Amanda Gorman – Chorus of the Captains

Amanda Gorman Today we honor our three captainsFor their actions and impact inA time of uncertainty and need.They’ve taken the lead,Exceeding all expectations and limitationsUplifting their communities and neighborsAs leaders, healers, and educators.James has felt the wounds of warfare,But this warrior still sharesHis home with at-risk kids.During Covid, he’s event lent a hand,Live-streaming football for …

Jane Hirshfield – Mountainal

Jane Hirshfield (February 24, 1953 -) This first-light mountain, its east peak and west peak.Its first-light creeks:Lagunitas, Redwood, Fern. Their fishes and mosses.Its night and day hawk-life, slope-life, fogs, coyote, tan oaks,white-speckled amanita. Its spiderwebs’ sequins.To be personal is easy:Wake. Slip arms and legs from sleep into name, into story.I wanted to be mountainal, wateral, …

JR Solonche – The Clouds

JR Solonche Nothing disturbs them,the clouds, stoics,philosophers, sages,graybeards of the sky.Not even this jet,that streaks throughthem, that shredsthe silence likea silver shark,disturbs their slow,slow, mindful walk on air.

Nikki Giovanni – Resignation

Yolande Cornelia Nikki Giovanni Jr (June 7, 1943) I love you            because the Earth turns round the sun            because the North wind blows north                 sometimes            because the Pope is Catholic                 and most Rabbis Jewish            because the winters flow into springs                 and the air clears after a storm            because only my love for …

Philip Bryant – Miles: Prince Of Darkness

Philip Bryant I remember my father's storiesabout him being cold, fitful,reproachful, surly, rude, cruel,unbearable, spiteful, arrogant, hateful.But then he'd playSome Day My Prince Will Comein a swirl of bright spring colorsthat come after a heavy rainmaking the world anew againand like the sometimes-tyrannical kingwho is truly repentant of his transgressionssteps out onto the balconyto greet …

James Broughton – Wondrous The Merge

James Broughton (November 10, 1913 – May 17, 1999) Had my soul tottered off to sleeptaking my potency with it?Had they both retired before I couldleaving me a classroom somnambulist?Why else should I at sixty-onefeel myself shriveling into fadeout?Then on a cold seminar Mondayin walked an unannounced redeemerdisguised as a taciturn studentBrisk and resolute in …

Eunice Odio – W.C.W.

Eunice Odio (October 18, 1919 – March 23, 1974) The whole arboris contained in him.It is his will,an entranceto the clear designof the waters.Heavenly musicwakes in his ear.(When God stirred,the moon never variednor the wind,a rumorof approaching dawn,stillness becomeGod’s silence.)When I saw himof an afternoon—an island facein the air—when I came upon himfrom within,the sprouting …

Rebecca Elson – Antidotes To The Fear Of Death

Rebecca Anne Wood Elson (January 02, 1960 – May 19, 1999) Sometimes as an antidoteTo fear of death,I eat the starsThose nights, lying on my back,I suck them from the quenching darkTil they are all, all inside me,Pepper hot and sharp.Sometimes, instead, I stir myselfInto a universe still young,Still warm as blood:No outer space, just …

Emily Dickinson – I Heard A Fly Buzz…

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886) I heard a Fly buzz—when I died—The Stillness in the RoomWas like the Stillness in the Air—Between the Heaves of Storm—The Eyes around—had wrung them dry—And Breaths were gathering firmFor that last Onset—when the KingBe witnessed—in the Room—I willed my Keepsakes—signed awayWhat portions of me …

Jane Hirshfield – I Wanted To Be Surprised

Jane Hirshfield (February 24, 1953 -) To such a request, the world is obliging.Just in the past week, a rotund porcupine,who seemed equally startled by me.The man who swallowed a tiny microphoneto record the sounds of his body,not considering beforehand how he might remove it.A cabbage and mustard sandwich on marbled bread.How easily the large …