Lost by David Wagoner

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you

Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,

And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,

Must ask permission to know it and be known.

The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,

I have made this place around you.

If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.

No two trees are the same to Raven.

No two branches are the same to Wren.

If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,

You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows

Where you are. You must let it find you.

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“For a star to be born” by Noor Tagouri

For a star to be born,
there is one thing that
must happen: a gaseous
nebula must collapse.

So collapse.
Crumble.
This is not your
destruction.

This is your birth.

(“why / don’t / be…”) by E. E. Cummings

why

don’t

be

sil

ly

,o no in-

deed;

money

can’t do(never

did &

never will)any

damn

thing

:far

from it;you

’re wrong,my friend. But

what does

do,
has always done

;&

will do alw

-ays something

is(guess)yes

you’re

right:my enemy

. Love

She let go by Safire Rose

She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.

She let go of the fear.

She let go of the judgments.

She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.

She let go of the committee of indecision within her.

She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons.

Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn’t ask anyone for advice.

She didn’t read a book on how to let go.

She didn’t search the scriptures.

She just let go.

She let go of all of the memories that held her back.

She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.

She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.

She didn’t promise to let go.

She didn’t journal about it.

She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer.

She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.

She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.

She just let go.

She didn’t analyze whether she should let go.

She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.

She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.

She didn’t call the prayer line.

She didn’t utter one word.

She just let go.

No one was around when it happened.

There was no applause or congratulations.

No one thanked her or praised her.

No one noticed a thing.

Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.

There was no effort.

There was no struggle.

It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad.

It was what it was, and it is just that.

In the space of letting go, she let it all be.

A small smile came over her face.

A light breeze blew through her.

And the sun and the moon shone forevermore…

[The house was just twinkling in the moon light] by Gertrude Stein

The house was just twinkling in the moon light,
And inside it twinkling with delight,
Is my baby bright.
Twinkling with delight in the house twinkling
with the moonlight,
Bless my baby bless my baby bright,
Bless my baby twinkling with delight,
In the house twinkling in the moon light,
Her hubby dear loves to cheer when he thinks
and he always thinks when he knows and he always
knows that his blessed baby wifey is all here and he
is all hers, and sticks to her like burrs, blessed baby

“Hope” is the thing with feathers by Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—

And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—
And sore must be the storm—
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm—

I’ve heard it in the chillest land—
And on the strangest Sea—
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb—of Me.

Underneath it all by Gwen Stefani and Dave Stewart

There’s times when I want something more
Someone more like me
There’s times when this dress rehearsal
Seems incomplete

But you see the colors in me
Like no one else
And behind your dark glasses
You’re something else

You’re really lovely
Underneath it all
You want to love me
Underneath it all
I’m really lucky
Underneath it all
You’re really lovely

You know some real bad tricks
And you need some discipline
But lately you’ve been trying real hard
And giving me your best

And you give me the most gorgeous sleep
That I’ve ever had
And when it’s really bad
I guess it’s not that bad

You’re really lovely
Underneath it all
You want to love me
Underneath it all
I’m really lucky
Underneath it all
You’re really lovely

So many moons that we have seen
Stumbling back next to me
I’ve seen right through and underneath

And you make me better
I’ve seen right through and underneath
And you make me better

You’ve used up all your coupons
And all you got left is me
And somehow I’m full of forgiveness
I guess it’s meant to be…

You’re really lovely
Underneath it all
You want to love me
Underneath it all
I’m really lucky
Underneath it all
You’re really lovely

Someone like you by Adele and Dan Wilson

I heard that you’re settled down
that you found a girl and you’re married now.
I heard that your dreams came true.
Guess she gave you things I didn’t give to you.

Old friend, why are you so shy?
Ain’t like you to hold back or hide from the light.

I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited
but I couldn’t stay away, I couldn’t fight it.
I had hoped you’d see my face and that you’d be reminded
that for me it isn’t over.

Never mind, I’ll find someone like you,
I wish nothing but the best for you too.
Don’t forget me, I beg,
I remember you said,
“Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead,
sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead.”

