A Gathering of Poetry | 5.18.23

A Gathering of Poetry | 5.18.23

I do not recall when I first stumbled across this Rilke poem… but it has become a frequent guest of my morning meditations as I read it, prayer like, to help me begin my day…

I hope this poem finds a spot in your day to lift you as you remind yourself “I am!”

Let This Darkness Be a Bell Tower

by Rainer Maria Rilke

Quiet friend who has come so far,

feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,

what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.

In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.

And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.

Let This Darkness Be a Bell Tower by Rainer Maria Rilke from Sonnets to Orpheus II, 29. Translation by Joanna Macy and Anita Barrows.

Please stop and see what Kym and Bonny are sharing today!

See you all back here on Monday, have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday’s are for Poetry | 4.27.28

Thursday’s are for Poetry | 4.27.28

It is my favorite day… in my favorite month. The idea that you can carry poems with you… what a delightful thing! Today we are all sharing some poems for your pockets…

Today, I am sharing one for all of us for whom sleep is, at times, elusive. Apparently, dear Billy Collins is also similarly afflicted and he has some wisdom wit for us. I have memorized this bit of wit and contemplate it all too frequently… but at least I know I am in good company!

3:00 AM

by Billy Collins

Only my hand
is asleep,
but it’s a start.

3:00 AM from Musical Tables © Billy Collins, Random House New York, 2022.

If you want to know more about the delightful Billy Collins, you will find find information here, and here at his website. 

Please make sure you stop and see what Kym, Bonny, and Sarah have for your pockets today!

Thank you so much for reading along with us this month!

A Gathering Of Poetry | March 2023

A Gathering Of Poetry | March 2023

Happy Third Thursday….aka Gathering of Poetry Day!

In my search for a poem to share with you all, I read a lot of poetry. But one poem has stuck with me and I have thought about it every single day since I read it. It is a poem by Mary Oliver, who seems to have a poem for every occasion. I think Invitation is the perfect spring poem.


by Mary Oliver

Oh do you have time
to linger
for just a little while
out of your busy

and very important day
for the goldfinches
that have gathered
in a field of thistles

for a musical battle,
to see who can sing
the highest note,
or the lowest,

or the most expressive of mirth,
or the most tender?
Their strong, blunt beaks
drink the air

as they strive
not for your sake
and not for mine

and not for the sake of winning
but for sheer delight and gratitude –
believe us, they say,
it is a serious thing

just to be alive
on this fresh morning
in the broken world.
I beg of you,

do not walk by
without pausing
to attend to this
rather ridiculous performance.

It could mean something.
It could mean everything.
It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote:
You must change your life.

Mary Oliver, “Invitation,” A Thousand Mornings: Poems from New York: Penguin Books, 2013.

While I don’t have the Goldfinches Mary describes, I do have some very loud Song Sparrow’s, who absolutely encourage me to linger on my morning walks with Sherman in the very best way with their raucous singing! I hope this poem provides you some encouragement to linger over something ridiculously delightful in your day!

Need more poetry today? Be sure to stop and see what Bonny and Kym have gathered today!

Photo by Andrew Patrick


A Gathering of Poetry | 1.19.23

A Gathering of Poetry | 1.19.23

I first heard this poem a couple of years ago and late last year, I got myself a new book for my Poetry Library (Happy Birthday to ME!) and I was happily surprised to find it there as well.

This poem is for teachers everywhere, who teach all the amazing things every single day.

What You Missed That Day You Were Absent From Fourth Grade

by Brad Aaron Modlin

Mrs. Nelson explained how to stand still and listen
to the wind, how to find meaning in pumping gas,

how peeling potatoes can be a form of prayer. She took
questions on how not to feel lost in the dark

After lunch she distributed worksheets
that covered ways to remember your grandfather’s

voice. Then the class discussed falling asleep
without feeling you have forgotten to do something else —

something important — and how to believe
the house you wake in is your home. This prompted

Mrs. Nelson to draw a chalkboard diagram detailing
how to chant the Psalms during cigarette breaks,

and how not to squirm for sound when your own thoughts
are all you hear; also, that you have enough.

The English lesson was that I am
is a complete sentence.

And just before the afternoon bell, she made the math equation
look easy. The one that proves that hundreds of questions,

and feeling cold, and all those nights spent looking
for whatever it was you lost, and one person

add up to something.

From Everyone at This Party Has Two Names by Brad Aaron Modlin. Copyright © 2016 by Brad Aaron Modlin. Originally published by Southeast Missouri State University Press.

We (Bonny, Kym, and myself) would love for you to join us and share a poem that you love!

I will see you all back here on Monday!

A Gathering of Poetry | 1.19.23

A Gathering of Poetry | December 2022

It’s the third Thursday of December and that can mean just one thing…it’s the day to share a poem!

December is a month that overflows with poetry for me. Maybe it is the darker mornings, maybe it is the twinkle lights, maybe it is the season… but December finds me steeped in poetry.

I treated myself to two new poetry books this month. I picked up Billy Collins Musical Tables and I had pre-ordered Pádraig Ó Tuama’s Poetry Unbound: 50 Poems to Open Your World, which was released on December 6th.

I am saving the Poetry Unbound volume to read next year… I will read one poem and essay for 50 weeks and I am very much looking forward to this addition to my poetry reading!

However, I have been unable to put down Billy Collins new book of poems! I have read it through  twice and I am on my third time through currently. It is so, so good. If you think that poetry is not for you, try Billy Collins… he makes poetry fun, easy to read, but with just enough for you to think about after you have read one of his poems! And if you want to listen to a delightful interview where NPR’s Scott Simon talks with Collins about his new book of poems, you will find it here (it starts at 7:58).

Today, my selection is from Musical Tables with a very appropriate for the season poem.


by Billy Collins

For a moment,
the ox and a sheep
looked over at each other,

then they turned away
and went back
to adoring the Child.

Billy Collins: Musical Tables © 2022. Published by Random House, Penguin Random House LLC

A huge thanks to Bonny for hosting us all today, please stop by and see what poems have been shared! And I would like to encourage you all to pick up a poetry book and read a poem or two… you might even find one that you’d like to share one with us because we’d love to have you join us!

Happy Thursday everyone!

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