David Whyte – Sometimes

David Whyte (November 02, 1955 -) Sometimesif you move carefullythrough the forest,breathinglike the onesin the old stories,who could crossa shimmering bed of leaveswithout a sound,you come to a placewhose only taskis to trouble youwith tinybut frightening requests,conceived out of nowherebut in this placebeginning to lead everywhere.Requests to stop whatyou are doing right now,andto stop what …

Natalie Diaz – The Facts of Art

Natalie Diaz (September 04, 1978 -)    woven plaque basket with sunflower design, Hopi,                                             Arizona, before 1935 from an American Indian basketry exhibit in                                             Portsmouth, Virginia The Arizona highway sailed across the desert—     a gray battleship drawing a black wake,            halting at the foot of the orange mesa,                  unwilling to go around. Hopi men …

Claudia Serea – Parallel Heavens

Claudia Serea Doors closed,lawns freshly mowed,the heavens line up,a row of suburban houseson a quiet street.I imagine mine painted white,silent and sleepy,a provincial art museumwhere all the angels have been assignedto perpetual paperwork.One can't even thinkto jump from one heaveninto anotherwithout wings,or breaking a bone.And each heavenhas its own way to get to iton parallel …

Walt Whitman – When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer

When I heard the learn'd astronomer,When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns beforeme,When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divideand measure them,When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured withmuch applause in the lecture-room,How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,Till rising and gliding out I wander' d off …

Linda Pastan – The Gardener

Linda Pastan (May 27, 1932 -) He’s out rescuing his fallen holliesafter the renegade snowstorm,sawing their wounded limbs offquite mercilessly (I think of the scenein “Kings Row,” the young soldier wakingto find his legs gone).He’s tying up young bamboo—their delicate tresses litter the driveway—shovelling a door through the snowto free the imprisoned azaleas.I half expect …

Walt Whitman – When I Heard The Learn’d Astronomer

Walt Whitman (May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892) When I heard the learn’d astronomer,When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,How soon unaccountable I …

Adrienne Rich – What Kind Of Times Are These

Adrienne Rich (May 16, 1929–March 27, 2012) There’s a place between two stands of trees where the grass grows uphilland the old revolutionary road breaks off into shadowsnear a meeting-house abandoned by the persecutedwho disappeared into those shadows.I’ve walked there picking mushrooms at the edge of dread, but don’t be fooledthis isn’t a Russian poem, …

Andrea Hollander – Premonition

Andrea Hollander (April 28, 1947 -) Dusk, and the trees barely visibleon either side of the two-lane,west through the Rockiesin our secondhand Ramblerthat growled through the landscapelike some hulking animal. Our first trip together,my husband’s attention more on methan on the darkening road,our newness a kingdomof only two. From the forest edge a deer flashedtoward …

Jo McDougall – Straightpins

Jo McDougall Growing up in a small town,we didn't noticethe background figures of our lives,gray men, gnarled women,dropping from us silentlylike straightpins to a dressmaker's floor.The old did not diebut simply vanishedlike discs of snow on our tongues.We knew nothing then of nothingnessor pain or loss--our days filled with open fields,football,turtles and cows.One day we …

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 …

Derek Walcott – The Light Of The World

Derek Alton Walcott (January 23, 1930 – March 17, 2017) “Zion-ah,                I’ve got to have Zion-ah,                I’ve got to have Zion-ahFor the rain is falling” —Bob Marley Marley was rocking on the transport’s stereoand the beauty was humming the choruses quietly.I could see where the lights on the planes of her cheekstreaked and defined them, if this …

Alejandro Escudé – Bed Sheets (Moving Out After Separation)

Alejandro Escudé I wanted my soul out of the house, too.So, I took all my diaries—twenty or so,from the past twenty years. And I slipped theminto the recycling bin. I took all my photos,baby, childhood, adolescence, college years,and trashed those, too. I took my blood pressure reader,and I took the white carnival mask I bought …