Most days on our Think in the Morning Facebook page and on our @ThinkInTheMorn Twitter page we post a poem.  Usually I also post information on the poet on my David Herstle Jones Facebook page.  If you want to read these daily poems, please visit our Facebook or Twitter page.  Periodically we will collect these poems and post them in a blog for easy reference.  This is the fourth such compilation.  With each poem we choose an appropriate example from our collection of Sea Gull Cellar Napkin Art to pair with the poem.  We hope you enjoy the poetry as much as we do.



Robinson Jeffers


The world has many seas, Mediterranean, Atlantic, but

here is the shore of the one ocean.

And here the heavy future hangs like a cloud; the

enormous scene; the enormous games preparing

Weigh on the water and strain the rock; the stage is

here, the play is conceived; the players are

not found.


I saw on the Sierras, up the Kaweah valley above the

Moro rock, the mountain redwoods

Like red towers on the slopes of snow; about their

bases grew a bushery of Christmas green,

Firs and pines to be monuments for pilgrimage

In Europe; I remembered the Swiss forests, the dark

robes of Pilatus, no trunk like these there;

But these are underwood; they are only a shrubbery

about the boles of the trees.


Our people are clever and masterful;

They have powers in the mass, they accomplish marvels.

It is possible Time will make them before it

annuls them, but at present

There is not one memorable person, there is not one

mind to stand with the trees, one life with

the mountains.


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, artist unknown

Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, artist unknown


Another Sarah

Katherine Anne Porter

For Christopher Smart


When winter was half over

God sent three angels to the


Who said to her

“Be glad, you little rack

Of empty sticks,

Because you have been chosen.


In May you will become

A wave of living sweetness

A nation of white petals

A dynasty of apples.”




J. D. Salinger


Not a wasteland, but a great inverted forest

with all the foliage underground.




Wild Geese

Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain

are moving across the landscapes,

over the prairies and the deep trees,

the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,

are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your imagination,


calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.





Katherine Mansfield


Now it is Loneliness who comes at night

Instead of Sleep, to sit beside my bed.

Like a tired child I lie and wait her tread,

I watch her softly blowing out the light.

Motionless sitting, neither left or right

She turns, and weary, weary droops her head.

She, too, is old; she, too, has fought the fight.

So, with the laurel she is garlanded.

Through the sad dark the slowly ebbing tide

Breaks on a barren shore, unsatisfied.

A strange wind flows… then silence. I am fain

To turn to Loneliness, to take her hand,

Cling to her, waiting, till the barren land

Fills with the dreadful monotone of rain.


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, artist unknown

Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, artist unknown


The Secret

Katherine Mansfield


In the profoundest ocean

There is a rainbow shell,

It is always there, shining most stilly

Under the greatest storm waves

That the old Greek called “ripples of laughter.”

As you listen, the rainbow shell

Sings–in the profoundest ocean.

It is always there, singing most silently!


Bays Poem From Berkeley

Sandra Cisneros


Mornings I still

reach for you before

opening my eyes.


An antique habit from

last summer when we pulled

each other into the heat of groin

and belly, slept with an arm

around the other.


The Texas sun was like that.

Like a body asleep beside you.


But when I open my eyes

to the flannel and down,

mist at the window and blue

light from the bay, I remember

where I am.


This weight

on the other side of the bed

is only books, not you.  What

I said I loved more than you.



Though these mornings

I wish books loved back.


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, artist W.A.H.

Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, artist W.A.H.


Morning (Love Sonnet XXVII)

Pablo Neruda


Naked you are simple as one of your hands;

Smooth, earthy, small, transparent, round.

You’ve moon-lines, apple pathways

Naked you are slender as a naked grain of wheat.


Naked you are blue as a night in Cuba;

You’ve vines and stars in your hair.

Naked you are spacious and yellow

As summer in a golden church.


Naked you are tiny as one of your nails;

Curved, subtle, rosy, till the day is born

And you withdraw to the underground world.


As if down a long tunnel of clothing and of chores;

Your clear light dims, gets dressed, drops its leaves,

And becomes a naked hand again.


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Sandra Lindstrom artist

Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Sandra Lindstrom artist


Frederick Douglass

Robert Hayden


When it is finally ours, this freedom, this liberty, this beautiful

and terrible thing, needful to man as air,

usable as earth; when it belongs at last to all,

when it is truly instinct, brain matter, diastole, systole,

reflex action; when it is finally won; when it is more

than the gaudy mumbo jumbo of politicians:

this man, this Douglass, this former slave, this Negro

beaten to his knees, exiled, visioning a world

where none is lonely, none hunted, alien,

this man, superb in love and logic, this man

shall be remembered. Oh, not with statues’ rhetoric,

not with legends and poems and wreaths of bronze alone,

but with the lives grown out of his life, the lives

fleshing his dream of the beautiful, needful thing.


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Jack Haye artist

Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Jack Haye artist


Those Winter Sundays

Robert Hayden


Sundays too my father got up early

and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,

then with cracked hands that ached

from labor in the weekday weather made

banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.

When the rooms were warm, he’d call,

and slowly I would rise and dress,

fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,

who had driven out the cold

and polished my good shoes as well.

What did I know, what did I know

of love’s austere and lonely offices?


