Loneliness by Willow-Anne

I’m surrounded by a sea of people
As far as the eye can see
All flowing in the same direction
And just floating along, is me

I’ve been wading in this water
Letting it carry me any way
Not caring about which direction
And never having any say

After wading all this time though
My legs started growing tired
So finally it was time to choose
Which direction I desired

But the problem with floating along
Was that I never became aware
I wasn’t really a part of the waves
I was just sort of…there

What I wanted didn’t matter
The waves still moved as one
Whether I moved with or against them
Didn’t matter in the long run

Then I thought I better get out
And give myself some time to think
But I couldn’t see the shore anymore
And with that, I started to sink

Now I’m surrounded by a sea of people
As far as the eye can see
All still flowing in the same direction
But drowning in it, is me

~

Find more poetry by Willow-Anne here: https://hellopoetry.com/willow-anne/

Four of Thirty by Yena Sharma Purmasir

it is a tuesday when i love someone
who doesn’t love me. no, it’s not the first time,
but it’s a sad time. oh, it’s always a sad time
but my heart doesn’t listen, doesn’t understand,
soars like a child in a rocket ship,
doesn’t believe in gravity. doesn’t believe
in learning a lesson. wants to give
until there is nothing left but glitter.
wants to say something even if no one
is listening. what is love anyway?
a curse, a promise, a shadow
that never fits the  body. sometimes too big
and sometimes not big enough. my heart,
all hospitality and sweetness: baby, yes,
of course there is room for you here. and then,
like a bitter landlord, watching someone
put his feet on my coffee table, the same coffee table
no one ever helps me clean: you’ve overstayed
your welcome. get out. go home.

Song by John Keats

You say you love; but with a voice
Chaster than a nun’s, who singeth
The soft Vespers to herself
While the chime-bell ringeth-
O love me truly!
You say you love; but with a smile
Cold as sunrise in September,
As you were Saint Cupid’s nun,
And kept his weeks of Ember.
O love me truly!
You say you love, – but then your lips
Coral tinted teach no blisses,
More than coral in the sea-
They never pout for kisses-
O love me truly!
You say you love; but then your hand
No soft squeeze for squeeze returneth,
It is, like a statue’s, dead,
While mine to passion burneth-
O love me truly!

How to Read a Poem: Beginner’s Manual by Pamela Spiro Wagner

First, forget everything you have learned,
that poetry is difficult,
that it cannot be appreciated by the likes of you,
with your high school equivalency diploma
and steel-tipped boots,
or your white collar misunderstandings.

Do not assume meanings hidden from you:
the best poems mean what they say and say it.

To read poetry requires only courage
enough to leap from the edge
and trust. 

Treat a poem like dirt,
humus rich and heavy from the garden.
Later on it will become the fat tomatoes
and golden squash piled high upon your kitchen table.

Poetry demands surrender,
language saying what is true
doing holy things to the ordinary.

Read just one poem a day.
Someday a book of poems may open in your hands
like a daffodil offering its cup
to the sun.

When you can name five poets
without including Bob Dylan,
when you exceed your quota
and don’t even notice,
close this manual.

Congratulations.
You can now read poetry.

Elegy in Joy by Muriel Rukeyser

We tell beginnings: for the flesh and the answer,
or the look, the lake in the eye that knows,
for the despair that flows down in widest rivers,
cloud of home; and also the green tree of grace,
all in the leaf, in the love that gives us ourselves.

The word of nourishment passes through the women,
soldiers and orchards rooted in constellations,
white towers, eyes of children:
saying in time of war What shall we feed?
I cannot say the end.

Nourish beginnings, let us nourish beginnings.
Not all things are blest, but the
seeds of all things are blest.
The blessing is in the seed.

This moment, this seed, this wave of the sea, this look, this instant of love.
Years over wars and an imagining of peace. Or the expiation journey
toward peace which is many wishes flaming together,
fierce pure life, the many-living home.
Love that gives us ourselves, in the world known to all
new techniques for the healing of the wound,
and the unknown world. One life, or the faring stars.

The Prayer of the Year by Ethelwyn Wetherald

Leave me Hope when I am old,
Strip my joys from me,
Let November to the cold
Bare each leafy tree;
Chill my lover, dull my friend,
Only, while I grope
To the dark the silent end,
Leave me Hope!

Blight my bloom when I am old,
Bid my sunlight cease;
If it need be from my hold
Take the hand of Peace.
Leave no springtime memory,
But upon the slope
Of the days that are to be,
Leave me Hope!

The waking by Theodore Roethke

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.   
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.   
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?   
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.   
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?   
God bless the Ground!   I shall walk softly there,   
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?   
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;   
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do   
To you and me; so take the lively air,   
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.   
What falls away is always. And is near.   
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.   
I learn by going where I have to go.

Yesterday by Nora May French

Now all my thoughts were crisped and thinned
To elfin threads, to gleaming browns.
Like tawny grasses lean with wind
They drew your heart across the downs.
Your will of all the winds that blew
They drew across the world to me,
To thread my whimsey thoughts of you
Along the downs, above the sea.

Beneath a pool beyond the dune—
So green it was and amber-walled
A face would glimmer like a moon
Seen whitely through an emerald—
And there my mermaid fancy lay
And dreamed the light and you were one,
And flickered in her sea-weed’s sway
A broken largesse of the sun.

Above the world as evening fell
I made my heart into a sky,
And through a twilight like a shell
I saw the shining sea-gulls fly.
I found between the sea and land
And lost again, unwrit, unheard,
A song that fluttered in my hand
And vanished like a silver bird.

Distance by Madison Cawein

I

I dreamed last night once more I stood
Knee-deep on purple clover leas;
Her old home glimmered through its wood
Of dark and melancholy trees:
And on my brow I felt the breeze
That blew from out the solitude,
With sounds of waters that pursued,
And sleepy hummings of the bees.

II

And ankle-deep in violet blooms
Methought I saw her standing there,
A lawny light among the glooms,
A crown of sunlight on her hair;
The wood-birds, warbling everywhere,
Above her head flashed happy plumes;
About her clung the wild perfumes,
And woodland gleams of shimmering air.

III

And then she called me: in my ears
Her voice was music; and it led
My sad soul back with all its fears;
Recalled my spirit that had fled.—
And in my dream it seemed she said,
“Our hearts keep true through all the years;”
And on my face I felt the tears,
The blinding tears of her long dead.

Entry October 15 by Walter Benton

Everyone is sleeping. Nothing wakes. The woods
are motionless. The wind is down to a whisper.
Sleep hums like current – yes, audibly – through the bright steel night.

The evening star rises like a flaming wick.
Hills fit into hills like lovers, their great dark straddling thighs
clasping still greater darkness where they meet. A star breaks,
arcs down the night – like God striking a match across the cathedral ceiling.

Therefore I wish: see my lips move – making your name. It is so still,
so still. I am sure that you must hear me.