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Mary Oliver: Devotions (2020, Penguin Books) No rating

Throughout her celebrated career, Mary Oliver has touched countless readers with her brilliantly crafted verse, …

In Blackwater Woods by Mary Oliver

Look, the trees are turning their own bodies into pillars

of light, are giving off the rich fragrance of cinnamon and fulfillment,

the long tapers of cattails are bursting and floating away over the blue shoulders

of the ponds, and every pond, no matter what its name is, is

nameless now. Every year everything I have ever learned

in my lifetime leads back to this: the fires and the black river of loss whose other side

is salvation, whose meaning none of us will ever know. To live in this world

you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it

against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go.

Devotions by  (Page 389 - 390)

Nikita Gill: Where Hope Comes From (Paperback, 2021, Hachette Books) No rating

People-Shaped Universes by Nikita Gill

Someone once told me, We are the universe expressing itself as a human for a while.

It makes me think of every person I meet as their own little universe,

each with their own planets of thoughts and solar systems of dreams and galaxies of emotions in their bloodstreams.

People are so much bigger on the inside than they seem on the outside.

Imagine a whole world of universes constantly bumping into each other,

listening and learning, and sometimes, just sometimes,

building a perishable forever together.

Where Hope Comes From by  (Page 91)

Mary Oliver: Devotions (2020, Penguin Books) No rating

Throughout her celebrated career, Mary Oliver has touched countless readers with her brilliantly crafted verse, …

Shadows by Mary Oliver

Everyone knows the great energies running amok cast terrible shadows, that each of the so-called senseless acts has its thread looping back through the world and into a human heart. And meanwhile the gold-trimmed thunder wanders the sky; the river may be filling the cellars of the sleeping town. Cyclone, fire, and their merry cousins bring us to grief—but these are the hours with the old wooden-god faces; we lift them to our shoulders like so many black coffins, we continue walking into the future. I don't mean there are no bodies in the river, or bones broken by the wind. I mean everyone who has heard the lethal train-roar of the tornado swears there was no mention ever of any person, or reason—I mean the waters rise without any plot upon history, or even geography. Whatever power of the earth rampages, we turn to it dazed but anonymous eyes; whatever the name of the catastrophe, it is never the opposite of love.

Devotions by  (Page 348)

Sappho: If Not, Winter (2003, Vintage) No rating

A bilingual edition of the work of the Greek poet Sappho, in a new translation …

Jericho Brown: The Tradition (Paperback, 2019, Copper Canyon Press) 3 stars

The Trees by Jericho Brown

In my front yard live three crape myrtles, crying trees We once called them, not the shadiest but soothing During a break from work in the heat, their cool sweat

Falling into us. I don't want to make more of it. I'd like to let these spindly things be Since my gift for transformation here proves

Useless now that I know everyone moves the same Whether moving in tears or moving To punch my face. A crape myrtle is

A crape myrtle. Three is a family. It is winter. They are bare. It's not that I love them Every day. It's that I love them anyway.

The Tradition by  (Page 19)

Mary Oliver: Devotions (2020, Penguin Books) No rating

Throughout her celebrated career, Mary Oliver has touched countless readers with her brilliantly crafted verse, …

Last Days by Mary Oliver

Things are changing; things are starting to spin, snap, fly off into the blue sleeve of the long afternoon. Oh and ooh come whistling out of the perished mouth of the grass, as things turn soft, boil black into substance and hue. As everything, forgetting its own enchantment, whispers: I too love oblivion why not it is full of second chances. Now, hiss the bright curls of the leaves. Now! booms the muscle of the wind.

Devotions by  (Page 410)

Love to my dears in the north marking the autumnal equinox, and my dears in the south marking the vernal equinox. May this season of transition be what you need it to be.

#MaryOliver #QueerPoetry #TodaysPoem #Poetry #BookWyrm

Danez Smith: Don't Call Us Dead: Poems (2017, Graywolf Press) No rating

Award-winning poet Danez Smith is a groundbreaking force, celebrated for deft lyrics, urgent subjects, and …

bare by Danez Smith

for you i'd send my body to battle my body, let my blood sing of tearing

itself apart, hollow cords of white knights' intravenous joust.

love, i want & barely know how to do much else. don't speak to me

about raids you could loose on me the clan of rebel cells who thirst

to watch their home burn. love let me burn if it means you

& i have one night with no barrier but skin. this isn't about danger

but about faith, about being wasted on your name. if love is a room

of broken glass, leave me to dance until my feet are memory.

if love is a hole wide enough to be God's mouth, let me plunge

into that holy dark & forget the color of light. love, stay

in me until our bodies forget what divides us, until your hands

are my hands & your blood is my blood & your name

is my name & his & his

Don't Call Us Dead: Poems by  (Page 37)

Ocean Vuong: Night Sky with Exit Wounds (Hardcover, 2019, Copper Canyon Press) No rating

Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times writes: “The poems in Mr. Vuong’s new collection, …

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

Tell me it was for the hunger & nothing less. For hunger is to give the body what it knows

it cannot keep. That this amber light whittled down by another war is all that pins my hand to your chest.

