homestead revisited


Homestead Revisited
J.A. Jance
A windswept house on barren lava flow
Surveys the desert floor for miles around.
To this unlikely spot whose beauty none but we
Could well discern, we brought our new-made vows
And love.

We were each other’s all in all.
It was enough, at least at first.
Then small erosions came
To sweep us from our perch.
The house still stands. Only we
Are gone.

Photo by Jiaying on Unsplash


How Much Time


How Much Time
Yehuda Amichai

I remember the rain,
But I have forgotten things
The rain covered years ago.

My gaze is lifted
Like an airplane between control tower
And open spaces of abandonment and oblivion.

A foreign country covers
my face with its waters
I am a sad general of streaming water.

Cambridge. Closed door of a friend’s house:
How much time must pass
For such spiderwebs to take shape,
How much time?

Photo by Eutah Mizushima on Unsplash

hand in hand


Hand in Hand
Carlos Drummond de Andrade

I won’t be the poet of a decrepit world.
Nor will I sing the world of the future.
I’m bound to life, and I look at my companions.
They’re taciturn but nourish great hopes.
In their midst, I consider capacious reality.
The present is so large, let’s not stray far.
Let’s stay together and go hand in hand.

I won’t be the singer of some woman, some tale,
I won’t evoke the sights at dusk, the scene outside the window,
I won’t distribute drugs or suicide letters,
I won’t flee to the islands or be carried off by seraphim.
Time is my matter, present time, present people,
the present life.


Mãos dadas

Não serei o poeta de um mundo caduco
Também não cantarei o mundo futuro
Estou preso à vida e olho meus companheiros
Estão taciturnos mas nutrem grandes esperanças
Entre eles, considero a enorme realidade
O presente é tão grande, não nos afastemos
Não nos afastemos muito, vamos de mãos dadas

Não serei o cantor de uma mulher, de uma história
Não direi os suspiros ao anoitecer, a paisagem vista da janela
Não distribuirei entorpecentes ou cartas de suicida
Não fugirei para as ilhas nem serei raptado por serafins
O tempo é a minha matéria, o tempo presente, os homens presentes
A vida presente

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

the day


The Day
Elizabeth Acevedo

I am beginning to learn
that life-altering news
is often like a premature birth: ill-timed, catching someone unaware,
emotionally unprepared
& often where they shouldn’t be:

Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

Dear Thanatos


Dear Thanatos,
Traci Brimhall

I am three thoughts away from the grave,
two steps away from the open door,
one kiss away from the bridge.

Dear volcano, where are you?

Dear battleship, your war planes
sit on the bottom of the sea,
eels coiled in the cockpits.

Dear moon, you were an accident.

Dear second heartbeat I’m relieved
you left my body before I could choose.

Dear ghost, leave my attic, crawl
down the drainpipe to the ditch,
to the tunnels beneath the city.

Haunt the rats. Sleep in their bones.

Dear bruise, I promise.
Dear fossil, I am sorry for the light.


Photo by Aaron Thomas on Unsplash

about myself


About Myself
Charles Simic

I’m the uncrowned king of the insomniacs
Who still fights his ghosts with a sword,
A student of ceilings and closed doors,
Making bets two plus two is not always four.
A merry old soul playing the accordion
On the graveyard shift in the morgue.
A fly escaped from a head of a madman,
Taking a rest on the wall next to his head.
Descendant of village priests and blacksmiths:
A grudging stage assistant of two
Renowned and invisible master illusionists,
One called God, the other Devil, assuming, of course,
I’m the person I represent myself to be.

Photo by Ricardo Cruz on Unsplash