Snippet from Leaves of Grass Intro

Love the earth and sun and the animals,
Despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks,
Stand up for the stupid and crazy,
Devote your income and labor to others,
Hate tyrants, argue not concerning God,
Have patience and indulgence toward the people.

Take off your hat to nothing known or unknown,
or to any man or number of men,
Go freely with powerful uneducated persons,
And with the young, and with the mothers or families.

Re-examine all you have been told
in school or church or in any book,
Dismiss whatever insults your own soul;
And your very flesh shall be a great poem…

And have the richest fluency, not only in its words,
But in the silent lines of its lips and face,
And between the lashes of your eyes,
and In every motion and joint of your body.

~ Walt Whitman ~ Preface to Leaves of Grass, 1855 edition

Today I Saw

A poem called:

At Quarter to Five

by Angela Janda

I was feeling lonely so
I went outside to the wind
swept yard and beyond
that to the wind-tousled outer
yard and found where last
night in the moonlight we left
two sets of boot prints, when
you stopped on your way
through the darkness to bring a
lemon bar and a movie, and
beside ours the tracks of the
smallest thing with claws, which
must have followed sometime
later. And I chased its tiny prints
and our mud-wash indents to
the far back gate and through
the gate out to where the
land is still dirt and brush
and bushes and cow
pies, my hair pinned
to my head but still blowing,
blowing, and finally a hard
breath, and I could see
through lonely to the wide
open, long blue lines of sunset,
moonlit night, the airplanes trailing
one another
down to tarmac, all those
people landing home.


Stone Keep


He sat down and
wept
  because there is neither saying
nor unsaying,

wept the sunlight
free of leaves,
  stitched up dandelions,
unsprinkled bluets,

broke birds' 
songs down:
  everything going on
went on

over, though, on over
his cold keep:
  he hugged the heaving stone
tight.




            (A.R. Ammons)

 

Dearly Departed Thought

I met a thought
creekside
–where most thoughts are met–
and there, emptied my pockets
of all pennies
fistfuls and fistfuls
opened
as if assisting blood into vial

there then
grounded and scattered
…a host of
dark and shiny
offerings to this
fruitless religion…
this thought…
this persistent recurring thought…
which then, suddenly,
mercifully and mercilessly
departed –as most thoughts do–
and as I do now

The Ridge Farm by A.R. Ammons

 
1

The lean, far-reaching, hung-over sway
of the cedars this morning!
vexed by the wind and working tight

but the snow's packed in, wet-set
and puffed solid: the cedars nod to
an average under gusts and blusters:

yesterday afternoon cleared the
sunset side of trees, the hemlocks
especially, limbering loose, but
the morning side, the lee, sunless
again today, overbalances:

the grackles form long strings
of trying to sit still; they weight
down the wagging branchwork snow stuck
branch to branch, tree to shrub,
imposing weeds

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