Evening Poetry, December 8

Mosaic of the Nativity

by Jane Kenyon

Serbia, Winter 1993

On the domed ceiling God

is thinking:

I made them my joy,

and everything else I created

I made to bless them.

But see what they do!

I know their hearts

and arguments:

“We’re descended from

Cain. Evil is nothing new,

so what does it matter now

if we shell the infirmary,

and the well where the fearful

and rash alike must

come for water?”

God thinks Mary into being.

Suspended at the apogee

of the golden dome,

she curls in a brown pod,

and inside her the mind

of Christ, cloaked in blood,

lodges and begins to grow.

You can find this poem in Otherwise: New & Selected Poems.

Evening Poetry, December 7

Old Mama Saturday

By Marie Ponsot

“Saturday’s child must work for a living.”“I’m moving from Grief  Street.
Taxes are high here
though the mortgage’s cheap.

The house is well built.
With stuff to protect, that
mattered to me,
the security.

These things that I mind,
you know, aren’t mine.
I mind minding them.
They weigh on my mind.

I don’t mind them well.
I haven’t got the knack
of  kindly minding.
I say Take them back
but you never do.

When I throw them out
it may frighten you
and maybe me too.

                 Maybe
it will empty me
too emptily

and keep me here
asleep, at sea
under the guilt quilt,
under the you tree.”

You can find this in Springing: New and Selected Poems.

Evening Poetry, December 6

Aubade

by Amy Lowell

As I would free the white almond from the green husk

So would I strip your trappings off,

Beloved.

And fingering the smooth and polished kernel

I should see that in my hands glittered a gem beyond

counting.

You can find this poem in Amy Lowell: Selected Poems.

Evening Poetry, December 5

Stars

by Sara Teasdale

Alone in the night

On a dark hill

With pines around me

Spicy and still,

And a heaven full of stars

Over my head,

White and topaz

And misty red;

Myriads with beating

Hearts of fire

That aeons

Cannot vex or tire;

Up the dome of heaven

Like a great hill,

I watch them marching

Stately and still,

And I know that I

Am honored to be

Witness

Of so much majesty.

You can find this poem in Favorite Poems Old and New.

Evening Poetry, December 4

Dust of Snow

by Robert Frost

The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.

You can find this poem in The Poetry of Robert Frost.

Evening Poetry, December 3

A Chair in Snow

By Jane Hirshfield

A chair in snow
should be
like any other object whited
& rounded

and yet a chair in snow is always sad

more than a bed
more than a hat or house
a chair is shaped for just one thing

to hold
a soul its quick and few bendable
hours

perhaps a king

not to hold snow
not to hold flowers

You can find this poem in The Beauty: Poems.

Evening Poetry, December 2

The Garden

by Lisel Mueller

I bring my mother back to life,

her eyes still green, still laughing,

She is still not fashionably thin.

She looks past me

for the girl

she left her old age to.

she does no recognize her

in me, a graying woman

older than she will ever be.

How strange that in the garden

of memory where she lives

nothing ever changes;

the heavy fruit

cannot pull the branches

any closer to the ground.

You can find this poem in Alive Together.

Evening Poetry, December 1

Mysteries, Yes

by Mary Oliver

Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous

to be understood.

How grass can be nourishing in the

mouths of the lambs.

How rivers and stones are forever

in allegiance with gravity

while we ourselves dream of rising.

How two hands touch and the bonds will

never be broken.

How people come, from delight or the

scars of damage,

to the comfort of a poem.

Let me keep my distance, always, from those

who think they have the answers.

Let me keep company always with those who say

“Look!” and laugh in astonishment,

and bow their heads.

You can find this poem in Evidence.