Why this?

The occasional poem of my own and a generous helping of work by others that I find inspiring. Site is named for a beloved book by one of my favorite writers, Italo Calvino, whose fanciful work lights--and delights--my soul.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

After the Winter

Some day, when trees have shed their leaves
    And against the morning’s white
The shivering birds beneath the eaves
    Have sheltered for the night,
We’ll turn our faces southward, love,
    Toward the summer isle
Where bamboos spire to shafted grove
    And wide-mouthed orchids smile.

And we will seek the quiet hill
    Where towers the cotton tree,
And leaps the laughing crystal rill,
    And works the droning bee.
And we will build a cottage there
    Beside an open glade,
With black-ribbed blue-bells blowing near,
    And ferns that never fade.

--Claude McKay

Still Life

Cool your heels on the rail of an observation car.
Let the engineer open her up for ninety miles an hour.
Take in the prairie right and left, rolling land and new hay crops,
      swaths of new hay laid in the sun.
A gray village flecks by and the horses hitched in front of the
      post-office never blink an eye.
A barnyard and fifteen Holstein cows, dabs of white on a black
      wall map, never blink an eye.
A signalman in a tower, the outpost of Kansas City, keeps his
      place at a window with the serenity of a bronze statue on a
      dark night when lovers pass whispering.

--Carl Sandburg

My Light with Yours

                       I

When the sea has devoured the ships,
And the spires and the towers
Have gone back to the hills.
And all the cities
Are one with the plains again.
And the beauty of bronze,
And the strength of steel
Are blown over silent continents,
As the desert sand is blown—
My dust with yours forever.

                       II

When folly and wisdom are no more,
And fire is no more,
Because man is no more;
When the dead world slowly spinning
Drifts and falls through the void—
My light with yours
In the Light of Lights forever!

--Edgar Lee Masters

Time Passes

Time too is afraid of passing, is riddled with holes
through which time feels itself leaking.
Time sweats in the middle of the night
when all the other dimensions are sleeping.
Time has lost every picture of itself as a child.
Now time is old, leathery and slow.
Can’t sneak up on anyone anymore,
Can’t hide in the grass, can’t run, can’t catch.
Can’t figure out how not to trample
what it means to bless.

--Joy Ladin

Saturday, April 4, 2015

I like this "unfinished" poem

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/article/250108

Spawning Ground

Soon, the ice comes, the pinch of frozen
particles entering the mind's white slate.
I write my own name in the snow; it says,
Dead Bird. I write yours and it says,
Possible Rope. Your mouth is in my
pocket. A chum salmon crosses
the Skokomish Valley Road and flips
into a drainage ditch. It's perfectly happy 
in the small, dark, eelgrass world.
I envy its silvery body, so sure
of its singular want. I write its name
in the snow; it says, Provide Passage.
It says, My World Keeps Opening--

--Ada Limon

Flood Coming

The pulled-apart world scatters
its bad news like a brush fire,
the ink bleeds out the day's undoing
and here we are again: alive.

The tributary of this riverine dark
widens into the mind's brief break.
Let the flood come, the rowdy water
beasts are knocking now and now.

What's left of the woods is closing in.
Don't run. Open your mouth big
to the rising and hope to your god
your good heart knows how to swim.

--Ada Limon