Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Tuesday Poem: "Naima" by Edward Kamau Braithwaite


for John Coltrane

Propped against the crowded bar
he pours into the curved and silver horn

his old unhappy longing for a home

the dancers twist and turn

he leans and wishes he could burn

his memories to ashes like some old notorious emperor

of rome. but no stars blazed across the sky when he was born

no wise men found his hovel. this crowded bar

where dancers twist and turn

holds all the fame and recognition he will ever earn

on earth or heaven. he leans against the bar

and pours his old unhappy longing in the saxophone.

by Edward Kamau Braithwaite

For more information on poet, Edward Kamau Braithwaite, see:


Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Tuesday Poem: "Beginning" by James Wright

The moon drops one or two feathers into the field.  
The dark wheat listens.

Be still.


There they are, the moon's young, trying

Their wings.

Between trees, a slender woman lifts up the lovely shadow

Of her face, and now she steps into the air, now she is gone

Wholly, into the air.

I stand alone by an elder tree, I do not dare breathe

Or move.

I listen.

The wheat leans back toward its own darkness,

And I lean toward mine

by James Wright

For more information about poet, James Wright, see:

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Tuesday Poem : "To Autumn" by John Keats

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, 
   Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; 
Conspiring with him how to load and bless 
   With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run; 
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees, 
   And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; 
      To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells 
   With a sweet kernel; to set budding more, 
And still more, later flowers for the bees, 
Until they think warm days will never cease, 
      For summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells. 

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store? 
   Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find 
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor, 
   Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind; 
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep, 
   Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook 
      Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers: 
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep 
   Steady thy laden head across a brook; 
   Or by a cyder-press, with patient look, 
      Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours. 

Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they? 
   Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,— 
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day, 
   And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue; 
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn 
   Among the river sallows, borne aloft 
      Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies; 
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn; 
   Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft 
   The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies. 

by John Keats

Portrait of John Keats by William Hilton.

For more information about the poet, John Keats, see:

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Tuesday Poem: "Case Against April" by Adrian Blevins


For a long time I was absolutely idiotic,
by which I mean I lashed and pulsed

like the cosmos of tissue at present on fire

inside the bodies of my students—

it being springtime, it being the season

of being naked under the cherry trees.

I'm not saying dig a hole and fall in it;

I'm not saying buy a cabin and a nanny goat

and walk around re-naming the forget-me-nots

after the lovers who said they'd slay you

and, well, 
did—for who ever heard
of a plant named Greg? Nevertheless,

sex is laughable; it's ultimately ridiculous;

it's what God invented since he couldn't have

Comedy Central. And still the young people

who aren't pushing their tongues

against the tongues of others

are weeping like babies

being prodded with thermometers

for the lack of good tongues

to lean their own tongues against.

I hear them complaining

about their would-be boyfriends and girlfriends,

and it's like they are all about to die,

like their hearts have spontaneously combusted

and little cell splinters are poking their lungs

and they're losing their balance,

falling like hail

or like meteors with pretty faces,

which is why when I say 
up, they look down.
And though I'm all for biology,

for the divine plan of multiplication

that calls for the pink of bodies

being bodies with other bodies

in beds and in bushes,

I'm sorry for all the time I wasted

being dramatic over the boys and their mustaches.

Maybe the heart, it gets colder.

But maybe the heart,

it learns a little self-preservation

and pulls the shades down

one window at a time. And it's not dark

in here. Really, there's a kind of light

between the marrow and the bone,

and sweet patches of grass to lie down on,

and muskrats and pied pipers

if that's the way you like to see the world,

if to get your kicks you choose to be delirious.

I mean, if you happen to be romantic

and don't mind splitting apart with longing

like a child in a toy store

with everywhere these primary colors

seeming to want to open what could be mouths

and seeming to want to sing what could be songs

if only you could catch your breath—

if only your heart would just stop seizing.

by Adrian Blevins

For more information about the poet, Adrian Blevins, see: