Heron Rises from The Dark, Summer Pond, by Mary Oliver

So heavy is the long-necked, long-bodied heron, always it is a surprise when her smoke-colored wings open and she turns from the thick water, from the black sticks of the summer pond, and slowly rises into the air and is gone. Then, not for the first or the last time, I take the deep breath … Continue reading

First Things At The Last Minute, by Robert Haas

The white water rush of some warbler’s song. Last night, a few strewings of ransacked moonlight On the sheets.  You don’t know what slumped forward In the nineteen-forties taxi or why they blamed you Or what the altered landscape, willowy, riparian, Had to do with the reasons why everyone Should be giving things away, quickly, … Continue reading

On poetry, a quote from Mark Strand

“A poem may be the residue of an inner urgency, one through which the self wishes to register itself, write itself into being, and finally, to charm another self, the reader, into belief. It may also be something equally elusive — the ghost within every experience that wishes it could be seen or felt, acknowledged … Continue reading

Reinventing America, by Phillip Levine

The city was huge. A boy of twelve could walk for hours while the closed houses stared down at him from early morning to dusk, and he’d get nowhere. Oh no, I was not that boy. Even at twelve I knew enough to stay in my own neighborhood, I knew anyone who left might not … Continue reading

No, by Mark Doty

The children have brought their wood turtle into the dining hall because they want us to feel the power they have when they hold a house in their own hands, want us to feel alien lacquer and the little thrill that he might, like God, show his face. He’s the color of ruined wallpaper, of … Continue reading

Promise, by Leanne O’Sullivan

Thus we sit, loving the world | Lines from Mary Oliver

Thus we sit, myself thinking how grateful I am for the moon’s perfect beauty and also, oh! how rich it is to love the world. From “The Sweetness of Dogs” in Dog Songs: Thirty-Five Dog Songs and One Essay by Mary Oliver Highway to the Moon, by Aaron J. Groen

Love at First Sight, by Wislawa Szymborska

Love at First Sight They’re both convinced that a sudden passion joined them. Such certainty is more beautiful, but uncertainty is more beautiful still. Since they’d never met before, they’re sure that there’d been nothing between them. But what’s the word from the streets, staircases, hallways– perhaps they’ve passed by each other a million times? … Continue reading

It’s clear to me now that I have been moving toward you and you toward me for a long time.

It’s clear to me now that I have been moving toward you and you toward me for a long time. Though neither of us was aware of the other before we met, there was a kind of mindless certainty bumming blithely along beneath our ignorance that ensured we would come together. Like two solitary birds … Continue reading

This Room and Everything in It, by Li-Young Lee

Lie still now while I prepare for my future, certain hard days ahead, when I’ll need what I know so clearly this moment. I am making use of the one thing I learned of all the things my father tried to teach me: the art of memory. I am letting this room and everything in … Continue reading