You, drowning between my arms— stay.

You, pushing your body into the river only to be left with yourself— stay.


Night Sky with Exit Wounds by 

Michael Walsh: Queer Nature (2022, Autumn House Press) No rating

Settling In by Jenny Factor

How I loved each bare floor, each naked wall, the shadows on

newly empty halls. By day, my head humming to itself of dreams, I cleaned and

scrubbed to make life new; dislodging from the corner,

the old moths and cicadas pinned to the screen, the carcasses

of grasshoppers dangling from beams, and each windowsill's clutter of

dried beetles and dead bees. But, through each opening, each closing door,

the old life returns on six legs, or spins a musty web as it roosts over

a poison pot, or descends from above to drink blood in. This is how it

happens: the settling in—the press of wilderness returns to carved-out space, to skin.

Queer Nature by 

Audre Lorde: The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde (Paperback, 2000, W. W. Norton & Company) No rating

"These are poems which blaze and pulse on the page."—Adrienne Rich "The first declaration of …

From the Greenhouse by Audre Lorde

Summer rains like my blood cries lover my lover over and over surging receding sometimes a brief sun knifing through rain like my blood speaks in alternate whispers roaring giving and taking seeking destroying beseeching green sprouts in our struggling garden blessing the earth as it suffers blind rain beating down tender sprouts in the silent mud.

My blood yells against your sleeping shoulder this is a poem of summer my blood screams at your false safety your mute body beside me driving me closer and closer you seek your own refuge farther and farther away in your dreaming the edge of our bed is approaching again rain surges against our windows green sprouts are drowning in mud and blessings in our carefully planted greenhouse I have moved as far as I can now my blood merges into your dreaming.

The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde by  (Page 312)

Mary Oliver: Devotions (2020, Penguin Books) No rating

Throughout her celebrated career, Mary Oliver has touched countless readers with her brilliantly crafted verse, …

August by Mary Oliver

When the blackberries hang swollen in the woods, in the brambles nobody owns, I spend

all day among the high branches, reaching my ripped arms, thinking

of nothing, cramming the black honey of summer into my mouth; all day my body

accepts what it is. In the dark creeks that run by there is this thick paw of my life darting among

the black bells, the leaves; there is this happy tongue.

Devotions by  (Page 365)

Michael Walsh: Queer Nature (2022, Autumn House Press) No rating

Queer Earth by Jess X. Snow

"Sexual expression is permitted only within marriage, between man and woman, male and female. Anything else is an abnormality and is against nature." — Pope Shenouda III

You speak of nature as if you invented it. Or gutted it & used its bones to fashion a white castle,

to keep you safe from all the animals you refuse to see.

Tonight, each grain of soil, each blade of grass, each droplet of blood is a time machine. Each cell

rewinds you four & a half billion years back in history. We were once genderless cells splitting our own bodies—

in two—now growing gills, fins and feet. 65,000 queer & trans species.

It's always mating season on planet Earth: look at the way leopard slugs

make love: upside down from trees—two penises coiling into orchids. A penetration

so mutual—it is worthy of bioluminescence.

Look at the way bonobo monkeys resolve conflict: queer polyamorous sex in the morning, evening, and afternoon.

Look at the penguins mating for life, warming the egg of another mother with the heat between their bellies.

When an oyster produces a perfect pearl: they transition from male to female. For crustaceans, gender is a border

that does not exist. Do you hear the orchestra of dolphins? Masturbating against the seabed, penetrating

each other's blow holes, as if this human history never began. If our love defies the logic of your biology,

then what is queer pleasure if not heavenly? Is this queer ocean not the tidal waves roaring

within your bloodstream? Is this queer Earth not the same carbon that birthed your flesh?

To be queer, Earth, and alive is to be hunted & marked wild. A beast banished from heaven,

a bleached coral reef, a jungle clear-cut, a planet domesticated like cattle, and butchered in the hands of machines.

Yet, our queerness is an ancient persistence. So tell me: we be against nature.

& our bones will remember— we've been queer for 3.6 billion springs,

summers, falls & winters. & even after your infant empire

collapses into dust, we will still be queer.

Queer Nature by  (Page 274 - 276)

A spicey poem for closing out pride month 🔥

#JessXSnow #QueerPoetry #TodaysPoem #Poetry #BookWyrm

Audre Lorde: The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde (Paperback, 2000, W. W. Norton & Company) No rating

"These are poems which blaze and pulse on the page."—Adrienne Rich "The first declaration of …

Emily Dickinson: Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson (2022, Quarto Publishing Group USA) No rating