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Showing posts from October, 2020

The Facts of Life

The Facts of Life  By Padraig O’ Tuama "That you were born and you will die. That you will sometimes love enough and sometimes not. That you will lie if only to yourself. That you will get tired. That you will learn most from the situations you did not choose. That there will be some things that move you more than you can say. That you will live that you must be loved. That you will avoid questions most urgently in need of your attention. That you began as the fusion of a sperm and an egg of two people who once were strangers and may well still be. That life isn’t fair. That life is sometimes good and sometimes better than good. That life is often not so good. That life is real and if you can survive it, well, survive it well with love and art and meaning given where meaning’s scarce. That you will learn to live with regret. That you will learn to live with respect. That the structures that constrict you may not be permanently constricting. That you will probably be okay. That you

Wishing Well

“Wishing Well” by Gregory Pardlo: “Outside the Met a man walks up sun tweaking the brim sticker on his Starter cap and he says pardon me  Old School  he says you know is this a wishing well? Yeah  Son  I say sideways over my shrug. Throw your bread on the water. I tighten my chest wheezy as Rockaway beach sand with a pull of faux smoke from my e-cig to cozy the truculence I hotbox alone and I am at the museum because it is not a bar. Because he appears not to have changed them in days I eye the heel-chewed hems of his pants and think probably he will ask me for fifty cents any minute now wait for it. A smoke or something. Central Park displays the frisking transparency of autumn. Tracing paper sky, leaves like eraser crumbs gum the pavement. As if deciphering celestial script I squint and purse off toward the roof line of the museum aloof as he fists two pennies from his pockets mumbling and then aloud my man he says hey my man I’m going to make a wish for you too. I am laughing now so

A Blessing

  “A Blessing” by James Wright: “Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota, Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass. And the eyes of those two Indian ponies Darken with kindness. They have come gladly out of the willows To welcome my friend and me. We step over the barbed wire into the pasture Where they have been grazing all day, alone. They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness That we have come. They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other. There is no loneliness like theirs. At home once more, They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness. I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms, For she has walked over to me And nuzzled my left hand. She is black and white, Her mane falls wild on her forehead, And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear That is delicate as the skin over a girl’s wrist. Suddenly I realize That if I stepped out of my body I would break Into blossom.”

Night Migrations

The Night Migrations Louise Gl├╝ck - 1943- This is the moment when you see again the red berries of the mountain ash and in the dark sky the birds' night migrations. It grieves me to think the dead won't see them— these things we depend on, they disappear. What will the soul do for solace then? I tell myself maybe it won't need these pleasures anymore;  maybe just not being is simply enough, hard as that is to imagine.

The Red Poppy

The Red Poppy Louise Gluck The great thing is not having  a mind. Feelings: oh, I have those; they  govern me. I have  a lord in heaven  called the sun, and open  for him, showing him the fire of my own heart, fire  like his presence. What could such glory be if not a heart? Oh my brothers and sisters,  were you like me once, long ago,  before you were human? Did you  permit yourselves to open once, who would never  open again? Because in truth  I am speaking now  the way you do. I speak  because I am shattered.


THE BIG PICTURE by Ellen Bass I try to look at the big picture.  The sun, ardent tongue licking us like a mother besotted  with her new cub, will wear itself out.  Everything is transitory. Think of the meteor  that annihilated the dinosaurs. And before that, the volcanoes of the Permian period — all those burnt ferns  and reptiles, sharks and bony fish — that was extinction on a scale that makes our losses look like a bad day at the slots.  And perhaps we’re slated to ascend to some kind of intelligence that doesn’t need bodies, or clean water, or even air.  But I can’t shake my longing for the last six hundred Iberian lynx with their tufted ears,  Brazilian guitarfish, the 4 percent of them still cruising the seafloor, eyes staring straight up.  And all the newborn marsupials — red kangaroos, joeys the size of honeybees — steelhead trout, river dolphins, all we can save  so many species of frogs  breathing through their  damp permeable membranes.  Today on the bus, a woman in a sweat

The Child's Right to Wonder

The Child’s Right to W onder By Angelina Lloyd, MEdPsy In the Autumn of 2009, I drove to school beneath a  canopy of sun dappled leaves turning orange, yellow and red.  I mentally prepped for my morning line time, eager to present a lesson on the changing seasons.  Imagine for a moment: the lights of the classroom dim and a single lamp, sans shade, stands bright at the center of the circle, the sun .  I theatrically raise a rainbow colored globe tilting on its metal axis, the earth .  I turn it ever so slowly, explaining that one rotation of the earth on its axis is a single day.  Together we watch light fall on globe, night and day .  I demonstrate the spinning of its axis as we make our year-long trek around the sun, 365 (and ¼) days . I point out how the northern hemisphere tilts away in the cooler months and toward the sun in the warmer months. Voila’, seasons explained.   I parked my car, ready to set things up before the children arrived.  And then, quite suddenly, as I stepp