Learning the Angels Poem By Rennie McQuilkin
Waiting up, he’s deep in Angels & Archangels:
lion-bodied Cherubim, Principalities,
six-winged, translucent as cathedral windows,
heavily armored Archangels, and the usual
angels for the dirty work, recording, handdelivering, and as he now learns, placing a finger
on the lips of every newborn, leaving the cleft
imposing silence concerning clouds of glory.
Now she breezes in, douses the light, wants
to cuddle, undoes, runs a finger along the cleft
that gives the tip of his sex its face of a heart.
It’s devil’s work, he knows.
At dawn he’s in the dew-damp garden, picking
strawberries for her,
turning the leaves pale-side-up to uncover
the heart-shaped fruit,
and finds the garden snake,
a hog-nose, head up, neck flared and glistening.
Oh you above, from the simplest two-wingers
to complicated wheels of fire, be vigilant,
he thinks, and returns
full of Powers and Dominions. She yawns,
half-rises on her divan, plumps a pillow,
pours cream on the berries. Its blush
deepens. He finds himself
sliding a hand beneath her robe,
along the nape, the shoulders, the spine,
the small, that valley lightly downed—
which leads to what comes over him,
her shoulder blades working the air, her finger
on his lips.
After the Poem Who Knows Poem By Alan Michael Parker
After the poem who knows
What the vandals will do.
For now they have been sighted
At the mall, at the bank, down by
The fire station, everywhere
Myth revises history.
I want I want I want I want!
The vandals have been heard to chant,
Their chant a chant heard far away.
(Ear to the ground, finger in the air.)
Above, a cloud,
A gull, another cloud,
Capriciousness. In the tree
At the edge of the stanza, the ghosts
Of two squirrels chase each other up
And up and up and up
(The stanza ends.)
And you and I? Who knows
What we might do
Once the poem concludes, the vandals gone,
Our words remembered as…
Recidivist! screeches a screech owl.
And the vandals stomp onto
The scene, picking their teeth clean
With the chipped tips of dullèd knives.
And you and I, and you and I?
We ready ourselves for death
(O yes the poem has taught us to)
Pack up our little picnic, close the book,
And step into the future:
Hello? We’re here. Is anybody home?
Happy Wednesday Wishes
To Two of My Characters Poem By John Updike
Emily, as I entered a real greenhouse,
I feared I failed to do you justice, to see
with Teddy’s eyes, to smell as he would have
the cyclamens, the mums, the pithy tilth
and near-obscene sweet richness of it all,
which he ascribed to you, despite
your gimpy leg and spiky manner—
you were his hothouse houri, dizzying.
And Essie, did I make it clear enough
just how your face combined the Wilmot cool
precision, the clean Presbyterian cut,
hellbent on election, with the something
soft your mother brought to the blend, the petals
of her willing to unfold at a touch?
I wanted you to be beautiful, the both of you,
and, here among real flowers, fear I failed.
Happy Wednesday Wish & Maessages
Evening in the Country Poem John Ashbery
I am still completely happy.
My resolve to win further I have
Thrown out, and am charged by the thrill
Of the sun coming up. Birds and trees, houses,
These are but the stations for the new sign of being
In me that is to close late, long
After the sun has set and darkness come
To the surrounding fields and hills.
But if breath could kill, then there would not be
Such an easy time of it, with men locked back there
In the smokestacks and corruption of the city.
Now as my questioning but admiring gaze expands
To magnificent outposts, I am not so much at home
With these memorabilia of vision as on a tour
Of my remotest properties, and the eidolon
Sinks into the effective “being” of each thing,
Stump or shrub, and they carry me inside
On motionless explorations of how dense a thing can be,
How light, and these are finished before they have begun
Leaving me refreshed and somehow younger.
Night has deployed rather awesome forces
Against this state of affairs: ten thousand helmeted footsoldiers,
A Spanish armada stretching to the horizon, all
Absolutely motionless until the hour to strike
But I think there is not too much to be said or be done
And that these things eventually take care of themselves
With rest and fresh air and the outdoors, and a good view of things.
So we might pass over this to the real
Subject of our concern, and that is
Have you begun to be in the context you feel
Now that the danger has been removed?
Light falls on your shoulders, as is its way,
And the process of purification continues happily,
Unimpeded, but has the motion started,
That is to quiver your head, send anxious beams
Into the dusty corners of the rooms
Eventually shoot out over the landscape
In stars and bursts? For other than this we know nothing
And space is a coffin, and the sky will put out the light.
I see you eager in your wishing it the way
We may join it, if it passes close enough:
This sets the seal of distinction on the success or failure of your attempt.
There is growing in that knowledge
We may perhaps remain here, cautious yet free
On the edge, as it rolls its unblinking chariot
Into the vast open, the incredible violence and yielding
Turmoil that is to be our route.
Happy Wednesday Wishes
Mother of Us All Poem By Cathy Song
Mother of the long silences
that pinned us to our chairs,
where were you in your body
if not here with us?
Mother of the stolen roses
that faded like kisses,
why so pale by the window,
peering in at us?
Mother of the prayer beads
that pooled on our pillows,
what were you murmuring,
hands like paper pressed from us?
Mother of the snakes
that coiled around each wrist,
did it ever occur to you to poison us?
Mother of the mirrors,
that disassembled the walls,
how many times did we see you look beyond us?
Mother of the incessant purges
that sent our beautiful books and toys to charity,
what perfect world had you not already given us?
Mother of the busy hands
that tore at the spiked tongues,
what were you pulling, hiding at dusk from us?
Mother of the white hair
that sprouted overnight,
what made you skittish,
lock every door behind us?
Mother of the diminishing voice
that broke into chalk,
how could we have known there were things
you had wanted to tell us?
Mother of the disappearance
that shadowed Father’s face,
when did you decide you had to leave us.
Happy Wednesday Wishes
History Poem By Jennifer Michael Hecht
Even Eve, the only soul in all of time
to never have to wait for love,
must have leaned some sleepless nights,
alone against the garden wall
and wailed, cold, stupefied, and wild
and wished to trade-in all of Eden
to have but been a child.
In fact, I gather that is why she leapt and fell from grace,
that she might have a story of herself to tell
in some other place.
Happy Wednesday Wish…
Processional Poem By James Merrill
Think what the demotic droplet felt,
Translated by a polar wand to keen,
All singularity, its Welt—
Anschauung of a hitherto untold
Flakiness, gemlike, nevermore to melt!
But melt it would, and—look—become
Now birdglance, now the gingko leaf’s fanlight,
To that same tune whereby immensely old
Slabs of dogma and opprobrium,
Exchanging ions under pressure, bred
A spar of burnt-black anchorite,
Or in three lucky strokes of word golf LEAD
Once again turns (LOAD, GOAD) to GOLD.
Happy Wednesday Messages…