by Jonathan Reed
I am part of a lost generation
and I refuse to believe that
I can change the world
I realize this may be a shock but
“Happiness comes from within.”
is a lie, and
“Money will make me happy.”
So in 30 years I will tell my children
they are not the most important thing in my life
My employer will know that
I have my priorities straight because
is more important than
I tell you this
Once upon a time
Families stayed together
but this will not be true in my era
This is a quick fix society
Experts tell me
30 years from now, I will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of my divorce
I do not concede that
I will live in a country of my own making
In the future
Environmental destruction will be the norm
No longer can it be said that
My peers and I care about this earth
It will be evident that
My generation is apathetic and lethargic
It is foolish to presume that
There is hope.
And all of this will come true unless we choose to reverse it .
by Jonathan Reed
by Thomas James
I woke this morning before your dream had shredded
And found a curious thing: flowers made of gold,
Six-sided—more than that—broken on flagstones,
Petals the color of a wedding band.
You are sleeping. The morning comes up gold.
Perhaps I made those flowers in my head,
For I have counted snowflakes in July
Blowing across my eyes like bits of calcium,
And I have stepped into your dream at night,
A stranger there, my body steeped in moonlight.
I watched you tremble, washed in all that silver.
Love, the stars have fallen into the garden
And turned to frost. They have opened like a hand.
It is the color that breaks out of the bedsheets.
This morning the garden is littered with dry petals
As yellow as the page of an old book.
I step among them. They are brittle as bone china.
by Walt Whitman
I have heard what the talkers were talking, the talk of the
beginning and the end,
But I do not talk of the beginning or the end.
There was never any more inception than there is now,
Nor any more youth or age than there is now,
And will never be any more perfection than there is now,
Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now.
Urge and urge and urge,
Always the procreant urge of the world.
Out of the dimness opposite equals advance, always
substance and increase, always sex,
Always a knit of identity, always distinction, always a breed
I am satisfied — I see, dance, laugh, sing;
As the hugging and loving bed-fellow sleeps at my side
through the night, and withdraws at the peep of the day
with stealthy tread,
Leaving me baskets cover’d with white towels swelling the
house with their plenty,
Shall I postpone my acceptation and realization and scream
at my eyes,
That they turn from gazing after and down the road,
And forthwith cipher and show me to a cent,
Exactly the value of one and exactly the value of two, and
which is ahead?
by James Joyce
At that hour when all things have repose,
O lonely watcher of the skies,
Do you hear the night wind and the sighs
Of harps playing unto Love to unclose
The pale gates of sunrise?
When all things repose, do you alone
Awake to hear the sweet harps play
To Love before him on his way,
And the night wind answering in antiphon
Till night is overgone?
Play on, invisible harps, unto Love,
Whose way in heaven is aglow
At that hour when soft lights come and go,
Soft sweet music in the air above
And in the earth below.
by Deborah Digges
It fell to me to tell the bees,
though I had wanted another duty—
to be the scribbler at his death,
there chart the third day’s quickening.
But fate said no, it falls to you
to tell the bees, the middle daughter.
So it was written at your birth.
I wanted to keep the fire, working
the constant arranging and shifting
of the coals blown flaring,
my cheeks flushed red,
my bed laid down before the fire,
myself anonymous among the strangers
there who’d come and go.
But destiny said no. It falls
to you to tell the bees, it said.
I wanted to be the one to wash his linens,
boiling the death-soiled sheets,
using the waters for my tea.
I might have been the one to seal
his solitude with mud and thatch and string,
the webs he parted every morning,
the hounds’ hair combed from brushes,
the dust swept into piles with sparrows’ feathers.
Who makes the laws that live
inside the brick and mortar of a name,
selects the seeds, garden or wild,
brings forth the foliage grown up around it
through drought or blight or blossom,
the honey darkening in the bitter years,
the combs like funeral lace or wedding veils
steeped in oak gall and rainwater,
sequined of rent wings.
And so arrayed I set out, this once
obedient, toward the hives’ domed skeps
on evening’s hill, five tombs alight.
