Laughter – Bonnie Ruth Shaulis

Laughter is a pleasant sound, it spreads joy all around
Whether you’re young or old, laughter can be like
Magic to our souls, whenever we’re feeling sad
Laughter can sustain us so that things don’t seem
Quite so bad, if we give into laughter, it can be like
A cure for something that seems impossible to endure
So any time your spirits need a lift fill yourself
With laughter and you will find, a much happier
Person with a peaceful frame of mind

Together – Siegfried Sassoon

Splashing along the boggy woods all day,
And over brambled hedge and holding clay,
I shall not think of him:
But when the watery fields grow brown and dim,
And hounds have lost their fox, and horses tire,
I know that he’ll be with me on my way
Home through the darkness to the evening fire.
He’s jumped each stile along the glistening lanes;
His hand will be upon the mud-soaked reins;
Hearing the saddle creak,
He’ll wonder if the frost will come next week.
I shall forget him in the morning light;
And while we gallop on he will not speak:
But at the stable-door he’ll say good-night.

We May Live Together – Anne Bradstreet

If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were lov’d by wife, then thee.
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me, ye women, if you can.
I prize thy love more than whole Mines of gold
Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
My love is such that Rivers cannot quench,
Nor ought but love from thee give recompetence.
Thy love is such I can no way repay.
The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray.
Then while we live, in love let’s so persever
That when we live no more, we may live ever.

The Green Bowl – Amy Lowell

This little bowl is like a mossy pool
In a Spring wood, where dogtooth violets grow
Nodding in chequered sunshine of the trees;
A quiet place, still, with the sound of birds,
Where, though unseen, is heard the endless song
And murmur of the never resting sea.
‘T was winter, Roger, when you made this cup,
But coming Spring guided your eager hand
And round the edge you fashioned young green leaves,
A proper chalice made to hold the shy
And little flowers of the woods. And here
They will forget their sad uprooting, lost
In pleasure that this circle of bright leaves
Should be their setting; once more they will dream
They hear winds wandering through lofty trees
And see the sun smiling between the leaves.

Sexual Soup – Erica Jong

A man so sick that the sexual soup
cannot save him –

the chicken soup of sex
which cures everything:
tossed mane of noodles,
bits of pale white meat.
the globules of yellow fat
like love…

But he is a man so sick
no soup can save him.

His throat has healed into a scar.
Rage fills his guts.
He wants to diet on dust.

I offered to feed him
(spoon by spoon)
myself.

I offered my belly as a bowl.
I offered my hands as spoons,
my knees as tongs,
my breasts as the chafing dish
to keep us warm

I offered my navel
as a brandy snifter.

“My tongue is gone,” he said,
“I have no teeth.
My mouth is with my mother in the grave.
I’ve offered up my hunger to the air,
my nostrils to the wind,
my sex to death,
my eyes to nothingness & dust.”

“What do you lust for then?”
I asked.

“I lust for nothing.”

Milkmaid – Laurie Lee

The girl’s far treble, muted to the heat,
calls like a fainting bird across the fields
to where her flock lies panting for her voice,
their black horns buried deep in marigolds.

They climb awake, like drowsy butterflies,
and press their red flanks through the tall branched grass,
and as they go their wandering tongues embrace
the vacant summer mirrored in their eyes.

Led to the limestone shadows of a barn
they snuff their past embalmed in the hay,
while her cool hand, cupped to the udder’s fount,
distils the brimming harvest of their day.

Look what a cloudy cream the earth gives out,
fat juice of buttercups and meadow-rye;
the girl dreams milk within her body’s field
and hears, far off, her muted children cry

Apples – Laurie Lee

Behold the apples’ rounded worlds:
juice-green of July rain,
the black polestar of flowers, the rind
mapped with its crimson stain.

The russet, crab and cottage red
burn to the sun’s hot brass,
then drop like sweat from every branch
and bubble in the grass.

They lie as wanton as they fall,
and where they fall and break,
the stallion clamps his crunching jaws,
the starling stabs his beak.

In each plump gourd the cidery bite
of boys’ teeth tears the skin;
the waltzing wasp consumes his share,
the bent worm enters in.

I, with as easy hunger, take
entire my season’s dole;
welcome the ripe, the sweet, the sour,
the hollow and the whole. 

Town Owl – Laurie Lee

On eves of cold, when slow coal fires,
rooted in basements, burn and branch,
brushing with smoke the city air;
When quartered moons pale in the sky,
and neons glow along the dark
like deadly nightshade on a briar;
Above the muffled traffic then
I hear the owl, and at his note
I shudder in my private chair.
For like an auger he has come
to roost among our crumbling walls,
his blooded talons sheathed in fur.
Some secret lure of time it seems
has called him from his country wastes
to hunt a newer wasteland here.
And where the candlabra swung
bright with the dancers’ thousand eyes,
now his black, hooded pupils stare,
And where the silk-shoed lovers ran
with dust of diamonds in their hair,
he opens now his silent wing,
And, like a stroke of doom, drops down,
and swoops across the empty hall,
and plucks a quick mouse off the stair… 

