Think in the Morning continues to believe in the importance of reading a poem every day. If you “Like” our Facebook page, you will see a poem posted there every day. We collected our first two weeks of selected poems in Poems – 1. This is the second in what we hope will be a series of poems to please you. Additional links and articles on the poets can be found on my personal Facebook page. Your comments, thoughts, ideas are much appreciated.
When I Woke
When I woke, the town spoke.
Birds and clocks and cross bells
Dinned aside the coiling crowd,
The reptile profligates in a flame,
Spoilers and pokers of sleep,
The next-door sea dispelled
Frogs and satans and woman-luck,
While a man outside with a billhook,
Up to his head in his blood,
Cutting the morning off,
The warm-veined double of Time
And his scarving beard from a book,
Slashed down the last snake as though
It were a wand or subtle bough,
Its tongue peeled in the wrap of a leaf.
Every morning I make,
God in bed, good and bad,
After a water-face walk,
The death-stagged scatter-breath
Mammoth and sparrowfall
Where birds ride like leaves and boats like ducks
I heard, this morning, waking,
Crossly out of the town noises
A voice in the erected air,
No prophet-progeny of mine,
Cry my sea town was breaking.
No Time, spoke the clocks, no God, rang the bells,
I drew the white sheet over the islands
And the coins on my eyelids sang like shells.
How can it be a train? It must have been an owl
Whistling his stations. I remember the story
That Juan, the ranchero, told me about owls.
There had been no owls at his farm, until one night
On every moonlit pole of a scaffolding
Erected to repair the family chapel
An owl had perched, and early in the dawn
They had all flown away with his father’s soul.
The Origin of Baseball
Someone had been walking in and out
Of the world without coming
To much decision about anything.
The sun seemed too hot most of the time.
There weren’t enough birds around
And the hills had a silly look
When he got to the top of one.
The girls in heaven, however, thought
Nothing of asking to see his watch
Like you would want someone to tell
A Joke—“Time,” they’d say, “what’s
That mean—time?”, laughing with the edges
Of their white mouths, like a flutter of paper
In a madhouse. And he’d stumble over
General Sherman or Elizabeth B.
Browning, muttering, “Can’t you keep
Your big wings out of the aisle?” But down
Again there’d be millions of people without
Enough to eat and men with guns just
Standing there shooting each other.
So he wanted to throw something
And he picked up a baseball.
This morning was something. A little snow
lay on the ground. The sun floated in a clear
blue sky. The sea was blue, and blue=green,
as far as the eye could see.
Scarcely a ripple. Calm. I dressed and went
for a walk – determined not to return
until I took in what Nature had to offer.
I passed close to some old, bent-over trees.
Crossed a field strewn with rocks
where snow had drifted. Kept going
until I reached the bluff.
Where I gazed at the sea, and the sky, and
the gulls wheeling over the white beach
far below. All lovely. All bathed in a pure
cold light. But, as usual, my thoughts
began to wander. I had to will
myself to see what I was seeing
and nothing else. I had to tell myself this is what
mattered, not the other. (And I did see it,
for a minute or two!) For a minute or two
it crowded out the usual musings on
what was right, and what was wrong – duty,
tender memories, thoughts of death, how I should treat
with my former wife. All the things
I hoped would go away this morning.
The stuff I live with every day. What
I’ve trampled on in order to stay alive.
But for a minute or two I did forget
myself and everything else. I know I did.
For when I turned back I didn’t know
where I was. Until some birds rose up
from the gnarled trees. And flew
in the direction I needed to be going.
Let’s Voyage into the New American House
There are doors
that want to be free
from their hinges to
fly with perfect clouds.
There are windows
that want to be
released from their
frames to run with
the deer through
back country meadows.
There are walls
that want to prowl
with the mountains
through the early
There are floors
that want to digest
their furniture into
flowers and trees.
There are roofs
that want to travel
the stars through
circles of darkness.
It’s this crazy weather we’ve been having:
Falling forward one minute, lying down the next
Among the loose grasses and soft, white, nameless flowers.
People have been making a garment out of it,
Stitching the white of lilacs together with lightening
At some anonymous crossroads. The sky calls
To the deaf earth. The proverbial disarray
Of morning corrects itself as you stand up.
You are wearing a text. The lines
Droop to your shoelaces and I shall never want or need
Any other literature than this poetry of mud
And ambitious reminiscences of times when it came easily
Through the then woods and ploughed fields and had
A simple unconscious dignity we can never hope to
Approximate now except in narrow ravines nobody
Will inspect where some late sample of the rare,
Uninteresting specimen might still be putting out shoots,
for all we know.
Landscape With the Fall of Icarus
William Carlos Williams
According to Brueghel
when Icarus fell
it was spring
a farmer was ploughing
the whole pageantry
of the year was
the edge of the sea
sweating in the sun
the wings’ wax
off the coast
a splash quite unnoticed
From the Diary of Frida Kahlo
to link up
It looks up . .
and has no name.
— We’ll give it One:
THE horrible EYESAURUS!
Astonished she remained seeing
and the live-dead world
and being in the
Not a Knowing When Dawn Will Come
Not knowing when the Dawn will come,
I open every Door,
Or has it Feathers, like a Bird,
Or Billows, like a Shore.
“Frail clouds arrayed in sunlight lose the glory”
Percy Bysshe Shelley
The great light cage has broken up in the air,
freeing, I think, about a million birds
whose wild ascending shadows will not be back,
and all the wires come falling down.
No cage, no frightening birds; the rain
is brightening now. The face is pale
that tried the puzzle of their prison
and solved it with an unexpected kiss,
whose freckled unsuspected hands alit.