- 1.Poetry Thursday!
- 2.Poetry Thursday!
- 3.Poetry almost Thursday, Thanksgiving Edition
- 4.The first day of December, Poetry Thursday
- 5.Boy At the Window — Poetry Thursday
- 6.A Poem About Evolution — Poetry Thursday
- 7.Like Snow – Poetry Thursday
- 8.The Peace of Wild Things – Poetry Thursday
- 9.Rain – Poetry Thursday
- 10.The Real Work – Poetry Thursday
- 11.To The River – Poetry Thursday
- 12.A Beautiful Poem About Internal Darkness
- 13.Poetry Thursday – Genius
- 14.Poetry Thursday – Soon This Space Will Be Too Small
- 15.A Poem from Stephen Harrod Buhner
- 16.To Bless the Space Between Us – Poetry Thursday!
- 17.Poetry Thursday – A Quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupery
- 18.Poetry Thursday – Sarah Cleghorn
- 19.On a Tree Fallen Across the Road by Robert Frost
- 20.A Noiseless Patient Spider by Walt Whitman
- 21.My Will by Lorna Goodison
- 22.Going Away – A Poem from the Quechua
- 23.Blessing by John O’Donohue
- 24.The Trouble with Poetry by Billy Collins
- 25.Wild Geese by Wendell Berry
- 26.Silence of the Fall by Louisa Paulin
- 27.Poetry Thursday – Karl Ove Knausgaard
- 28.Snow Day by Billy Collins – Poetry Thursday
- 29.Winter Solstice by Jodi Aliesan – Poetry Thursday
- 30.A Brief For The Defense by Jack Gilbert
- 31.Lost by David Wagoner
- 32.Fiddling with the Idiot by Hafiz
- 33.The Sixth of January by David Budbill
- 34.Two Tramps in Mud Time by Robert Frost
- 35.What We Need is Here by Wendell Berry
- 36.Keep Moving Forward by Mitchell Greenwood
- 37.When I am Among the Trees by Mary Oliver
- 38.Praying by Mary Oliver
- 39.Thirst by Mary Oliver
- 40.Blueberries by Mary Oliver
- 41.The Sycamore by Wendell Berry
- 42.Jealous Hearing Someone Laugh by Hafiz
- 43.Advice to Myself by Louise Erdrich
- 44.Egg by C.G. Hanzlicek
- 45.The Broken Gourd by Wendell Berry
- 46.Another Spring by Kenneth Rexroth
- 47.Poetry Thursday – the Visionary Paintings of Paul Laffoley
- 48.Two Poems by Mary Oliver
- 49.What If? A poem by Ganga White
- 50.See No Evil by Billy Collins
- 51.We Who Prayed and Wept by Wendell Berry
- 52.Holy Thursday by William Blake
- 53.Woman by Nikki Giovanni
- 54.Choices by Nikki Giovanni
- 55.A Quote from Hafiz
- 56.The First by Wendell Berry
- 57.Excerpt for an Improvised Speech by Robert F. Kennedy
- 58.Riding Lesson by Henry Taylor
- 59.Messenger by Mary Oliver
- 60.In Rain by Wendell Berry
- 61.A Poetry Thursday with Rumi
- 62.Kindness by Naomi Shihab Nye
- 63.Sometimes by David Whyte
- 64.Having it Out with Melancholy by Jane Kenyon
- 65.After an Illness, Walking the Dog by Jane Kenyon
- 66.Admit Something by Hafiz
- 67.Turtle Mountain Reservation by Louise Erdrich
- 68.The Layers by Stanley Kunitz
- 69.Martian Rose by Stuart Atkinson
- 70.To The Unseeable Animal by Wendell Berry
- 71.Open the Door or Die by Hafiz
- 72.Paradox of Noise by Gunilla Norris
- 73.Out of the Mouth of a Thousand Birds by Hafiz
- 74.An Excerpt by William Shakespear
- 75.School Prayer by Diane Ackerman
- 76.The Lanyard by Billy Collins
- 77.In the Next Galaxy by Ruth Stone
- 78.The Apple Tree by Wendell Berry
- 79.At the Un-National Monument along the Canadian Border by William E. Stafford
- 80.Mighty Pawns by Major Jackson
- 81.Letter to Brooks: Spring Garden by Major Jackson
- 82.Again and Again by Rainer Maria Rilke
- 83.The New Colossus By Emma Lazarus
- 84.For Once, Then, Something by Robert Frost
- 85.My River Runs to Thee by Emily Dickinson
- 86.No Coward Soul is Mine by Emily Brontë
- 87.Someone Leans Near by Toni Morrison
- 88.Mayakovsky In New York: A Found Poem By Annie Dillard
- 89.A Ritual To Read To Each Other by William Stafford
- 90.Bread By Richard Levine
This week, a poem from Louise Erdrich in honor of the first two Native Americans elected to the United States Congress…
Turtle Mountain Reservation
By Louise Erdrich
For Pat Gourneau, my grandfather
The heron makes a cross
flying low over the marsh.
