Sean Hill – Hello

Sean Hill She, being the midwifeand your mother’slongtime friend, saidI see a heart; can yousee it?And on the greydisplay of the ultrasoundthere you were as you were,our nugget, in that momentbecoming a shrimpor a comma punctuatingthe whole of my life, separatingits parts—before and after—,a shrimp in the seaof your mother, and I couldn’thelp but see …

Diane Di Prima – Song for Baby-O, Unborn

Diane di Prima (August 6, 1934 – October 25, 2020) Sweetheartwhen you break thruyou’ll finda poet herenot quite what one would choose. I won’t promiseyou’ll never go hungryor that you won’t be sadon this guttedbreakingglobe but I can show youbabyenough to loveto break your heartforever

Kristene Kaye Brown – For the Woman on Main Street Stopping to Pull Up Her Pantyhose

Kristene Kaye Brown I too have had my hands full of what keeps mecontained, a vastness softened by restraintand made more terriblebecause of it. I think it’s time we talkabout the safety of distance,how the tire tread of rush hour trafficsounds like something being patiently worn down,how the cars parked along the streetnever seem to …

Linda France – Murmuration

Linda France (May 21, 1958 -) 1 Because we love watching the flock’s precision glide       upstroke for height, tilt of wing spun mid-flightjust for a moment              we’re in the frenzied swirling rush              home for the winged       owls hoot their love through the dark                     chiffchaff creeps up stalks              fennel and flowdipper and wagtail              Arctic terns like dartsgeese honking              each note weigheda duck sits on …

Derek Jarman – To Whom It May Concern

Derek Jarman (January 31, 1942–February 19, 1994) to whom it may concernin the dead stones of a planetno longer remembered as earthmay he decipher this opaque hieroglyphperform an archeology of soulon these precious fragmentsall that remains of our vanished dayshere — at the sea’s edgeI have planted a stony gardendragon tooth dolmen spring upto defend …

Katherine Anne Porter – Wild Geese Alighting on a Lake

Katherine Anne Porter (May 15, 1890 – September 18, 1980) I watched themAs they neared the lakeThey wheeledIn a wide arcWith beating wingsAnd thenThey put their wings to sleepAnd glided downward in a driftOf pure abandonmentUntil they touchedThe surface of the lakeComposed their wingsAnd settledOn the rippling waterAs though it were a nest.

Ross Gay – Wedding Poem

Ross Gay (August 01, 1974 -) Friends I am here to modestly reportseeing in an orchardin my towna goldfinch kissinga sunfloweragain and againdangling upside downby its tiny clawssteadying itself by snapping openlike an old-timey fanits wingsagain and again,until, swooning, it tumbled offand swooped back to the very same perch,where the sunflower curled its giantswirling of …

Sarah P. Strong – After 75 Years, She Finally Gets Angry

Sarah P. Strong At first we did not know what was happening.The tea on the porch table cooled several degreeswhile she stood up, clutchedthe scrollwork back of the chair. The lineson her face arranged themselves in a waywe’d never seen, her nostrils flaredand the bird in the tree behind her stoppedsinging. Someone, not me, tooka …

Tracy K. Smith – We Feel Now A Largeness Coming On

Tracy K. Smith (April 16, 1972 -) Being called all manner of thingsfrom the Dictionary of Shame—not English, not words, not heard,but worn, borne, carried, never spent—we feel now a largeness coming on,something passing into us. We knownot in what source it was begun, butrapt, we watch it rise through our fallen,our slain, our millions …

Joyce Carol Oates – This Is Not A Poem

Joyce Carol Oates (June 16, 1938 -)  in which the poet discoversdelicate white-parched bonesof a small creatureon a Great Lake shoreor the desiccated remainsof cruder roadkillbeside the rushing highway.Nor is it a poem in whicha cracked mirror yieldsa startled face,or sere grasses hiss-ing like consonantsin a foreign language.Family photo albumfilled with yearningstrangers long deceased,closet of …