December Lines


If anyone asks, say it was forgotten
Long and long ago,
As a flower, as a fire, as a hushed footfall
In a long forgotten snow.

Let it Be Forgotten/ Sarah Teasdale


—And one Canada goose so low in passing
above the barn you still hear the shadow.

December/ David Baker


No matter how often you knock
on the ocean the ocean

just waves.

Hotel Lullaby/ Srikanth Reddy


Mostly I’d like to feel a little less, know a little more.

And I admire the way they grow right through fences, nothing
stops them, it’s called inosculation: to unite by openings, to connect
or join so as to become or make continuous, from osculare,
to provide with a mouth, from osculum, little mouth.

Epistemology/ Catherine Barnett


And I could see everything: it was all green, really;
even the red was anti-green

I could see everything; it was all green; the twigs in my eyes

tasted sunlight with my mouth

What Would Root/ Katie Farris


“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

“Hope” is the thing with feathers – (314)/ Emily Dickinson


It’s all I have to bring today—
This, and my heart beside—
This, and my heart, and all the fields—
And all the meadows wide—

It’s all I have to bring today (26)/ Emily Dickinson


I am happy for the smallest of moments The first desire is to bottle them The second is to believe they will last forever Isn’t it better that nothing does

Outside the Wind the Whole World is Humming/ Devin Kelly


The light has changed;
middle C is tuned darker now.
And the songs of morning sound over-rehearsed. 

This is the light of autumn, not the light of spring.
The light of autumn: you will not be spared.

Above the fields,
above the roofs of the village houses,
the brilliance that made all life possible
becomes the cold stars.

Lie still and watch:
they give nothing but ask nothing.
From within the earth’s
bitter disgrace, coldness and barrenness

my friend the moon rises:
she is beautiful tonight, but when is she not beautiful?

October/ Louise Glück


As for 
bones—femur, spine, 
the tribe of them in there—they harden 
with use. The body would like 
a small mile or two. Thank you. 
It would like it on a bike 
or a run. Or in the water. Blue. 

And the brain, 
locked in its strange 
dual citizenship, idles there in the body, 
neatly terraced and landscaped.

The Body/ Marianne Boruch


Oh for the pleasure of living in a body.

this is a world haunted by happiness,
where people finally are loved
in the light of leaves,
the feel of bird wings passing by.

remember there is always something
besides our own misery.

Rapture/ Linda Hogan


glories of Morning
rooms of Mush
days of Dog
puppies of Hush

Summer’s Bounty/ May Swenson


Only today did I notice the abyss
in abysmal and only because my mind
was generating rhymes for dismal,
and it made of the two a pair,
to which much later it joined
baptismal, as–I think–a joke.

What Big Eyes You Have/ Heather Christie


In winter 
    all the singing is in 
         the tops of the trees 

White Eyes/ Mary Oliver


Whenever we lose track of our own obsessions,
our self-concerns, because we drift for a minute,
an hour even, of pure (almost pure)
response to that insouciant life:
cloud, bird, fox, the flow of light, the dancing
pilgrimage of water, vast stillness
of spellbound ephemerae on a lit windowpane,
animal voices, mineral hum, wind
conversing with rain, ocean with rock, stuttering
of fire to coal—then something tethered
in us, hobbled like a donkey on its patch
of gnawed grass and thistles, breaks free.

Sojourns in the Parallel World/ Denise Levertov


A harbinger is sent before to help,
and also a sign of things
to come. Like this blue
stapler I bought at Staples.

Did you know in ancient Rome
priests called augurs studied
the future by carefully watching
whether birds were flying
together or alone, making what
honking or beeping noises
in what directions? It was called
the auspices. The air
was thus a huge announcement.

Erstwhile Harbinger Auspices/ Matthew Zapruder


After I lost
my peripheral vision
I started getting sideswiped
by pedestrians cutting
in from of me
almost randomly
like memories
I couldn’t see coming

Stranger by Night/ Edward Hirsch