Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"XVIII. Oh, when I was in love with you..." by A. E. Housman

OH, when I was in love with you,
Then I was clean and brave,
And miles around the wonder grew
How well did I behave.

And now the fancy passes by,
And nothing will remain,
And miles around they ’ll say that I
Am quite myself again.

--A. E. Housman

Friday, September 24, 2010

"Another Dark Lady" by Edward Arlington Robinson

Think not, because I wonder where you fled,
That I would lift a pin to see you there;
You may, for me, be prowling anywhere,
So long as you show not your little head:
No dark and evil story of the dead
Would leave you less pernicious or less fair --
Not even Lilith, with her famous hair;
And Lilith was the devil, I have read.
I cannot hate you, for I loved you then.
The woods were golden then. There was a road
Through beeches; and I said their smooth feet showed
Like yours. Truth must have heard me from afar,
For I shall never have to learn again
That yours are cloven as no beech's are.

--Edward Arlington Robinson

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"Acquainted with the Night" by Robert Frost

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain -- and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
O luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.

--Robert Frost

Friday, September 17, 2010

"I Have Longed to Move Away" by Dylan Thomas

I have longed to move away
From the hissing of the spent lie
And the old terrors' continual cry
Growing more terrible as the day
Goes over the hill into the deep sea;
I have longed to move away
From the repetition of salutes,
For there are ghosts in the air
And ghostly echoes on paper,
And the thunder of calls and notes.

I have longed to move away but am afraid;
Some life, yet unspent, might explode
Out of the old lie burning on the ground,
And, crackling into the air, leave me half-blind.
Neither by night's ancient fear,
The parting of hat from hair,
Pursed lips at the receiver,
Shall I fall to death's feather.
By these I would not care to die,
Half convention and half lie.

--Dylan Thomas

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"The Frankenstein Poet" by Billy Collins

Pursued by the mob of townspeople
and the shaky glow of their torches,
he finds refuge crouching under a mossy bridge.

He takes a notepad from his huge jacket
and feels inspiration arriving
like a forking of electricity.

He fingers one of the wooden pegs
the doctor tapped into his temples,
little handlebars of the imagination now,

and his pencil moves in the darkness
to a jostling of vocabulary.

He is starting to write an elegy
for all the people whose bodies
are now parts of his body.
It opens with the eyes.

--Billy Collins

Friday, September 10, 2010

"Siren's Song" by Margaret Atwood

This is the song everyone
would like to learn: the song
that is irresistible:

the song that forces men
to leap overboard in squadrons
even though they see the beached skulls

the song nobody knows
because anyone who has heard it
is dead, and the others can't remember.

Shall I tell you the secret
and if I do, will you get me
out of this bird suit?

I don't enjoy it here
squatting on this island
looking picturesque and mythical

with these two feathery maniacs,
I don't enjoy singing
this trio, fatal and valuable.

I will tell the secret to you,
to you, only to you.
Come closer. This song

is a cry for help: Help me!
Only you, only you can,
you are unique

at last. Also
it is a boring song
but it works every time.

--Margaret Atwood

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

"Ethics" by Linda Pastan

In ethics class so many years ago
our teacher asked this question every fall:
if there were a fire in a museum
which would you save, a Rembrandt painting
or an old woman who hadn’t many
years left anyhow? Restless on hard chairs
caring little for pictures or old age
we’d opt one year for life, the next for art
and always half-heartedly. Sometimes
the woman borrowed my grandmother’s face
leaving her usual kitchen to wander
some drafty, half-imagined museum.
One year, feeling clever, I replied
why not let the woman decide herself?
Linda, the teacher would report, eschews
the burdens of responsibility.
This fall in a real museum I stand
before a real Rembrandt, old woman,
or nearly so, myself. The colors
within this frame are darker than autumn,
darker even than winter—the browns of earth,
though earth’s most radiant elements burn
through the canvas. I know now that woman
and painting and season are almost one
and all beyond saving by children.

--Linda Pastan

Friday, September 03, 2010

"Underground" by Seamus Heaney

There we were in the vaulted tunnel running,
You in your going-away coat speeding ahead
And me, me then like a fleet god gaining
Upon you before you turned to a reed

Or some new white flower japped with crimson
As the coat flapped wild and button after button
Sprang off and fell in a trail
Between the Underground and the Albert Hall.