Winter Poem – Laurie Lee

Tonight the wind gnaws with teeth of glass
The jackdaw shivers in caged branches of iron
The stars have talons
There is hunger in the mouth of vole and badger
Silver agonies of breath in the nostril of the fox
Ice on the rabbit’s paw
Tonight has no moon, no food for the pilgrim
The fruit tree is bare, the rose bush a thorn
And the ground is bitter with stones
But the mole sleeps and the hedgehog lies curled in a womb of leaves
And the bean and the wheat seed hug their germs in the earth
And a stream moves under the ice
Tonight there is no moon
But a star opens like a trumpet over the dead
And tonight in a nest of ruins the blessed babe is laid
And the fir tree warms to a bloom of candles
And the child lights his lantern and stares at his tinsel toy
And our hearts and hearths smoulder with live ashes
In the blood of our grief the cold earth is suckled
In our agony the womb convulses its seed
And in the last cry of anguish
The child’s first breath is born

Blank Joy – Rainer Maria Rilke

She who did not come, wasn’t she determined
nonetheless to organize and decorate my heart?
If we had to exist to become the one we love,
what would the heart have to create?

Lovely joy left blank, perhaps you are
the center of all my labors and my loves.
If I’ve wept for you so much, it’s because
I preferred you among so many outlined joys.

A Joy – Deva De Silva

It’s a joy smelling to high heavens
At day’s end, tending my garden
Dressed in mud
Kissed by the sun

It’s a joy singing old tunes
Alone, in a crowd
Loosing the key midway
Pulling it off anyways

It’s a joy dancing naked
Before my most feared critic
Peaking at myself in a
Horror-struck vanity mirror

It’s a joy being silent
When all else profound
A frog, yellow bellied
Dozing off on a lotus leaf

It’s a joy being loud
When the world dumbfounds
A crow rising at dawn
Training its vocal muscle

It’s a joy, letting fingers roam
Whenever they insist on
As I inscribe in earnest
My holy viewpoint

Oh joy!
I can write
When all else
Cease to exist

Weather Wise. – Fay Slimm

From murky 
overcast sky
rife with heavily 
laden cold
comes out of nowhere 
brightness.

The warm sun’s face 
pushes holes
through 
to reveal cornflower blue
circles of bloom, 
bouqueting
the day

Smiles begin 
undoing furrowed brows 
and start 
breaking frowns in two, 
increasingly.

From nowhere folk want 
to hello
and tension 
shows a release.

Murky weather moods 
have to go. 

Sleepy Weather – Smoky Hoss

My dog lay asleep by the window
lost in dreams of drizzle, 
I pat her head
and watch the rain descend.

Cold November blows
October forever away, 
and here am I, a melancholy warm
sitting with my faithful old friend.

The wind wails
a mournful tune, 
a song sung sad
when the sky comes weeping.

The fireplace aglow
holds the heart at home, 
as simply contented
I and my old dog, together, lay sleeping. 

Under The Weather – Kyle Jones

The first dark day of summer came sooner than I had hoped, 
I took one look at it and just looked back at me
‘You’re a total wreck’ it said
‘Wearing a jacket in this overheated hell hole’

‘You turned me on in winter’ I replied

I walked away from it soon after
‘Haven’t I gone blind yet I wonder’ aloud
but I don’t want to see out of my eyes anymore…
Just staring Inside my own soul 

Seeing how terrified I’ve become
Now I’ve got this sick feeling inside
Whenever it rains, and when it doesn’t

The perfect end to a perfect life
But, with nothing on the horizon
I forget about what’s above
and All I can think about is what I’m under, 
The only thing that ever makes any more sense 

Beauty – Sam Price

Most people find beauty in looks,
But I find beauty from the written words in books.
I find beauty in the sun set and sun rise.
I find beauty in three small dog’s eyes.
I find beauty in the motion of the sea.
The green fingers of mother nature are very beautiful to me.
I find beauty in my friends laughter.
I find beauty in stories that end happily ever after.

Beauty – Edwina Matthews

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder
Beauty is in all things.
Beauty is in the sky.
Beauty is in the water ever so blue.
Beauty is the winter when trees are covered with snow.
Beauty is the summer when you smell and see the flowers grow.
Beauty is all things big and little.
Beauty is in all things,
Black and white.
Beauty is in all things, you and me.
Beauty is all around us…can’t you see?

Night’s Tender Kiss – Frederick Kesner

your northern smile embraces –
shining stars in the dimming sky

sparkles burst and pierce me
such brightness lightens my load
another day closes, sun sleeps
another night begins, stars keep

a hope of us together one day

across an ocean – now divides us
steps hasten screen door bangs
my chin lifts, eyes peering deep
this night is your day my sweet

slumber with fondest thoughts
our souls’ yearning tendrils enlace.

Kiss Me – Ernestine Northover

Kiss me and make it seem better,
Kiss me and quiet my heart,
I never once asked for a letter,
Stating you wanted to part.

Kiss me and declare you were wrong dear,
Kiss me and confirm it’s okay,
Say all those things that I so want to hear,
And wipe all my tears away.

Kiss me and let’s stay together,
Kiss me and pour out the wine,
Sit with me on my sofa of leather,
And say that everything will be fine.

Kiss me and tell me you love me,
Kiss me with passion to spare,
Don’t think of leaving, that is my plea
And also my ardent prayer.

Kiss me, I need you so deeply,
Kiss me, what more can I say,
But with reality looming before me,
This dream has just melted away.