Monday, January 11, 2021

insurrection

 By Dennis Gould 

remember to welcome visitors 
keep an open house for visitors 
friends and strangers need a bed 
hitch-hikers and wanders a home 
publish posters for love nor money 
 print poems for lovers 
plaster paint on gray town halls 
remember to keep a football 
for each side needs a game 
observe a listening silence 
everybody looks for flames 
on weekends hawk the streets 
selling magazines of view 
 with visions almost sighted 
beyond news of anarchy's utopia.

This poem was first published in August of 1969.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

What Kind of Times Are These

By Adrienne Rich

There's a place between two stands of trees where the grass grows uphill
and the old revolutionary road breaks off into shadows
near a meeting-house abandoned by the persecuted
who disappeared into those shadows.

I've walked there picking mushrooms at the edge of dread, but don't be fooled
this isn't a Russian poem, this is not somewhere else but here,
our country moving closer to its own truth and dread,
its own ways of making people disappear.

I won't tell you where the place is, the dark mesh of the woods
meeting the unmarked strip of light—
ghost-ridden crossroads, leafmold paradise:
I know already who wants to buy it, sell it, make it disappear.

And I won't tell you where it is, so why do I tell you
anything? Because you still listen, because in times like these
to have you listen at all, it's necessary
to talk about trees.

Monday, January 4, 2021

Burning the Old Year

By Naomi Shihab Nye 
 
Letters swallow themselves in seconds. Notes friends tied to the doorknob,
transparent scarlet paper,
sizzle like moth wings,
marry the air.

So much of any year is flammable,
lists of vegetables, partial poems.
Orange swirling flame of days,
so little is a stone.

Where there was something and suddenly isn’t,
an absence shouts, celebrates, leaves a space.
I begin again with the smallest numbers.

Quick dance, shuffle of losses and leaves,
only the things I didn’t do
crackle after the blazing dies.