Tuesday, 29 June 2021

Tuesday Poem: "Today" by Mary Oliver

Today I’m flying low and I’m

not saying a word

I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.


The world goes on as it must,

the bees in the garden rumbling a little,

the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.

And so forth.


But I’m taking the day off.

Quiet as a feather.

I hardly move though really I’m traveling

a terrific distance.


Stillness. One of the doors

into the temple.

by Mary Oliver

Photograph Credit: Rachel Giese Brown

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Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Tuesday Poem: " Excerpt from Summers and Springs" by Jaan Kaplinski


God has left us - I felt it clearly
digging the earth around a rhubarb plant.

It was black and moist. I don't know where he is,

only a shelf full of sacred books remains of him,

a couple of wax candles, a prayer wheel and a little bell.

Coming back to the house I thought

there might still be something - the smell of lilac and honeysuckle.

Then suddenly I imagined a child's face

there, on the other side, in eternity

looking here into time, regarding wide-eyed

our comings, goings and doings in this time-aquarium

under the light of the sun going down

and falling asleep under a water-lily leaf

somewhere far away in the west.

Jaan Kaplinski (translated from the Estonian by Jaan Kaplinski with Fiona Sampson)

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Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Tuesday Poem: "W 177th & Broadway" by Taylor Johnson


All night you eyed the man I wanted to be;
my jaw flexed tight. Anger slipped into

desire. Easily he would rise. Easily you would

disperse, pleasure made into light:

what you want under him,

I put on to amuse—I, your worked

supplicant. Yes, love is looking away.

My desire greened in your dismissal. Was

technicolor and twilight-made and never

turning off. The city air hung humid

above our charade. What need I could fill:

to transubstantiate, to unravel?

by Taylor Johnson

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Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Tuesday Poem: "English Sonnet" by Chelsea Rathburn

London returns in damp, fragmented flurries
when I should be doing something else. A scrap

of song, a pink scarf, and I’m back to curries

and pub food, long, wet walks without a map,

bouts of bronchitis, a case of the flu,

my halfhearted studies, and brooding thoughts

and scanning faces in every bar for you.

Those months come down to moments or small plots,

like the bum on the Tube, enraged that no one spoke,

who raved and spat, the whole car thick with dread,

only to ask, won’t someone tell a joke?

and this mouse of a woman offered, 
What’s big and red
and sits in the corner?  

                            A naughty bus.

Not funny, I know. But neither’s the story of us.

by Chelsea Rathburn

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Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Tuesday Poem: "Rain" by Jack Gilbert

Suddenly this defeat.
This rain.
The blues gone gray
and yellow
a terrible amber.
In the cold streets
your warm body.
In whatever room
your warm body.
Among all the people
your absence.
The people who are always
not you.

I have been easy with trees
too long.
Too familiar with mountains.
Joy has been a habit.
this rain.


by Jack Gilbert

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