Its heart is an old compass
pointing off in four directions.
It drags the world along,
the world it becomes.
My face surfaces in the green
beveled glass above the washstand.
My handprint in thick black powder
on the bedroom shade.
Home I could drink like thin fire
like lead in my veins,
heart’s armor, the coffee stains.
In the dust of the double hollyhock,
Theresa, one frail flame eating wind.
One slim candle
that snaps in the dry grass.
Ascending tall ladders
that walk to the edge of dusk.
Riding a blue cricket
through the tumult of the falling dawn.
At dusk the gray owl walks the length of the roof,
sharpening its talons on the shingles.
Grandpa leans back
between spoonfuls of canned soup
and repeats to himself a word
that belongs to a world
no one else can remember.
The day has not come
when from sloughs, the great salamander
lumbers through snow, salt, and fire
to be with him, throws the hatchet
of its head through the door of the three-room house
and eats the blue roses that are peeling off the walls.
Uncle Ray, drunk for three days
behind the jagged window
of a new government box,
drapes himself in fallen curtains, and dreams that the odd
beast seen near Cannonball, North Dakota,
crouches moaning at the door to his body. The latch
is the small hook and eye.
of religion. Twenty nuns
fall through clouds to park their butts
on the metal hasp. Surely that
would be considered miraculous almost anyplace,
but here in the Turtle Mountains
it is no more than common fact.
but he can’t shrug them off. He is looking up
dark tunnels of their sleeves,
and into their frozen armpits,
or is it heaven? He counts the points
of their hairs like stars.
One by one they blink out,
and Theresa comes forth
clothed in the lovely hair
she has been washing all day. She smells
like a hayfield, drifting pollen
of birch trees.
Her hair steals across her shoulders
like a postcard sunset.
All the boys tonight, goaded from below,
will approach her in The Blazer, The Tomahawk,
The White Roach Bar where everyone
gets up to cut the rug, wagging everything they got,
as the one bass drum of The Holy Greaseballs
lights a depth
charge through the smoke.
Grandpa leans closer to the bingo.
The small fortune his heart pumps for
is hidden in the stained, dancing numbers.
The Ping-Pong balls rise through colored lights,
brief as sparrows
God is in the sleight of the woman’s hand.
He walks from Saint Ann’s, limp and crazy
as the loon that calls its children
across the lake
in its broke, knowing laughter.
Hitchhiking home from the Mission, if he sings,
it is a loud, rasping wail
that saws through the spine
of Ira Comes Last, at the wheel.
Drawn up through the neck ropes,
drawn out of his stomach
by the spirit of the stones that line
the road and speak
to him only in their old agreement.
Ira knows the old man is nuts.
Lets him out at the road that leads up
over stars and the skulls of white cranes.
And through the soft explosions of cattail
and the scattering of seeds on still water,
walks Grandpa, all the time that there is in his hands
that have grown to be the twisted doubles
of the burrows of mole and badger,
that have come to be the absence
of birds in a nest.
Hands of earth, of this clay
I’m also made from.