Merry Summer Solstice!

Merry Summer Solstice!
El Sol

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

On the Grasshopper and Cricket

The poetry of earth is never dead:
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead;
That is the Grasshopper's - he takes the lead
In summer luxury, - he has never done
With his delights; for when tired out with fun
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.
The poetry of earth is ceasing never:
On a lone winter evening, when the frost
Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills
The Cricket's song, in warmth increasing ever,
And seems to one in drowsiness half lost,
The Grasshopper's among some grassy hills.

John Keats

To the Grasshopper and the Cricket

Green little vaulter in the sunny grass,
Catching your heart up at the feel of June,
Sole voice that's heard amidst the lazy noon,
When even the bees lag at the summoning brass;
And you, warm little housekeeper, who class
With those who think the candles come too soon,
Loving the fire, and with your tricksome tune
Nick the glad silent moments as they pass;
Oh sweet and tiny cousins, that belong
One to the fields, the other to the hearth,
Both have your sunshine; both, though small, are strong
At your clear hearts; and both were sent on earth
To sing in thoughtful ears this natural song;
Indoors and out, summer and winter, - Mirth.

Leigh Hunt

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Coming Home at Twilight in Late Summer

We turned into the drive,
and gravel flew up from the tires
like sparks from a fire. So much
to be done--the unpacking, the mail
and papers...the grass needed mowing.…
We climbed stiffly out of the car.
The shut-off engine ticked as it cooled.

And then we noticed the pear tree.
The limbs so heavy with fruit
they nearly touched the ground.
We went out to the meadow; our steps
made black holes in the grass;
and we each took a pear,
and ate, and were grateful.


These lines are written
by an animal, an angel,
a stranger sitting in my chair;
by someone who already knows
how to live without trouble
among books, and pots and pans…

Who is it who asks me to find
language for the sound
a sheep’s hoof makes when it strikes
a stone? And who speaks
the words which are my food?

Jane Kenyon

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Phone Booth

There should be more nouns
For objects put to sleep
Against their will
The “booth” for instance
With coiled hidden wires
Lidded chrome drawers
Tipping up like lizards’ eyes
We looked out into rhymed rain
We heard varying vowels
Rimbaud’s vowels with colors
Orange or blue bleeps
Types of ancient punctuation
The interpunct between words
A call became twenty-five cents
Times in a marriage we were there
To complain or flirt
A few decades and we wised up
Got used to the shadow
The phone booth as reliquary
An arm could rest
On the triangular shelf
A briefcase between the feet
A pen poked into acoustic holes
While we gathered our action/wits
For magic and pain
The destiny twins
Some of us scratched pale glyphs
Onto the glass door while talking
One day we started to race past
And others started racing
Holding phones to their ears
Holding a personal string
To their lips
If there are overages
There might be nouns for
The clotting of numbers in the sky
So thick the stars can’t shine through
A word for backing away
From those who shout to their strings
In the airport while eating
We loved the half-booths
Could cup one hand on the mouthpiece
Lean two-thirds out to talk to a friend
Sitting in the lobby
The universe grows
We are dizzy as mercury
We are solitudes aided by awe
Let us mourn secrets told to
Fake wood and the trapezoidal seat
Perfume in the mouthpiece
Like a little Grecian sash
Why did we live so fast
The booth hid our ankles
We twisted the rigid cord
As we spoke
It made a kind of whorl

Brenda Hillman

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

In an old Mesquite
A low and drooping branch broke,
Yet stayed in place,
Held in a sling of tangled vines -
O my loves, now you hold me.

Richard Tavenner