Honeymooning, moonlighting, late for the Proms,
Our echoes die in that corridor and now
I come as Hansel came on the moonlit stones
Retracing the path back, lifting the buttons

To end up in a draughty lamplit station
After the trains have gone, the wet track
Bared and tensed as I am, all attention
For your step following and damned if I look back.

--Seamus Heaney

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

"I Have Not Loved the World" by Lord Byron

(from Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, stanzas 113-114)

I have not loved the world, nor the world me;
I have not flatter'd its rank breath, nor bow'd
To its idolatries a patient knee, --
Nor coin'd my cheek to smiles, -- nor cried aloud
In worship of an echo; in the crowd
They could not deem me one of such; I stood
Among them, but not of them; in a shroud
Of thoughts which were not their thoughts, and still could,
Had I not filed my mind, which thus itself subdued.

I have not loved the world, nor the world me, --
But let us part fair foes; I do believe,
Though I have found them not, that there may be
Words which are things, -- hopes which will not deceive,
And virtues which are merciful, nor weave
Snares for the failing: I would also deem
O'er others' griefs that some sincerely grieve;
That two, or one, are almost what they seem, --
That goodness is no name, and happiness no dream.

--George Gordon, Lord Byron

Friday, August 27, 2010

"The God Who Loves You" by Carl Dennis

It must be troubling for the god who loves you
To ponder how much happier you’d be today
Had you been able to glimpse your many futures.
It must be painful for him to watch you on Friday evenings
Driving home from the office, content with your week—
Three fine houses sold to deserving families—
Knowing as he does exactly what would have happened
Had you gone to your second choice for college,
Knowing the roommate you’d have been allotted
Whose ardent opinions on painting and music
Would have kindled in you a lifelong passion.
A life thirty points above the life you’re living
On any scale of satisfaction. And every point
A thorn in the side of the god who loves you.
You don’t want that, a large-souled man like you
Who tries to withhold from your wife the day’s disappointments
So she can save her empathy for the children.
And would you want this god to compare your wife
With the woman you were destined to meet on the other campus?
It hurts you to think of him ranking the conversation
You’d have enjoyed over there higher in insight
Than the conversation you’re used to.
And think how this loving god would feel
Knowing that the man next in line for your wife
Would have pleased her more than you ever will
Even on your best days, when you really try.
Can you sleep at night believing a god like that
Is pacing his cloudy bedroom, harassed by alternatives
You’re spared by ignorance? The difference between what is
And what could have been will remain alive for him
Even after you cease existing, after you catch a chill
Running out in the snow for the morning paper,
Losing eleven years that the god who loves you
Will feel compelled to imagine scene by scene
Unless you come to the rescue by imagining him
No wiser than you are, no god at all, only a friend
No closer than the actual friend you made at college,
The one you haven’t written in months. Sit down tonight
And write him about the life you can talk about
With a claim to authority, the life you’ve witnessed,
Which for all you know is the life you’ve chosen.

--Carl Dennis

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"Ave Maria" by Frank O'Hara

Mothers of America
let your kids go to the movies
get them out of the house so they won't
know what you're up to
it's true that fresh air is good for the body
but what about the soul
that grows in darkness, embossed by
silvery images
and when you grow old as grow old you
they won't hate you
they won't criticize you they won't know
they'll be in some glamorous
they first saw on a Saturday afternoon or
playing hookey
they may even be grateful to you
for their first sexual experience
which only cost you a quarter
and didn't upset the peaceful
they will know where candy bars come
and gratuitous bags of popcorn
as gratuitous as leaving the movie before
it's over
with a pleasant stranger whose apartment
is in the Heaven on
Earth Bldg
near the Williamsburg Bridge
oh mothers you will have made
the little
so happy because if nobody does pick
them up in the movies
they won't know the difference
and if somebody does it'll be
sheer gravy
and they'll have been truly entertained
either way
instead of hanging around the yard
or up in their room hating you
prematurely since you won't have done
anything horribly mean
except keeping them from life's darker joys
it's unforgivable the latter
so don't blame me if you won't take this
and the family breaks up
and your children grow old and blind in
front of a TV set
movies you wouldn't let them see when
they were young

--Frank O'Hara

Note: column width limitations prevent me from showing what is probably the poet's preferred version with white space intact. To read the poem in that format, click here for "Ave Maria" at

Friday, August 20, 2010

"Searching" by Billy Collins

I recall someone once admitting
that all he remembered of Anna Karenina
was something about a picnic basket,

and now, after consuming a book
devoted to the subject of Barcelona—
its people, its history, its complex architecture—

all I remember is the mention
of an albino gorilla, the inhabitant of a park
where the Citadel of the Bourbons once stood.

