Home » poetry

Tag: poetry

You Say Grace

(by G.K. Chesterton)

You say grace before meals
All right.
But I say grace before the play and the opera,
And grace before the concert and pantomime,
And grace before I open a book,
And grace before sketching, painting,
Swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing;
And grace before I dip the pen in ink.

busy being born

i’m sorry i didn’t answer your message

i was busy being born

the trouble is
it happens every day —

how do i live
when being born
keeps getting in the way ¿

— March 28, 2006


poetry on wasan island

The Door is Round and Open

(Rumi, version by Coleman Barks)

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.

prometheus, 2009

(for earth day)

maybe god
left us with an irresponsible babysitter,

all those aeons of loving care
since we were only hydrogen

and then some rube of a teenage sub-god
gave us a glimpse of fire, as a joke
and we were gone

out of the cradle
over the rail,

taking in the fall
from this 21st story balcony

stretching it in time
calling it a lifetime

making believe
we were born to achieve
terminal velocity

— March 26,  2007 / April 2009


 Oversoul, by Alex Grey (detail)

i hope that i will someday see

(with apologies to ogden nash)

i hope that i will someday see
that every they becomes a we

indeed, unless the theys all fall
there’ll never be someday at all

— Oct. 23, 2008


Circle Limit IV

just a moment to move a bicycle

just a moment to move a bicycle
and the full miracle is revealed to me again

quiet body of a mouse,
two tiny perfect blooms

damp grass, still air
all of life and death

here in a few square inches
and with them

the realization that
this year, i

did not slow down
enough to watch the spring

— May 18, 2007


just a moment to move a bicycle

tell me where new days begin

tell me where new days begin ¿
in facing up, in facing in,

in shedding sanctity and sin
like outworn layers of skin

— April 30, 2005


tell me where new days begin
Marc Chagall, America Windows, Art Institute of Chicago, detail (photo: Ben Wolfe)

How To Be a Poet

(by Wendell Berry)
(to remind myself)


Make a place to sit down.
Sit down. Be quiet.
You must depend upon
affection, reading, knowledge,
skill—more of each
than you have—inspiration,
work, growing older, patience,
for patience joins time
to eternity. Any readers
who like your poems,
doubt their judgment.


Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
Shun electric wire.
Communicate slowly. Live
a three-dimensioned life;
stay away from screens.
Stay away from anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.


Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.