A Gathering of Poetry | May 2024

A Gathering of Poetry | May 2024

I had thought of using a different poem today but after spending yesterday morning in my garden, doing a bit of weeding… with my new hearing aids in and on… the sounds of the bees was crazy. Crazy!! And all I could think of was this poem by Lucy Adkins that I read in April.

And so… I am sharing it with you all today with the hopes that the next time you are outside and hear the bees you will think of this poem… with delight!

Instructions to the Worker Bee

by Lucy Adkins

Remember your first duty—
seeking out beauty in the world
and going within.
There is rapture in a field of clover—
purple and blue petals,
throat of honeysuckle achingly open;
and you must be drunk with love
for salvia, monarda, Marvel of Peru,
all the glories of this world.
It’s not just about pollen or nectar,
the honey that eventually coms,
but the tingle of leg hair
against the petal, against pistil and stamen,
the vault of each flower opening.
Learn dandelion,
learn lantana, red-lipped astilbe,
each with its own deliciousness.
Take what you need
and remember where it is in the field.
Then go back and go back
and go back again.

Lucy Adkins, “Instructions to the Worker Bee.” Copyright © 2010 by Lucy Adkins. 

You can learn more about Lucy here.

Thank you to Bonny for providing a landing space for us to share a poem on the third Thursday of every month! You are all more than welcome to join!

Thursday’s are for Poetry | 4.25.24

Thursday’s are for Poetry | 4.25.24

Welcome to my favorite day of National Poetry MonthPoem In Your Pocket Day!

Every April I like to add a new book to my Poetry Library… and this year, dear Ada Limón had the perfect collection with perfect timing! You Are Here Poetry in the Natural World was published April 2! I have been reading through it with delight! It is full of beautiful poems!

The poem I have selected for you to tuck away in your pocket is one written by Ilya Kaminsky, a Ukrainian-American poet. The poem might change the way you look at rain… it certainly did for me! (And I needed a bit of a rain-itude adjustment with the wet April we have had!)

Letters

by Ilya Kaminsky

Rain has eaten 1/4 of me

yet I believe
against all evidence

these raindrops
are my letters of recommendation

here is a man worth falling on.

Letters by Ilya Kaminsky, published in You Are Here: Poetry in the Natural World © Milkweed Editions and the Library of Congress © 2024.

Stop and see what Kym, Bonny, and Sarah have for your pocket today! I am heading off to Erie in 3, 2…

See you all back here in May!

Thursday’s are for poetry | 4.18.24

Thursday’s are for poetry | 4.18.24

Welcome to Week Three of National Poetry Month! This week our theme is Color… and I was so excited about that!

When I think of color and poetry, one beloved poet comes to my mind, Derek Walcott. I know of no other poet who has the thread of color weaving through so many of his poems and I have immersed myself deeply in his works… I don’t ever need an excuse to read any of his poetry, but a deep dive into his expansive works is always treat!

The poem I have selected today is from Walcott’s White Egrets, a book which contains a plethora of color-infused poems. The vivid picture he draws me into in this one is one I’d like to linger in. You will find more about Derek Walcott here.

53.

by Derek Walcott

The hulls of white yachts riding the orange water
of the marina at dusk, and, under their bowsprits, the chuckle
of the chain in the stained sea; try to get there
before a green light winks from the mast, the fo’c’s’le
blazes with glare, while dusk hangs in suspension
with crosstrees and ropes and lilac-livid sky,
with its beer stein of cloud-froth touched by the sun,
as stars come out to watch the evening die.
In this orange hour the light reads like Dante,
three lines at a time, their symmetrical tension,
quiet bars rippling from the Paradiso
as a dingy writes lines made by the scanty
metro of its oar strokes, and we, so
mesmerized, can barely talk. Happier
than any man now is the one who sits drinking
wine with his lifelong companion under the winking
stars and the steady arc lap at the end of the pier.

White Egrets, 53. Copyright © 2010 by Derek Walcott. 

Make sure you stop and see what color Kym, Bonny, and Sarah have to infuse your day with!

Photo by Maria Kamitsi 

Thursday’s Are For Poetry | 4.11.24

Thursday’s Are For Poetry | 4.11.24

Welcome to week two of Our Great Poetry Exploration! This week our focus is on the incredibly delightful work of Ross Gay. Yes Kym, Bonny, Sarah, (and me!) are all sharing a Ross Gay poem with you today!

