Archived Poems of the Month 2005 - 2006

Archived Poems for 2001-2002
Archived Poems for 2003-2004
Archived Poems for 2005-2006
Archived Poems for 2007-2008
Archived Poems for 2009-2010
January '05Winter Trees February '05Washington's Monument, February 1885
March '05The True Encounter April '05The Months
May '05The Mind is a Hawk June '05Up-hill
July '05With a Bunch of Roses August '05In August
September '05Fall Sunrise October '05Autumn Leaves
November '05Motionless Horse December '05Deck the Halls
January '06Sonnet IX: You also under the moon February '06Ain't Misbehavin'
March '06A March Snow April '06Night Rain
May '06The Princess Recalls Her One Adventure June '06first frog voices
July '06Calendar of Sonnets: July August '06August Moonrise
September '06Under the Harvest Moon October '06just the facts
November '06My November Guest December '06Snow in the Suburbs

Poem of the Month: January 2005

Winter Trees
winter trees All the complicated details
of the attiring and
the disattiring are completed!
A liquid moon
moves gently among
the long branches.
Thus having prepared their buds
against a sure winter
the wise trees
stand sleeping in the cold.
    —William Carlos Williams

Poem of the Month: February 2005

Washington's Monument, February 1885
washington monument Ah, not this marble, dead and cold:
Far from its base and shaft expanding--the round zones circling, comprehending,
Thou, Washington, art all the world's, the continents' entire--not yours alone, America,
Europe's as well, in every part, castle of lord or laborer's cot,
Or frozen North, or sultry South--the African's--the Arab's in his tent,
Old Asia's there with venerable smile, seated amid her ruins;
(Greets the antique the hero new? 'tis but the same--the heir legitimate, continued ever,
The indomitable heart and arm--proofs of the never-broken line,
Courage, alertness, patience, faith, the same--e'en in defeat defeated not, the same:)
Wherever sails a ship, or house is built on land, or day or night,
Through teeming cities' streets, indoors or out, factories or farms,
Now, or to come, or past--where patriot wills existed or exist,
Wherever Freedom, pois'd by Toleration, sway'd by Law,
Stands or is rising thy true monument.
    —Walt Whitman

Poem of the Month: March 2005

The True Encounter
wolf "Wolf!" cried my cunning heart
   At every sheep it spied,
   And roused the countryside.

"Wolf! Wolf!"—and up would start
   Good neighbors, bringing spade
   And pitchfork to my aid.

At length my cry was known:
    Therein lay my release,
I met the wolf alone
    And was devoured in peace.
     —Edna St. Vincent Millay

Poem of the Month: April 2005

The Months
Lenten Rose March
When the Earl King came
to steal away the child
in Goethe's poem, the father said
don't be afraid,
it's just the wind...
As if it weren't the wind
that blows away the tender
fragments of this worldó
leftover leaves in the corners
of the garden, a Lenten Rose
that thought it safe
to bloom so early.
cherry tree April
In the pastel blur
of the garden,
the cherry
and redbud
shake rain
from their delicate
shoulders, as petals
of pink
dogwood
wash down the ditches
in dreamlike
rivers of color.
hyacinths May
Mayapple, daffodil,
hyacinth, lily,
and by the front
porch steps
every billowing
shade of purple
and lavender lilac,
my mother's favorite flower,
sweet breath drifting through
the open windows:
perfume of memory-conduit
of spring.
     —Linda Pastan

Poem of the Month: May 2005

The Mind is a Hawk
hawk The mind is like a hawk, trying to survive
on hardscrabble. Hunting, you wheel
sometimes for hours on thermals

rising from sand so dry
no trees
grow native. Some days, you circle
only bones and snakeskin, the same old

cactus and mesquite. The secret
is not to give up on shadows, but glide
until nothing expects it, staring

to make a desert give up dead-still
ideas like rabbits with round eyes
and rapidly beating hearts.
     —Walter MacDonald

Poem of the Month: June 2005

Up-hill
uphill Does the road wind up-hill all the way?
   Yes, to the very end.
Will the day's journey take the whole long day?
   From morn to night, my friend.

But is there for the night a resting-place?
   A roof for when the slow dark hours begin.
May not the darkeness hide it from my face?
   You cannot miss that inn.

Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
   Those who have gone before.
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?
   They will not keep you standing at that door.

Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?
   Of labour you shall find the sum.
Will there be beds for me and all who seek?
    Yes, beds for all who come.
     —Christina Rossetti

Poem of the Month: July 2005

With a Bunch of Roses
roses by renoir Here's last year's grief
In the green leaf;

And all he knows is
That Time will take
All heartbreak,
And turn it to roses.
     —Robert Nathan

Poem of the Month: August 2005

In August
path in woods Heat urges secret odors from the grass.
Blunting the edge of silence, crickets shrill.
Wings veer: inane needles of light, and pass.
Laced pools: the warm wood-shadows ebb and fill.
The wind is casual, loitering to crush
The sun upon his palate, and to draw
Pungence from pine, frank fragrances from brush,
Sucked up through thin grey boughs as through a straw.

Moss-green, fern-green and leaf and meadow-green
Are broken by the bare, bone-colored roads,
Less moved by stirring air than by unseen
Soft-footed ants and meditative toads.
Summer is passing, taking what she brings:
Green scents and sounds, and quick ephemeral wings.
     —Babette Deutsch

Poem of the Month: September 2005

Fall Sunrise
fall sunrise fall sunrise
the shadows of leaves
follow the wind
     —Martin Cohen

Poem of the Month: October 2005

Autumn Leaves
autumn leaves autumn leaves
floating through the reflection of
autumn leaves
     —John Sheirer

Poem of the Month: November 2005

A Motionless Horse
Horse in Snow A motionless horse,
at peace in the field,
in the quietly falling snow.
     —Issa (1762 - 1826)

Poem of the Month: December 2005

Deck the Halls
Boughs of Holly Deck the halls with boughs of holly
  Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
'Tis the season to be jolly
  Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Don we now our gay apparel
Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la.
Troll the ancient Yule-tide carol
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.

See the blazing Yule before us.
  Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Strike the harp and join the chorus.
  Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Follow me in merry measure.
  Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
While I tell of Yule-tide treasure.
  Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

Fast away the old year passes.
  Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Hail the new year, lads and lasses
  Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Sing we joyous, all together.
  Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
heedless of the wind and weather.
  Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

Poem of the Month: January 2006

Sonnet IX: You also under the moon
Moonrise over the Temple of Poseidon You also under the moon, Oh dark of hair,
In the night's beauty, being part of the night,
Dream of me in the darkness, in the bright
Lakes of moonlight, in the meadowy air.
Dream of me in the wind which slowly passes
Over these stars, the full, the deepening stream,
Sharing this beauty, being part of the dream,
The night and I, the wind, the shadowy grasses,
Which must themselves change again and assemble
Distant and strange, where another you and I
Under another moon and another sky
Feel their hearts melt in the dark and tremble,
Calling each other across the widening sea:
Dream of me too in the moonlight; dream of me.
     —Robert Nathan

Poem of the Month: February 2006

Ain't Misbehavin'
Fats Waller No one to walk with, all by myself.
No one to talk with, but I'm happy on the shelf.
Ain't misbehavin', I'm savin' my love for you.

I know for certain the one I love.
I'm through with flirtin', it's you I'm thinking of.
Ain't misbehavin', I'm savin' my love for you.

Like Jack Horner in the corner, don't go nowhere. What do I care?
Your kisses are worth waitin' for, believe me.

I don't stay out late, don't care to go.
I'm home about eight, just me and my radio.
Ain't misbehavin', I'm savin' my love for you.
     —Fats Waller

Poem of the Month: March 2006

A March Snow
Snow in March Let the old snow be covered with the new:
The trampled snow, so soiled, and stained, and sodden.
Let it be hidden wholly from our view
By pure white flakes, all trackless and untrodden.
When Winter dies, low at the sweet Spring's feet
Let him be mantled in a clean, white sheet.

Let the old life be covered by the new:
The old past life so full of sad mistakes,
Let it be wholly hidden from the view
By deeds as white and silent as snow-flakes.

Ere this earth life melts in the eternal Spring
Let the white mantle of repentance fling
Soft drapery about it, fold on fold,
Even as the new snow covers up the old.
     —Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Poem of the Month: April 2006

Night Rain
Rainy Night on Yidu Mountain night rain
between the wind chimes
thunder
     —Ann Schwader

Poem of the Month: May 2006

The Princess Recalls Her One Adventure
bedroom Hard is my pillow
Of down from the duck's breast,
Harsh the linen cover;
I cannot rest.

Fall down, my tears,
Upon the fine hem,
Upon the lonely letters
Of my long name;
Drown the sigh of them.

We stood by the lake
And we neither kissed nor spoke;
We heard how the small waves
Lurched and broke,
And chuckled in the rock.

