If I were a street, I hope I’d get a good name, not Main
Sometimes, parents & children
become the most common strangers. Eventually,
a street appears where they can meet again.
Poplar Street/ Chen Chen
I say it wants less for company than for compassion,
which can come from afar and faceless.
As there is no face. There’s just the willow
as willow. Nothing but itself. Its shadow meaningless
except to those who want for shade,
and find it there.
And Swept all Visible Signs Away/ Carl Phillips
Not those that flash by, but those
into which the gaze wanders
and is lost
and returns to tell
Here is a mystery,
a person, an
other, an I?
When We Look Up/ Denise Levertov
I am doing something I learned early to do, I am
paying attention to small beauties,
whatever I have–as if it were our duty to
find things to love, to bind ourselves to this world.
from The Gold Cell/ Sharon Olds
reading Spengler, reading Whitehead,
William James I loved him, swimming breaststroke
and thinking for an hour, how did I get here?
Still Burning/ Gerald Stern
there are, on this planet alone, something like two
million naturally occurring sweet things,
some with names so generous as to kick
the steel from my knees: agave, persimmon,
stick ball, the purple okra I bought for two bucks
at the market.
I remember. My color’s green. I’m spring.
Sorrow is Not My Name/ Ross Gay
The air you breathe has swirled thru places of the earth that no one has ever seen. Every bit of you is a bit of the earth and has been on many strange and wonderful journeys over countless millions of years.
Lake Superior/ Lorine Niedecker
you may now
Go forth to the forests and the shady streets
To see how the chaos of experience
Answers to catalogue and category.
what language does
And how it does it, cutting across the world
how funny knowledge is:
You may succeed in learning many trees
And calling off their names as you go by,
But their comprehensive silence stays the same.
Learning the Trees/ Howard Nemerov
The heat of autumn
is different from the heat of summer.
One ripens apples, the other turns them to cider.
The Heat of Autumn/ Jane Hirshfield
Rotten fish slapped their rotten smell on the riverbank.
Beginning/ Claire Wahmanholm
A Blank White Page
is a meadow
after a snowfall
that a poem
hopes to cross
A Blank White Page/ Francisco X. Alarcón
Autumn wind chases in
From all directions
And a thousand chaste leaves
Nature Aria/ Yi Lei
and for now it seems as though
you are still summer
still the high familiar
yet with a glint
of bronze in the chill mornings
but they all know
that you have come
the seed heads of the sage
the whispering birds
To the Light of September/ W.S. Merwin
Knuckles of the rain
on the roof,
chuckles into the drain-
pipe, spatters on
the leaves that litter
Light that’s sucked into
the eye, warming the brain
with wires of color.
Light that hatched life
out of the cold egg of earth.
Stand still, stare
October/ May Swenson