For a happy birthday to you and to me and to Stephen Spender (2.28.1909), from The Rain in Portugal.
from 2128 / by Billy Collins
It’s the year when everyone is celebrating
the 200th birthday of Donald Hall,
but I don’t know what to do with myself.
No one ever thought to tell me
that he and I would live
beyond anyone’s expectations
and that the challenge would be
to figure out how to keep ourselves busy.
For you and for beloved Sabrina and Beatrice on the most wished-to-be-beloved of days, from Tsim Tsum.
from Where Babies Come From / by Sabrina Orah Mark
‘Where,’ asked Beatrice, ‘do babies come from?’ Walter B. was hanging a painting in the crawl space. It was a painting of the babies. ‘Basically,’ said Walter B., ‘babies come from rubbing babies together. They rub and they rub. Once, I heard them rubbing.’ ‘Are you sure those are the babies where babies come from?’ asked Beatrice. She was staring at the painting. It was a painting of the babies. ‘They seem,’ said Beatrice, ‘to be different babies. Walter B. tilted his head. A door slammed. They stood for a long time and examined the painting. Beatrice was right. These were not the same babies. These were different babies. Some of these babies carried twine….
For a misnomer of a love poem, from Poetry 180, edited by Billy Collins.
from Love Poem / by Peter Meinke
When I was a man sharp as a polished axe in the polleny
I loved a woman whose perfume swayed in the air, turning
the modest flowers scarlet and loose
till the jonquils opened their throats and cackled out loud
For John Ashbery, too, one of our many missing voices who would have added thoughtful input to the international overflow of powerful emotion occurring on all sides of the political free-for-all, from poetryfoundation.org.
from Sitting on a Desk Together at SMU, 1982 / by Sandra McPherson
There’s a bird crowd beachcombing.
going to fragments —
For poets of all walks of life, from a poet in his own right.
from I Have A Dream / by Martin Luther King Jr.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!’
For paying attention to the moment as it is given, from a poet whose hand I’ve had the pleasure of shaking, and from The Rain in Portugal.
from Bashō in Ireland / by Billy Collins
I am like the Japanese poet
who longed to be in Kyoto
even though he was already in Kyoto.
Dear Poetry Followers, this one’s for Ms. Dickinson, from THE MS OF MY KIN.
from 1862.29 / by Janet Holmes
No one could