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Efroym artist

Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Efroym artist



Francisco Alarcón


I want a god

as my accomplice

who spends nights

in houses

of ill repute

and gets up late

on Saturdays


a god

who whistles

through the streets

and trembles

before the lips

of his lover


a god

who waits in line

at the entrance

of movie houses

and likes to drink

café au lait


a god

who spits

blood from

tuberculosis and

doesn’t even have

enough for bus fare


a god



by the billy club

of a policeman

at a demonstration


a god

who pisses

out of fear

before the flaring


of torture


a god

who hurts

to the last

bone and

bites the air

in pain


a jobless god

a striking god

a hungry god

a fugitive god

an exiled god

an enraged god


a god

who longs

from jail

for a change

in the order

of things


I want a

more godlike



Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, artist unknown

Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, artist unknown




Les Murray


I starred that night, I shone:

I was footwork and firework in one,

a rocket that wriggled up and shot

darkness with a parasol of brilliants

and a peewee descant on a flung bit;

I was busters of glitter-bombs expanding

to mantle and aurora from a crown,

I was fouettés, falls of blazing paint,

para-flares spot-welding cloudy heaven,

loose gold off fierce toeholds of white,

a finale red-tongued as a haka leap:

that too was a butt of all right!

As usual after any triumph, I was

of course, inconsolable.



Subhuman Redneck Poems, 1996


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, artist unknown

Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, artist unknown


After Publication of Under the Volcano

Malcolm Lowry


Success is like some terrible disaster

Worse than your house burning, the sounds of ruination

As the roof tree falls following each other faster

While you stand, the witness of your damnation.


Fame like a drunkard consumes the house of the soul

Exposing that you have worked for only this

Ah, that I had never suffered this treacherous kiss

And had been left in darkness forever to flounder and fail.


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Bob Avery artist

Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Bob Avery artist



“This life’s dim windows of the soul

Distorts the heavens from pole to pole

And leads you to believe a lie

When you see with, not through, the eye.”

― William Blake


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, R.T.S. artist

Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, R.T.S. artist


Evening Star

Edgar Allen Poe


‘Twas noontide of summer,

And mid-time of night;

And stars, in their orbits,

Shone pale, thro’ the light

Of the brighter, cold moon,

‘Mid planets her slaves,

Herself in the Heavens,

Her beam on the waves.

I gazed awhile

On her cold smile;

Too cold- too cold for me-

There pass’d, as a shroud,

A fleecy cloud,

And I turned away to thee,

Proud Evening Star,

In thy glory afar,

And dearer thy beam shall be;

For joy to my heart

Is the proud part

Thou bearest in Heaven at night,

And more I admire

Thy distant fire,

Than that colder, lowly light.





Adrienne Rich


Far back when I went zig-zagging

through tamarack pastures

you were my genius, you

my cast-iron Viking, my helmed

lion-heart king in prison.


Years later now you’re young


my fierce half-brother, staring

down from that simplified west

your breast open, your belt dragged down

by an oldfashioned thing, a sword

the last bravado you won’t give over

though it weighs you down as you stride


and the stars in it are dim

and maybe have stopped burning.


But you burn, and I know it;

as I throw back my head to take you in

and old transfusion happens again:

divine astronomy is nothing to it.



Indoors I bruise and blunder

break faith, leave ill enough

alone, a dead child born in the dark.



Night cracks up over the chimney,

pieces of time, frozen geodes

come showering down in the grate.



A man reaches behind my eyes

and finds them empty

a woman’s head turns away

from my head in the mirror

children are dying my death

and eating crumbs of my life.



Pity is not your forte.



Calmly you ache up there

pinned aloft in your crow’s nest,

my speechless pirate!

You take it all for granted

and when I look you back


it’s with a starlike eye

shooting its cold and egotistical spear

where it can do least damage.



Breath deep! No hurt, no pardon

out here in the cold with you

you with your back to the wall.


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Sterling artist

Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Sterling artist


Wild Radishes

John Kinsella


Across the dark fields the family is spread

While overhead the sky is haunted,

In the dull light they scour the crop

Never looking up as the day seems to stop.

Wild radishes missed will destroy the yield—

Bills to be paid, deals to be sealed.

But the plover’s refusal to lift and drop,


And the absence of crow and parrot talk,

And the immense racket as stalk rubs on stalk,

Registers somewhere deep in the soul.

And as the sun begins to uncoil—

The deep green of the wheat uneasy with light—

The golden flowers of wild radishes bite

Just before they are ripped from the soil.




Decoration Day

Henry Wordsworth Longfellow


Sleep, comrades, sleep and rest

On this Field of the Grounded Arms,

Where foes no more molest,

Nor sentry’s shot alarms!


Ye have slept on the ground before,

And started to your feet

At the cannon’s sudden roar,

Or the drum’s redoubling beat.


But in this camp of Death

No sound your slumber breaks;

Here is no fevered breath,

No wound that bleeds and aches.


All is repose and peace,

Untrampled lies the sod;

The shouts of battle cease,

It is the Truce of God!


Rest, comrades, rest and sleep!

The thoughts of men shall be

As sentinels to keep

Your rest from danger free.


Your silent tents of green

We deck with fragrant flowers

Yours has the suffering been,

The memory shall be ours.


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, artist unknown

Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, artist unknown