Thursday, May 19, 2011

Poem About Morning

Poem About Morning
by William Meredith, from Good Poems, ed. Garrison Keillor, 1995

Whether its sunny or not, it's sure
To be enormously complex--
Trees or streets outdoors, indoors whoever you share,
And yourself, thirsty, hungry, washing,
An attitude towards sex.
No wonder half of you wants to stay
With your head dark and wishing
Rather than take it all on again:
Weren't you duped yesterday?
Things are not orderly here, no matter what they say.

But the clock goes off, if you have a dog
It wags, if you get up now you'll be less
Late. Life is some kind of loathsome hag
Who is forever threatening to turn beautiful.
Now she gives you a quick toothpaste kiss
And puts a glass of cold cranberry juice,
Like a big fake garnet, in your hand.
Cranberry juice! You're lucky, on the whole,
But there is a great deal about it you don't understand.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Companionable Dark

The Companionable Dark
by Kathleen Norris, from Little Girls in Church, 1995

of here and now,
seed lying dormant
in the earth. The dark
to which all lost things come -- scarves
and rings and precious photographs, and
of course, our beloved
dead. The brooding dark,
our most vulnerable hours, limbs loose
in sleep, mouths agape.
The faithful dark,
where each door leads,
each one of us, alone.
The dark of God come close
as breath, our one companion
all the way through, the dark
of a needle's eye.

Not the easy dark
of dusk and candles,
but dark from which comforts flee.
The deep down dark
of one by one,
dark of wind
and dust, dark in which stars burn.
The floodwater dark
of hope, Jesus in agony
in the garden, Esther pacing
her bitter palace. A dark
by which we see, dark like truth,
like flesh on bone:
Help me, who am alone,
and have no help but thee.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

where we are

where we are
by Gerald Locklin, from Good Poems, ed. Garrison Keillor, 2002

i envy those
who live in two places:
new york, say, and london;
wales and spain;
l.a. and paris;
hawaii and switzerland.

there is always the anticipation
of the change, the chance that what is wrong
is the result of where you are. i have
always loved both the freshness of
arriving and the relief of leaving. with
two homes every move would be a homecoming.
i am not even considering the weather, hot
or cold, dry or wet: i am talking about hope.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Welcome Morning

Welcome Morning
by Anne Sexton, from Good Poems, ed. Garrison Keillor, 2002

There is joy
in all:
in the hair I brush each morning,
in the Cannon towel, newly washed,
that I rub my body with each morning,
in the chapel of eggs I cook
each morning,
in the outcry from the kettle
that heats my coffee
each morning,
in the spoon and the chair
that cry "hello there, Anne"
each morning,
in the godhead of the table
that I set my silver, plate, cup upon
each morning.

All this is God,
right here in my pea-green house
each morning
and I mean,
though often forget,
to give thanks,
to faint down by the kitchen table
in a prayer of rejoicing
as the holy birds at the kitchen window
peck into their marriage of seeds.

So while I think of it,
let me paint a thank-you on my palm
for this God, this laughter of the morning,
lest it go unspoken.

The Joy that isn't shared, I've heard,
dies young.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

What Song, Then?

What Song, Then?
by Kathleen Norris, from Little Girls in Church, 1995

When my life is alien soil
and a wind
like fear
makes restless ground
of all I have done--

what song, then,
to send out roots
that will drink the rain
that does not come--

how could I sing?

Watch light come
from dark and mist rise
from waters
as sky and shore
emerge out of night,
and a tree half-green,

Half-afraid of what is in me
(though God has called it good)
I sob over nothing,

desires I cannot name.

Sing us, they say,
a song you remember...