On a scale of anglerfish to northern lights
how bright are the flashes in your head?
When I touch this, here, which constellations
light the sky behind your eyes?
Let us for a moment call this pain by other words/ Dominik Parisien
They taste good
to her. They taste
good to her
To a Poor Old Woman/William Carlos Williams
I sat on a gray stone bench
ringed with the ingenue faces
of pink and white impatiens
and placed my grief
in the mouth of language,
the only thing that would grieve with me.
When I Am Asked/ Lisel Mueller
Some of the trees I can see across the lake
Have begun to change, but it is as if the air
Had entirely given itself over to summer,
With the intention of denying its own proper nature.
lake water/ David Ferry
the whole quiet thing coming into tune,
the gnats, frogs, the dandelion pollen, the
pebbles & leaves & the whole world of us
sitting at the throat of the jay
dancing in the throat of the jay
all of us on the lip of the jay
The Voice of God/ Crystal Williams
O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.
From Blossoms/ Li-Young Lee
O, She Says/ Hailey Leithauser
I like that any nearing face
is surely smiling, gorgeous;
each blurry body’s aura numinous:
style of not style, racially
ambitious, a glob, pure
spectral inchoesion. Aren’t we all
just masses of energy and light
approaching or leaving
one another in the jumbled
future or past; sometimes stop-
ping to embrace
for a moment or decades,
way too far for sight?
Halos/ Ed Bok Lee
A white, indifferent morning sky,
and a crow, hectoring from its nest
high in the hemlock, a nest as big
as a laundry basket….
In my childhood
I stood under a dripping oak,
while autumnal fog eddied around my feet,
waiting for the school bus
with a dread that took my breath away.
Three Poems at the End of the Summer/ Jane Kenyon
I’m trying to love the world,
I am, but is it too much
to ask for two parts bees
vibrating their cups of pollen,
humming a perfect A note,
to one part sting?
I’m trying, I am, for her.
If I list everything I love
about the world, and if the list
is long and heavy enough,
I can lift it over and over—
repetitions, they’re called, reps—
to keep my heart on, to keep
the dirt off.
with bees, and the hum,
and the honey singing
on my tongue, and the child
sleeping at last, and, and, and—\
Let’s Not Begin/ Maggie Smith
Some of us don’t need hell to be good.
Duplex (I Begin with Love)/ Jericho Brown
Empty your mind. Be
now you put
water into a cup
it becomes the cup you put
water into a bottle
it becomes the bottle you put
it into a tea pot
it becomes the tea pot
now water can flow or it can
be water my friend
Be Water My Friend/ Bruce Lee