Evening Poetry, November 1

Apple Song

by Robert Frost

The apples are seasoned

And ripe and sound.

Gently they fall

On the yellow ground.

The apples are stored

In the dusky bin

Where hardly a glimmer

Of light creeps in.

In the firelit, winter

Nights, they’ll be

The clear sweet taste

Of a summer tree!

You can find Favorite Poems Old and New.

Evening Poetry, October 30

Theme in Yellow

by Carl Sandburg

I spot the hills
With yellow balls in autumn.
I light the prairie cornfields
Orange and tawny gold clusters
And I am called pumpkins.
On the last of October
When dusk is fallen
Children join hands
And circle round me
Singing ghost songs
And love to the harvest moon;
I am a jack-o’-lantern
With terrible teeth
And the children know
I am fooling.

You can find this poem in Poetry For Kids: Carl Sandburg.

Evening Poetry, October 29

The Last Corn Shock

by Glenn Ward Dresbech

I remember how we stood

In the field, while far away

Blue hazes drifted on from hill to hill

And curled like smoke from many a sunset wood,

And the loaded wagon creaked while standing still…

I heard my father say,

“The last corn shock can stay.”

We had seen a pheasant there

In the sun; he went inside

As if he claimed the shock, as if he meant

To show us, with the field so nearly bare,

We had no right to take his rustic tent.

And so we circled wide

For home, and let him hide.

The first wild ducks flashed by

Where the pasture brook could hold

The sunset at the curve, and drifting floss

Escaped the wind and clung. The shocks were dry

And rustled on the wagon. Far across

The field, against the cold,

The last shock turned to gold.

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

Evening Poetry, October 28

From the Book of a Monastic Life from Rilke’s Book of Hours.

I’m too alone in the world, yet not alone enough

to make each hour holy.

I’m too small in the world, yet not small enough

to be simply in your presence, like a thing–

just as it is.

I want to know my own will

and to move with it.

And I want, in the hushed moments

when the nameless draws near,

to be among the wise ones–

or alone.

I want to mirror your immensity.

I want never to be too weak or too old

to bear the heavy, lurching image of you.

I want to unfold.

Let no place in me hold itself closed,

for where I am closed, I am false.

I want to stay clear in your sight.

You can find this poem in Rilke’s Book of Hours.

Evening Poetry, October 26

The Owl Cries At Night

by Freya Manfred

The owl cries at night,

and I imagine her wide gold eyes

and feathered ears tuned

to the trembling woods and waters,

seeing and hearing what

I will never see or hear:

a red fox with one bloody paw,

a hunch-backed rabbit running,

sand grains grating on the shore,

a brown leaf crackling

under a brown mouse foot.

With so much to learn,

I could stop writing forever,

and still live well.

You can find this poem in Swimming With a Hundred Year Old Turtle.

Evening Poetry, October 25

Wind Artist

by John O Donohue

For Ellen Wingard

Among the kingdom of the winds,

Perhaps, there is one of elegant mind

Who has no need to intrude

On the solitude of single things.

A wind at ease with the depth

Of its own emptiness, who knows

How it was in the beginning,

Before the silence became unbearable

And space rippled to dream things.

A wind who feels how an object strains

To be here, holding its darkness tight

Against the sever of air, ever eager

To enter, and with a swell of light

Dissolve the form in its breathing.

A wind from before memory

Whose patience will see things become

Passionate dust whorled into sighs

Of ghost-song on its wings.

You can find this poem in Conamara Blues by John O’ Donohue.

Evening Poetry, October 24

Dreams

by Mary Oliver

All night

the dark buds of dreams

open

richly.

In the center

of every petal

is a letter,

and you imagine

if you could only remember

and string them all together

they would spell the answer.

It is a long night,

and not an easy one–

you have so many branches,

and there are diversions–

birds that come and go,

the black fox that lies down

to sleep beneath you,

the moon staring

with her bone-white eye.

Finally you have spent

all the energy you can

and you drag from the ground

the muddy skirt of your roots

and leap awake

with two or three syllables

like water in your mouth

and a sense

of loss–a memory

not yet of a word,

certainly not yet the answer–

only how it feels

when deep in the tree

all the locks click open,

and the fire surges through the wood,

and the blossoms blossom.

You can find this poem in Dream Work.

Evening Poetry, October 23

Time-Web

by Amy Lowell

The day is sharp and hurried

As wind upon a dahlia stem;

It is harsh and abrupt with me

As a North-east breeze

Striking a bed of sunflowers.

Why should I break at the root

And cast all my fragile flowers in the dust–

I who am no taller than a creeping pansy?

I should be sturdy and definite,

Yet I am tossed, and agitated, and pragmatically bending.

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

Evening Poetry, October 22

To A Young Artist

by Freya Manfred

My poems are written by a spirit on a stone,

and there are many tellers, many stories, and many stones,

in honor of our braided paths and solitary ways.

Now, at sunset, I’m called to where water merges with land and sky,

where an eagle drops from a tall pine, dips her beak into darkening waves,

rises with a flapping silver fish, and flies away.

I wish you work that weaves a spell, and love,

and breath–uncounted, irretrievable, sacred breath,

flying from its cage of bones–eagle falling, fish-rising, free.

You can find this poem in Swimming With a Hundred Year Old Snapping Turtle.

Evening Poetry, October 13

from The Book of a Monastic Life

I, 18

by Rainer Maria Rilke

Why am I reaching again for the brushes?

When I paint your portrait, God,

nothing happens.

But I can choose to feel you.

At my senses’ horizon

you appear hesitantly,

like scattered islands

Yet standing here, peering out,

I’m all the time seen by you.

The choruses of ages use up all of heaven.

There’s no more room for you

in all that glory. You’re living

in your very last house.

All creation holds its breath, listening within me,

because, to hear you, I keep silent.

You can find this poem in Rilke’s Book of Hours.