I thought I heard the thrash and moaning
of confinement, beyond the century,
a calling across dreams,
as if asked to make haste just out of sleep.
I knelt and waited.
The voice that found me gave the news.
Up flew the bees toward his orchards.
by Linda Pastan
What we want
is never simple.
We move among the things
we thought we wanted:
a face, a room, an open book
and these things bear our names—
now they want us.
But what we want appears
in dreams, wearing disguises.
We fall past,
holding out our arms
and in the morning
our arms ache.
We don’t remember the dream,
but the dream remembers us.
It is there all day
as an animal is there
under the table,
as the stars are there
even in full sun.
by John Greenleaf Whittier
Annie and Rhoda, sisters twain,
Woke in the night to the sound of rain,
The rush of wind, the ramp and roar
Of great waves climbing a rocky shore.
Annie rose up in her bed-gown white,
And looked out into the storm and night.
‘Hush, and hearken!’ she cried in fear,
‘Hearest thou nothing, sister dear?’
‘I hear the sea, and the plash of rain,
And roar of the northeast hurricane.
‘Get thee back to the bed so warm,
No good comes of watching a storm.
‘What is it to thee, I fain would know,
That waves are roaring and wild winds blow?
‘No lover of thine’s afloat to miss
The harbor-lights on a night like this.’
‘But I heard a voice cry out my name,
Up from the sea on the wind it came.
‘Twice and thrice have I heard it call,
And the voice is the voice of Estwick Hall!’
On her pillow the sister tossed her head.
‘Hall of the Heron is safe,’ she said.
‘In the tautest schooner that ever swam
He rides at anchor in Anisquam.
‘And, if in peril from swamping sea
Or lee shore rocks, would he call on thee?’
But the girl heard only the wind and tide,
And wringing her small white hands she cried,
‘O sister Rhoda, there’s something wrong;
I hear it again, so loud and long.
”Annie! Annie!’ I hear it call,
And the voice is the voice of Estwick Hall!’
Up sprang the elder, with eyes aflame,
‘Thou liest! He never would call thy name!
‘If he did, I would pray the wind and sea
To keep him forever from thee and me!’
Then out of the sea blew a dreadful blast;
Like the cry of a dying man it passed.
The young girl hushed on her lips a groan,
But through her tears a strange light shone,—
The solemn joy of her heart’s release
To own and cherish its love in peace.
‘Dearest!’ she whispered, under breath,
‘Life was a lie, but true is death.
‘The love I hid from myself away
Shall crown me now in the light of day.
‘My ears shall never to wooer list,
Never by lover my lips be kissed.
‘Sacred to thee am I henceforth,
Thou in heaven and I on earth!’
She came and stood by her sister’s bed
‘Hall of the Heron is dead!’ she said.
‘The wind and the waves their work have done,
We shall see him no more beneath the sun.
‘Little will reek that heart of thine,
It loved him not with a love like mine.
‘I, for his sake, were he but here,
Could hem and ‘broider thy bridal gear,
‘Though hands should tremble and eyes be wet,
And stitch for stitch in my heart be set.
‘But now my soul with his soul I wed;
Thine the living, and mine the dead!’
by Pablo Neruda
And it was at that age…Poetry arrived
in search of me. I don’t know, I don’t know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
I don’t know how or when,
no, they were not voices, they were not
words, nor silence,
but from a street I was summoned,
from the branches of night,
abruptly from the others,
among violent fires
or returning alone,
there I was without a face
and it touched me.
I did not know what to say, my mouth
had no way
my eyes were blind,
and something started in my soul,
fever or forgotten wings,
and I made my own way,
and I wrote the first faint line,
faint, without substance, pure
of someone who knows nothing,
and suddenly I saw
with arrows, fire and flowers,
the winding night, the universe.
And I, infinitesimal being,
drunk with the great starry
likeness, image of
I felt myself a pure part
of the abyss,
I wheeled with the stars,
my heart broke loose on the wind.
by Anne Carson
Who can sleep when she—
hundreds of miles away I feel that vast breath
fan her restless decks.
Cicatrice by cicatrice
all the links
Here we go mother on the shipless ocean.
Pity us, pity the ocean, here we go.