I distinctly remember the first time I read any Ross Gay and before I even finished the book, I knew I needed to read more of his writing! He has an incredible way with words… phrases… line breaks… and the way he makes the simple so very profound.

The poem I am sharing today is from the catalog of unabashed gratitude (a very good place to start on your journey with Ross Gay!)

ode to buttoning and unbuttoning my shirt

by Ross Gay

No one knew or at least
I didn’t know
they knew
what the thin disks
threaded here
on my shirt
might give me
in terms of joy
this is not something to be taken lightly
the gift
of buttoning one’s shirt
slowly
top to bottom
or bottom
to top or sometimes
the buttons
will be on the other
side and
I am a woman
that morning
slipping the glass
through its slow
I tread
differently that day
or some of it
anyway
my conversations
are different
and the car bomb slicing the air
and the people in it
for a quarter mile
and the honeybee’s
legs furred with pollen
mean another
thing to me
than on the other days
which too have
been drizzled in this
simplest of joys
in this world
of spaceships and subatomic
this and that
two maybe three
times a day
some days
I have the distinct pleasure
of slowly untethering
the one side
from the other
which is like unbuckling
a stack of vertebrae
with delicacy
for I must only use
the tips
of my fingers
with which I will
one day close
my mother’s eyes
this is as delicate
as we can be
in this life
practicing
like this
giving the raft of our hands
to the clumsy spider
and blowing soft until she
lifts her damp heft and
crawls off
we practice like this
pushing the seed into the earth
like this first
in the morning
we practice
sliding the bones home.

ode to buttoning and unbuttoning my shirt by Ross Gay © 2015, the catalog of unabashed gratitude. Published by the University of Pittsburgh Press.

You can find more about Ross Gay here or at his website here. And you can listen to Ross read this poem here!

Thursday’s are for Poetry | 4.4.24

Thursday’s are for Poetry | 4.4.24

Welcome to National Poetry Month and Happy Thursday to you all!

This month, I will be joining Kym, Bonny, and Sarah as we share a poem with you each Thursday.

This week our focus is on poems about peace/humanity… and there was just such an abundance of choices, I struggled a bit with this one. So I kept reading and reading… but one poem kept circling around my thoughts and I knew that it was the poem I wanted to share.

The poet is Laura Grace Weldon and she is a “new to me” poet. I have not read any of her books but I did have fun meandering about her website! The poem I selected for this week is Anything, Everything.

Anything, Everything

by Laura Grace Weldon

“Find everything you’re looking for?” a clerk asks
and I say, “I’m still looking for world peace.”
“Can I get you anything else?” a nurse asks
and I say, “Yes, a safe haven for refugees.”
For a millisecond, their faces soften
as they take a deep breath of imagining
then laugh or shake their heads
or commiserate. For a few minutes
we might even discuss
our planet’s highest possibilities.
Maybe that deep breath,
that imaging,
is a starting place.

Anything, Everything © 2018 by Laura Grace Weldon. First published in Blackbird, Grayson Books, 2019.


Make sure you see what Kym, Bonny, and Sarah have to share today!

See you back here on Monday!

A Gathering of Poetry | 3.21.24

A Gathering of Poetry | 3.21.24

Welcome to the March Gathering of Poetry… the day when Bonny holds a space for us to share our love of poetry.

I have nurtured the habit of reading some poetry every day. I have been doing this now for a couple of years and the impact that opening a book of poetry, noting the date, and reading a poem or two is dramatic. The space I hold for poetry almost feels sacred… it is intimate… just me and the words of the poet. It is just a few moments, but they are the most impactful moments of the day.

The poem I am sharing today is one I read some time ago… but it is a poem that has stayed with me and every spring I think of it again. Barbara Crooker is the poet… and I think she is brilliant. You can find more about her here and find some of her poetry here. I found this poem in The Path to Kindness: Poems of Connection and Joy. 

Forsythia

by Barbara Crooker

What must it feel like
after months of existing
as bare brown sticks,
all reasonable hope
of blossoming lost,
to suddenly, one warm
April morning, burst
into wild yellow song,
hundreds of tiny prayer
flags rippling in the still−
cold wind, the only flash
of color in the dull yard,
these small scraps of light,
something we might
hold on to.

Forsythia by Barbara Crooker in More in Time: A Tribute to Ted Kooser, University of Nebraska Press, 2021.


Image used courtesy of Borabelle *

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