You know how the time flies,
only yesterday was the time of our lives.
We were born and raised
in a summer haze
bound by the surprise of our glory days.

I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited
but I couldn’t stay away, I couldn’t fight it.
I’d hoped you’d see my face and that you’d be reminded
that for me it isn’t over.

Never mind, I’ll find someone like you.
I wish nothing but the best for you too,
don’t forget me, I beg,
I remember you said,
“Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead.”

Nothing compares
no worries or cares
regrets and mistakes
they are memories made.
Who would have known how bittersweet this would taste?

Never mind, I’ll find someone like you.
I wish nothing but the best for you,
don’t forget me, I beg,
I remember you said,
“Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead.”

Never mind, I’ll find someone like you.
I wish nothing but the best for you too.
Don’t forget me, I beg,
I remember you said,
“Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead,
sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead.”

Parts of the tongue by Jane Gibian

A predilection for stone fruit
sees a trail of peach
and plum stones in his shadow
You had traced him down
this discreet path to where
his casual touch
was six light insect
feet on your forearm

In the magazine you read about
the ten sexiest women
for April; they all live
in suburbs beginning with W
and wear impossible shoes

You hunt for modern equivalents
of One hundred ways with mince
and watch his hand become
refined under its wedding ring,
the fingers longer and nails less bitten

He coaxes your shoulders straight,
uncurling them with firm hands

but you were merely bent over
with laughter
Now your tongue forks into four:
one part for being good-natured
one for lamentation
the third part of irony
and the last for an imaginary language

You move to a newly-invented
suburb beginning with X
where you will use the four parts
of the tongue with equilibrium

The moon is hiding in by E. E. Cummings

the moon is hiding in
her hair.
The
lily
of heaven
full of all dreams,
draws down.

cover her briefness in singing
close her with the intricate faint birds
by daisies and twilights
Deepen her,

Recite
upon her
flesh
the rain’s

pearls singly-whispering.

King of sorrow by Paul Denman, Stuart Matthewman, Helen (Sade) Adu, and Andrew Hale

I’m crying everyone’s tears
And there inside our private war
I died the night before
And all of these remnants of joy and disaster
What am I suppose to do

I want to cook you a soup that warms your soul
But nothing would change, nothing would change at all
It’s just a day that brings it all about
Just another day and nothing’s any good

The DJ’s playing the same song
I have so much to do
I have to carry on
I wonder if this grief will ever let me go
I feel like I am the king of sorrow, yeah
The king of sorrow

I suppose I could just walk away
Will I disappoint my future if I stay
It’s just a day that brings it all about
Just another day and nothing’s any good

The DJ’s playing the same song
I have so much to do
I have to carry on
I wonder will this grief ever be gone
Will it ever go
I’m the king of sorrow, yeah
The king of sorrow

I’m crying everyone’s tears
I have already paid for all my future sins
There’s nothing anyone
Can say to take this away
It’s just another day and nothing’s any good

I’m the king of sorrow, yeah
King of sorrow
I’m the king of sorrow, yeah
King of sorrow

Across by Vikram Seth

Across these miles I wish you well.
May nothing haunt your heart but sleep.
May you not sense what I don’t tell.
May you not dream, or doubt, or weep.
May what my pen this peaceless day
Writes on this page not reach your view
Till its deferred print lets you say
It speaks to someone else than you.