The sheer paleness of him looms over
all the notable names and dates
as the evening strollers stop before him

and point to show their children.
These locals called him Snowflake,
and here he has been mentioned again in print

in the hope of keeping his pallid flame alive
and helping him, despite his name, to endure
in this poem, where he has found another cage.

Oh, Snowflake,
I had no interest in the capital of Catalonia—
its people, its history, its complex architecture—

no, you were the reason
I kept my light on late into the night,
turning all those pages, searching for you everywhere.

--Billy Collins

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"The Stairway" by Stephen Dunn

The architect wanted to build a stairway
and suspend it with silver, almost invisible
guy wires in a high-ceilinged room,
a stairway you couldn't ascend or descend
except in your dreams. But first--
because wild things are not easily seen
if what's around them is wild--
he'd make sure the house that housed it
was practical, built two-by-four by
two-by-four, slat by slat, without ornament.
The stairway would be an invitation
to anyone who felt invited by it,
and depending on your reaction he'd know
if friendship were possible.
The house he'd claim as his, but the stairway
would be designed to be ownerless,
tilted against any suggestion of a theology,
disappointing to those looking for politics.
Of course the architect knew
that over the years he'd have to build
other things the way others desired,
knew that to live in this world was to trade
a few industrious hours for one beautiful one.
Yet every night when he got home
he could imagine, as he walked in the door,
his stairway going nowhere, not for sale,
and maybe some you to whom nothing
about it need be explained, waiting,
the wine decanted, the night about to unfold.

--Stephen Dunn

Friday, August 13, 2010

"Insomniac" by Sylvia Plath

The night is only a sort of carbon paper,
Blueblack, with the much-poked periods of stars
Letting in the light, peephole after peephole ---
A bonewhite light, like death, behind all things.
Under the eyes of the stars and the moon's rictus
He suffers his desert pillow, sleeplessness
Stretching its fine, irritating sand in all directions.

Over and over the old, granular movie
Exposes embarrassments--the mizzling days
Of childhood and adolescence, sticky with dreams,
Parental faces on tall stalks, alternately stern and tearful,
A garden of buggy rose that made him cry.
His forehead is bumpy as a sack of rocks.
Memories jostle each other for face-room like obsolete film stars.

He is immune to pills: red, purple, blue ---
How they lit the tedium of the protracted evening!
Those sugary planets whose influence won for him
A life baptized in no-life for a while,
And the sweet, drugged waking of a forgetful baby.
Now the pills are worn-out and silly, like classical gods.
Their poppy-sleepy colors do him no good.>

His head is a little interior of grey mirrors.
Each gesture flees immediately down an alley
Of diminishing perspectives, and its significance
Drains like water out the hole at the far end.
He lives without privacy in a lidless room,
The bald slots of his eyes stiffened wide-open
On the incessant heat-lightning flicker of situations.

Nightlong, in the granite yard, invisible cats
Have been howling like women, or damaged instruments.
Already he can feel daylight, his white disease,
Creeping up with her hatful of trivial repetitions.
The city is a map of cheerful twitters now,
And everywhere people, eyes mica-silver and blank,
Are riding to work in rows, as if recently brainwashed.

--Sylvia Plath

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"Charles on Fire" by James Merrill

Another evening we sprawled about discussing
Appearances. And it was the consensus
That while uncommon physical good looks
Continued to launch one, as before, in life
(Among its vaporous eddies and false claims),
Still, as one of us said into his beard,
"Without your intellectual and spiritual
Values, man, you are sunk." No one but squared
The shoulders of their own unlovliness.
Long-suffering Charles, having cooked and served the meal,
Now brought out little tumblers finely etched
He filled with amber liquor and then passed.
"Say," said the same young man, "in Paris, France,
They do it this way"--bounding to his feet
And touching a lit match to our host's full glass.
A blue flame, gentle, beautiful, came, went
Above the surface. In a hush that fell
We heard the vessel crack. The contents drained
As who should step down from a crystal coach.
Steward of spirits, Charles's glistening hand
All at once gloved itself in eeriness.
The moment passed. He made two quick sweeps and
Was flesh again. "It couldn't matter less,"
He said, but with a shocked, unconscious glance
Into the mirror. Finding nothing changed,
He filled a fresh glass and sank down among us.

