March Lines


Who knocks? That April –
Lock the Door –
I will not be pursued –
He stayed away a Year to call
When I am occupied –

Dear March — Come in –/ Emily Dickinson


& as you chore, touch
the ankles & hairs of your befores
who look up from their work
in the field or at the chisel
to tell you in their ways: You Live!

from The Black Maria/ Aracelis Girmay


we don’t know
to un-
wrap these blind-
folds we
keep thinking
we are
seeing through

In cold spring/ Reginald Gibbons


Having swum in the ocean
Salt considers soup a shallow pond
For salt, every meal is a jail

One day, an extra salty flavor
Makes me cough and cough
It feels like cold fish bones scraping my throat
Maybe it’s salt telling me
I’m going to prison in your body
Don’t ever forget who I am!

Salt / Huang Fan


like the tree I can lose myself
layer after layer
all the way down to infinity
and that’s when the world has eyes and sees.
The whole world
loves this unlayered human.

Eucalyptus/ Linda Hogan


But there are three ways in the world: dangerous, wounding,
and beauty.
To enter stone, be water.
To rise through hard earth, be plant
desiring sunlight, believing in water.
To enter fire, be dry.
To enter life, be food.

The Way In/ Linda Hogan


A lamentation of geese

their acorn accounts

Fashionable spruce
knows how
to wear snow

Seasons/ John Haag


It’s time to care about
the caribou

the doe does
as does do

Snowgeese know
no snowgeese show
in the snow

Footsteps/ John Haag


yet however hard we try to

find the great nothingness
to escape the layers they

are always here unforgettable-
ably wrapped around us re-

calling what we were deter-
mining what we’ll always be.

Layers/ J. Laughlin


It might be none of my business,
but it might be a good idea one day
for everyone who placed those vacant chairs

on a veranda or a dock to sit down in them
for the sake of remembering
whatever it was they thought deserved

Then there is nothing but the sound of their looking,
the lapping of the lake water

The Chairs That No One Sits In/ Billy Collins


Red blood cells live some hundred days before they are worn out by their silent hustle—looping and looping, pounded through the heart’s chambered cathedral, rushing out to the farthest reaches of the body with the good news of oxygen

Cell/ Naomi Cohn


Like a hundred gray ears
the river stones are layered

in a pile near the shed where mourning
doves slow their peck and bobble to listen

to a chorus of listening.

Listen/ Didi Jackson


The three of them are enveloped –
turning now to go crosstown – in their
sense of each other, of pleasure,
of weather, of corners,
of leisurely tensions between them
and private silence.

The Rainwalkers/ Denise Levertov


a single cell
found that it was full of light
and for the first time there was seeing

Sight/ W.S. Merwin


I am on my knees, will you have me,

Confessions of a Nature Lover/ Bob Hicok


the diaphragm pumps like a bellows
and the soul pulls out all the stops—

sings at the top of its lungs, laughs
at its little jokes

Body and Soul/ Sharon Bryan


The Meadows – mine –
The Mountains – mine –
All Forests – Stintless stars –
As much of noon, as I could take –
Between my finite eyes –

Before I got my eyes put out — (336)/ Emily Dickinson


insulated, uninterrupted,

save a perched sparrow’s whistle,
or the thrashing of
a lemon in the garbage disposal.

Hearing Loss/ Noah Baldino


Shedding toughness
peeling layers down
to vulnerable stuff

And I’m blinking off old eyelids
for a new way of seeing

Shedding Skin/ Harryette Mulen