May 2018

This month’s poem was selected by Polly Brown.

 

Beltane—May 1

       by Deborah Melone

 

Today is Beltane

Wear yellow flowers

Walk your cows between

The two bonfires

 

Leap over the flame

Garland the cattle

Leave the spirits oatcake

Drink the winy caudle

 

Dance round the maypole

Decked with shells today

Honor the union

Of Lord and Lady May

 

Strew primrose and hawthorn

At windows and doors

From the Beltane fires

Rekindle yours

                                   

Deborah Melone lives in Watertown, Massachusetts. For many years a writer and editor at a scientific consulting company, she now teaches English as a Second Language to adult students at the Watertown Public Library. She has been a member of the poetry collective Every Other Thursday since 1983, and has published in a number of magazines and journals. She has published the poetry collection Farmers’ Market and two chapbooks, Walking the Air and The Wheel of the Year.

 

April 2018

Near the Connecticut

            by Polly Brown

 

Four of us travelling in one canoe—

two small enough to fit between

 

the paddlers—down the Connecticut,

New England’s watery spine.

 

We sat on a ledge in sunshine;

then, needing to pee, I climbed

 

to a small wood. Sun-dappled shade,

blue chinks of sky, nameless

 

sparrows dipping in, weaving through:

no remembered detail explains

 

why in that moment I woke

to our life in paradise. Which means

 

it could happen

almost anywhere again.

 

Polly Brown has organized outdoor poetry events on her hillside in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, has written about war and peace at the Joiner Institute at UMass Boston, and will lead a workshop focused on two poems by Stanley Kunitz at the 2018 Massachusetts Poetry Festival. Pebble Leaf Feather Knife, her new book of poems, will be released by Cherry Grove in 2019. The two children in this poem are now busy rearing another generation of canoeists and kayakers.

 

 

                       

 

March 2018

This month’s offering is selected by Terry House, President of the Robert Creeley Foundation. Join us for Mark Doty's reading at the 2018 Creeley Foundation's annual event. Details below.  

Heaven for Stanley

          by Mark Doty

For his birthday, I gave Stanley a hyacinth bean,
an annual, so he wouldn’t have to wait for the flowers.
He said, Mark, I have just the place for it!
as if he’d spent ninety-eight years
anticipating the arrival of this particular vine.
I thought poetry a brace against time,
the hours held up for study in a voice’s cool saline,
but his allegiance is not to permanent forms.
His garden’s all furious change,
budding and rot and then the coming up again;
why prefer any single part of the round?
I don’t know that he’d change a word of it;
I think he could be forever pleased
to participate in motion. Something opens.
He writes it down. Heaven steadies
and concentrates near the lavender. He’s already there.

—Copyright 2005 by Mark Doty

Mark Doty is the Winner of the Eighteenth Annual Robert Creeley Award. He will be presented with the award and give a free public reading on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, at 7:30 in the Acton-Boxborough Regional High School auditorium.  Hope to see you there!

Mark Doty is the author of nine books of poetry, including Deep Lane (April 2015), Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems, which won the 2008 National Book Award, and My Alexandria, for which he was the first American to receive Great Britain's T.S. Eliot Prize. He is also the author of three memoirs: the New York Times-bestselling Dog Years, Firebird, and Heaven's Coast, as well as a book about craft and criticism, The Art of Description: World Into Word. Doty has received two NEA fellowships, Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundation Fellowships, a Lila Wallace/Readers Digest Award, and the Witter Byner Prize.

February 2018

Poem of the Month selections can now also be accessed through my website at www.susanedwardsrichmond.com.

 

The Orchard in Winter

     by Terry House

 

Storm's end quickens;

Still, wizened apples cling;

Barred owl glides

Silent as the last, slow flakes -

 

In their kitchen

The farmers scan

Nursery lists,

Plotting spring.

 

Terry House is a poet and educator living in Acton. She currently serves as President of the Robert Creeley Foundation.