Category Archives: Poetry

When Death Came She Was Ready – A Deathbed Poem by Anna Swir

Tomorrow They Will Carve Me Death came and stood by me. I said: I am ready. I am lying in the surgery clinic in Krakow. Tomorrow they will carve me. There is much strength in me. I can live, can run, dance, and sing. All that is in me, but if necessary I will go. […]

Life: Beautiful or Monstrous or Both? Three Poems by Swir, Mahon and Gilbert

Poetry Reading I’m curled into a ball like a dog that is cold. Who will tell me why I was born, why this monstrosity called life. The telephone rings. I have to give a poetry reading. I enter. A hundred people, a hundred pairs of eyes. They look, they wait. I know for what. I […]

Built to Bend – A Poem by Jala al-Din Rumi and One in Response by Me (Richard Osler)

  Today like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened. Don’t open the door to the study and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument. Let the beauty we love Be what we do. There are hundred’s of ways to kneel and kiss the earth. Jalal al-Din Rumi (1207-1273) from The Big Red […]

The Bigness of Small Poems – #41 in a Series – Adelia Prado Unvarnished

Object of Affection What I have to tell you is of such high order and so precious that if I kept to myself it would feel like stealing; the asshole is beautiful! Make what you will of this gift. As for me – grateful to know this, I feel not forgiveness but love. Adelia Prado […]

The Bigness of Small Poems – # 40 in a Series – The Gift of Czeslaw Milosz

Gift A day so happy Fog lifted early, I worked in the garden Hummingbirds were stopping over honeysuckle flowers There was nothing on earth I wanted to possess. I knew no one worth my envying him. Whatever evil I had suffered, I forgot. To think that once I was the same man did not embarrass […]

Flying Poetic Kites for Father’s Day – Poems by Heaney and Stafford

Father and Son No sound—a spell—on out where the wind went, our kite sent back its thrill along the string that sagged and sang and said, “I’m here! I’m here”—till broke somewhere, gone years ago, but sailed forever clear of earth. I hold—whatever tugs the other end—I hold that string. William Stafford from Stories That […]

Poems for the Summer Solstice – 1st in a Series -Don’t Leave Before You Leave – A Poetic Reminder by Barb Pelman

Why is it I think only of the light Leaving? Soon, after the longest day We head toward the dark. “Don’t leave Before you leave”, the wise poet tells us, But I have already packed my bags, changed my address, ordered the taxi. Barbara Pelman, unpublished, with permission, 2018 The upcoming summer solstice has been […]

To Set The Darkness Echoing – Seamus Heaney and Natalie Shapero

Personal Helicon for Michael Longley As a child, they could not keep me from wells And old pumps with buckets and windlasses. I loved the dark drop, the trapped sky, the smells Of waterweed, fungus and dank moss.  One, in a brickyard, with a rotted board top. I savoured the rich crash when a bucket Plummeted down at the end of a rope. So deep you saw no reflection in it. A shallow one under a dry stone ditch Fructified like any aquarium. When you dragged out long roots from the soft mulch, A white face hovered over the bottom. Others had echoes, gave back your own call With a clean new music in it. And one Was scaresome for there, out of ferns and tall Foxgloves, a rat slapped across my reflection.  Now, to pry into roots, to finger slime, To stare, big-eyed Narcissus, into some spring Is beneath all adult dignity. I rhyme To see myself, to set the darkness echoing.  Seamus Heaney from Opened Ground Poems 1966-1996, Faber […]

Let Poetry Speak It – Grief but Also Happiness -For My Friends Laura and Walt – Their Son Killed in an Accident

Meals of Grief & Happiness 1 I believe in the tears of an elephant. How they stamp the ground and forget they are in musth— panting—and cinnamon shrubs or piles of sugarcane can’t tempt them to stop their cycle of grief. I believe I the broken heart of an elephant. When a companion dies, I […]

Begin Afresh, Afresh! Poems of Spring by Larkin and Limón

  Instructions on Not Giving Up More than the fuchsia funnels breaking out of the crabapple tree, more than the neighbor’s almost obscene display of cherry limbs shoving their cotton candy-colored blossoms to the slate sky of Spring rains, it’s the greening of the trees that really gets to me. When all the shock of […]