Inspiration: Poems

POEM: “Singularity,” by Marie Howe

(after Stephen Hawking) Do you sometimes want to wake up to the singularity we once were? so compact nobody needed a bed, or food or money — nobody hiding in the school bathroom or home alone pulling open the drawer where the pills are kept. For every atom belonging...

read more

POEM: “The Layers,” by Stanley Kunitz

In my darkest night, when the moon was covered and I roamed through wreckage, a nimbus-clouded voice directed me: “Live in the layers, not on the litter.” Though I lack the art to decipher it, no doubt the next chapter in my book of transformations is already written....

read more

Poem: “Statement,” by Robert Francis

I follow Plato only with my mind. Pure beauty strikes me as a little thin, A little cold, however beautiful. I am in love with what is mixed, impure, doubtful and dark and hard to disencumber. I want a beauty I must dig for, search for. Pure beauty is beginning and...

read more

Poem: “Man Eating,” by Jane Kenyon

The man at the table across from mine is eating yogurt. His eyes, following the progress of the spoon, cross briefly each time it nears his face. Time, and the world with all its principalities, might come to an end as prophesied by the Apostle John, but what about...

read more

Poem: “Cockroach,” by Anne Sexton

Roach, foulest of creatures, who attacks with yellow teeth and an army of cousins big as shoes, you are lumps of coal that are mechanized and when I turn on the light you scuttle into the corners and there is this hiss upon the land. Yet I know you are only the common...

read more

Poem: “True or False,” by John Ciardi

Real emeralds are worth more than synthetics but the only way to tell one from the other is to heat them to a stated temperature, then tap. When it’s done properly the real one shatters. I have no emeralds. I was told this about them by a woman who said someone had...

read more

Poem: “Ethics,” by Linda Pastan

In ethics class so many years ago our teacher asked this question every fall: if there were a fire in a museum which would you save, a Rembrandt painting or an old woman who hadn’t many years left anyhow? Restless on hard chairs caring little for pictures or old age...

read more

Poem: “On Living,” by Nazim Hikmet

I Living is no laughing matter: you must live with great seriousness like a squirrel, for example— I mean without looking for something beyond and above living, I mean living must be your whole occupation. Living is no laughing matter: you must take it seriously, so...

read more

Prayer to Practice the Golden Rule

May I be no man’s enemy, and may I be the friend of that which is eternal and abides. May I never quarrel with those nearest me: and if I do, may I be reconciled quickly. May I love, seek, and attain only that which is good. May I wish for all men’s happiness and envy...

read more

Poem: “Dangerous Coats” by Sharon Owens

Someone clever once said Women were not allowed pockets In case they carried leaflets To spread sedition Which means unrest To you & me A grandiose word For commonsense Fairness Kindness Equality So ladies, start sewing Dangerous coats Made of pockets &...

read more

Poem: “Taking Turns, by Jeanie Greensfelder

I pass a woman on the beach. We both wear graying hair, feel sand between our toes, hear surf, and see blue sky. I came with a smile. She came to get one. No. I'm wrong. She sits on a boulder by a cairn of stacked rocks. Hands over her heart, she stares out to sea....

read more
Share This