poetry - n. 1: writing that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in language chosen and arranged to create a specific emotional response through meaning, sound, and rythmn 2 a: a quality that stirs the imagination b: a quality of spontaneity and grace

Name: dthaase

Sunday, October 31, 2004


The October breeze gathering the decadent leaves
Clackity-clack of branch on branch back
A shedding world falling to its knees

King winter comes to court with a lesson for hubristic trees
Now barren and brown in gnarled bark
A skeletal frame in this land of freeze

While there stands tall the evergreen
Winged tree within winter’s mark
This revolutionary, snow caped yet seen

In death’s whiteness a pristine green

Friday, October 29, 2004

A Poem by G.K. Chesterton

The Donkey
When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood,
Then surely I was born;
With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil's walking parody
On all four-footed things.
The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.
Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

A Poem by Jill Peláez Baumgaertner

Dog Tags

Here is the strangeness of all new rooms I have known.
The fresh paint does not quite cancel former occupants,
the hangers with hotel names, the pair of rubber gloves
underneath the sink, the box of clothespins on the basement
window ledge. I have not begun to know the hallway corners
in the dark. They are strange as wearing someone else's shoes.

Placed end to end the years of rooms clatter along like a train,
a stretch of places I have left myself chronologically.
In one of these my father enters, the new Colonel, jangling chains and tags
for each Cold War dependent--the latest military regulation
in case, he said they said, we are not known by our faces,
the metal rectangles with blunted corners will in their

deepened lettering link us to a line. It is taxing to wear such jewelry.
I imagine myself as thin as vapor. Caught by the grim beauty of a
mushroom cloud, would anything survive except my shadow?
Warm as my breath the metal creates its own space between
my still flat breasts. It burns under the shower after gym
and the chain begins to wear a dark streak into my neck.

Peláez: The letters spell my name. My father's. His serial number.
My blood type, race, religion. It is as casual and permanent
as the gardens my mother leaves behind each time we move.

Since then new spaces are uneasy, however
inevitably I enter them.

Friday, October 22, 2004

A Poem by Kelly Cherry


On a hill backlit by twilight,
the disciples gather like crows
for the night.

This is their down time, time to browse
among the olive branches, Christ with them,
their apostolic flight slowed at last to a head-nodding drowse,

to a flutter of tattered cloak, the unraveling hem
dragging in the dirt like a hurt wing.
They flock momentarily around him,

then settle down, safe in the soft swing
of wind that rises and then falls back
with the deepening evening

into the distance, and sleep, while Christ's black
feathers burn in his father's fist,
plucked by God before Judas kissed.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

One Sunday Driving To Church

There are those two or three weeks in October
When seven trees along Blanchard Road,
(Like the seven lampstands of Revelation),
Illuminate a resurrection,
Phosphorescent foliage,
As if the sun is rising out of their open palms,
Clutched eyes by ten-thousand branching lights,
Vivid amperage, additory voltage,
The sight of nature's autumn wattage,
These modern day burning bushes,
Reminding me to remove the sandals of my soul

Thursday, October 14, 2004

A Poem by Luci Shaw


He was a plain man
and learned no latin

Having left all gold behind
he delt out peace
to all us wild men
and the weather

He ate fish, bread,
country wine and God's will

Dust sandalled his feet

He wore purple only once
and that was an irony

Thursday, October 07, 2004

A Poem by Emily Dickinson

The Props assist the House
Until the House is built
And then the Props withdraw
And adequate, erect,
The House support itself
And cease to recollect
The Auger and the Carpenter -
Just such a retrospect
Hath the perfected Life -
A past of Plank and Nail
And slowness - then the Scaffolds drop
Affirming it a Soul.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

As Mount St. Helen's

The core has
risen to the surface.
(His parents would
fight so long and loud)
His neck is red.
His dome like fire.
The heat of his eruption
spilling into the room
burning the innocent
and guilty alike.
Rivers of violent verbs,
adjectives like sulfuric smoke,
begin to choke and suffocate
the object of his oppression.
All the nouns flung into the
flames of hell by hell itself.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Two Poems by Luci Shaw


satin black, three stones
lie warm in my palm - a handful
of shore in my room



He asks of us a big
faith - the moving
of mountains. It fits -
he was the one who
made a Big Bang,
spins a galaxy like
a child's top,
cradles our world
- a marble in his palm.
But can he pop
a jammed hood? Or deflate
an aneurism? Is he
deft enough to splint
a broken finger, split
an apple between us,
or flick a loose lash
from my eye?

He's big alright - his face
could brood
from Mount Rushmore.
But I ache for
a God my size to bring me
hot chocolate, brush
my hair, slip
between my sheets,
read to me in bed.
For a lover like that
I'd move a mountain
one stone at a time.

Monday, October 04, 2004

A Poem by Jane Kenyon


I got out of bed
on two strong legs.
It might have been
otherwise. I ate
cereal, sweet
milk, ripe, flawless
peach. It might
have been otherwise.
I took the dog uphill
to the birch wood.
All morning I did
the work I love.

At noon I lay down
with my mate. It might
have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together
at a table with silver
candlesticks. It might
have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed
in a room with paintings
on the walls, and
planned another day
just like this day.
But one day, I know,
it will be otherwise.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

A Poem by Jill Alexander Essbaum

Wednesday, Ash

Nothing of me will survive.
This body that I wear will die
and my mouth - nevermind its loveliness -
is set to shut itself into a sorrow the size

of restlessness and lack.
The lips go too. They slack
at the corners crying no, no
but still they go. They do not talk back.

And then for every finger I have counted on -
so many times - there is a going, and a gone.
They leave to rest in pieces with once sad and pretty
hands of grief
waiting for an Easter dawn

(which no one hears approaching when they're buried
underneath the ground).
And my feet cannot quit thinking quickstep, swing, the sound
of toe taps or a waltz. Hush. No dancing for the dead.
The ball is done. The slipper? Nowhere to be found.

And my belly, full or no is quiet.
Then it will feast as a ghost feasts - on nothing, a diet
of sediment, sleep, a lily or two.
I shall not fuss, I shall not make riot

or rivalry any, any more. The eyes are vacant, tentantless,
for they have been plucked out. Relentless
death, you have withered shut my heart
like an old rose closing, pungent and motionless

in the closet of the rats and of the bones. Everything I am is dust,
or shadows of it, clay unkissed.
Having died in the desert, I do not come back.
Having died in the desert, it is the drought I miss.

How can that be? Nothing, nothing of us survives.
Every inch of us will die,
and not a thing that God can do will stop it.
Even Christ, the very self of God was crucified

and dead three days, entombed.
Angels wept as little children, women loomed
about His bloody, broken body swaddled in a shroud.
And then - He rose. Like Lazarus or bread, or any bright moon

which lifts as thunder over mountaintops and homes.
Like that, my God - save me, save me from the groan
and creak of a coffin's rusty hinge
and resurrect us all, one by one -

all the bodies that no longer breathe or move,
and every soul that reaches but cannot grasp the thing it loves.
Save us to a grace we cannot ever hope to understand.
such that in our dyings - behold - somehow? - we live.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

A Poem by Billy Collins

listen to Billy Collins read his poem:
The Country

Friday, October 01, 2004

Quote On Giving...

From Anne Lamott's Bird By Bird
Here is the best story on giving I know, and it was told by Jack Kornfield of the Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre. An eight-year-old boy had a younger sister who was dying of leukemia, and he was told that without a blood transfusion she would die. His parents explained to him that his blood was probably compatible with hers, and if so, he could be the blood donor. They asked him if they could test his blood. He said sure. So they did and it was a good match. Then they asked if he would give his sister a pint of blood, that it could be her only chance of living. He said he would have to think about it overnight.
The next day he went to his parents and said he was willing to donate the blood. So they took him to the hospital where he was put on a gurney beside his six-year-old sister. Both of them were hooked up to IVs. A nurse withdrew a pint of blood from the boy, which was then put in the girl's IV. The boy lay on his gurney in silence while the blood dripped into his sister, until the doctor came over to see how he was doing. Then the boy opened his eyes and asked, "How soon until I start to die?"

A Poem By Emily Dickinson

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant---
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth's superb surprise
As Lightening to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind---

The Good Book

A lightness within the page,
like autumn's signature in the leaves,
full with meaning,
a revelation drawn out to invite remembering.

A weight within the page,
like winter's weight upon the blacktop,
at first so slight,
until one knows snow as does the Eskimo.

A swell within the page,
like spring rains pounding the planter's plains,
so the wheat will grow,
feeding a nation the bread that brings life.

A heat within the page,
like a summer fire on a dry forest floor,
drawing out the fuel
of last autumn's remembering lying underfoot.