When Death Comes by Mary Oliver
When death comes like the hungry bear in autumn; when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse to buy me, and snaps the purse shut; when death comes like the measle-pox; when death comes like an iceberg between the shoulder blades, I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering: what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness? And therefore I look upon...
Opal by Amy Lowell
You are ice and fire, The touch of you burns my hands like snow. You are cold and flame. You are the crimson of amaryllis, The silver of moon-touched magnolias. When I am with you, My heart is a frozen pond Gleaming with agitated torches.
Giving by Kahlil Gibran
You often say, “I would give, but only to the deserving.” The trees in your orchard say not so, nor the flocks in your pasture. They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish. Surely he who is worthy to receive his days and his nights, is worthy of all else from you. And he who has deserved to drink from the ocean of life deserves to fill his cup from your little stream....
November Night by Adelaide Crapsey
Listen… With faint dry sound, Like steps of passing ghosts, The leaves, frost-crisp’d, break from the trees And fall.
The Hurricane by William Carlos Williams
The tree lay down on the garage roof and stretched, You have your heaven, it said, go to it.
Lines on a Skull by Ravi Shankar
Start spirit; behold the skull. A living head loved earth. My bones resign the worm, lips to hold sparkling grape’s slimy circle, shape of reptile’s food. Where wit shone of shine, when our brains are substitute, like me, with the dead, life’s little, our heads sad. Redeemed and wasting clay this chance. Be of use.
Sonnetesque by Lynn Emanuel
I love its smallness: as though our whole town were a picture postcard and our feelings were on vacation: ourselves in mini- ature, shopping at tiny sales, buying the newspapers—small and pale and square as sugar cubes—at the fragile, little curb. The way the streetlight is really a table lamp where now we sit and where real night, (which is very tall and black and at our backs),...
Curve of Pursuit by Bin Ramke
A point, a line, alignment. Lovely the lingering lights along the shore as the century lays itself out for observation: hunger and the youthful indiscretion. I am one of many, or not even one, but am of many one who watches the waves and allows the particulate sand its say, say, its sound, susurrant. Of many one engaging the ear as if the Pacific meant its name, as if the edge...
Waifs and Strays by Arthur Rimbaud
Black in the fog and in the snow, Where the great air-hole windows glow, With rounded rumps, Upon their knees five urchins squat, Looking down where the baker, hot, The thick dough thumps. They watch his white arm turn the bread, Ere through an opening flaming red The loaf he flings. They hear the good bread baking, while The chubby baker with a smile An old tune sings. Breathing the warmth into...
Laura Gibson – Milk-Heavy, Pollen-Eyed
Try as I may to carve my path I cannot keep myself from stumbling back to you And you’ll say “Don’t you ever lose you heat” “Don’t you ever be caught shedding your skin too soon” Find me with a milk-heavy heart And I would clear the pollen from your eyes I would, I would For love has got you hanging on my hips Like a worn-out dress with my skin showing...
Artless BY BRENDA SHAUGHNESSY
is my heart. A stranger berry there never was, tartless. Gone sour in the sun, in the sunroom or moonroof, roofless. No poetry. Plain. No fresh, special recipe to bless. All I’ve ever made with these hands and life, less substance, more rind. Mostly rim and trim, meatless but making much smoke in the old smokehouse, no less. Fatted from the day, overripe and even toxic at eve....
And death shall have no dominion by Dylan Thomas
And death shall have no dominion. Dead men naked they shall be one With the man in the wind and the west moon; When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone, They shall have stars at elbow and foot; Though they go mad they shall be sane, Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again; Though lovers be lost love shall not; And death shall have no dominion. And death shall have...
A Season in Hell by Arthur Rimbaud
A while back, if I remember right, my life was one long party where all hearts were open wide, where all wines kept flowing. One night, I sat Beauty down on my lap.—And I found her galling.—And I roughed her up. I armed myself against justice. I ran away. O witches, O misery, O hatred, my treasure’s been turned over to you! I managed to make every trace of human hope vanish from my...
The Dead by Mina Loy
We have flowed out of ourselves Beginning on the outside That shrivable skin Where you leave off Of infinite elastic Walking the ceiling Our eyelashes polish stars Curled close in the youngest corpuscle Of a descendant We spit up our passions in our grand-dams Fixing the extension of your reactions Our shadow lengthens In your fear You are so old Born in our...
