the first time i slept with him,
that sleep unafraid, mouth open,
not worried about drool or how my
cheeks fold and stack unattractive, i
felt like i had stepped out of
my skin, unzipped, truly naked
for the first time, thinking you’ve
never seen me before until now, you’ve
never realized how i would
lie awake waiting until your breath
cascaded slower, until your own
mouth fell aside, your soft snore my
signal: all clear to close your eyes.
Category Archives: writing
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.
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.
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.
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.
You don’t have to wait to travel somewhere exotic in order to reap the benefits. You simply can change your perspective to boost creativity and effectiveness.
The trick: adopt a vacation mentality in everyday life. Play tourist in your own backyard.
Traveler Tip 1: Revel in the Details
Traveler Tip 2: Bask in the Excitement of the “New”
Traveler Tip 3: Be Unafraid to Look Silly
Traveler Tip 4: Take Risks and Say Yes
Traveler Tip 5: Slow Down and Enjoy
i want to be like so many
rows of seeds planted
over hard long years, who
now in the light of new sun
carefully test a path.
i want to be groomed to grow
tall, like a tomato plant up a rod.
but i am a poet, a seeker.
a dandelion unplanted, unplanned,
so ruinous to fields
but joyous to winds.
some people say
“the die is cast”
when they should say “I have taken my turn,
I have made my bed,
and must now lie down to rest
with all these decisions.”
each minute my hair greys, I can either
believe the earth spins in dark space alone or
expel hot air into a spring blue sky with purpose.
fog rolls over the citta of Erice
it softly pets medieval steps and towers
streetlights glow with a
promise of ghosts and shadows
and a family like ours, like so many others,
melts into warm candlelight and homemade pasta.
(from the red journal, 2013)
i have dreamed of him. that
figure, those eyes, a simple road passed.
and i’ve dreamed of terrible storms,
terrible choices and love love love, lost.
never had. never known.
one love i have for certain, this song, Mona Lisas
and Mad Hatters. i now dream of nothing here at 30,000 ft.
heading back to Vegas.
outside this window, whitewash, a cosmic nothingness, a limbo…
i remember returning that day
to my dying grandmother, and the first flight, the first time
i looked at the world from this height. and the first time i jumped into it.
above the white
a steady blue
above it all, Elton John sings
“and I thank the Lord for the people I have found
I thank the Lord for the people I have found”
(from the red journal, 2013)