I love sleep by Ouyang Yu

I love sleep knowing it is politically incorrect and culturally inappropriate
To say this but I love sleep not caring whether someone is going to bomb
The rialto tower or the Sydney opera house I love sleep at 46
For I don’t remember anything about myself or what I do I love
Sleep lingering in my bed with a bit of dream here and there but nothing substantial
To merit a mention I love sleep years ago in Wuhan while I was working
As a lorry driver in a shipping yard I had a roommate who loved sleep
The only two things he did was go to work in the factory lifting things and come
Back to sleep in our three-bed room “I love sleep” he said one night as we stood
On the bridge across a nameless creek that ran into the Yangtze River
“for I dream of things, beautiful things that you never will see anywhere in the world”
I began to know that he was an orphan that he had nowhere to go on weekends
Things like that and I felt sad kind of for him and for myself I love sleep
And when I do so I know I am wasting my life knowing that I am wasting my life
Anyway even if I do not sleep I cherish the time immediately after I wake up
For I hear the birds calling out to each other among themselves I do not hear them in
sleep I become wordy soon I’ll stop I love sleep I dream a little although I don’t recall
anything this morning I went to a friend’s house to interview him he had a beautiful
house that cost him nearly one million dollars off record he talked about his plan
For afterwards he said he would love to lead a xianyun yehe life
I shared his view although I know ours would be different
For that kind of life of leisurely clouds and wild cranes
I love sleep correct me if I am wrong for in sleep I am equal to anyone
Without a fight

Divorce by Gayatri Majumdar

A quarter of the seven-year-old
bottle of Jean Nate Friction
pour le Bain After Bath Splash,
an old Chinese king in lac,
a fat Ganesh in pastel pink
and steel utensils.

Sony Walkman, one
of the two crystal flower vases,
all of the photographs, and the brass.
Crockery made in Indonesia,
amber in colour, Webster’s New
Collegiate Dictionary
, not one but two,
the blue and green of the Japanese painting.

Ceiling fans manufactured by 24 Carats,
Netlons, and two wooden cabinets
for soap and lipstick.
Garam masala, bought cheap in America;
a red Banarasi sari.
a Godrej manual typewriter – all articles,
mostly nouns, some prepositions,
not one metaphor,
no verbs either.

A Child’s Guide to Power by Burl Whitman

Remember the bully
who knocked you down,

took your lunch and howled
and bayed like a hound?

Other kids didn’t know how to react–
most just wanted their own lunch intact.

Now imagine the bully
with a magic wand

and more money than God
or at least beyond

what most people see
in a life and a half,

a pile so tall
it would dwarf a giraffe.

The bully now has power
–or believes that he does–

and that is often enough
to rule others because

the money makes some people
dance to his tune,

though he’s still just a bully
and a gold-plated buffoon.

The wand isn’t real
or at least not so you can see.

It’s power given to him
by you and by me.

Take it away and he’s just
a schoolyard thug,

a big angry tyrant
In need of a hug.

Some people still dance for him–
they haven’t figured him out.

But you dear are smarter,
so stand back and shout,

“He’s a bully and a fraud,
just a rich lonely beggar.

He’s a punk without
his immeasurable treasure.”

If others don’t listen,
well they’ll get it in time.

Meanwhile, go live your life!
You’re a huge part of mine

All you who sleep tonight by Vikram Seth

All you who sleep tonight
Far from the ones you love,
No hands to left or right,
And emptiness above –
Know that you aren’t alone.
The whole world shares your tears,
Some for two nights or one,
And some for all their years.

“What Do Women Want?” by Kim Addonizio

I want a red dress.
I want it flimsy and cheap,
I want it too tight, I want to wear it
until someone tears it off me.
I want it sleeveless and backless,
this dress, so no one has to guess
what’s underneath. I want to walk down
the street past Thrifty’s and the hardware store
with all those keys glittering in the window,
past Mr. and Mrs. Wong selling day-old
donuts in their café, past the Guerra brothers
slinging pigs from the truck and onto the dolly,
hoisting the slick snouts over their shoulders.
I want to walk like I’m the only
woman on earth and I can have my pick.
I want that red dress bad.
I want it to confirm
your worst fears about me,
to show you how little I care about you
or anything except what
I want. When I find it, I’ll pull that garment
from its hanger like I’m choosing a body
to carry me into this world, through
the birth-cries and the love-cries too,
and I’ll wear it like bones, like skin,
it’ll be the goddamned
dress they bury me in.

How the stone found its voice by Moniza Alvi

We had waited through so many lifetimes
for the stone to speak, wondered if

it would make compelling pronouncements,
anything worth writing down.

Then after the war of wars
had ground to a shattering halt, the stone

emitted a small grinding sound rather like
the clearing of a throat.

Let us be indifferent to indifference,
the stone said.

And then the world spoke.