apoemaday
apoemaday
A Poem A Day
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The company's tagline is "Follow the World's Creators".
apoemaday · 7 hours ago
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The Voice
by Shel Silverstein
There is a voice inside of you that whispers all day long, ‘I feel that this is right for me, I know that this is wrong.’ No teacher, preacher, parent, friend or wise man can decide what’s right for you - just listen to the voice that speaks inside.
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apoemaday · a day ago
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Ere Sleep Comes Down to Soothe the Weary Eyes
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Ere sleep comes down to soothe the weary eyes, Which all the day with ceaseless care have sought The magic gold which from the seeker flies; Ere dreams put on the gown and cap of thought, And make the waking world a world of lies,— Of lies most palpable, uncouth, forlorn, That say life’s full of aches and tears and sighs,— Oh, how with more than dreams the soul is torn, Ere sleep comes down to soothe the weary eyes.
Ere sleep comes down to soothe the weary eyes, How all the griefs and heart–aches we have known Come up like pois’nous vapors that arise From some base witch’s caldron, when the crone, To work some potent spell, her magic plies. The past which held its share of bitter pain, Whose ghost we prayed that Time might exorcise, Comes up, is lived and suffered o’er again, Ere sleep comes down to soothe the weary eyes.
Ere sleep comes down to soothe the weary eyes, What phantoms fill the dimly lighted room; What ghostly shades in awe–creating guise Are bodied forth within the teeming gloom. What echoes faint of sad and soul–sick cries, And pangs of vague inexplicable pain That pay the spirit’s ceaseless enterprise, Come thronging through the chambers of the brain, Ere sleep comes down to soothe the weary eyes.
Ere sleep comes down to soothe the weary eyes, Where ranges forth the spirit far and free? Through what strange realms and unfamiliar skies Tends her far course to lands of mystery? To lands unspeakable—beyond surmise, Where shapes unknowable to being spring, Till, faint of wing, the Fancy fails and dies Much wearied with the spirit’s journeying, Ere sleep comes down to soothe the weary eyes.
Ere sleep comes down to soothe the weary eyes, How questioneth the soul that other soul,— The inner sense which neither cheats nor lies, But self exposes unto self, a scroll Full writ with all life’s acts unwise or wise, In characters indelible and known; So, trembling with the shock of sad surprise, The soul doth view its awful self alone, Ere sleep comes down to soothe the weary eyes.
When sleep comes down to seal the weary eyes, The last dear sleep whose soft embrace is balm, And whom sad sorrow teaches us to prize For kissing all our passions into calm, Ah, then, no more we heed the sad world’s cries, Or seek to probe th’ eternal mystery, Or fret our souls at long–withheld replies, At glooms through which our visions cannot see, When sleep comes down to seal the weary eyes.
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apoemaday · 2 days ago
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I Have Not Had One Word from Her
by Sappho
I have not had one word from her Frankly I wish I were dead. When she left, she wept a great deal; she said to me, “This parting must be endured, Sappho. I go unwillingly.” I said, “Go, and be happy but remember (you know well) whom you leave shackled by love If you forget me, think of our gifts to Aphrodite and all the loveliness that we shared all the violet tiaras, braided rosebuds, dill and crocus twined around your young neck myrrh poured on your head and on soft mats girls with all that they most wished for beside them while no voices chanted choruses without ours, no woodlot bloomed in spring without song …”
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apoemaday · 3 days ago
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The Happiest Day
by Linda Pastan
It was early May, I think a moment of lilac or dogwood when so many promises are made it hardly matters if a few are broken. My mother and father still hovered in the background, part of the scenery like the houses I had grown up in, and if they would be torn down later that was something I knew but didn’t believe. Our children were asleep or playing, the youngest as new as the new smell of the lilacs, and how could I have guessed their roots were shallow and would be easily transplanted. I didn’t even guess that I was happy. The small irritations that are like salt on melon were what I dwelt on, though in truth they simply made the fruit taste sweeter. So we sat on the porch in the cool morning, sipping hot coffee. Behind the news of the day— strikes and small wars, a fire somewhere— I could see the top of your dark head and thought not of public conflagrations but of how it would feel on my bare shoulder. If someone could stop the camera then… if someone could only stop the camera and ask me: are you happy? Perhaps I would have noticed how the morning shone in the reflected color of lilac. Yes, I might have said and offered a steaming cup of coffee.
