Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

December Notes

The backyard is one white sheet

Where we read in the bird tracks


The songs we hear. Delicate

Sparrow, heavier cardinal,


Filigree threads of chickadee.

And wing patterns where one flew


Low, then up and away, gone

To the woods but calling out


Clearly its bright epigrams.

More snow promised for tonight.


The postal van is stalled

In the road again, the mail


Will be late and any good news

Will reach us by hand.


~ Nancy McCleery


"Letter Boxes of the Kerava Riding School in Finland" by Annelis

“Letter Boxes of the Kerava Riding School in Finland” by Annelis

Read Full Post »


Does the road wind up-hill all the way?

   Yes, to the very end.

Will the day’s journey take the whole long day?

   From morn to night, my friend.


But is there for the night a resting-place?

   A roof for when the slow dark hours begin.

May not the darkness hide it from my face?

   You cannot miss that inn.


Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?

   Those who have gone before.

Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?

   They will not keep you standing at that door.


Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?

   Of labour you shall find the sum.

Will there be beds for me and all who seek?

   Yea, beds for all who come.


                              ~ Christina Rossetti, born on this day in 1830


"Au Moulin de la Galette" by Ramon Casas i Carbó, 1892

“Au Moulin de la Galette” by Ramon Casas i Carbó, 1892

Read Full Post »

Fields of Learning

When we go out into the fields of learning

We go by a rough route

Marked by colossal statues, Frankenstein’s

Monsters, AMPAC and the 704,

AARDVARK, and deoxyribonucleic acid.

They guard the way.

Headless they nod, wink eyeless,

Thoughtless compute, not heartless,

For they figure us, they figure

Our next turning.

They are reading the books to be written.

As we start out

At first daylight into the fields, they are saying,

Starting out.


In every sage leaf is contained a toad

Infinitely small.




Algebra written across a blackboard hurts

As a tight shoe hurts; it can’t be walked in.

Music, a song score, hurts,

How far lies one note from another?

Graft hurts, its systems of exploitation

In cold continuance.

Argosies of design, fashions to which the keys

Rest restlessly in an Egyptian tomb.


In every sage leaf is contained a toad

Infinitely small.


                              From “Fields of Learning” by Josephine Miles


"The Night before the Exam" by Leonid Pasternak, 1895

“The Night before the Exam” by Leonid Pasternak, 1895

Read Full Post »


At moonrise a weariness comes over me,

And I dream of trees holding up a sky,

Beneath which I walk, seeking a lost road

To the house of a friend.


And in this twilight of my brain

I pray for a gate,

Or a bridge,

Or a tunnel,

By which I may come to an end.

But there are no walls for gates,

Or rivers for bridges,

Or mountains for tunnels.

There is nothing to stop me,

There is nothing to hold me.

Yet I must go on—

For how can one rest

Where there is neither wall nor hill nor sea,

And where in the full darkness

Little lights show

Only to vanish as one approaches them?


                       ~ Ernest Walsh


"Forest Path" by László Paál, 1873

“Forest Path” by László Paál, 1873

Read Full Post »

November Night


With faint dry sound,

Like steps of passing ghosts,

The leaves, frost-crisp’d, break from the trees

And fall.


                        ~ Adelaide Crapsey


"Winter Leaves" by Keith Proven, 2006

“Winter Leaves” by Keith Proven, 2006

Read Full Post »

On Education

When infant Reason first exerts her sway,

And new-formed thoughts their earliest charms display;

Then let the growing race employ your care

Then guard their opening minds from Folly’s snare;

Correct the rising passions of their youth,

Teach them each serious, each important truth;

Plant heavenly virtue in the tender breast,

Destroy each vice that might its growth molest;

Point out betimes the course they should pursue;

Then with redoubled pleasure shall you view

Their reason strengthen as their years increase,

Their virtue ripen and their follies cease;

Like corn sown early in the fertile soil,

The richest harvest shall repay your toil.


                                                    ~ Elizabeth Bentley


"The Young Student" by Ozias Leduc, 1894

“The Young Student” by Ozias Leduc, 1894

Read Full Post »

Human Family

I note the obvious differences

in the human family.

Some of us are serious,

some thrive on comedy.


Some declare their lives are lived

as true profundity,

and others claim they really live

the real reality.


The variety of our skin tones

can confuse, bemuse, delight,

brown and pink and beige and purple,

tan and blue and white.


I’ve sailed upon the seven seas

and stopped in every land,

I’ve seen the wonders of the world

not yet one common man.


I know ten thousand women

called Jane and Mary Jane,

but I’ve not seen any two

who really were the same.


Mirror twins are different

although their features jibe,

and lovers think quite different thoughts

while lying side by side.


We love and lose in China,

we weep on England’s moors,

and laugh and moan in Guinea,

and thrive on Spanish shores.


We seek success in Finland,

are born and die in Maine.

In minor ways we differ,

in major we’re the same.


I note the obvious differences

between each sort and type,

but we are more alike, my friends,

than we are unalike.


We are more alike, my friends,

than we are unalike.


We are more alike, my friends,

than we are unalike.


~ Maya Angelou


"Our Banner in the Sky" by Frederic Edwin Church, 1861

Frederic Edwin Church, 1861

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: