Category Archives: growing older

Early October Snow by Robert Haight

Enjoy Robert’s gorgeous poem of that first snow in October, the harbinger of what’s to come…. Taken from Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry.

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Welcome to American Life in Poetry. For information on permissions and usage, or to download a PDF version of the column, visit http://www.americanlifeinpoetry.org.

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American Life in Poetry: Column 498
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

Here’s a lovely poem for this lovely month, by Robert Haight, who lives in Michigan.

Early October Snow

It will not stay.
But this morning we wake to pale muslin
stretched across the grass.
The pumpkins, still in the fields, are planets
shrouded by clouds.
The Weber wears a dunce cap
and sits in the corner by the garage
where asters wrap scarves
around their necks to warm their blooms.
The leaves, still soldered to their branches
by a frozen drop of dew, splash
apple and pear paint along the roadsides.
It seems we have glanced out a window
into the near future, mid-December, say,
the black and white photo of winter
carefully laid over the present autumn,
like a morning we pause at the mirror
inspecting the single strand of hair
that overnight has turned to snow.

 

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2013 by Robert Haight from his most recent book of poems, Feeding Wild Birds, Mayapple Press, 2013. (Lines two and six are variations of lines by Herb Scott and John Woods.) Poem reprinted by permission of Robert Haight and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2014 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

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American Life in Poetry provides newspapers and online publications with a free weekly column featuring contemporary American poems. The sole mission of this project is to promote poetry: American Life in Poetry seeks to create a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. There are no costs for reprinting the columns; we do require that you register your publication here and that the text of the column be reproduced without alteration.

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Filed under autumn, growing older, poem, poetry, poets, seasons, Uncategorized, winter, writers, writing

Lemon

Lemon in my hand has such soft waxen rind,
the smell is citrus, light, acidic, clean.

I am now 8 years old in a world of sand, sucking lemon juice
through a peppermint stick, a grandparent’s treat.

Then, I am Positano, a lemon of such giant size, and my family
together watches rain wash candied terra cotta roofs clean.

Once more, I’m at lunch in a blue room with my great aunt
squeezing a distracted, thin slice into a diet coke.

Always, a small bit of juice finds a crack in the skin and stings.
Tomorrow, we’ll roll the pulp in sugar and have a sweet lick.

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Filed under childhood, growing older, poem, poetry

i am rain drops

i am rain

drops. how so definitively

i collapse into a puddle

only to rebound skyward. have you ever

seen rain in this incredible dance?

i fall, i rise, fall again.

my skin expands in ever increasing waves

before settling into a universe

quietly dying in the exact same way.

 

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Filed under growing older, poem, poetry, rain, Uncategorized

life in dreams

how quickly childhood hours wash ashore and recede.
we, left behind, are simple whispers of salt and foam.

in dreams, we jump waves gleeful, until time, a gentle hand,
closes our eyes for a nap, our breathing steady, slow.

Life in Dreams

Life in Dreams

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Filed under childhood, growing older, poem, poetry, Uncategorized

glass shower door

a face
in a mirror
is a naked stranger
washing hair

slowly, slowly,
a mist creeps higher over
a glass door
it swallows up naked legs,
belly,
soapy strands,

clouds over blue eyes
like an evening storm gathering all summer day
clouds over
skin almost remembering how to be skin

[was it me? were we ever even there?]

stranger gone,
water washes soap
contentedly
into a drain

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Filed under conceptual, growing older, poem, poetry

life on the vines

i live life on the vines,
in the stillness of earth tilled in rows.

when it rains, i feel it in my toes
as if they too are rooted
summer sunlight fills my soul
as it plumps the grapes
and in harvest, i taste the sweetness
of another year passing.

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Filed under growing older, life, wine

Age 92

Age 92

92 and you
Bruise so fast, when catching
Your wife who
Dizzy and falling, desperately needed you.
And you were there.

You were there
During world wars,
During depression,
During the birth of two boys and one daughter,
Then seven grandchildren, now six, the
Loss imprinted
On the lines of your face.

This week is 92,
But you say, 38 ½ years have gone by
In a joke that is at least
Twice my age.

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Filed under growing older, poem, poetry