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Poetry Friday: On What Planet by Kenneth Rexroth

Uniformly over the whole countryside
The warm air flows imperceptibly seaward;
The autumn haze drifts in deep bands
Over the pale water;
White egrets stand in the blue marshes;
Tamalpais, Diablo, St. Helena
Float in the air.
Climbing on the cliffs of Hunter's Hill
We look out over fifty miles of sinuous
Interpenetration of mountains and sea.

Leading up a twisted chimney,
Just as my eyes rise to the level
Of a small cave, two white owls
Fly out, silent, close to my face.
They hover, confused in the sunlight,
And disappear into the recesses of the cliff.

All day I have been watching a new climber,
A young girl with ash blonde hair
And gentle confident eyes.
She climbs slowly, precisely,
With unwasted grace.

While I am coiling the ropes,
Watching the spectacular sunset,
She turns to me and says, quietly,
"It must be very beautiful, the sunset,
On Saturn, with the rings and all the moons."

- On What Planet by Kenneth Rexroth

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Poetry Friday: A Pot of Red Lentils by Peter Pereira

I want to remember us this way-
late September sun streaming through
the window, bread loaves and golden
bunches of grapes on the table,
spoonfuls of hot soup rising
to our lips, filling us
with what endures.

- selected lines from A Pot of Red Lentils by Peter Pereira

Read the full poem.

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    Only You by Cheat Codes and Little Mix
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Poetry Friday: Vow by Diana Khoi Nguyen

It will be windy for a while until it isn't. The waves will shoal. A red-legged
cormorant will trace her double along glassy water, forgetting they are hungry.
The sea will play this motif over and over, but there will be no preparing for it
otherwise. Water will quiver in driftwood. Sound preceding absence,
a white dog trailing a smaller one: ghost and noon shadow, two motes
disappearing into surf. And when the low tide comes lapping and clear, the curled
fronds of seaweed will furl and splay, their algal sisters brushing strands
against sands where littleneck clams feed underwater. Light rain will fall
and one cannot help but lean into the uncertainty of the sea. Bow: a knot
of two loops, two loose ends, our bodies on either side of this shore where we
will dip our hands to feel what can’t be seen. Horseshoe crabs whose blue
blood rich in copper will reach for cover, hinged between clouds and
sea. It will never be enough, the bull kelp like a whip coiling in tender hands,
hands who know to take or be taken, but take nothing with them: I will marry you.
I will marry you. So we can owe what we own to every beautiful thing.

- Vow by Diana Khoi Nguyen

Hear the poem read out loud.

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    Reign (Will I Still Be the Same?) by Luca Lush x JVNA
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Poetry Friday: Forgiving the Darkness by Alice B. Fogel

Darkness is not a death, does not obliterate,
will not bury you or take your breath away.
Darkness will not erase you the way it erases day with night
because darkness is not the clock but merely the time
falling away from the clock's circular face.
Darkness is not the loss but the thing misplaced,
not the hammer but the nail in its curved emergence
from wood's grasp, not the storm's insurgence
but the limbs broken off from their miraculous
suspension in a storm out far, beyond us.
Darkness is not about hearts, imperfect as they are,
but what leaks through their incorrigible doors, not the stars
but the glissade or glide of their dust.
Darkness no longer shields the hunters' musk
in search of you, or turns you to animal prey,
it is only a measure of weight or days.
Not something without a beginning or an end,
it is not even—especially not—an end.
Nor is it vertigo, nor the whole, but merely a piece.
No, darkness is but a ghost of an idea, the least
remembered, most estranged prayer, and your fear
but a lingering, limbic fear torn from shreds of forgotten years.
Only that much is clear.

- Forgiving the Darkness by Alice B. Fogel

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wish, daisy

Poetry Friday: Invitation by Mary Oliver

Oh do you have time
to linger
for just a little while
out of your busy

and very important day
for the goldfinches
that have gathered
in a field of thistles

for a musical battle,
to see who can sing
the highest note,
or the lowest,

or the most expressive of mirth,
or the most tender?
Their strong, blunt beaks
drink the air

as they strive
melodiously
not for your sake
and not for mine

and not for the sake of winning
but for sheer delight and gratitude –
believe us, they say,
it is a serious thing

just to be alive
on this fresh morning
in the broken world.
I beg of you,

do not walk by
without pausing
to attend to this
rather ridiculous performance.

It could mean something.
It could mean everything.
It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote:
You must change your life.

- Invitation by Mary Oliver

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Poetry Friday: September 9 By Elizabeth Willis

It's turneresque in twilight. The word comes at me
with its headlights on, so it's revelation and not death.
I figure I'm halfway home though I've only started.
Nothing is moving but me: I'm a blackbird. The neigh-
bor's in labor, but so am I, pushing against the road.
Physics tells us nothing is lost, but I've been copping
time from death and can't relent for every job the stars
drop on my back.

- September 9 by Elizabeth Willis

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