Archive | Poetry

Aphorisms Are for the Birds

  Don’t count your chickens… the saying goes But I’m not counting, I’m imagining flocks of bids soaring, wheeling, roosting in the tops of the tallest pine trees. Who said anything about chickens, anyway? I’m dreaming murders of crows, murmurations of starlings, twitterings of sparrows, cooings of mourning doves, screechings of jays. I’m so enthused […]

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First Words, First Poems

Among my pile of library books on poetry is one called The Practice of Poetry: Writing Exercises from Poets Who Teach edited by Robin Behn and Chase Twichell. Today I jumped in to the first exercise: Try to recall a very early experience you had of reading or hearing language that interested or excited or […]

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Difficulty as a Path Toward Concentration

“Difficulty itself may be a path toward concentration— expended effort weaves us into a task, and successful engagement, however laborious, becomes also a labor of love. The work of writing brings replenishment even to the writer dealing with painful subjects of working out formal problems, and there are times when suffering’s only open path is […]

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On Trying to Write Formal Poetry

I will put Chaos into fourteen lines And keep him there; and let him thence escape If he be lucky; let him twist, and ape Flood, fire, and demon — his adroit designs Will strain to nothing in the strict confines Of this sweet order, where, in pious rape, I hold his essence and amorphous […]

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Dull February

Dull February seeps away in cold homebound days, each one much like the other, dreary sameness of earth and sky besieged by dread and dim and snow that turns to rain. One sickness after another, dripping noses and coughs, prednisone and albuterol snipping hearts and snapping tempers until finally the waxing moon raises her full […]

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Trees, Sky

The way a small blue eye Winks at me from between The tree’s thick trunks, A sliver of wintry sky Among the branches, whose keen Edges slice the blue like monks’ Chants tearing silence’s veil; Like a line of lace Across the world’s wail, Keeping sky and land firmly, Each in its place.

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Extra Beats

This year we got new insurance–hoorah! The old one wasn’t covering our preventative inhalers– Boo! But the pediatrician, who we’d only been with for a year after our former doctor retired, doesn’t take the new insurance. So we had to get a new new pediatrician. And I was filled with dread, but I actually like […]

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