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!

A Gathering of Poetry | 1.18.24

A Gathering of Poetry | 1.18.24

One of the best things in my week are the moments that I allow a poem to set the tone for my day. This year, I am reading through Phyllis Cole-Dai and Ruby R. Wilson’s Poetry of Presence II as my morning devotion.

And last week, a poem really jumped out to me… bits of it have been percolating up in my thoughts so many times since I first read it. I hope that this poem will be one that moves you as well.

It Could Be

by Julia M. Fehrenbacher

a smile or a poem. Or new day light
that finds you through and open
window. Or, perhaps, remembering
that tomorrow was never promised.

It could be the scent
of baking bread, the first chill
of autumn that has you reaching
for your favorite wool sweater. Or maybe
it’s the noticing of how easily
red maple becomes and lets go.

It could be taking today off
to be still, to un-know,
to notice. To practice loosening
your troubled grip
because grace can never
be gripped or grabbed.

It could be choosing
softness in a world grown hard
because you’re tired of hurting
and being hurt and mercy
is the best kind of medicine.

It could be an invitation to gather
around the listening table
where every color is beautiful, where
there is no blame,
no shame, no them—no other.

It could be any of these things
or no thing at all, that remind
you that, really, only a few
things matter—

Food. Trees. Words. Love. Mostly love.

It Could Be by Julia Fehrenbacher from She Will Not Be Quiet © 2017

Be sure to check in with Bonny and read a bit more poetry!

See you all back here next week!

A Gathering of Poetry | November 2022

A Gathering of Poetry | November 2022

It seems impossible that it is already the third Thursday of the month… and yet it is. And I have a poem to share with you all today (plus one to listen to, if you so desire!)  I had originally imagined that I would find something to share from the stack of poetry books on my desk. I am working my way through Ada Limón’s The Hurting Kind – again. And loving it more than the first time I read it! I am also reading a poem or two from Wendell Berry’s The Peach of Wild Things…which for me is Poetry Meditation.

I had a lovely list of poems to choose from, but then I discovered Carter Revard and I then knew that he would be the perfect poet for November. I have listened to this episode of Poetry For All multiple times… Revard’s poem What the Eagle Fan Says is so beautiful. And so I began the search for Carter Revard poetry… I first started here (which has not been updated, Mr. Revard died in January) and I was surprised that so little of his poetry was posted anywhere online.

No worries, because my library has one of his books and I picked it up this week. And so I began reading… beautiful poetry intertwined with equally beautiful stories. He was a Rhodes Scholar and I especially love his poems from his time at Oxford. The poem I am sharing today is from that time period… this is a poem that will linger with me long after I have read it. And though, I have never been to the Isle of Sky, Mr. Revard makes me feel like I have.

October, Isle of Skye

by Carter Revard

Wading up Brunigill’s rush
for a long time is a question
of where to place each boot
on a rock that will hold, advance,
of not slipping on moss-slime’s
green blackness under the swashing
of water past boots—
then eyes raise to a pool
too golden-deep for boots,
and before climbing around it, pause
and stretch and look down through
the amber lucence where
slow gold-lit ripplings touch
white crystals in rockbed,
till a rowan-berry comes bobbing,
red-round and lightly,
to ride through the pool—
then boots go up over sheep-paths
to the heathery ridge and
a bumblebee knee-brushed from
purple paper-firm bells
drops wet and stunned,
chill mist on her wings,
tumbles in browning blossoms
and on her back caught
in the jungle of heather her front legs
rise drowned and waking, hook
slowly a heather-twig, pull
the fur-body up as antennae wag
through green and amber sensing
late pollen, nectar
for bee-bread in burrows—
and light changes dazzling
in downstream mist,
blue brilliance,
soft greyblue
while newlit water
birdshrills and gurgles,
and down again climbing
bootplace by bootplace
to the stream and
its rowanberry raft
by moss-edge of pool—
that from scarlet seed
over amber movement
a green tree may sway.

October, Isle of Skye by Carter Revard from An Eagle Nation, published by The University of Arizona Press © 1993

I want to thank Bonny for providing the space for us to share our poems! And we’d love for you to join us if you have a poem to share…and I hope you do!

See you all back here on Monday!

A Gathering of Poetry | September 2022

A Gathering of Poetry | September 2022

Poetry is a constant in my day… it is the thing I start my day with – reading a poem or two. And my favorite month of all is Poetry Month which happens every year in April. But one month with a focus on poetry is just not enough and even though occasionally a poem shows up on my blog, it almost feels like an afterthought… The I-don’t-have-anything-to-post-today-so-here’s-a-poem post. And that is kind of sad, because poetry is never just an afterthought. So welcome to:

A Gathering of Poetry

The inspiration behind this idea was a post from Bonny which spurred a flurry of emails from Kym and voilá… every month on the third Thursday, we will be sharing with you all a poem!

This month, my poetry selection is from Ted Kooser. I really love his poems and he is such a prolific poet!

A Dervish of Leaves
by Ted Kooser

Sometimes when I’m sad, the dead leaves
in the bed of my pickup get up on their own
and start dancing. I’ll be driving along,
glance up at the mirror and there they’ll be,
swirling and bowing, their flying skirts
brushing the back window, not putting a hand
on the top of the cab to steady themselves,
but daringly leaning out over the box,
making fun of the fence posts we’re passing
who have never left home, teasing the rocks
rolled away into the ditches, leaves light
in their slippers, dancing around in the back
of my truck, tossing their cares to the wind,
sometimes, when I’m down in my heart.

“A Dervish of Leaves” by Ted Kooser Copyright © 2020 

It is our hope that you will be moved to join us on the third Thursday and share a poem!

See you all back here tomorrow!


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