--James Merrill

Friday, August 06, 2010

"A Bigfoot Poem" by Dave Bonta

would have nothing whatsoever
to do with, you know — those interlopers.
It would have, I suppose,
a cold mountain stream in it,
a rock shifting in the current,
the too-loud splash of a trout.
It would have loose bark
ticking in the wind
& a saw-whet owl’s discrete
requests for clarification —
that kind of persistence.
It would have the hush
when the crickets suddenly stop
& your pulse makes such a racket
you’re sure it will give you away,
you whose knees
are incapable of bending,
whose feet grip as much of the ground
as they can still lay claim to.
It would cry, that poem,
possibly for joy.
It would hiss.

--Dave Bonta

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

"Dracula's Housecat" by Anna George Meek

More lithe I am, and living,
than he who also hunts by night.
We whisper the fields where titmice quiver;
we sip black water from the kills.
I leap the grass blades, the air unsheathed,
moon the shape of my eye. He's quick
for a little bat, but I feast first:
mortality coils in my haunches.
I eat and bare my belly in bloodroot
to tease the lean eagles who desire me.
And still, the bat is suckling his corpse.
I would rip off his wings and roll his soul
immortally between my paws,
but he alone lets me in before dawn
to climb the castle drapes. Later,
I rapture in sunlight while he sleeps
in his box—which I have only once
misused. I love my warm body thrumming.
I love my delicious short life.

—Anna George Meek

Thursday, July 29, 2010

"After Love" by Maxine Kumin

Afterward, the compromise.
Bodies resume their boundaries.

These legs, for instance, mine.
Your arms take you back in.

Spoons of our fingers, lips
admit their ownership.

The bedding yawns, a door
blows aimlessly ajar

and overhead, a plane
singsongs coming down.

Nothing is changed, except
there was a moment when

the wolf, the mongering wolf
who stands outside the self

lay lightly down, and slept.

--Maxine Kumin

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"Wild Orders" by Jack Butler

Let me look on nothing like myself --
let me look on wild orders.
There are always wars at the borders,
there are always borders.

What keeps plant from animal but a name
hidden somewhere inside?
What keeps saint from murderer but a refusal
to accept the blame?

-- I came as close as any came.

O tongue of seeded flame,
O visitant of the rank and tattered petals,
let me be butterfly, or blank

as the heart of a star, heart of water:
come battering
the gates apart, lord hawk, lord frog, lord thing,
but teach me how to sing.

--Jack Butler

A great poem by one of my all-time favorite poets. Read more of Jack's work at The Hypertexts.

Friday, July 23, 2010

"I'm Really Very Fond" by Alice Walker

I'm really very fond of you,
he said.

I don't like fond.
It sounds like something
you would tell a dog.

Give me love,
or nothing.

Throw your fond in a pond,
I said.

But what I felt for him
was also warm, frisky,
and could swim away.

if forced to do so.

--Alice Walker

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"A Man Saw a Ball of Gold" by Stephen Crane

A man saw a ball of gold in the sky;
He climbed for it,
And eventually he achieved it --
It was clay.

Now this is the strange part:
When the man went to the earth
And looked again,
Lo, there was the ball of gold.
Now this is the strange part:
It was a ball of gold.
Aye, by the heavens, it was a ball of gold.

--Stephen Crane

Update, and Something New

So the Sonnet Project is done, restarted, and done again, but I still can't seem to stay away from the place. I don't flatter myself that anyone is still checking in here at all, though a few might stumble across the monument to past achievements it's become thanks to web searches for "bad sonnets" or some other vagaries of the Google. But just in case anyone *did* happen to wonder: I'm alive, physically if not creatively. I haven't written much poetry in the last several months, despite my desire to do so. I toy periodically with the thought of starting the Project yet a third time, but haven't had the energy or impetus up to now. Maybe that will change.

