A Gathering of Poetry | 6.20.24

A Gathering of Poetry | 6.20.24

It’s the third Thursday of the month and that means it’s time to join Bonny in gathering up some poetry to share with you all!

Thanks to the RWU selection this month, I discovered a new-to-me poet, Safiya Sinclair. I know several of you struggled with the poem she shared in How to Say Babylon but maybe this poem of hers will speak to you. At least I hope it will speak to you as it did to me!

The Ragged and the Beautiful

by Safiya Sinclair

Doubt is a storming bull, crashing through
the blue-wide windows of myself. Here in the heart
of my heart where it never stops raining,

I am an outsider looking in. But in the garden
of my good days, no body is wrong. Here every
flower grows ragged and sideways and always

beautiful. We bloom with the outcasts,
our soon-to-be sunlit, we dreamers. We are strange
and unbelonging. Yes. We are just enough

of ourselves to catch the wind in our feathers,
and fly so perfectly away.

Poem copyright ©2018 by Safiya Sinclair, “The Ragged and The Beautiful” from The Bare Life Review: A Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Literature, (The Bare Life Review, 2018).

That’s all from me this week! See you all back here on Monday!

Photo by Skyler Ewing

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 | 4.18.24

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.


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 

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. 


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 *

A Gathering of Poetry | February 2024

A Gathering of Poetry | February 2024

As a person who finds a great deal of silliness with Valentine’s Day and the whole idea that surrounds it… love poems are not my favorite.

That is until I read José A. Alcántara’s poem in Poetry of Presence II. (I mean a former construction worker, baker, commercial fisherman, math teacher, and studio photographer turned poet… seems brilliant, no?)

And really… who does not have a love affair with silence?

Love Note to Silence

by José A. Alcántara

It’s impossible to stay in bed when you’re around.
I love our morning tea, our walks in the woods,
listening to all your crazy stories.

I’m sorry that I don’t contribute much,
that I mostly just nod and smile,
and sometimes scratch the back of my head.

But listening to you is like the shore listening to the ocean.
I’m swept clean of my detritus, my rotting organic matter,
everything tossed there by the rude and the ugly.

Here, let me grab my pen and notebook, my binoculars. Let me slip
on my coat and shoes. The handheld cranes are passing overhead.
Let’s go to the fields at the edge of town and make some noise.

“Love Note to Silence.” Copyright © José A. Alacántara

A huge thanks to Bonny for hosting all us poetry lovers… Stop by and see what other poems you can gather today!

See you all back here next week Monday!

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