We spoke and turned away.
We never kissed at all.
Fall down, my tears.
I wish that you might fall
On the road by the lake,
Where the cob went lame,
And I stood with my groom
Till the carriage came.
horse and evening lake
     —Edna St Vincent Millay

Poem of the Month: June 2006

darkness and petals first frog voices
somewhere in the darkness
petals are falling
     —Scott Mertz

Poem of the Month: July 2006

white waterlilies A Calendar of Sonnets: July
Some flowers are withered and some joys have died;
The garden reeks with an East Indian scent
From beds where gillyflowers stand weak and spent;
The white heat pales the skies from side to side;
But in still lakes and rivers, cool, content,
Like starry blooms on a new firmament,
White lilies float and regally abide.
In vain the cruel skies their hot rays shed;
The lily does not feel their brazen glare.
In vain the pallid clouds refuse to share
Their dews, the lily feels no thirst, no dread.
Unharmed she lifts her queenly face and head;
She drinks of living waters and keeps fair.
     —Helen Hunt Jackson

Poem of the Month: August 2006

August Moonrise
moon rise over st lawrence The sun was gone, and the moon was coming
Over the blue Connecticut hills;
The west was rosy, the east was flushed,
And over my head the swallows rushed
This way and that, with changeful wills.
I heard them twitter and watched them dart
Now together and now apart
Like dark petals blown from a tree;
The maples stamped against the west
Were black and stately and full of rest,
And the hazy orange moon grew up
And slowly changed to yellow gold
While the hills were darkened, fold on fold
To a deeper blue than a flower could hold.
Down the hill I went, and then
I forgot the ways of men,
For night-scents, heady, and damp and cool
Wakened ecstasy in me
On the brink of a shining pool.
moon rise over the graveyard O Beauty, out of many a cup
You have made me drunk and wild
Ever since I was a child,
But when have I been sure as now
That no bitterness can bend
And no sorrow wholly bow
One who loves you to the end?
And though I must give my breath
And my laughter all to death,
And my eyes through which joy came,
And my heart, a wavering flame;
If all must leave me and go back
Along a blind and fearful track
So that you can make anew,
Fusing with intenser fire,
Something nearer your desire;
If my soul must go alone
Through a cold infinity,
Or even if it vanish, too,
Beauty, I have worshipped you.

Let this single hour atone
For the theft of all of me.
       —Sara Teasdale

Poem of the Month: September 2006

Under the Harvest Moon
harvest moon Under the harvest moon,
When the soft silver
Drips shimmering
Over the garden nights,
Death, the grey mocker,
Comes and whispers to you
As a beautiful friend
Who remembers.
moon over cemetary
Under the summer roses
When flagrant crimson
Lurks in the dusk
Of the wild red leaves,
Love, with little hands,
Comes and touches you
With a thousand memories,
And asks you
Beautiful, unanswerable questions.
       —Carl Sandburg

Poem of the Month: October 2006

 just the facts
woman under a tree Please don't bother asking me the reason
for my love. Instead, ask me to recall
when it began, and I'll describe the season --
dry summer turning into brilliant fall --
and the day -- a morning cloudy and cool,
an afternoon that never turned to rain;
the oak you sat under while I played the fool
eager for your smile, covering my strain
at being captured by the web of light
spun in your wind-blown hair. That I can tell:
each nuance and detail, however slight.
But ask for my reason? You might as well
ask the flower to describe the sun,
ask the bullet its opinion of the gun.
       —Ed Gaillard
Copyright 1994 Edward Gaillard. All rights reserved.
If you want to re-distribute this piece, please ask him. You can mail him at : gaillard AT panix DOT com

Poem of the Month: November 2006

My November Guest
freezing rain on trees My Sorrow, when she's here with me
Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be.
She loves the bare, the withered tree
She walks the sodden pasture lane.

Her pleasure will not let me stay
She talks and I am fain to list
She's glad the birds are gone away,
She's glad her simple worsted gray
Is silver now with clinging mist.
bare trees The desolate, deserted trees
The faded earth, the heavy sky
The beauties she so truly sees,
She thinks I have no eye for these
And vexes me for reason why

Not yesterday I learned to know
This love of bare November days
Before the coming of the snow
But it were vain to tell her so
And they are better for her praise
       —Robert Frost

Poem of the Month: December 2006

 Snow in the Suburbs
snow on outer drive Every branch big with it,
Bent every twig with it;
Every fork like a white web-foot;
Every street and pavement mute:
Some flakes have lost their way, and grope back upward, when
Meeting those meandering down they turn and descend again.
The palings are glued together like a wall,
And there is no waft of wind with the fleecy fall.
sparrow in snow A sparrow enters the tree,
Whereon immediately
A snow-lump thrice his own slight size
Descends on him and showers his head and eyes,
And overturns him,
And near inurns him,
And lights on a lower twig, when its brush
Starts off a volley of other lodging lumps with a rush.
black cat in snow The steps are a blanched slope,
Up which, with feeble hope,
A black cat comes, wide-eyed and thin;
And we take him in.
       —Thomas Hardy

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