Advice to My Son by Peter Meinke
The trick is, to live your days
as if each one may be your last
(for they go fast, and young men lose their lives
in strange and unimaginable ways)
but at the same time, plan long range
(for they go slow: if you survive
the shattered windshield and the bursting shell
you will arrive
at our approximation here below
of heaven or hell).
To be specific, between the peony and the rose
plant squash and spinach, turnips and tomatoes;
beauty is nectar
and nectar, in a desert, saves--
but the stomach craves stronger sustenance
than the honied vine.
Therefore, marry a pretty girl
after seeing her mother;
peak truth to one man,
work with another;
and always serve bread with your wine.
always serve wine.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
by Christina RossettiI wish I could remember that first day,
First hour, first moment of your meeting me,
If bright or dim the season, it might be
Summer or Winter for aught that I can say;
So unrecorded did it slip away,
So blind was I to see and to foresee,
So dull to mark the budding of my tree
That would not blossom yet for many a May.
If only I could recollect it, such
A day of days! I let it come and go
As traceless as a thaw of bygone snow;
It seemed to mean so little, meant so much;
If only now I could recall that touch,
First touch of hand in hand.--Did one but know!
How did your love story begin? Do you remember? Or, did you fall slowly into it?
Monday, July 28, 2008
This bridge will only take you halfway there
To those mysterious lands you long to see:
Through gypsy camps and swirling Arab fairs
And moonlit woods where unicorns run free.
So come and walk awhile with me and share
The twisting trails and wondrous worlds I've known.
But this bridge will only take you halfway there--
The last few steps you'll have to take alone.
What's your favorite Silverstein poem?
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Beneath the tent of summer sheets,
sisters share whispered secrets of
and budding romances
and floating dreams.
The same sisters
tie up autumn’s phone lines
with the latest gossip
and news of school days
and weekend dates
and escapades with roommates.
They count down the weeks
until winter’s vacation
will bring them together again,
when, under the glow of Christmas’s tree
they talk late into the night
of the beautiful things
and days gone by.
Spring rings with news
swapped between the two
of Saturday adventures,
and dreaded finals.
Seasons will follow seasons.
The years will fall softly away,
piling upon one another,
like October’s leaves in the loose
chill of the wind.
How one’s heart aches
for days of
dreaming away summer
beneath the warm blue sky
with the soft grass at the feet
Or, the schooldays of autumn,
hopscotch and skinned knees at recess
and spending lessons
gazing out the window
in sweet reverie.
Oh to sled through winter again,
with a carol on your lips,
face rosy from the cold,
and laughter bright in white afternoon!
And to remember the scent of spring,
blowing dandelions into the May wind
and sailing off as one
on the wings of a wish.
How one longs for the sweet by and by,
spent by a sister’s side.
And the present day glides away
and what once was will never again be.
Would one exchange
an eternity of childhood
for the future unknown?
How fragile a flight we’ve flown!
What speaks to you of childhood?
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
and summer eves
last long enough
Monday, July 21, 2008
while loading groceries into the truck of my car,
a slim businessman
in a sharp three piece suit
placidly strolling through the automatic doors
and out into the bright sunshine,
a full cart of groceries before him.
His pace quickens, slightly
He glances casually about him,
right, then left.
Feeling the coast is clear,
he breaks out into a beautiful sprint,
polished shoes slapping wildly against the pavement.
He jumps on the cart,
just like your mother told you not to,
and he flies down the parking lot,
silly grin splashed across his face,
like a child getting away with something naughty.
The wind blows at the corners of his suit jacket.
He looks purely delighted.
This, this is what it means
to be Alive.
All too soon,
the childlike flight ends.
Having arrived at his BMW,
he jumps off,
loads his groceries,
puts the cart away,
and drives off,
leaving me with a smile on my face,
and curious about
that I recently observed.
Any quirky acts of the seemingly dignified that have brought a smile to your face?
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
My Angel Mother
She comes home;
shoes stained red with dust
from an idle hike
through desert twilight
and into the night.
Hair, windblown and eyes, bright.
Mother is waiting up
Innocent mistake though it be,
the clock is pushing two
and curfew is long since past.
A penitent daughter awaits a sharp rebuke
from motherly lips.
Yet, Mother, quiet and understanding,
if she had a good time
and how was the hike.
no mention of late hours.
With a tender kiss upon the cheek,
mother, daughter say good-night.
A small surge of love
rises softly in the daughter's young heart.
She thinks now
of patient hours Mother played Nurse
in the days after surgery.
of clean piles of laundry at the edge of an unmade bed
and seven reminders
to put those clothes away!
She considers the unexpected acts,
the scent of pie dough
baked into cinnamon sugar rolls,
a loving reminder
that Mom remembered
what her daughter loves best.
An impromptu hot dog dinner
for a dozen teenage friends,
a quilt to warm a dorm room,
and a kiss every night,
these are the beautiful things of the world
to a young daughter.
She can almost hear
the lullabies of childhood,
and songs spilling forth from the piano,
and singing in the kitchen,
the soundtrack of home.
Eyes, heavy with weariness,
and sleep comes
It is good to be loved.
What is it about mothers that makes them so wonderful?
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
To the Virgins, to make much of Time
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.
That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.
Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry;
For having lost but once your prime,
You may forever tarry.
Monday, July 7, 2008
e.e. cummings the poet was also a playwright. He said of one very unorthodox play:
o by the by
has anybody seen
who stood on a green
hill and threw
his wish at blue
with a swoop and a dart
out flew his wish
(it dived like a fish
but it climbed like a dream)
throbbing like a heart
singing like a flame
blue took it my
far beyond far
and high beyond high
bluer took it your
but bluest took it our
away beyond where
what a wonderful thing
is the end of a string
(murmurs little you-i
as the hill becomes nil)
and will somebody tell
me why people let go
"Relax and give the play a chance to strut its stuff—relax, stop wondering what it is all 'about'—like many strange and familiar things, Life included, this play isn't 'about,' it simply is. . . . Don't try to enjoy it, let it try to enjoy you. DON'T TRY TO UNDERSTAND IT, LET IT TRY TO UNDERSTAND YOU."I think the same statement can apply to a great deal of poetry. Don't overthink the beautiful and unfamiliar or try to conform it to your view of life. Just let it exist in it's own quirkiness.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Carol Lynn Pearson
It's all right, really,
That I touch you?
Somehow I look around
For signs you might see
In a museum
Or wherever else they
House the world's
I could only look
At the Rembrandts
And the Chinese vases,
And I could not
Get closer than three feet
To the crown jewels.
Well, I didn't even want to.
It would be asking too much
For me to be in a room with you
And not touch.
It's all right?
I can sit on this couch
With your head in my lap
And trace your eyebrows
And lips and face?
I can play with your hair like this?
And even kiss
And tickle if I want
And no one will call a guard?
Why do I smile
Like I'm getting away
With something bold?
There were alarms fixed in case
I should try to touch
King Tut's face--
And his was only gold.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
After all these years, I see that I was mistaken about Eve in the beginning; it is better to live outside the Garden with her than inside it without her. ~ Adam, in Adam's Diary, by Mark Twain
Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it's cracked up to be. That's why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don't risk everything, you risk even more.Women was made from man’s rib, not his head to be higher than him, not his foot to be stepped upon, she was made from his rib under his arm for protection, by his side and close to his heart.
Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired. ~ Robert Frost
What! No star, and you are going out to sea? Marching, and you have no music? Traveling, and you have no book? What! No love, and you are going out to live? ~ French Proverb
If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden. ~Attributed to Claudia Ghandi