Tag Archives: poem

On Contemplating Leaving My Children

pixiv-illustration

RT

1.
I’ve hesitated beside the jewelweed, deep in the sevenbark,
told them I will not, not again

What sovereign lies? What queen in her epistolary cage?
An ochre shotglass empties,
a lantern, unlit, heedlessly shines.

In vain I have opened mirrors & edges of mirrors.

read more at Muzzle

-Jennifer Givhan

Poetry: “Boketto” by Susan Rich

Jasmine flower

Outside my window it’s never the same—
some mornings jasmine slaps the house, some mornings sorrow.

There is a word I overheard today, meaning lost
not on a career path or across a floating bridge:

Boketto—to stare out windows without purpose.
Don’t laugh; it’s been too long since we leaned

into the morning: bird friendly coffee and blueberry toast.

read more at Poem a Day

Friend Susan Rich had a poem selected by the Academy of American Poets, so of course I had to feature it. Plus, I swoon over any poem that mentions jasmine.

Poem: “More Than You Gave” by Philip Levine

Graphic art illustration girl looking over city at sunrise
RT

We have the town we call home wakening for dawn

which isn’t yet here but is promised, we have
our tired neighbors rising in ones and twos, we have

the sky slowly separating itself from the houses
to become the sky while the stars blink a last time

and vanish to make way for us to enter the great stage
of an ordinary Tuesday in ordinary time. We have

our curses, our gripes, our lies all on the stale breath
of 6:37 a.m. in the city no one dreams

read more at The New Yorker

 

Poem: “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore” by Nathan McClain

Mother in kitchen graphic art illustration
RT

She thought she was alone.
My father had left her.

She’d hum in the kitchen—
she thought she was alone—

her song the sound
a needle makes lapping

the innermost groove of an LP,
almost a screech—

she thought she was alone
since dad had left her, leaving behind

some burnt down trees.

read more at District Lit

 

Poetry: “Blood” by Naomi Shihab Nye

Red sky at night illustration
“A true Arab knows how to catch a fly in his hands,”
my father would say. And he’d prove it,
cupping the buzzer instantly
while the host with the swatter stared.
In the spring our palms peeled like snakes.
True Arabs believed watermelon could heal fifty ways.
I changed these to fit the occasion.
Years before, a girl knocked,
wanted to see the Arab.
I said we didn’t have one.
After that, my father told me who he was,
“Shihab”—“shooting star”—
a good name, borrowed from the sky.
Once I said, “When we die, we give it back?”
He said that’s what a true Arab would say.

Poetry: “The Colour of Pomegranates,” Sujit Prasad

Digital art snowfall Japanese winter
rt

It cuts through suddenly, expertly, this want to talk to you — like the way you used to open pomegranates. Nothing was wasted, not time, not an extra ruby-seed on the inside. You always said that one does not cut a fruit — you ask them to open, gently, and they would let you in. They knew you would be fair while splitting them. I try to talk to you, cutting through time. It does not open. It says, learn from your mother.

-Sujit Prasad

Poetry: Is It Better Where You Are? by Christopher Salerno

 

Japanese illustration wistful rain

RT

The bakery’s graffiti either spells HOPE
or NOPE. But hope and results
are different, said Fanny Brawne to her Keats
voiding his unreasonable lung.
Getting off the medicine
completely means light again
blinking to light. Device returned
to its factory settings. The complete black
of before the meteor shower
above the bakery. If you lose the smell
of leather, lemon, or rose,
studies show you will fail at being

read more

Poets.org, Christopher Salerno

Poetry: “Personal” by Tony Hoagland

image

rt Gemi on Pixiv

Don’t take it personal’, they said;
but I did, I took it all quite personal—

the breeze and the river and the color of the fields;
the price of grapefruit and stamps,

the wet hair of women in the rain—
And I cursed what hurt me

and I praised what gave me joy,
the most simple-minded of possible responses.

The government reminded me of my father,
with its deafness and its laws,

and the weather reminded me of my mom,
with her tropical squalls.

read more

Tony Hoagland, Poetry Magazine

 

Poetry: “Such As” by Wo Chan

Cornfields illustration
rt Pon-Marsh

My mother was a fever. My father was a restaurant.
Every noon he fed his lungs to an entire city.
Every night he held my belly searching for a suburb.
I was the firefly that flared only once in my father’s kingdom.

read more

-Asian American Writer’s Workshop, Wo Chan

Poetry: I Loved You From Another Star by Rosebud Ben-Oni

Girl waiting on bench bus stop illustration

rt Bluesaga331

I Loved You from Another Star

He’s always coming back, our neighbor, never quite here.
His wife, who teaches English, will never leave Seoul,

so he’s present part-year
                               past-participle— a joke he tells without a face.

We watch
his cat Monkra who looks exactly like our cat, who also wakes him
before sunrise, whining for food. Call him Momo for short,
and we do, no questions. He deals in import-export,

never carries a briefcase, only a pamphlet
of English grammar his wife authored.

He says she doesn’t understand

what I do for a living,

that poetry is for children and nine-tailed foxes

favored in Korean dramas that he and I discuss in secret,
away from our disapproving spouses.

read more at Berfrois

Rosebud Ben-Oni

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