Imagine you wake up
with a second chance: The blue jay
hawks his pretty wares
and the oak still stands, spreading
glorious shade. If you don’t look back,
the future never happens.
How good to rise in sunlight,
in the prodigal smell of biscuits —
eggs and sausage on the grill.
The whole sky is yours
to write on, blown open
to a blank page. Come on,
shake a leg! You’ll never know
who’s down there, frying those eggs,
if you don’t get up and see.
~ Rita Dove
Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.
~ David Wagoner
Only two days left?! April, as every year, has completely flown by. Here we are at another Poem in Your Pocket Day! Poem in Your Pocked Day initiated in April 2002 and went national in 2008. What will you celebrate by carrying? I would love, if you would share it with me.
I will have a bunch of poems with me today but officially I will be carrying Lost by David Wagoner.
Take a moment today. To be Here. Read a poem and just be . . . Here. And if you have an extra moment, share with me how you celebrated today. I’d really love to know.
So Much Happiness
It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness.
With sadness there is something to rub against,
a wound to tend with lotion and cloth.
When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up,
something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs or change.
But happiness floats.
It doesn’t need you to hold it down.
It doesn’t need anything.
Happiness lands on the roof of the next house, singing,
and disappears when it wants to.
You are happy either way.
Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house
and now live over a quarry of noise and dust
cannot make you unhappy.
Everything has a life of its own,
it too could wake up filled with possibilities
of coffee cake and ripe peaches,
and love even the floor which needs to be swept,
the soiled linens and scratched records . . .
Since there is no place large enough
to contain so much happiness,
you shrug, you raise your hands, and it flows out of you
into everything you touch. You are not responsible.
You take no credit, as the night sky takes no credit
for the moon, but continues to hold it, and share it,
and in that way, be known.
~ Naomi Shihab Nye
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore —
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over —
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
~ Langston Hughes
There Will Come Soft Rains
There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;
And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum-trees in tremulous white;
Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;
And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree
If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.
~ Sara Teasdale
Another Spring Poem
The lawn is filling with tiny flowers, almost
invisible like the night’s first dozen stars:
violet and sorrel, clover and strawberry,
and the white corollas no bigger than commas
I have never been able to name.
I don’t know why it’s taken so long to notice them
or how many days they might have been here.
Spring has surprised me once again,
as if an orchestra had assembled in the living room
while I fiddled with bills or read the news.
Even the mushrooms — squirrel-bitten,
glistening with slime, like eggs
half-risen in the maple duff — insist
on a kind of awe if I’m still enough to listen.
Soon the yard will be crowded with lilac and dogwood,
the fat half-dollars of the dandelions,
and there will be no more mistaking
something for nothing. Beauty and the need
for beauty will be full-blown, insistemt
as the sun rising right now
in this glory of pink and parting clouds.
~ Charles Rafferty
Just a reminder that National Poem in Your Pocket Day will be held April 27th this year. Only one week to go! What will you be carrying?!
Good and Bad Luck
Good luck is the gayest of all gay girls;
Long in one place she will not stay:
Back from your brow she strokes the curls,
Kisses you quick and flies away.
But Madame Bad Luck soberly comes
And stays – no fancy has she for flitting;
Snatches of true-love songs she hums,
And sits by your bed, and brings her knitting.
~ John Hay
I have painted a picture of a ghost
Upon my kite,
And hung it on a tree.
Later, when I loose the string
And let it fly,
The people will cower
And hide their heads,
For fear of the God
Swimming in the clouds.
~ Amy Lowell