Poems about Poetry, 2022
It’s April, National Poetry Month, and we celebrate again with poems on poetry itself…! Happy reading.
When Beginning the Poem
may there be a listening
rather than a making
curiosity over expectation,
lightness and ease,
toward some glut of air.
May you step aside
like a watcher at the meadow’s edge
as the doe
finds her way to the center.
[from Marrow of Summer, Kelsay Books, 2021]
I learned not to fear
the verse that was
more real than mystery.
The names were named.
The tree, the bird, and sky.
something. A fish swam
and time moved on.
Who will fill my apartment with wild birds in flight?
Who will make a herd of elephants bloom
like a bouquet in my living room?
I hear the ghosts of all the poets clamoring
for the honor. But the early March sun steps shyly forward
to present himself in his best blue and yellow robes,
making promises that April will have to keep.
The bare trees that line the street
are about to wake up and realize they’re naked,
adorn themselves with pink and white blossoms.
On a blank sheet of afternoon sky,
words appear in a typeface of small black birds.
I squint at them, try to let the message come through,
try to remember that I’m not out of now just yet.
What do animals dream?
Do they dream of past lives and unlived dreams
unspeakably human or unimaginably bestial?
Do they struggle to catch in their slumber
what is too slippery for the fingers of day?
Are there subtle nocturnal intimations
to illuminate their undreaming hours?
Are they haunted by specters of regret
do they visit their dead in drowsy gratitude?
Or are they revisited by their crimes
transcribed in tantalizing hieroglyphs?
Do they retrace the outline of their wounds
or dream of transformation, instead?
Do they tug at obstinate knots
inassimilable longings and thwarted strivings?
Are there agitations, upheavals or mutinies
against their perceived selves or fate?
Are they free of strengths and weaknesses peculiar
to horse, deer, bird, goat, snake, lamb or lion?
Are they ever neither animal nor human
but creature and Being?
Do they have holy moments of understanding
deep in the seat of their entity?
Do they experience their existence more fully
relieved of the burden of wakefulness?
Do they suspect, with poets, that all we see or seem
is but a dream within a dream?
Or is it merely a small dying
a little taste of nothingness that gathers in their mouths?
Up from the Trees of a Bus
“A poem by Jeffrey McDaniel on May 15 included an error. The third line should be “up from the tires of the bus,” not “from the trees.” – New York Times Magazine, June 27, 2021, page 7.
Up from the tigers
Up from the tires, the sky, the riders
Up from the bus seats
The shape of the poem is
what matters. The shape
and size of each stanza and
how they fit together, up
from the page to your eyes.
…and so on, as each of these has links to past features and current poets…!