Horse Feather by Diego Quiros

This is a horse feather,
white, the calm of clouds.
I saw it fall from the sky
-a slow dart from antiquity
swirling its habitual pattern.

Its vane gentle across my lips
its sturdy rachis could
pen a poem or two about the process of
kissing or stammering ecstasies.

I wondered if the mythical animal
would part the evening sky
with its pale steady silence
turn its crimson eyes in my direction
and rapture
me on moon-hooves

over the matrix of skyscrapers
wearing nothing but its ribcage
between my legs.
Nothing is impossible.
I once loved like that.

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Nature’s Lady by William Wordsworth

Three years she grew in sun and shower,
Then Nature said, “A lovelier flower
On earth was never sown;
This child I to myself will take,
She shall be mine, and I will make
A lady of my own.

“Myself will to my darling be
Both law and impulse: and with me
The Girl, in rock and plain,
In earth and heaven, in glade and bower,
Shall feel an overseeing power
To kindle or restrain.

“She shall be sportive as the fawn
That wild with glee across the lawn
Or up the mountain springs;
And hers shall be the breathing balm,
And hers the silence and the calm,
Of mute insensate things.

“The floating clouds their state shall lend
To her; for her the willows bend;
Nor shall she fail to see
Even in the motions of the storm
Grace that shall mould the maiden’s form
By silent sympathy.

“The stars of midnight shall be dear
To her; and she shall lean her ear
In many a secret place
Where rivulets dance their wayward round,
And beauty born of murmuring sound
Shall pass into her face.”

One with the Sun by Albert Frank Moritz

Child
one with the sun
in trackless fields
of yellow grass and thistle, scent
of humid heavy air and the wing music
of bees and flies.

Child, slender
nakedness to itself unknown,
true colour of the light
dispersed invisibly
or glowing around the black hulls
of distant thunderheads, around
the grasshopper’s countenance,
solemn, vigilant and wise.

Green apples, poured full
of density, of crispness, float unmoved
under leaves on the slope. Brown
fallen apples nest
in secret whorls of grass. The apple tree:
alone in so much space. And below
in the woods by the water
a sweet dead branch
cracks lightly
in the shadow in the wind.

But here is an old track
through the grass head-high
to a child: who
made it? They must have
passed and passed by this one tree,
by the abandoned, tireless car
where rabbits peer out, and the circle
of black embers,
cans, springs, skeletons
of furniture. They too
passed here many times
on their way from the street’s end
to the oaks that screen
the river. There
the sun is nesting now, night
rises with pale flutterings
of white wings from roots
of plants and the black water.

The Philosopher and her Father by Shirley Brooks

A SOUND came booming through the air—
‘What is that sound?’ quoth I.
My blue-eyed pet, with golden hair,
Made answer, presently,
‘Papa, you know it very well—
That sound—it was Saint Pancras Bell.’

‘My own Louise, put down that cat.
And come and stand by me;
I ’m sad to hear you talk like that.
Where’s your philosophy? That sound—attend to what I tell—
That was not Saint Pancras Bell.

‘ Sound is the name the sage selects
For the concluding term
Of a long series of effects.
Of which the blow’s the germ.
The following brief analysis
Shows the interpolations. Miss.

‘The blow which, when the clapper slips
Falls on your friend, the Bell,
Changes its circle to ellipse,
(A word you’d better spell)
And then comes elasticity.
Restoring what it used to be.

‘Nay, making it a little more.
The circle shifts about.
As much as it shrunk in before
The Bell, you see, swells out;
And so a new ellipse is made.
(You’re not attending, I’m afraid.)

‘This change of form disturbs the air.
Which in its turn behaves
In like elastic fashion there.
Creating waves on waves;
These press each other onward, dear.
Until the outmost finds your ear.’

‘And thenj papa^ I hear the sounds
Exactly what I said;
You’re only talking round and round.
Just to confuse my head.
All that you say about the Bell
My Uncle George would call a “sell.”’

‘Not so, my child, my child, not so.
Sweet image of your sire!
A long way farther we must go
Before it’s time to tire;
This wondrous, wandering wave, or tide.
Has only reached your ear’s outside.

‘Within that ear the surgeons find
A tympanum, or drum.
Which has a little bone behind—
Malleus it’s called by some;
But those not proud of Latin Grammar,
Humbly translate it as the hammer.

‘ The Wave’s vibrations this transmits.
On to the incus bone,
(Incus means anvil, which it hits,)
And this transfers the tone
To the small os, orbicular,
The tiniest bone that people carry.

‘ The stapes next—the name recalls
A stirrup’s form, my daughter—
Joins three half-circular canals.
Each fill’d with limpid water;
Their curious lining, you’ll observe.
Made of the auditory nerve.

‘ This vibrates next—and then we find
The mystic work is crown’d.
For there my daughter’s gentle mind
First recognizes sound.
See what a host of causes swell
To make up what you call “the Bell.”’

Awhile she paused, my bright Louise,
And ponder’d on the case;
Then, settling that he meant to tease,
She slapp’d her father’s face,
‘You bad old man to sit and tell
Such gibberybosh about a Bell!’

