Friday, January 18, 2019

Some Things, Say The Wise Ones

By Mary Oliver

Some things, say the wise ones who know everything,
are not living. I say,
You live your life your way and leave me alone.

I have talked with the faint clouds in the sky when they
are afraid of being behind; I have said, Hurry, hurry!
and they have said, Thank you, we are hurrying.

About cows, and starfish, and roses there is no
argument. They die, after all.

But water is a question, so many living things in it,
but what is it itself, living or not? Oh, gleaming

generosity, how can they write you out?

As I think this I am sitting on the sand beside
the harbor. I am holding in my hand
small pieces of granite, pyrite, schist.
Each one, just now, so thoroughly asleep.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Dark

By Jericho Brown

I am sick of your sadness,
Jericho Brown, your blackness,
Your books. Sick of you
Laying me down
So I forget how sick
I am. I’m sick of your good looks,
Your debates, your concern, your
Determination to keep your butt
Plump, the little money you earn.
I’m sick of you saying no when yes is as easy
As a young man, bored with you
Saying yes to every request
Though you’re as tired as anyone else yet
Consumed with a single
Diagnosis of health. I’m sick
Of your hurting. I see that
You’re blue. You may be ugly,
But that ain’t new.
Everyone you know is
Just as cracked. Everyone you love is
As dark, or at least as black.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Second November

By Elizabeth Lorde-Rollins

Two years alive without you
day into night somehow winds a life.
Day into night in rooms where women are dying where
Mrs. Richman waits for the scary angel to come,
that last doctor who says no,
I don’t think you’re going
to make it this time.
She waits for her sons to come visit
the same ages we were
twenty eight and twenty nine,
old enough to lose their mother.

In rooms where women die and bring life
invoking your name into my face mask
I pray you’re proud of me
I wonder if I’ll ever be enough.

Jonathan got your brilliance with his violent birth
as sure as he grabbed your anger
his baby hands that didn’t care
if they were warmly regarded or slapped.
Your daughter articulate only in love,
diplomat in any conflict
running from frowns as fast as from blows.

Mother, loosen my tongue
or adorn me with a lighter burden. These people who wait for your posthumous issue
say you changed their lives, clutch
your fourteen books, the film, the poster.
They don’t know how warm your hug was at night,
how big your bites of the last Baby Ruth
what a pain in the ass you were,
the most generous person I’ve ever known. I see you Mom
cooking in the kitchen, strong brown hands on the table
a cup of chicken broth with the biggest thigh left over from last night’s supper
reviewing The New York Times.

I see you Mom, lying in that bed
finally ready, after the seasons and the surgeries
and the long long fight
the pain you almost never talked about
putting on your game face
more and more often as you,
growing into your glory even in your dying
went out like a flame
a tongue of lava pulled to the sea.

Momma, the day spins into night
I do my best work at three a.m. now
it’s twins this time, feet first
your smile sits in the smaller one’s face
I know now why ancients felt possessed by the dead
how am I supposed to let go
I need you.
The world is full
of motherless children and now
I am one of them
as the days spin into nights spin into my life
without my children’s grandmother
without your voice singing through the receiver
without that demanding woman who always
wanted what she wanted
and usually got it
but told me I was old enough
not to let my wants hurt me
now that I am forever without
you.

This poem was first published in Mom Egg Review in 2017.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

20/20

By Susan P. Blevins Let’s hope by the time we get to 2020, if we’re not blown up by nuclear weapons by then, or rotted from the inside out by un- fettered pollution, or shot while we pray, that we are as a nation, blessed with the improbable gift of 20/20 vision.