26
April

With Spring In Our Flesh – Don Welch

American Life in Poetry: Column 579
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

Don Welch

Don Welch

Early each spring, Nebraska hosts, along a section of the Platte River, several hundred thousand sandhill cranes. It’s something I wish everyone could see. Don Welch, one of the state’s finest poets, lives under the flyway, and here’s his take on the migration. His most recent book is Gnomes, (Stephen F. Austin State Univ. Press, 2013).

With Spring In Our Flesh

With spring in our flesh
the cranes come back,
funneling into a north
cold and black.

And we go out to them,
go out into the town,
welcoming them with shouts,
asking them down.

The winter flies away
when the cranes cross.
It falls into the north,
homeward and lost.

Let no one call it back
when the cranes fly,
silver birds, red-capped,
down the long sky.

4 comments

19
April

Glowing Gazania by Rick Stephen

gg

A beautiful Gazania blossom glows when backlit by the sun. A sure sign of spring around these parts, Gazania blossoms are everywhere thanks to a relatively wet winter courtesy of El Niño.

Photograph by Rick Stephen. Available on Fine Art America.

2 comments

18
April

The Way We Said Goodbye by Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate

kooser_hp
American Life in Poetry: Column 578

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

I can’t help wishing that dogs lived as long as we do. I have buried a number of them, and it doesn’t get any easier. In fact, it gets harder. Here’s Mark Vinz, a Minnesota poet, from his book Permanent Record and Other Poems, from Red Dragonfly Press.

The Way We Said Goodbye

So many years later, the old dog
still circles, head lowered, crippled by
arthritis, nearly blind, incontinent.
We repeat the litany, as if we need
convincing that the end is right.

I’ll get her an ice cream cone if you’ll
drive her to the vet, my wife says.
So there we sit on the front steps
with our friend, and in the car, as always,
when she senses the doctor’s office
drawing near, she moans and tries to
burrow underneath the seats.

 What remains, the memory of how
she taught us all the way we need
to learn to live with wasting.
There we sit, together, one last time
as all that sweetness slowly disappears.

2 comments

8
April

Thoughts Upon My Bed by Rick Stephen

bedatnight
Thoughts Upon My Bed

 

I wonder

Has the night always been so deep
and dark?

In my youth, it seemed
much less so

When twilight thoughts upon my pillow drifted on calm breezes
into serene dreams

And always returned with morning’s wind
and the rising sun.

Now, tempest tossed, they are driven far, far away, lost
in night’s inky blackness

Ships receding, then slipping over unknown horizons,
never to return

So tell me

Has the night always been so deep
and dark or

just that my mind has become
much more so?

8 comments

2
April

April is Here and So Is National Poetry Month 2016!

npm
April is here and that means that so is National Poetry Month 2016! National Poetry Month is the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K-12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, bloggers, and, of course, poets marking poetry’s important place in our culture and our lives.

While we should celebrate poets and poetry year-round, the Academy of American Poets was inspired by the successful celebrations of Black History Month (February) and Women’s History Month (March), and founded National Poetry Month in April 1996 with an aim to:

  • highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets, encourage the reading of poems,
  • assist teachers in bringing poetry into their classrooms,
  • increase the attention paid to poetry by national and local media,
  • encourage increased publication and distribution of poetry books, and
  • encourage support for poets and poetry.
  • You can learn more about National Poetry Month and how you can be involved by visiting the National Poetry Month 2016 web page at Poets.orge. Celebrate poetry and have fun!

    2 comments

         

     
    Follow

    Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

    Join other followers: