Archive for the ‘Midnight Poetry’ Category

Midnight Poetry for a New Year’s Eve: In Memoriam

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Goodbye, 2010.

In Memoriam A.H.H.

CVI.

(Alfred Lord Tennyson)

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

(Read more of Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poetry here.)

Editor’s note: ‘Midnight Poetry’ is a showcase for work by poets across the spectrum—from the pantheon of literary giants to contemporary, underground and new voices.

If you would like to submit your work for consideration, please see our Submission Guidelines.

Midnight Poetry: Beggars and Buskers

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Beggars and Buskers
(Sheri L. Wright)


.
And don’t we
all have our tin cups
to rattle at passers-by,

our crippled parts
to drag behind us,

songs of sorrow
that plead
listen,

spare a coin
so we might sit
someplace warm

if only for awhile

.
(Sheri L. Wright is the author of The Courtship of Reason and other volumes of poetry.  Pre-ordered shipments of her new collection, The Slow Talk of Stones, ship starting January 7. Find more of Sheri’s poetry here)

Editor’s note: ‘Midnight Poetry’ is a showcase for work by poets across the spectrum—from the pantheon of literary giants to contemporary, underground and new voices.

If you would like to submit your work for consideration, please see our Submission Guidelines.

Midnight Poetry: Christmas Tree

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

Christmas Tree

(Michael O’Mahony)

This year I’ll buy a Christmas tree -
stand it by the window.
I’ll hang nothing on it,
and blow smoke through the needles.
But above it will be the ceiling
and below it, the floor
and that will keep us.

(Get to know more of Michael O’Mahony here.)

Editor’s note: ‘Midnight Poetry’ is a showcase for work by poets across the spectrum—from the pantheon of literary giants to contemporary, underground and new voices.

If you would like to submit your work for consideration, please see our Submission Guidelines.

Midnight Poetry: To Want in Winter

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

To Want in Winter

(Jamie Mason)

How Human
To cull evergreen
Amid the barren boughs.
Brandish life
When all is wasted
And lay the feast and fire
As gauntlet down
To winds that gnaw and flay.

In vaulted nights
We plumb the basins
Of our breasts for ghosts
Like Marley’s,
Moaning vows
To clank our chains
Once we’ve gone quiet
Beyond our choice.

And you in your anguish.
And I in my doubt
Refuse to mark our breaths
Between the too faint
Tickings of the clock,
Demanding meaning of the void
And for angelsong to fill
A Silent Night.

(Read more of Jamie Mason’s poetry here.)

Editor’s note: ‘Midnight Poetry’ is a showcase for work by poets across the spectrum—from the pantheon of literary giants to contemporary, underground and new voices.

If you would like to submit your work for consideration, please see our Submission Guidelines.

Midnight Poetry: Christmas in Los Angeles

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Christmas in Los Angeles

(David W. Clary)

I am sitting at a window overlooking
the mouth cut into the earth
that opens up and reveals
Los Angeles.

A red river flows from me to the south
and a white river flows back.
Each light a carful of hopes and dreams
and fears.
Memories of better times.
Prayers for better times.
Trapped here with me despite their desperate froth.

LA is grey and brown.
Grey sky over grey concrete.
Brown hills under brown clouds.
Like the life in my chest
the color has drained from my world.

When I was a child I sang
as children sing
of peace on earth
goodwill toward
man. Of Jolly Men who gave without limit.
Of Angels we heard on high.

I don’t sing much anymore
but when the children open their mouths again
I bask in their innocence
like Naaman in the river Jordan.

(David Clary’s first volume of poetry, A FEAST OF TEARS, can be purchased here.)

Editor’s note: ‘Midnight Poetry’ is a showcase for work by poets across the spectrum—from the pantheon of literary giants to contemporary, underground and new voices.

If you would like to submit your work for consideration, please see our Submission Guidelines.

Midnight Poetry: Drive of the Wise Man

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Drive of the Wise Man
(William Haskins)

What mercy guides me
Down this road,
This ribbon cut
Into the snow,
That flows incessantly and slow
Into the mouth of darkness?

The cheap sleep of a
Motel bed
Betrays my eyes
And stills my mind
Until I feel you by my side
(And yet the loneliness abides).

My headlights catch the
Faces, strange
And foreign, who—
Like silent movies—
Flash past me and fade into
A world unto themselves.

I wonder if they
Sing the praise
Of virgin birth
Or of the Lamb
Or peace on Earth and memories
That only they can cherish.

But what of me?

What promise of peace,
What gentle touch
Shall soon reward my journey?

Sleep sweet and
Dream of me, my love,
Till dawn shall peel
Away the night, and
By the light, my promise—

I’ll be in your arms by Christmas.


(Read more of William Haskins’ poetry here)

Editor’s note: ‘Midnight Poetry’ is a showcase for work by poets across the spectrum—from the pantheon of literary giants to contemporary, underground and new voices.

If you would like to submit your work for consideration, please see our Submission Guidelines.

Midnight Poetry: In Memoriam

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Most appropriate for the night of the Solstice.  Enjoy!

In Memoriam A.H.H.

CVI.

(Alfred Lord Tennyson)

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

(Read more of Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poetry here.)

Editor’s note: ‘Midnight Poetry’ is a showcase for work by poets across the spectrum—from the pantheon of literary giants to contemporary, underground and new voices.

If you would like to submit your work for consideration, please see our Submission Guidelines.

Midnight Poetry: “what annoys me about mr. death”

Monday, November 9th, 2009

what annoys me about mr. death
(Casey Quinn)

is that you get
handed this deck

asked to build
a house
one card at a time

a degree
a career
a mortgage
a family
and when you finally
build the roof
on top of the foundation

he stops by
(without even so much
as a house warming gift)
and knocks it over.

(Casey Quinn writes prose and poetry. His first poetry chapbook Snapshots of Life was released by Salvatore Publishing and is available on Amazon. His second chapbook Prepare to Crash will be released in 2009 by Big Table Publishing. In his free time he edits the online magazine Short Story Library.)


Editor’s note: ‘Midnight Poetry’ is a showcase for work by poets across the spectrum—from the pantheon of literary giants to contemporary, underground and new voices.

If you would like to submit your work for consideration, please see our Submission Guidelines.

Midnight Poetry: “Pangur Ban”

Saturday, September 5th, 2009

Pangur Ban

(written by a ninth-century Irish monk in St Gallen, Switzerland)

.

.

.

.

I and Pangur Ban my cat
‘Tis a like task we are at:
Hunting mice is his delight,
Hunting words I sit all night.

Better far than praise of men
‘Tis to sit with book and pen;
Pangur bears me no ill will
He too plies his simple skill

Oftentimes a mouse will stray
In the hero Pangur’s way;
Oftentimes my keen thought set
Takes a meaning in its net.

‘Gainst the wall he sets his eye
Full and fierce and sharp and sly;
‘Gainst the wall of knowledge I
All my little wisdom try.

Practice every day has made
Pangur perfect in his trade;
I get wisdom day and night
Turning darkness into light

(This poem appears in The Book of Kells exhibit at Trinity College, Dublin and was kindly transcribed for AuthorScoop by Felicity O’ Mahony, Assistant Librarian, Manuscripts Department)

Editor’s note: ‘Midnight Poetry’ is a showcase for work by poets across the spectrum—from the pantheon of literary giants to contemporary, underground and new voices.

If you would like to submit your work for consideration, please see our Submission Guidelines.

Midnight Poetry: “La Femme Qui Pleure”

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

La Femme Qui Pleure
(William Haskins)

i dreamt you were
a picasso
and i was
a matisse.

we hung on opposite
gallery walls
of intersecting
gallery halls,

separated by
a parade of
clicking heels and
voyeur eyes.

your every angle:
stark, severe,
peering through
fragmented tears,

you begged
for my tranquility
and offered me
your madness.
..

(Read more of William Haskins’ poetry here. His collection Sixty-Six is on sale now.)

Editor’s note: ‘Midnight Poetry’ is a showcase for work by poets across the spectrum—from the pantheon of literary giants to contemporary, underground and new voices.

If you would like to submit your work for consideration, please see our Submission Guidelines.

Midnight Poetry: “Picnic, Lightning”

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Picnic, Lightning
(Billy Collins)

It is possible to be struck by a
meteor or a single-engine plane while
reading in a chair at home. Pedestrians
are flattened by safes falling from
rooftops mostly within the panels of
the comics, but still, we know it is
possible, as well as the flash of
summer lightning, the thermos toppling
over, spilling out on the grass.
And we know the message can be
delivered from within. The heart, no
valentine, decides to quit after
lunch, the power shut off like a
switch, or a tiny dark ship is
unmoored into the flow of the body’s
rivers, the brain a monastery,
defenseless on the shore. This is
what I think about when I shovel
compost into a wheelbarrow, and when
I fill the long flower boxes, then
press into rows the limp roots of red
impatiens — the instant hand of Death
always ready to burst forth from the
sleeve of his voluminous cloak. Then
the soil is full of marvels, bits of
leaf like flakes off a fresco,
red-brown pine needles, a beetle quick
to burrow back under the loam. Then
the wheelbarrow is a wilder blue, the
clouds a brighter white, and all I
hear is the rasp of the steel edge
against a round stone, the small
plants singing with lifted faces, and
the click of the sundial as one hour
sweeps into the next.
.

(Read more of Billy Collins’ s poetry here.)

Editor’s note: ‘Midnight Poetry’ is a showcase for work by poets across the spectrum—from the pantheon of literary giants to contemporary, underground and new voices.

If you would like to submit your work for consideration, please see our Submission Guidelines.

Midnight Poetry: “The Gate”

Monday, April 13th, 2009

The Gate
(William Haskins)

it occurred to me
that poetry is a gate;
and you might say
that’s a given,
considering we live in
a world, fenced and
narrow, harrowing
in its complexity,
seeking simplicity,
some gentle touch.

but what if instead
it led, not out of
the world to some
secret garden, but into
the pit of vipers, where
snipers and grifters
drift between violence
and silence, and
dare not to dream
that simple dream.

.

(Read more of William Haskins’ poetry here. His collection Sixty-Six is on sale now.)

Editor’s note: ‘Midnight Poetry’ is a showcase for work by poets across the spectrum—from the pantheon of literary giants to contemporary, underground and new voices.

If you would like to submit your work for consideration, please see our Submission Guidelines.

Midnight Poetry: “Backseat Promises of a Midnight Lunatic”

Sunday, March 8th, 2009


Backseat Promises of a Midnight Lunatic

(Meri Magdalen)

It’s still there
like dusty old concert ticket
stubs, flattered by shattered
carnation corsage petals
aged in must,
at the bottom of a cardboard box
swollen from the damp
years in storage,

in pieces
not quite intact;

the thrill of Fisher speakers
pushed to the max
just before ten,
before anybody has the right
to be knockin’
at the door;

the rush of wind,
slipping in between
backseat promises,
gliding on the two-lane
blackness, flickering
in the orange glow
of a Marlboro
dashing to its fate.

It’s still there
like an old jig
saw piece slightly bent,
color vivid, corner sharp
enough to cut your heart, so
let it bleed,
spin a dance on the edge
of it, baby; full moon midnight
brings out the lunatic
in me.

.

Editor’s note: ‘Midnight Poetry’ is a showcase for work by poets across the spectrum—from the pantheon of literary giants to contemporary, underground and new voices.

If you would like to submit your work for consideration, please see our Submission Guidelines.

Midnight Poetry: “sunflower elegy”

Friday, February 20th, 2009

sunflower elegy
(Kim Michele Richardson)


.

i told him i care naught for roses
it is sunflowers i love.

so he labors under summer suns
knees set on earth’s naked field
carving out row after row

where his heart plants ovals
of hope, faith and love
to honor our love

hundreds of seeds grab root
in dirt pocket homes
soon rich black soil
will bare its face and
birth tender green shoots

and i will laugh, chastise him
and say you fatten the wildlife
but he will not listen
he is determined

he envisions rows of sunflowers
that will lift brown pancake heads
to the sky in homage
to his love

but the deer will come feast
under cloak of darkness
and on the ‘morrow
he will curse the beasts

i will take his hand in mine
and lead him to
two unscathed plants

he will smile because he knows
seeds of hope, faith and love
will flourish

and he will say to me
i know it is sunflowers
not roses you love

.

Read more of Kim Michelle Richardson’s poetry here. Her memoir, The Unbreakable Child, will be released in April.

Editor’s note: ‘Midnight Poetry’ is a showcase for work by poets across the spectrum—from the pantheon of literary giants to contemporary, underground and new voices.

If you would like to submit your work for consideration, please see our Submission Guidelines.

Midnight Poetry: “Four Pens”

Monday, February 16th, 2009

Four Pens
(Jamie Mason)

Four pens
til the ink runs dry

One for the diary-
That dowry of
the gravestone altar
the prize
of that inevitable husband
the treasure
of the shrouded bride
every thought
that seemed worth noting
lying
(and sometimes lying)
beneath its date

One pen pressed hard
to the ledger
what first wrote
love notes
and pillow devotionals
hefts insult against bliss
bricks and feathers
tallied to a sum
of over and done
until the balance
lets one stay

Another for the stories
Laying the spider’s silk
that winds the fiction
binds it
wrapped for feasting
to fatten
all we think
and stretch each road
with possibilities
where asphalt
never could

The last pen for the verse
the lyric spyglass
that builds
necessary mountains
from overlooked molehills
and breaks Goliath
to his clay
then to his dust
then to his ode

The stylus
the quill
the stick in the sand
the ballpoint clicking
and clicking
the thumb’s annoyance
at words that
come too slowly
run, spill, leak, spew
a rainbow
from content to anguish

I match each shade
to its brand of sigh

Four pens
til the ink runs dry
***

(Read more of Jamie Mason’s poetry here)

Editor’s note: ‘Midnight Poetry’ is a showcase for work by poets across the spectrum—from the pantheon of literary giants to contemporary, underground and new voices.

If you would like to submit your work for consideration, please see our Submission Guidelines.

Midnight Poetry: “Sonnet 84″

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

84
(William Shakespeare)

Who is it that says most, which can say more,
Than this rich praise, that you alone, are you?
In whose confine immured is the store,
Which should example where your equal grew.
Lean penury within that pen doth dwell,
That to his subject lends not some small glory,
But he that writes of you, if he can tell,
That you are you, so dignifies his story.
Let him but copy what in you is writ,
Not making worse what nature made so clear,
And such a counterpart shall fame his wit,
Making his style admired every where.
You to your beauteous blessings add a curse,
Being fond on praise, which makes your praises worse.

***

(Read more of William Shakespeare’s Sonnets here)

Editor’s note: ‘Midnight Poetry’ is a showcase for work by poets across the spectrum—from the pantheon of literary giants to contemporary, underground and new voices.

If you would like to submit your work for consideration, please see our Submission Guidelines.

Midnight Poetry: “Aztec”

Friday, February 13th, 2009

Aztec
(Carl Sandburg)

YOU came from the Aztecs
With a copper on your fore-arms
Tawnier than a sunset
Saying good-by to an even river.

And I said, you remember,
Those fore-arms of yours
Were finer than bronzes
And you were glad.

It was tears
And a path west
and a home-going
when I asked
Why there were scars of worn gold
Where a man’s ring was fixed once
On your third finger.
And I call you
To come back
before the days are longer.

***

(Read more of Carl Sandburg’s poetry here)

Editor’s note: ‘Midnight Poetry’ is a showcase for work by poets across the spectrum—from the pantheon of literary giants to contemporary, underground and new voices.

If you would like to submit your work for consideration, please see our Submission Guidelines.

Midnight Poetry: “Sigh”

Monday, February 9th, 2009

Sigh
(Stéphane Mallarmé)

My soul, calm sister, ascends to your brow
Where an autumn that’s scattered with russet dreams now,
And toward your angelic eye’s wandering heaven
Ascends, as in a melancholy garden
A white jet of water faithfully sighs
Toward October’s pure, pale, and compassionate skies
That mirror in pools their infinite languor
And, on dead water where anguished leaves wander
Driven by wind, furrowing a hollow,
Let the sun be drawn out in a long ray of yellow.
.

(Read more of Stéphane Mallarmé’s poetry here)

Editor’s note: ‘Midnight Poetry’ is a showcase for work by poets across the spectrum—from the pantheon of literary giants to contemporary, underground and new voices.

If you would like to submit your work for consideration, please see our Submission Guidelines.

Midnight Poetry: “Colors”

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Colors
(William Haskins)

Sometimes
I like to write in red
of blood and passion,
carnal sin,
of violence and
blinding rage—

the words leap wicked off the page.

Sometimes
I like to write in green
the deepest forests
haunt my eye,
fertile fields and
ancient earth—

the path I trace back to my birth.

Sometimes
I like to write in blue
of endless sky and
whispered winds,
of rivers’ crawl and
foaming seas—

the depth of possibilities.

Sometimes
I like to write in black
of desolation,
searing fear,
of shadow lives and
tragic deaths—

this is how I count my breaths.

.

(Read more of William Haskins’ poetry here)

Editor’s note: ‘Midnight Poetry’ is a showcase for work by poets across the spectrum—from the pantheon of literary giants to contemporary, underground and new voices.

If you would like to submit your work for consideration, please see our Submission Guidelines.

Midnight Poetry: “To Waken an Old Lady”

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

To Waken an Old Lady
(William Carlos Williams)

Old age is
a flight of small
cheeping birds
skimming
bare trees
above a snow glaze.
Gaining and failing
they are buffeted
by a dark wind –
But what?
On harsh weedstalks
the flock has rested –
the snow
is covered with broken
see husks
and the wind tempered
with a shrill
piping of plenty.

(Read more of William Carlos Williams’ poetry here)

Editor’s note: ‘Midnight Poetry’ is a showcase for work by poets across the spectrum—from the pantheon of literary giants to contemporary, underground and new voices.

If you would like to submit your work for consideration, please see our Submission Guidelines.