Bats by Paisley Rekdal
unveil themselves in dark. They hang, each a jagged, silken sleeve, from moonlit rafters bright as polished knives. They swim the muddled air and keen like supersonic babies, the sound we imagine empty wombs might make in women who can’t fill them up. A clasp, a scratch, a sigh. They drink fruit dry. And wheel, against feverish light flung hard upon their faces, in circles that...
Haunted Houses by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
All houses wherein men have lived and died Are haunted houses. Through the open doors The harmless phantoms on their errands glide, With feet that make no sound upon the floors. We meet them at the door-way, on the stair, Along the passages they come and go, Impalpable impressions on the air, A sense of something moving to and fro. There are more guests at table than the hosts Invited; the...
To Robert Hayden by Eduardo C. Corral
Less lonely, less … I gave you a tiny box. You lifted the lid, praised the usefulness of my gift: a silver pin shaped like an amper- sand. As you fastened it to your lapel, I thought again of that motel outside of Chicago. ¿Te acuerdas? I sat on the edge of a bench, untied my shoes. Face down, eyes shut, you breathed in the aroma of sweat & allspice coming off the sheets. I tossed my...
Defeated by Sophie Jewett
When the last fight is lost, the last sword broken; The last call sounded, the last order spoken; When from the field where braver hearts lie sleeping, Faint, and athirst, and blinded, I come creeping, With not one waving shred of palm to bring you, With not one splendid battle-song to sing you, O Love, in my dishonor and defeat, Your measureless compassion will be sweet.
Hap by Thomas Hardy
IF but some vengeful god would call to me From up the sky, and laugh: “Thou suffering thing, Know that thy sorrow is my ecstasy, That thy love’s loss is my hate’s profiting!” Then would I bear, and clench myself, and die, Steeled by the sense of ire unmerited; Half-eased, too, that a Powerfuller than I Had willed and meted me the tears I shed. But not so. How arrives it joy...
I begin to believe the only sin is distance, refusal. All others stemming from...– Jane Hirshfield, from “Salt Heart” in The Lives of the Heart (via proustitute)
But as yet, no floating bough, no tern, noddy, nor reef-bird, to denote our...– Herman Melville, Mardi and a Voyage Thither (via mythologyofblue)
He stays in bed for three or four days drinking, conscious of his inability to...– Charles Bukowski (via blak-ink)
This is it and this is not the end of the road for even despair is a kind of...– Pam Rehm, from “Acts of Vexation” (via proustitute)
We must stop wishing and simply start the building of the life we want.– Daily Haiku on Love by Tyler Knott Gregson (via tylerknott)
As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will...– Henry David Thoreau (via elige)
The woman is perfected Her dead Body wears the smile of accomplishment, The...– Sylvia Plath, “Edge” (via awritersruminations)
Beneath the blue oblivious sky, the water sings of nothing, not your name, not...– Don Paterson, from “Poetry”
Poem by Joe Brainard
Sometimes everything seems so oh, I don’t know.
I don’t want words to sever me from reality. I don’t want to need them. I want...– Henri Cole, from “Gravity and Center” (via proustitute)
Seeing the moonlight spilling down through these trees, my heart fills to the...– Ono no Komachi (via thecosmonaut)
It’s absurd. How can I set free anyone who doesn’t have the guts to stand up...– Jim Morrison, 1969 (via moon-shaman)
The body is a book and we the words.– Michael Bazzett, from “The Body” (via proustitute)
It is important to expect nothing, to take every experience, including the...– Ram Dass (via universal-wanderer)
I’m restless. Things are calling me away. My hair is being pulled by the stars...– Anaïs Nin (via intheflowersss)
I write differently from what I speak, I speak differently from what I think, I...– Franz Kafka, Diaries (via aprettywar)
Oh Love I will climb the highest walls you can build and leap from the top.– Daily Haiku on Love by Tyler Knott Gregson (via tylerknott)
Offerings by Howard Altmann
To the night I offered a flower and the dark sky accepted it like earth, bedding for light. To the desert I offered an apple and the dunes received it like a mouth, speaking for wind. To the installation I offered a tree and the museum planted it like a man, viewing his place. To the ocean I offered a seed and its body dissolved it like time, composing a life.
A Ghost by Cole Swensen
erodes the line between being and place becomes the place of being time and so the house turns in the snow is why a ghost always has the architecture of a storm The architect tore down room after room until the sound stopped. A ghost is one among the ages at the edge of a cliff empty sails on the bay even when a ship or the house moves off in fog asks you out loud to let the ...
Ghost House by Robert Frost
I dwell in a lonely house I know That vanished many a summer ago, And left no trace but the cellar walls, And a cellar in which the daylight falls And the purple-stemmed wild raspberries grow.