Geologic Time by Erica Sternin


This gallery contains 1 photo.

The gardener’s middle aged, hummingbird mind Cannot encompass geologic time. She tosses the speckled stone from her seedbed. The little red stone was Earth’s first daughter; Volcanic ejecta, bouldered into a stream, And scoured by her lover. Intercourse pulverized her, … Continue reading

What I Want By Alicia Ostriker

Photo credit: Melanie Davies

Photo credit: Melanie Davies

O lente, lente, currite noctis equi—

Yes, that’s what I want right now,

Just that sensation

Of my mind’s gradual

Deceleration, as if I

Took my foot off the gas

And the Buick rolled to a stop.

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Entanglement by Jane Hirshfield


This gallery contains 1 photo.

A librarian in Calcutta and an entomologist in Prague sign their moon-faced illicit emails, “ton entanglée.” No one can explain it. The strange charm between border collie and sheep, leaf and wind, the two distant electrons. There is, too, the … Continue reading

Talking To My Son Before Sleep by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

170401_10151922204025131_1724671718_o“Which is bigger,” he asks me, “the ocean or sky,”
and I want to tell him the heart, which even today
has been practicing vastness, is learning to say yes

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The Peace of Wild Things By Wendell Berry

Photo credit:  Ómar Runólfsson

Photo credit:
Ómar Runólfsson

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

A Journey, By Edward Field

Photo credit: Daily Men by Javier Sánchez Salcedo

Photo credit: Daily Men by Javier Sánchez Salcedo

When he got up that morning everything was different:

He enjoyed the bright spring day

But he did not realize it exactly, he just enjoyed it.

And walking down the street to the railroad station

Past magnolia trees with dying flowers like old socks

It was a long time since he had breathed so simply.

Tears filled his eyes and it felt good

But he held them back

Because men didn’t walk around crying in that town.

Waiting on the platform at the station

The fear came over him of something terrible about to happen:

The train was late and he recited the alphabet to keep hold.

And in its time it came screeching in

And as it went on making its usual stops,

People coming and going, telephone poles passing,

He hid his head behind a newspaper

No longer able to hold back the sobs, and willed his eyes

To follow the rational weavings of the seat fabric.

He didn’t do anything violent as he had imagined.

He cried for a long time, but when he finally quieted down

A place in him that had been closed like a fist was open,

And at the end of the ride he stood up and got off that train:

And through the streets and in all the places he lived in later on

He walked, himself at last, a man among men,

With such radiance that everyone looked up and wondered.

From “A Book of Luminous Things: An International Anthology of Poetry,” edited by Czeslaw Milosz

Coyote Woman Buys Peaches by Erica Sternin

Photo: SARE Outreach

Photo: SARE Outreach

From the parking lot I see the lady at the fruit stand

Has a thick coyote tail.

She discusses peaches, asking which is the juiciest.

The tawny tail bobs slightly with anticipation.

Farmer fingers, scrubbed for Market Day ,

Select a soft-fleshed fruit and

Presses it, testing for bad spots.

Moisture gathers under her tongue, not quite lolling,

And she sniffs its lightly furred skin.

The tail rises, semi-erect and points directly at me,

Clutching my scarred chest behind the steering wheel.

She slowly plucks coins from her purse, the farmer waiting,

Tail like an arrow, letting me know,

I’m marked.

What is Yet Uncovered by Erica Sternin

Photo Credit:  Lindsay Shaver

Photo Credit: Lindsay Shaver

What is yet uncovered

Are the surging tides,

The drumbeat youdonemewrong,

The throbbing hooves of blue horses

Corralled beneath my skin.

Take it. Or leave it.

What is yet uncovered

Is the pointless wrung out laundry,

The twisted bitterness of alum.

This too is life.

The Fourth Sign of the Zodiac By Mary Oliver

Photo Credit: Peter G W Jones

Photo Credit: Peter G W Jones


Why should I have been surprised?

Hunters walk the forest

without a sound.

The hunter, strapped to his rifle,

the fox on his feet of silk,

the serpent on his empire of muscles –

all move in a stillness,

hungry, careful, intent.

Just as the cancer

Entered the forest of my body,

without a sound.


The question is,

what will it be like

after the last day?

Will I float

into the sky

or will I fray

within the earth or a river –

remembering nothing?

How desperate I would be

If I couldn’t remember

the sun rising, if I couldn’t

remember trees, rivers; if I couldn’t

even remember, beloved,

your beloved name.


I know, you never intended to be in this world.

But you are in it all the same.

So why not get started immediately.

I mean, belonging to it.

There is so much to admire, to weep over.

And to write music or poems about.

Bless the feet that take you to and fro.

Bless the eyes and the listening ears.

Bless the tongue, the marvel of taste.

Bless touching.

You could live a hundred years, it’s happened.

Or not.

I am speaking from the fortunate platform

of many years,

none of which, I think, I ever wasted.

Do you need a prod?

Do you need a little darkness to get you going?

Let me be as urgent as a knife, then,

And remind you of Keats,

So single of purpose and thinking, for a while,

He had a lifetime.


Late yesterday afternoon, in the heat,

all the fragile blue flowers in bloom

in the shrubs in the yard next door had

tumbled from the shrubs and lay

wrinkled and fading in the grass. But

this morning the shrubs were full of

the blue flowers again. There wasn’t

a single one on the grass. How, I

wondered, did they roll or crawl back

to the shrubs and then back up to

the branches, that fiercely wanting,

as we all do, just a little more of


Dawn by Erica Sternin

Photo Credit:  Catherine Singleton

Photo Credit:
Catherine Singleton

In the firstlight, a lone honeybee stumbles

across the dew-laden grass

like a drunken husband returning home far too late.

A breeze with glass sharpened edges naughtily scoots

beneath the evergreens’ weighted skirts, nipping the juicy places

Where musty apple scents are offered like an eager lover.

Gilded leaves whisper, gossiping like neon raindrops as they fall, and

Chipping wrens flick-tail from branch to twig like gray popcorn,

never seeing the green-eyed cat in the musty dimness below.

Like a diver on the high board, trembling … breathless…

The moment is poised…

And finally, decisively, one strong golden shaft of sunlight pries its way between the

Unshaven legs of the fir trees, and another morning is broken.