Yearly Archives: 2016

The Bigness of Small Poems – # 14 in a Series – May 15th, The Death Day of Emily D.

I Reason, Earth is Short #403 (Franklin Edition) I reason, Earth is short – And Anguish – absolute – And many hurt, But, what of that? I reason, we could die – The best Vitality Cannot excel Decay, But, what of that? I reason, that in Heaven – Somehow, it will be even – Some […]

The Bigness of Small Poems – # 13 in a Series – The Double S in Sue Sinclair!

Belief The floorboards creak overhead, heavy with stars. The sound makes you think of the dead, as though they’re closer than you knew: like the doubled s in essence, an extra consonant slipped into the word for the very truth of you. Sue Sinclair from Heaven’s Thieves, Brick Books, 2016 It isn’t often I open […]

The Bigness of Small Poems – #12 in a Series – Gregory Orr (Again)

Sorrow is good; Tears are good. But too much Grief erodes. What if all The soft soil Washes away And only hard Furrows remain? Then what? Then what can grow in us? Gregory Orr from The River Inside the River, W.W. Norton & Company, 2013 It seems as if the small poems I chose for […]

The Bigness of Small Poems – # 11 in a Series – Denise Levertov

  Suspended I had grasped God’s garment in the void But my hand slipped On the rich silk of it. The ‘everlasting arms’ my sister loved to remember Must have upheld my leaden weight From falling, even so, For though I claw at empty air and feel Nothing, no embrace, I have not plummeted. Denise […]

The Bigness of Small Poems – # 10 in a Series – Jim Harrison (again)

from After Ikkyu – 3 – I’ve wasted too much moonlight. Breast beating. I’ll waste no more moonlight, the moon bullied by clouds drifts west in her imponderable arc, snared for a half hour among the wet leaves in the birdbath. Jim Harrison from After Ikkyo and Other Poems, Shambhala, 1996 I have a soft […]

The Bigness of Small Poems – #9 in a Series – Jim Harrison

Zona My work piles up, I falter with disease. Time rushes toward me – it has no brakes. Still, the radishes are good this year. Run them through butter, add a little salt. Jim Harrison from Dead Man’s Float, Copper Canyon Press, 2016 When American poet, novelist and outdoorsman, Jim Harrison died earlier this year, […]

The Bigness of Small Poems – # 8 in a Series – Gregory Orr

Note to self: remember What Emerson said of Thoreau— That he loved the low In nature: Muskrats And crickets, suckers And frogs. Not stars. Songs of the carnal, Songs of what we are. Gregory Orr (1947 – ) from River Inside the River, W.W. Norton & Company, 2013 Greg Orr’s recent small poems fit so […]

The Bigness of Small Poems – # 7 in a Series – Robert Bly

Walking on the Shore in Late August I look out over the muddy lake. All at once I see a fin rise, what alertness! All my brain power pours toward that spot on the water. How we long for a bit of consciousness to appear above the water! Now I notice what I have never […]

The Bigness of Small Poems – # 6 in a Series – Sean O’Brien

The Lost War The saved were all ingratitude, The lost would not lie down: Reborn, their sacred rage renewed, They razed the fallen town. And in the graveyard made their stand Just east of heaven’s gate. We are the same. It is all one Whom we exterminate. Sean O’Brien (1952 -) from The Drowned Book, […]

The Bigness of Small Poems – # 5 in a Series – Patrick Lane

The White Box In the white box you keep hidden away a white salamander waits with a flame in his small hands. How bright the fire! How long his breath has kept it alive. But the box is closed. Why do you keep it closed? Patrick Lane (1939 – ) from The Collected Poems of […]