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apoemaday · 4 days ago
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the lost baby poem
by Lucille Clifton
the time i dropped your almost body down down to meet the waters under the city and run one with the sewage to the sea what did i know about waters rushing back what did i know about drowning or being drowned you would have been born into winter in the year of the disconnected gas and no car       we would have made the thin walk over genesee hill into the canada wind to watch you slip like ice into strangers’ hands you would have fallen naked as snow into winter if you were here i could tell you these and some other things if i am ever less than a mountain for your definite brothers and sisters let the rivers pour over my head let the sea take me for a spiller of seas        let black men call me stranger always        for your never named sake
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apoemaday · 5 days ago
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Midwest Eclogue
by David Baker
We wade into a blackened pond to save the dying water. The water isn't dying —we know, we know—it's the fish and frogs starving, pushed out by subsurface growth.
Still, that's how they put it to us, our new neighbors who've come to watch their new neighbors cope with a stagnant, weedy, quarter-acre runoff swamp.
They say, let it go, by which they mean (this from Scott, cut like a side of beef, six-pack belted like a holster to his pants) it's God's will, or nature's, and besides it's too much work,
to which his father John, bigger, beer- gutted, bald scorch of a face, plops on our dock and says You got that right. At first we tried sprinkling chemicals around the darkening perimeter—to wit,
copper sulfate penta- hydrate (CuSo4—5H2O), used variously as a micronized fungicide in pellets, a crystalline pesticide "noted for acute toxicity in bees,"
and here, a powdery "powerhouse algaecide"— or in other words (this from John), fancy sun-block for the water. For weeks the bottom- black surface glowed eerily aquamarine,
yet all that died were two fat grass carp, lazy from the slime they ate, who floated up like scaly logs to petrify. That's why I'm waist-deep where my neighbors watch, rowing
with a rake through a sludge of leaves, stirring algae in a cooking pot, dragging it through the muddy pool. Each time I pull a gob of slime and glop, dark as organs, toward shore,
John yells out, encouraging, that's a good one, and I shove it on to Ann to rake up the bank where we'll haul it off some day. Don't just sit there in the willow shade,
I ought to shout. Come on. Help us out. Or (this from Virgil, via Corydon), why not at least go about some needful task? But there's so much trouble in the world these days
I've been content to work in peace beside my wife, my life's surprising love, to keep the cardinals throbbing in our close cattails and frogs at home in a splash of breathable water.
Each step stirs a slick of spreading ooze that follows orbital in my wake, a little nebula of oil and algae stars. And look, overhead the first real star
has answered back: There's darkness on the way. We drag one more sloppy mass up the bank and see its dimming possibilities— tadpoles and minnows, shiny as coins, egg-
clusters of sun perch, bluegill roe— throbbing in the grass, twisting to be loose, aglow against the color of the coming night. And there go John and Scott, down on their knees in the grass,
untangling as many as they can to slip back to the black pond, before the sky turns black as well. There's smoke you can see from the neighbors' chimney, and the shadows of the hills are lengthening as they fall.
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apoemaday · 6 days ago
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Lending Out Books
by Hal Sirowitz
You’re always giving, my therapist said. You have to learn how to take. Whenever you meet a woman, the first thing you do is lend her your books. You think she’ll have to see you again in order to return them. But what happens is, she doesn’t have the time to read them, & she’s afraid if she sees you again you’ll expect her to talk about them, & will want to lend her even more. So she cancels the date. You end up losing a lot of books. You should borrow hers.
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apoemaday · 7 days ago
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Cold Solace
by Anna Belle Kaufman
When my mother died, one of her honey cakes remained in the freezer. I couldn’t bear to see it vanish, so it waited, pardoned, in its ice cave behind the metal trays for two more years.