But until such time as it does: because blogging abhors a vacuum, I thought I might do something new with this space to keep it from sitting here disused and depressing. Over time I have collected a large number of poems that I like a great deal by people other than me, both online and in anthologies. Since I do love poetry even when I'm not actively producing it, I thought I could use the blog to share these with any readers who might chance to wander by. I also like the idea of discussing these poems and Poetry in general with any interested readers, or even just life, philosophy, and everything.

So anyway, that's the idea. I'll be posting one or two of these poems a week, either until I start writing my own stuff again, or till I run out. If anybody finds them, I hope you enjoy, and please feel free to comment--I'd love to get discussions started with like-minded folks.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Free Verse

In poetry, as in life,
I find it hard to work
without restrictions

And still be good.


Friday, March 12, 2010

#461: The Old Detective Waxes Philosophical Over a Pusher's Corpse, While His Young Partner Listens

"There's two ways you can look at it," he said.
"First, maybe he was only passing through.
Got tangled in some drug deal, lost his head,
and wound up here. Old story. Nothing new.

"The second way is metaphysical,
involving destiny and fate, you see?
Some cosmic, strange gravitational pull
brought him to where he was supposed to be.

"And so his death is like a sacrifice
to gods we have forgotten. If not that,
chaos, to which no meaning can adhere.
So, one or two, son? Neither's very nice."
He lit a cigarette and grabbed his hat.
"Well, anyway, he's dead. Let's get a beer."

Thursday, March 11, 2010

#460: Things to Do with Pencils Besides Writing Poems

Beat out a rock song on your desktop set
(Your mug makes one great cymbal, FYI)
Or maybe see how many you can get
stuck in the ceiling tiles on your first try.

Unsharpened, use as chopsticks. (If the taste
of graphite doesn't bug you, sharpened too.)
Stir water into stubborn clumps of paste
and then create sculptures of wood and glue.

With rubber bands and paperclips, pretend
you and your friends are fearsome Indian braves.
See how many you can stack end-to-end.

Make tourniquets, or splint a broken bone;
or put them down and leave the things alone.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

#459: Hail to the King

I am the king of all that I survey,
my dominion as far as I can see!
(That's half the yard on an uncloudy day--
the house, my car, mailbox, a rock, that tree.)

I am a vicious warrior without peer
who's never known the sour taste of defeat!
(In fact, my reputation wields such fear
no one has even challenged me! That's neat.)

Fair damsels are unable to refuse
my charms (or would be, if I asked them out).
Conquer the gods? I could, should I so choose.
(I don't choose so, but that's no cause for doubt.)

I'm more handsome and strong and brave than most
(but no one knows, 'cause I don't like to boast).

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

#458: Mystery

He did good work; he hardly ever spoke,
and when he did, he never wasted words.
Few friends, even among the IT nerds.
Three times a day he went outside to smoke.

But now and then he'd laugh--a short, sharp sound
as if some joke had caught him by surprise;
no explanation, no smile in his eyes,
and only when no one else was around.

Then one day he was gone--just didn't show
for work, with neither notice nor goodbye.
His coffee mug still on his desk, a ring
of keys there in the drawer. Beats anything.
At last the boss just shrugged and let it go.
I still don't know what happened to the guy.

Monday, March 08, 2010

#457: The Less Things Change

I tend to think that life will stay the same:
how things are now, that's how they'll always be.
Experience can't teach the contrary,
despite its constant lessons. I can blame

a kind of sad inertia of the brain,
stubborn determination to believe
only the worst can last. I can't conceive
an upward curving graph, an end to rain.

And yet I know Spring comes. I know the sun
does dissipate the fog. It's nothing strange.
But something in me sees a cloud-filled sky,
a moonless night, a treasured plan undone
and thinks it permanent. I don't know why.
The world is wet. The weather will not change.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

#456: End of Day

A quiet hour at last: the ice cubes sing
like chimes, and I can sit back and relax
at last. The daily burden of our facts
and figures melt away, and everything
casts off its weight. There's nothing left to do
but reconsider calmly what has passed;
the tally of our breaths and heartbeats. Last
to go, now that the sky has gone from blue
to pinholed black, is this: what have I done
today (of all days) that might, in a year,
a month, a day, still be remembered? What
will stay for one more cycle of the sun?
The gin dilutes, the tonic stays as clear
as always. What was my point? I forgot.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

#455: There Was a Time, My Love, When We Could Sit

There was a time, my love, when we could sit,
hold hands, and stare into each others' eyes
for hungry hours, and not get bored of it.
Young love has just such power to hypnotize.