Dreams by Edgar Allan Poe

Oh! that my young life were a lasting dream!
My spirit not awakening, till the beam
Of an Eternity should bring the morrow.
Yes! tho’ that long dream were of hopeless sorrow,
’Twere better than the cold reality
Of waking life, to him whose heart must be,
And hath been still, upon the lovely earth,
A chaos of deep passion, from his birth.
But should it be—that dream eternally
Continuing—as dreams have been to me
In my young boyhood—should it thus be given,
’Twere folly still to hope for higher Heaven.
For I have revell’d when the sun was bright
I’ the summer sky, in dreams of living light,
And loveliness,—have left my very heart
In climes of mine imagining, apart
From mine own home, with beings that have been
Of mine own thought—what more could I have seen?
’Twas once—and only once—and the wild hour
From my remembrance shall not pass—some power
Or spell had bound me—’twas the chilly wind
Came o’er me in the night, and left behind
Its image on my spirit—or the moon
Shone on my slumbers in her lofty noon
Too coldly—or the stars—howe’er it was
That dream was as that night-wind—let it pass.

I have been happy, tho’ [but] in a dream.
I have been happy—and I love the theme:
Dreams! in their vivid colouring of life
As in that fleeting, shadowy, misty strife
Of semblance with reality which brings
To the delirious eye, more lovely things
Of Paradise and Love—and all our own!
Than young Hope in his sunniest hour hath known.

The Sound of Silence by Paul Simon

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a streetlamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
No one dare
Disturb the sound of silence

“Fools” said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grow
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said “The words of the prophets
Are written on subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sounds of silence”

Ode to My Hands by Tim Seibles

Five-legged pocket spiders, knuckled
starfish, grabbers of forks, why
do I forget that you love me:
your willingness to button my shirts,
tie my shoes—even scratch my head!
which throbs like a traffic jam, each thought
leaning on its horn. I see you

waiting anyplace always
at the ends of my arms—for the doctor,
for the movie to begin, for
freedom—so silent, such
patience! testing the world
with your bold myopia: faithful,
ready to reach out at my
softest suggestion, to fly up
like two birds when I speak, two
brown thrashers brandishing verbs
like twigs in your beaks, lifting
my speech the way pepper springs
the tongue from slumber. O!

If only they knew the unrestrained
innocence of your intentions,
each finger a cappella, singing
a song that rings like rain
before it falls—that never falls!
Such harmony: the bass thumb, the
pinkie’s soprano, the three tenors
in between: kind quintet x 2
rowing my heart like a little boat
upon whose wooden seat I sit
strummed by Sorrow. Or maybe

I misread you completely
and you are dreaming a tangerine, one
particular hot tamale, a fabulous
banana! to peel suggestively,
like thigh-high stockings: grinning
as only hands can grin
down the legs—caramel, cocoa,
black-bean black, vanilla—such lubricious
dimensions, such public secrets!
Women sailing the streets
with God’s breath at their backs.
Think of it! No! Yes:
let my brain sweat, make my
veins whimper: without you, my five-hearted
fiends, my five-headed hydras, what
of my mischievous history? The possibilities
suddenly impossible—feelings
not felt, rememberings un-
remembered—all the touches
untouched: the gallant strain

of a pilfered ant, tiny muscles
flexed with fight, the gritty
sidewalk slapped after a slip, the pulled
weed, the plucked flower—a buttercup!
held beneath Dawn’s chin—the purest kiss,
the caught grasshopper’s kick, honey,
chalk, charcoal, the solos teased
from guitar. Once, I played
viola for a year and never stopped

to thank you—my two angry sisters,
my two hungry men—but you knew
I just wanted to know
what the strings would say
concerning my soul, my whelming
solipsism: this perpetual solstice
where one + one = everything
and two hands teach a dawdler
the palpable alchemy
of an unreasonable world.

The March of Time by Cora C Bass

Steadily marching, swift or slow,
Moments and months and days they go.
Moments and months and days and years
Laden with hope and love and tears.

Laden with hope that cheered the way
When earth lay wrapped in twilight gray,
In twilight gray, till shining through
The fair, sweet promise grew and grew.

Fair, sweet promise of joy, of bliss,
We should not, could not, would not, miss
Of bliss so perfect, bliss so true,
We fain would keep that bliss in view.

Steadily marching, swift or slow,
Moments and months and days they go,
Moments and months and days and years,
And then—eternity appears.

Will it so happen by Ayaz Rasool Nazki

Will it so happen
that even after I am gone
the sun will rise as before
and also set as before
the breeze will move over the hills
the cloud will bring refreshing rains
the meadow will turn emerald green
upon the advent of spring
and wear a cloak of white
during winter time
is it so and will it so happen
that birds will chirp
butterflies dance
and lilies sprout
roses bloom
and little children play
hide and seek in the yard
even after I am gone?

The Sun by Mary Oliver

Have you ever seen
anything
in your life
more wonderful

than the way the sun,
every evening,
relaxed and easy,
floats toward the horizon

and into the clouds or the hills,
or the rumpled sea,
and is gone–
and how it slides again

out of the blackness,
every morning,
on the other side of the world,
like a red flower

streaming upward on its heavenly oils,
say, on a morning in early summer,
at its perfect imperial distance–
and have you ever felt for anything
such wild love–
do you think there is anywhere, in any language,
a word billowing enough
for the pleasure

that fills you,
as the sun
reaches out,
as it warms you

as you stand there,
empty-handed–
or have you too
turned from this world–

or have you too
gone crazy
for power,
for things?