On my forty-first birthday I chipped it out, a rectangular resurrection, hefted the dead weight in my palm.
Before it thawed, I sawed, with serrated knife, the thinnest of slices— Jewish Eucharist.
The amber squares with their translucent panes of walnuts tasted—even toasted—of freezer, of frost, a raisined delicacy delivered up from a deli in the underworld.
I yearned to recall life, not death— the still body in her pink nightgown on the bed, how I lay in the shallow cradle of the scattered sheets after they took it away, inhaling her scent one last time.
I close my eyes, savor a wafer of sacred cake on my tongue and try to taste my mother, to discern the message she baked in these loaves when she was too ill to eat them:
I love you. It will end. Leave something of sweetness and substance in the mouth of the world.
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apoemaday · 8 days ago
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Everything We Do
by Peter Meinke
Everything we do is for our first loves whom we have lost irrevocably who have married insurance salesmen and moved to Topeka and never think of us at all. We fly planes & design buildings and write poems that all say Sally I love you I’ll never love anyone else Why didn’t you know I was going to be a poet? The walks to school, the kisses in the snow gather as we dream backwards, sweetness with age: our legs are young again, our voices strong and happy, we’re not afraid. We don’t know enough to be afraid. And now we hold (hidden, hopeless) the hope that some day she may fly in our plane enter our building read our poem And that night, deep in her dream, Sally, far in darkness, in Topeka, with the salesman lying beside her, will cry out our unfamiliar name.
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apoemaday · 9 days ago
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Getting the Laundry
by Warren Woessner
Rest has come again. The cars push their echoes, reading the road like braille. The tired squeek of a single tricycle rolls home. I look up to see a half-moon not quite included by the Power Co-op/Truck Service signs. It has time yet to land safely in the dark. The last patch of dirt in front of the new GTC has hardened into asphalt. Again, there is time. I find myself folding the laundry more slowly than I could. It is a simple thing to do. A thing missed, like picking fruit or sanding wood. Also the warmth. Clothes have the patience of old friends: with open doors, always on my side.
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apoemaday · 10 days ago
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I Don’t Know How Many Souls I Have
by Fernando Pessoa
I don’t know how many souls I have. I’ve changed at every moment. I always feel like a stranger. I’ve never seen or found myself. From being so much, I have only soul. A man who has soul has no calm. A man who sees is just what he sees. A man who feels is not who he is. Attentive to what I am and see, I become them and stop being I. Each of my dreams and each desire Belongs to whoever had it, not me. I am my own landscape, I watch myself journey-- Various, mobile, and alone. Here where I am I can’t feel myself. That’s why I read, as a stranger, My being as if it were pages. Not knowing what will come And forgetting what has passed, I note in the margin of my reading What I thought I felt. Rereading, I wonder: “Was that me?” God knows, because he wrote it.          
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apoemaday · 11 days ago
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The Promise
by Jane Hirshfield
Stay, I said to the cut flowers. They bowed their heads lower.
Stay, I said to the spider, who fled.
Stay, leaf. It reddened, embarrassed for me and itself.
Stay, I said to my body. It sat as a dog does, obedient for a moment, soon starting to tremble.
Stay, to the earth of riverine valley meadows, of fossiled escarpments, of limestone and sandstone. It looked back with a changing expression, in silence.
Stay, I said to my loves. Each answered, Always.
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apoemaday · 12 days ago
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April 7, 1969
by Richard Brautigan
I feel so bad today that I want to write a poem. I don’t care: any poem, this poem.
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apoemaday · 13 days ago
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This Year I Mean to Be an Elephant
by Wendy Xu
I don’t know if you understand me when   I say hopefully there is a future and we   are both allowed in it. I mean last year it   was OK just to be flattened by our ideas.   I sat in so many rooms and eventually felt   interesting and not like a chair. Do you   feel like a straight line? I worry about how   I don’t. I worry that when I turn on   the radio this morning it sounds just like I expect. I am thinking about kicking what I expect in the shin. Last year I forgot whole people until having lunch again with those people. Last year I forgot really embarrassing secrets like how I am allergic to regular soap. Cue all different kinds of light and what music makes you feel not dead. Last night I dreamt about sand.  
