly and become a cabbage.
When someone you haven't seen in ten years
appears at the door,
don't start singing him all your new songs.
You will never catch up.

Walk around feeling like a leaf.
Know you could tumble any second.
Then decide what to do with your time.

by Naomi Shihab Nye

For more about the poet, Naomi Shihab Nye, see: