Guest Poet: Billy Collins


by Billy Collins – 1941-

The name of the author is the first to go

followed obediently by the title, the plot,

the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel

which suddenly becomes one you have never read,

never even heard of,

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor

decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,

to a little fishing village where there are no phones.

Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye

and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,

and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,

something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,

the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.

Whatever it is you are struggling to remember

it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,

not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.

It has floated away down a dark mythological river

whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,

well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those

who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.

No wonder you rise in the middle of the night

to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.

No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted

out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.

Earth Day

Every day is Earth Day.Are you breathing the Earth’s gift of air?
Are you walking/riding/biking/running along the surface of the Earth?
Are you hearing the song of birds?
Are you feeling the wind? Inhaling the perfume of flowers it captures?
Are you drinking water? Or wine? Or orange juice? All gifts of the Earth!
Yes, today is Earth Day and we celebrate…
Why not make this moment an Earth Moment? And this one! And this one!
Every morning when we awake, let our first thoughts be gratitude for all the Earth provides!
And let us act mindfully to keep her safe. To keep her going!
Even as she keeps us going!
And let us say: Amen.

Guest Poet

Afternoon on a Hillby Edna St. Vincent Millay

I will be the gladdest thing
Under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one.

I will look at cliffs and clouds
With quiet eyes,
Watch the wind bow down the grass,
And the grass rise.

And when lights begin to show
Up from the town,
I will mark which must be mine,
And then start down!

Seeing the World with Wonder #FridayFunReads #Poetry #Inspiration

*Delighted to be featured on Abbie’s blog today, thank you so much!*

My Corner

A photo of Abbie smiling in front of a white background. She has short brown hair which is cut short and frames her face. She is wearing a bright red shirt and a dark, flowy scarf swirled with hues of purple, pinks and blues.

Today, I’m offering a two-for-one special on book reviews. These two poetry collections have three things in common. First of all, the authors’ first names start with the same letter. Second, their poetry helps us look at nature and other topics with a sense of wonder. Last but not least, I met both authors through Behind Our Eyes, a writers’ organization to which I belong, and I have enjoyed reading their work over the years.

One Goes to the Sea

by Joan Myles

Copyright 2021

What Smashwords Says

What is it about poetry that so readily connects readers with their Spiritual selves? And is it possible to focus these expanded faculties of perception beyond the page–intentionally, inward?

One Goes to the Sea is a collection of the poet’s waking and sleeping flights of fancy, her dream journal sketched poetically and visually illustrated by her daughter.

Buy from Smashwords.

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One of my favorite poets

The idea of Order at Key West


She sang beyond the genius of the sea.

The water never formed to mind or voice,

Like a body wholly body, fluttering

Its empty sleeves; and yet its mimic motion

Made constant cry, caused constantly a cry,

That was not ours although we understood,

Inhuman, of the veritable ocean.

The sea was not a mask. No more was she.

The song and water were not medleyed sound

Even if what she sang was what she heard,

Since what she sang was uttered word by word.

It may be that in all her phrases stirred

The grinding water and the gasping wind;

But it was she and not the sea we heard.

For she was the maker of the song she sang.

The ever-hooded, tragic-gestured sea

Was merely a place by which she walked to sing.

Whose spirit is this? we said, because we knew

It was the spirit that we sought and knew

That we should ask this often as she sang.

If it was only the dark voice of the sea

That rose, or even colored by many waves;

If it was only the outer voice of sky

And cloud, of the sunken coral water-walled,

However clear, it would have been deep air,

The heaving speech of air, a summer sound

Repeated in a summer without end

And sound alone. But it was more than that,

More even than her voice, and ours, among

The meaningless plungings of water and the wind,

Theatrical distances, bronze shadows heaped

On high horizons, mountainous atmospheres

Of sky and sea.

It was her voice that made

The sky acutest at its vanishing.

She measured to the hour its solitude.

She was the single artificer of the world

In which she sang. And when she sang, the sea,

Whatever self it had, became the self

That was her song, for she was the maker. Then we,

As we beheld her striding there alone,

Knew that there never was a world for her

Except the one she sang and, singing, made.

Ramon Fernandez, tell me, if you know,

Why, when the singing ended and we turned

Toward the town, tell why the glassy lights,

The lights in the fishing boats at anchor there,

As the night descended, tilting in the air,

Mastered the night and portioned out the sea,

Fixing emblazoned zones and fiery poles,

Arranging, deepening, enchanting night.

Oh! Blessed rage for order, pale Ramon,

The maker’s rage to order words of the sea,

Words of the fragrant portals, dimly-starred,

And of ourselves and of our origins,

In ghostlier demarcations, keener sounds.

Wallace Stevens, “The Idea of Order at Key West” from Collected Poems. Copyright 1923, 1951, 1954 by Wallace Stevens. Reprinted with the permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.

April Snow

*Snow flurries in the Willamette Valley for the second day…oh my*

Remind me how the seasons go

From summer’s heat

To autumn’s glow

From chilly days and nights that flow

Into the frosty winter blow

Remind me how the cycle brings

Us back to green and blooming things

Sweet fragrant breezes

birdie wings

–so why in April is there snow

From Nudge to Prompt

*Yesterday I offered you a bit of a nudge to read and perhaps even write a few lines of poetry. Below are a few prompts to get you started. I’d love to hear about any poems that result from these prompts, and will gladly share here if you contact me. Wishing you sweet writing!*



*Write a poem based on the punchline of a joke.

*Use poetry as a call to Justice.

*Let your Joy spill onto the page sweet as Jelly.

Poetic Nudge

*Yesterday I was privileged to be Poet of the Day for Behind Our Eyes, an international writers’ group for persons with disabilities. The following is my poetic nudge to members to read and create more poetry. As you can see, my name forms the stem of the acrostic. That’s my playful reminder that I’m the one doing the nudging. *

Poetic Nudge

*an acrostic call to read and write poetry from Joan Myles*

Jangle a jingle

Or wrangle a rhyme

Angle and wrinkle

Negating all time

Mystify mesmerize

Yodel and yell

Lyrically speaking

Exacting Love’s