Selecting A Reader

by Ted Kooser

First, I would have her be beautiful,
and walking carefully up on my poetry
at the loneliest moment of an afternoon,
her hair still damp at the neck
from washing it. She should be wearing
a raincoat, an old one, dirty
from not having money enough for the cleaners.
She will take out her glasses, and there
in the bookstore, she will thumb
over my poems, then put the book back
up on its shelf. She will say to herself,
“For that kind of money, I can get
my raincoat cleaned.” And she will.

(thanks to bookgirl’s nightstand
for introducing me to Ted Kooser)

A simple thing

by Liz

You say you are often


by all
the unkindness
you see in the world.

But to the boy
who held
the lift doors


for you

while you fumbled around
for your keys
and hollered over
to your husband
who was picking leaves off
his freshly polished car;

you did not even
have the decency

to thank

him for waiting.

The Huron

I swam the Huron of love, and am not ashamed,

It was many saw me do it, scoffing, scoffing,

They said it was foolish, winter and all,

But I dove in, greaselike, and swam,

And came up where Erie verges.

I would say for the expenditure of love,

And the atrophy of longing, there is no cure

So swift, so sleek, so fine, so draining

As a swim through the Huron in the wintertime.

~Ruth Herschberger

The Bat

by Jane Kenyon

I was reading about rationalism,
the kind of thing we do up north
in early winter, where the sun
leaves work for the day at 4:15.

Maybe the world is intelligible
to the rational mind;
and maybe we light lamps at dusk
for nothing…

Then I heard wings overhead.

The cats and I chased the bat
in circles—living room, kitchen,
pantry, kitchen, living room…
At every turn it evaded us

like the identity of the third person of the Trinity: the one
who spoke through the prophets,
the one who astounded Mary
by suddenly coming near.

found via Bravewriter

Hymn to Texture

Deliver us into the hands of quartz,
Of stalks, of surfaces, give us to color,
To sea-green and to grass, to blue,
When trapped in our human life, touch fur.

Place hovering palm on the wet of lilies,
The nails of our claws on rimless silk,
Give us up, we will give ourselves, to rapture,
Swaying like drunkards in sight of milk.

Texture of ozone, and lift of meadows,
Tactual wonder of clay toned dust,
Give us the lesson: inanimate nature
Resolves the animate lust.

Meanwhile our ears on a baffled skull
Receive the blistering shot: give touch
To the oval cheek of a deadly shell,
Caress the unknown future.

~Ruth Herschberger


by Mary Oliver

Cut one, the lace of acid
rushes out, spills over your hands.
You lick them, manners don’t come into it.
Orange–the first word you have heard that day–

enters your mind. Everybody then
does what he or she wants–breakfast is casual.
Slices, quarters, halves, or the whole hand
holding an orange ball like the morning sun

on a day of soft wind and no clouds
which it so often is. “Oh, I always
want to live like this,
flying up out of the furrows of sleep,

fresh from water and its sheer excitement,
felled as though by a miracle
at this first sharp taste of the day!”
You’re shouting, but no one is surprised.

Here, there, everywhere on earth
thousands are rising and shouting with you–
even those who are utterly silent, absorbed–
their mouths filled with such sweetness.

The Good Girls

lyrics by Amy Rigby

She makes her bed first thing in the morning
So she won’t crawl back in
She drinks her second cup of coffee
‘Cause it’s the only available sin
She falls asleep on the subway

She feels like Alice in the rabbit hole
She wakes up with a start
With an aching in her heart
She says they’ve got my mind and body
But they can’t take my soul
Continue reading “The Good Girls”

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