Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Tuesday Poem: "Happiness" by Jane Kenyon

There’s just no accounting for happiness,
or the way it turns up like a prodigal
who comes back to the dust at your feet
having squandered a fortune far away.

And how can you not forgive?
You make a feast in honor of what
was lost, and take from its place the finest
garment, which you saved for an occasion
you could not imagine, and you weep night and day
to know that you were not abandoned,
that happiness saved its most extreme form
for you alone.

No, happiness is the uncle you never
knew about, who flies a single-engine plane
onto the grassy landing strip, hitchhikes
into town, and inquires at every door
until he finds you asleep midafternoon
as you so often are during the unmerciful
hours of your despair.

It comes to the monk in his cell.
It comes to the woman sweeping the street
with a birch broom, to the child
whose mother has passed out from drink.
It comes to the lover, to the dog chewing
a sock, to the pusher, to the basketmaker,
and to the clerk stacking cans of carrots
in the night.
       It even comes to the boulder
in the perpetual shade of pine barrens,
to rain falling on the open sea,
to the wineglass, weary of holding wine.

by Jane Kenyon

For more information about poet, Jane Kenyon, see:

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Tuesday Poem: "Strange Fruit" by Abel Meeropol

Southern trees bear a strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees

Pastoral scene of the gallant south
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh

Here is fruit for the crows to pluck
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop
Here is a strange and bitter crop

by Abel Meeropol 

Abel Meeropol

Billie Holiday

For more about this moving poem which was adapted to become a famous song, see:


For Billie Holiday's famous rendering of the song:

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Tuesday Poem: "Beattie is Three" by Adrian Mitchell

At the top of the stairs
I ask for her hand.  O.K.

She gives it to me.

How her fist fits my palm,

A bunch of consolation.

We take our time

Down the steep carpetway

As I wish silently

That the stairs were endless.

by Adrian Mitchell

For more information on poet, Adrian Mitchell, see:

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Tuesday Poem: "Letter to a Mass Murderer" by Andrew M. Bell

(for the 50 shaheed)

So dense is your hatred
I cannot see into your heart.
So blind is your hatred
you cannot see into another’s heart.
So deaf is your hatred
you cannot hear a young woman in a hijab
use the past tense, when telling the grieving crowd,
her father “was a nice man.”
So callous is your hatred
you turned the slaughter of innocents
into a video game.

As a child, did you ever wake from a nightmare
to be comforted by a parent?
Did you ever run in terror
from a playground bully?
Try as we might,
we cannot see where you stumbled as you ran,
twisting your logic
as you fell into the dark web
then on rising,
found yourself unable to continue
in the human race.

Over and over,
so we never forget this black day,
we will say the names of the fifty shaheed,
but we will never, ever, ever
say your name.

by Andrew M. Bell

For more information about the poet, Andrew M. Bell, see: