August 31, 2014


by John Updike

The sprinkler twirls.
The summer wanes.
The pavement wears
Popsicle stains.

The playground grass
Is worn to dust.
The weary swings
Creak, creak with rust.

The trees are bored
With being green.
Some people leave
The local scene

And go to seaside
And take off nearly
All their clothes.

"August" by John Updike, from A Child’s Calendar

August 30, 2014
One Whose Name Was Writ in Water

One Whose Name Was Writ in Water

I almost wish that we were butterflies

and liv’d but three summer days – then,

fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget.

Touch has a memory. A waking dream?

I want a brighter word than bright.

There is nothing stable in the world.

[a found poem consisting of quotes from the poems of John Keats, Bright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne and John Keats: A New Life]


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August 30, 2014
Walking With Keats


John Keats by William Hilton – Public Domain

In the summer of 1818,  poet John Keats went on a six-week walking tour through northern England, Scotland, and Ireland. Keats and his friend Charles Brown set off in June and walked 600 miles before sailing back to London.

Keats was not an outdoorsman and had spent his life in London never having been out of southern England. He was 22 and had never…

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August 28, 2014
The Floating Bridge of Dreams

The Floating Bridge of Dreams


Murasaki writing at her desk at inspired by the Moon

Reading Lady Murasaki Shikibu’s The Tale of Genji -

1000 years old with its 400 tanka.

Like the western sonnet, the tanka turns,

from the pivotal image to personal response.

The past floats up to the present.

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August 21, 2014
"I like poems where you don’t really know whether to laugh or cry when you read them."

—   X.J. Kennedy

August 20, 2014
"It is difficult to get the news from poems, yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there."

—    William Carlos Williams

(Source: feellng, via iamcharliesangel)

August 7, 2014
Fresh Cut

Poetry repairs. Lines cracked with the strain

of too much meaning, brittle with age.

New words, brightly-colored ideas, cutting away decay,

fresh-cut stanzas smelling of the pine air

over my head. A sky full of stars.

pine sky

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August 1, 2014
Waves That Rhyme

Weekends in Paradelle: Waves That Rhyme

I can stare at waves for a long time without being bored.

Surfers study waves – not like scientists – but they study them for sure. I don’t study them. I let them hypnotize me. Or maybe it’s a form of meditation.

Years ago, when I went for a weekend sesshinat a Zen monastery, my wife asked what it was that I was supposed to learn…

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Filed under: ocean poetry rhythm waves 
July 18, 2014
When you read my poem

When you read my poem

you thought that the I was me,

that you was you, we was us,

then was now, the home was ours.

If you assume that the poem’s future

is our present, there is no future.


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July 12, 2014
"Tonight I can write the saddest lines
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too."

Pablo Neruda

The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems

Today is the birthday of this Chilean poet, born July 12, 1904 as Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. He chose his pen name after the Czech poet Jan Neruda. In 1971, Neruda won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

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July 12, 2014
Guest Post on ‘The Music In It’

Guest Post on ‘The Music In It’

I wrote a guest post for Adele Kenny’s poetry blog, The Music In It, about my daily writing practice this year and the ronka poems.

It is a good exercise to get “meta” about your writing once in awhile and think about what you write and why. Treat yourself as an assignment from that poetry class and look at the themes that run through your poems, the language etc.  (I didn’t realize how many…

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July 10, 2014
What dogs are thinking about?

Two poems by dogs, channeled by Billy Collins

July 7, 2014
"Not that I want to be a god or a hero. Just to change into a tree, grow for ages, not hurt anyone."

Czesaw Milosz

New and Collected Poems, 1931-2001 (Penguin Modern Classics)

Prolific poet, essayist, and historian Czesław Miłosz (born June 30, 1911) was also a diplomat, who served as Poland’s cultural attaché to France and the United States.

July 6, 2014
The Tenth Muse

Insomnia can sometimes be the tenth muse,

but not after this day working outside.

Muscle ache and sweat makes cold water

taste better than anything mixed or brewed,

and turns off the mind to poems.

writer's block II

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Filed under: Poetry sleep work 
July 3, 2014
"(let’s go said he not too far said she what’s too far said he where you are said she.)"

  E. E. Cummings ("May I Feel Said He" )

He wants you to pause and think about it.

Erotic Poems by E.E. Cummings

(Source: violentwavesofemotion, via iamcharliesangel)

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