Wish for Rain

I wish it would rain
every morning
while we have coffee.

There the dog waits
in cool shadow, there
the fountains rise and fall.

Heavy gray drops
the size of grapes.

Pray for blue skies
each afternoon
with the birds singing,

eating seeds as the rain
moves away. And a following
wind on the sea.

J. Kyle Kimberlin
September 17, 2014

Creative Commons Licensed

I see that we are

a new poem

Nothing and More 

Buzzards_2014-09-03b

Now I see, we are flesh and reason,
bone and fear.
I see that we are wind and feather,
stone and love,
and dust on the tired furniture.

Now I hear that we are symphony and snarl,
the buzz of bees
and the growl of the highway.
I hear that we are
mockingbird and newborn scream.

Now I know, we are blade at the throat
and a bed
of blue flowers. We are hawk’s flight
and mass grave,
starlight and gunfire.

We are nothing and more
than we have ever believed.

J. Kyle Kimberlin
September 15, 2014

Creative Commons Licensed

About Killing the Chickens

I was walking our dog today and decided to listen to an episode of the New Yorker Poetry Podcast, in which a poem called What Did I Love, by Ellen Bass, is read by the great poet Philip Levine. 

Levine, former Poet Laureate of the US and winner of the Pulitzer, said he was envious of this poem. Yes, me too. 

You hear him read it here. 

https://soundcloud.com/newyorker/the-poetry-podcast-philip

You can read the poem here. 

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/02/04/what-did-i-love

And I wish you would. Listen and read along. I can tell you about power and beauty, about a surpassing specificity and blade-sharp precision of writing. 

But let me get out of your way. … I’ll just be over here, plucking feathers. 

 

 

Poetry is Industrious

“It’s easier to understand the idea of death than the reality of life, and so we make an industry of waiting, imagining our end lumbering toward our vain and cubicled selves, inventing the selfish moral blank spots we suspect ourselves of being.”

Michael Thomsen on the vanity of the zombie apocalypse. (Paris Review)

Thomsen was writing about apocalyptic games, but that sure looks like I should be able to relate. Death is the greatest common denominator and poets – and artists in general – have never been able to take their eyes off it for long. 

Voices

Around this old wooden house,
branches moved by wind
and rain sound like voices.
There is as much absence
as presence in the sound,
as much pain as peace.
It is the unsteady rhythm
of solitude.

I don’t want to be alone.
Never truly alone in this world.
Before you leave, just tell me
who will care in thirty
years or forty to lift my chin
and tell me look — a bird.

Tonight, the wind is up,
the small dog barks and whines.
The old house is nervous
and whispering. We recognize
the dead, the call to supper
and the fervent prayer. We are
summoned but remain in bed
waiting for the breeze to die.

 

 

Kyle Kimberlin
August 28, 2014

Creative Commons Licensed

 

Notes

This quote arrived in my e-mail recently and served to inspire:

For many years, I thought a poem was a whisper overheard, not an aria heard.

- Rita Dove, poet

In the second stanza, there’s a clue which proves that part was deposited in my notebook several years ago. Can you guess what that clue is?