In former days we'd only kiss, until,
our curfews near, we pulled away and sighed--
Our hot desire fed, though unfulfilled;
our lusts inflamed, but strangely satisfied.

But now experience has taught us greed,
and what sufficed once will no longer do;
thus fantasy has transformed into need,
and blasted what contentment we once knew.

A touch, a glance, a breath, a sigh, a kiss;
A shame we hunger now for more than this.

Friday, March 05, 2010

#454: Prologue to Attack of the Megafish

(an unfilmed scifi/horror movie existing entirely in the poet's mind)

The doctor pushed his glasses up his nose
and stared in wonder at his petri dish.
He never thought the genome grafts on fish
would ever work this well. Not even close.

He shot the stuff into a minnow's brain
and sent his intern, Fritz, down to the pond
to set it free. His mind soared, well beyond
all ethical concerns. He would explain

himself to history, shaking his fist
at research fellows--backwards, fearful lot!
The fools! He'd show them who was on the fringe!
Perhaps soon something monstrous would exist
that never had, and, most would say, should not...
He sat back, smiling, dreaming of revenge.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

#453: Giallo

Tonight get out the J&B, and don
black leather gloves. Dust off that wide-brimmed hat.
Razor: in pocket. Huge sunglasses? ON.
And don't forget your metaphoric cat.

Pack dragonflies, a broken doll, but not
a handgun--that's too amateur by half.
Don't shoot; don't torture ducklings; don't get caught.
Stay shadow-bound, and let the windows laugh.

At midnight, when the real and dream worlds mesh
She'll come to meet her lover in the glade.
(She ought to learn not to go near the park.)
You know that somewhere in her folds of flesh
the secret lies, so free it with your blade;
She'll show you all the colors of the dark.

"Giallo" films are characterized by extended murder sequences featuring excessive bloodletting, stylish camerawork and unusual musical arrangements. The literary whodunit element is retained, but combined with modern slasher horror, while being filtered through Italy's longstanding tradition of opera and staged grand guignol drama.--Wikipedia

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

#452: Zippadee Doo-dah

Alarm goes off; even a string quartet
rattles like heavy metal round my skull--
too early yet to savor how the pull
of horsehair bows on catgut sings. I'll get

the covers off, although they cling to me
like some man-eating blob from outer space.
Robe on, I'll splash some water on my face
and lurch downstairs, my only thought: "Coffeeee...."

When Phoebus slaps his flaming stallions' flanks
and draws his chariot over the line
to start his chase, some doubtless think that's fine;
but I'm a bit more stingy with my thanks.

"The Sun will rise." Well, you know what I say:
it's sure a rotten way to start the day.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

#451: Leaving the Castle

Let cobwebs gather in the corners; let
the dust fall from the chandeliers like snow.
Let those who knew the path from here forget
and those who didn't, let them never know.

Let rafters creak unheard under the weight
of their own mass; let tiles fall where they may.
Let cellar bottles transubstantiate
their guts to vinegar. We cannot stay.

Let glamour go to squalor; let the vines
creep in between the windowpanes where glass
once held, but now lies shattered on the floor.
And if someday someone should see these signs
of habitation, let them sigh and pass
these rooms where we once lived, who live no more.


Monday, March 01, 2010

#450: Things I've Found in the Parking Lot at Work

The bolt from some machine, about the size
of one finger. A plastic bubble shell,
the kind that holds a supermarket prize.
A dented, ornamental jingle bell.

An Uno card (Blue Zero). Paper clips.
A water bill, apparently unpaid.
A shiny chrome hub cap. Garish wax lips.
And once even a rusted razor blade.

A chintzy shamrock pin. After a rain,
some drowning earthworms twitching in the flow
of oil-slick puddles, whom I tried in vain
to rescue. One dark feather off a crow.

Pennies, of course, and dimes; both heads and tails.
Five screws, and maybe half a dozen nails.