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apoemaday · 14 days ago
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April
by Alicia Ostriker
The optimists among us taking heart because it is spring skip along attending their meetings signing their e-mail petitions marching with their satiric signs singing their we shall overcome songs posting their pungent twitters and blogs believing in a better world for no good reason I envy them said the old woman The seasons go round they go round and around said the tulip dancing among her friends in their brown bed in the sun in the April breeze under a maple canopy that was also dancing only with greater motions casting greater shadows and the grass hardly stirring What a concerto of good stinks said the dog trotting along Riverside Drive in the early spring afternoon sniffing this way and that how gratifying the cellos of the river the tubas of the traffic the trombones of the leafing elms with the legato of my rivals’ piss at their feet and the leftover meat and grease singing along in all the wastebaskets
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apoemaday · 15 days ago
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Spring Thaw
by Gordon Gilsdorf
Most things die reluctantly, clinging to the life they know, like snow trying to hold the land far beyond the middle of March. How can it know that April will not have violets without warm rains and that surrender is the only way to inherit the earth?
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apoemaday · 16 days ago
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Greetings My Dear Ghost
by Mary Ruefle
One thing life has taught me is that even dolls have bad days, days when the wind presents its challenges, you open your mouth, it gets full of grit, cars are mangled, people are injured, the Four Noble Truths sealed in a capsule and sent into space, snowballs hurled over a few daffodils startle the piano keys out of their sleep. Morning, I have just come from there, they throw big pieces of it down with a smash. When my doll refuses to speak I say Go, go where the high, blinding, stately magnificence of reality is being taught, but not even a wandering little drift of unidentified sound comes from her mouth, her face is haunted in a bloodcurdling way, but that is her way, her way of saying How sweetly human, the April air.
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apoemaday · 17 days ago
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Trees
by Joyce Kilmer
I think that I shall never see A poem lovely as a tree. A tree whose hungry mouth is prest Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast; A tree that looks at God all day, And lifts her leafy arms to pray; A tree that may in Summer wear A nest of robins in her hair; Upon whose bosom snow has lain; Who intimately lives with rain. Poems are made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree.
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apoemaday · 18 days ago
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The Year of the Goldfinches
By Ada Limón
There were two that hung and hovered by the mud puddle and the musk thistle. Flitting from one splintered fence post to another, bathing in the rainwater’s glint like it was a mirror to some other universe where things were more acceptable, easier than the place I lived. I’d watch for them: the bright peacocking male, the low-watt female, on each morning walk, days spent digging for some sort of elusive answer to the question my curving figure made. Later, I learned that they were a symbol of resurrection. Of course they were, my two yellow-winged twins feasting on thorns and liking it.
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apoemaday · 19 days ago
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Mothers
by Nikki Giovanni
the last time i was home to see my mother we kissed exchanged pleasantries and unpleasantries pulled a warm   comforting silence around us and read separate books i remember the first time i consciously saw her we were living in a three room   apartment on burns avenue mommy always sat in the dark i don’t know how i knew that but she did that night i stumbled into the kitchen maybe because i’ve always been a night person or perhaps because i had wet the bed she was sitting on a chair the room was bathed in moonlight diffused through   those thousands of panes landlords who rented to people with children were prone to put in windows   she may have been smoking but maybe not her hair was three-quarters her height which made me a strong believer in the samson myth   and very black i’m sure i just hung there by the door i remember thinking: what a beautiful lady she was very deliberately waiting perhaps for my father to come home   from his night job or maybe for a dream that had promised to come by   “come here” she said “i’ll teach you   a poem: i see the moon               the moon sees me               god bless the moon               and god bless me”   i taught it to my son who recited it for her just to say we must learn   to bear the pleasures as we have borne the pains
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