For house sitting, a summer activity that can occur anywhere, even in 122-degree Palm Springs, which my sister, brother-in-law and niece did this week, from The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry (1990).
from Staying at Ed’s Place / by May Swenson
I like being in your apartment, and not disturbing anything.
As in the woods I wouldn’t want to move a tree,
or change the play of sun and shadow on the ground.
For our summer traveler who loved his time on the road, from The New American Poetry, edited by Donald M. Allen (1960).
from 219th Chorus / by Jack Kerouac
Saints, I give myself up to thee.
Thou hast me. What mayest thou do?
For our memories, which we keep and share for a finite time, from Poem A Day: Volume 2, edited by Laurie Sheck, a perpetual calendar of poems; this one’s for a June 24.
from The Willows by the Water Side / by Anonymous, a Tewa Song, translated by Herbert Joseph Spinden
My little breath, under the willows by the water side we used to sit
And there the yellow cottonwood bird came and sang.
For folklore and translation, from Mouth to Mouth: Poems by Twelve Contemporary Mexican Women.
from Folklore / by Elena Milan, translated by Forrest Gander
Nevertheless, we go dancing through the streets
to the rhythm of rattles and clarinets with a thousand reeds,
between the toppling waves and their multicolored thunder
For who doesn’t love to do math in the summer? From Poetry 180.
from Numbers / by Mary Cornish
I like the domesticity of addition —
add two cups of milk and stir —
the sense of plenty: six plums
on the ground, three more
falling from the tree.
For origin tales, from The Penguin Book of Women Poets.
from Goat’s Leaf / by Marie de France
Well pleasing ’tis to me
The lay called Goat’s leaf,
And I wish the truth to say,
How and where it came to be.
For Paris, from French Symbolist Poetry.
from Parisian Sketch / by Paul Verlaine
The moon was laying her plates of zinc
on the oblique.
Like figure fives the plumes of smoke
rose thick and black from the tall roof-peaks.