#100Poems: Number Three

Twilight spreads its cover —
a blanket of stars
twinkling in the azure
expanse of evening.

Too dark for day.
Too light for night.
They compete for attention
as they slowly ignite the sky.

a twist on the photo challenge

How to capture the manifestation of “express yourself” when it’s a poem? By piling up all my journals into a nice little bed.

And writing a poem, of course.

click on the picture to read the poem


I visited Emily Dickinson’s home this weekend, a tremendous treat for me since she’s one of my favorite poets. It was a delightful way to spend a little time indoors on a rainy New England afternoon. I loved seeing the little bits of history they had there, but I especially enjoyed a little moment upstairs in her bedroom, where I stood at the window and looked out at the field she must have gazed upon a million times. The docent explained she was playful and would call to the neighborhood children playing out there and lower a little basket of gingerbread to them.

What a quirky thing! I loved the thought of a playful Emily, laughing in that room.

I also liked hearing about it — that somehow enough of her life was recorded that these kinds of stories could be shared. I wondered what people might say about me when I’m gone. I hope they say I liked to laugh. And I was kind.

What about you? What would people say about your life?

I had no time to hate, because
The grave would hinder me,
And life was not so ample I
Could finish enmity.

Nor had I time to love, but since
Some industry must be,
The little toil of love, I thought,
Was large enough for me.

a surprise poem

The best part of teaching literature is discovering new favorite poets. Here’s an excerpt from Gates and Other Poems by Sister M. Madeleva Wolff, C.S.C. You might recognize her name; she served as president of St. Mary’s College in South Bend in the early part of the 20th century.

Fare infinitely well,
You who have valorously dared
This last, unshared
Unending and all-perfect quest;
You who at length can tell
The things God has prepared
Are best,
Are best.

celebrating World Poetry Day and other good things

flowerWell, imagine that. In a world filled with celebrations of Twinkie Day and Hug Your Bestfriend Day, and National Cheese Ball Day, today happens to have a few special commemorations.

It’s World Down Syndrome Day, which in the scope of things that are important, well, I’d place this ahead of the rest. I’d rather hug a kid, with or without Down Syndrome, than, for example, hug a tree (it also happens to be International Day of Forests and the Tree – how’s that for a name?).

Anyway, as I was saying, I’d rather hug a kid — and it will be a great day indeed, when all we see is a kid, a person, without any qualifiers at all, whether it’s the color of his skin, or the language he speaks, or the number of chromosomes she has, or all, or neither. A little bit of education goes a long way. I know.

So, on this day, celebrating people, trees, and poems, I invite you to read some of my poetry. It’s all out there…just select the blog category to the right of this post. So easy: choose POEMS.

Cuz it’s World Poetry Day. So I’ll leave you with a wonderful poem by Edith Sitwell, a better poet than I’ll ever be, and perfect for a Friday in Lent:

Still Falls the Rain

Still falls the Rain—
Dark as the world of man, black as our loss—
Blind as the nineteen hundred and forty nails
Upon the Cross.

Still falls the Rain
With a sound like the pulse of the heart that is changed to the hammer-beat
In the Potter’s Field, and the sound of the impious feet

On the Tomb:
Still falls the Rain

In the Field of Blood where the small hopes breed and the human brain
Nurtures its greed, that worm with the brow of Cain.

Still falls the Rain
At the feet of the Starved Man hung upon the Cross.
Christ that each day, each night, nails there, have mercy on us—
On Dives and on Lazarus:
Under the Rain the sore and the gold are as one.

Still falls the Rain—
Still falls the Blood from the Starved Man’s wounded Side:
He bears in His Heart all wounds,—those of the light that died,
The last faint spark
In the self-murdered heart, the wounds of the sad uncomprehending dark,
The wounds of the baited bear—
The blind and weeping bear whom the keepers beat
On his helpless flesh… the tears of the hunted hare.

Still falls the Rain—
Then— O Ile leape up to my God: who pulles me doune—
See, see where Christ’s blood streames in the firmament:
It flows from the Brow we nailed upon the tree

Deep to the dying, to the thirsting heart
That holds the fires of the world,—dark-smirched with pain
As Caesar’s laurel crown.

Then sounds the voice of One who like the heart of man
Was once a child who among beasts has lain—
“Still do I love, still shed my innocent light, my Blood, for thee.”


a rainy day poem

The rain always reminds me of you.

Its soft patter
against the window
leaves a trail down
the glass that stands
in stark relief against
the dust and grime
accumulated over time.

Its path, not quite straight,
meanders steadily on
the course and
arrives gently
on the ledge.