Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Tuesday Poem: "Getting Older" by Elaine Feinstein

The first surprise: I like it. 
Whatever happens now, some things 
that used to terrify have not: 

I didn't die young, for instance. Or lose 
my only love. My three children 
never had to run away from anyone. 

Don't tell me this gratitude is complacent. 
We all approach the edge of the same blackness 
which for me is silent. 

Knowing as much sharpens 
my delight in January freesia, 
hot coffee, winter sunlight. So we say 

as we lie close on some gentle occasion: 
every day won from such 
darkness is a celebration.

by Elaine Feinstein

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Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Tuesday Poem: "Circle" by Pádraig Ó Tuama

It’s funny how things come in

You, sitting on a step,

smoking a cigarette,

watching leaves fall off a

slowly stripping tree.

Me, hanging photos on a wall,

including one of you

receiving, like a priestess,

your lover’s confession.

Me telling stories of

your conversations.

You, weeping

when your dad asked you

how you were.

Me writing poems about life

while I was slowly plunging into


You breathing in those

same lines,

sitting on a step,

smoking a cigarette.

by Pádraig Ó Tuama

For more information about the poet, Pádraig Ó Tuama, see:

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Tuesday Poem: "air and light and time and space" by Charles Bukowski

'- you know, I've either had a family, a job, something
has always been in the


but now

I've sold my house, I've found this

place, a large studio, you should see the space and

the light.

for the first time in my life I'm going to have a place and

the time to


no baby, if you're going to create

you're going to create whether you work

16 hours a day in a coal mine


you're going to create in a small room with 3 children

while you're on


you're going to create with part of your mind and your body blown


you're going to create blind



you're going to create with a cat crawling up your

back while

the whole city trembles in earthquakes, bombardment,

flood and fire.

baby, air and light and time and space

have nothing to do with it

and don't create anything

except maybe a longer life to find

new excuses


by Charles Bukowski 

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Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Tuesday Poem: "Women Whose Lives are Food, Men Whose Lives are Money" by Joyce Carol Oates

Mid-morning Monday she is staring
peaceful as the rain in that shallow back yard

she wears flannel bedroom slippers

she is sipping coffee

she is thinking—

                            —gazing at the weedy bumpy yard

at the faces beginning to take shape

in the wavy mud

in the linoleum

where floorboards assert themselves

Women whose lives are food

breaking eggs with care

scraping garbage from the plates

unpacking groceries hand over hand

Wednesday evening: he takes the cans out front

tough plastic with detachable lids

Thursday morning: the garbage truck whining at 7

Friday the shopping mall open till 9

bags of groceries unpacked

hand over certain hand

Men whose lives are money

time-and-a-half Saturdays

the lunchbag folded with care and brought back home

unfolded Monday morning

Women whose lives are food

because they are not punch-carded

because they are unclocked

sighing glad to be alone

staring into the yard, mid-morning


by mid-afternoon everything is forgotten

There are long evenings

panel discussions on abortions, fashions, meaningful work

there are love scenes where people mouth passions

sprightly, handsome, silly, manic

in close-ups revealed ageless

the women whose lives are food

the men whose lives are money

fidget as these strangers embrace and weep and mis-

            understand and forgive and die and weep and embrace

and the viewers stare and fidget and sigh and

begin yawning around 10:30

never made it past midnight, even on Saturdays,

watching their braven selves perform

Where are the promised revelations?

Why have they been shown so many times?

Long-limbed children a thousand miles to the west

hitch-hiking in spring, burnt bronze in summer

thumbs nagging

eyes pleading

Give us a ride, huh? Give us a ride?

and when they return nothing is changed

the linoleum looks older

the Hawaiian Chicken is new

the girls wash their hair more often

the boys skip over the puddles

in the GM parking lot

no one eyes them with envy

their mothers stoop

the oven doors settle with a thump

the dishes are rinsed and stacked and

by mid-morning the house is quiet

it is raining out back

or not raining

the relief of emptiness rains

simple, terrible, routine

at peace

by Joyce Carol Oates

For more information about the poet, Joyce Carol Oates, see: