Along with what feels like every other book in my house, I'm reading Nine Horses, a collection of poems by Billy Collins. I really like his style and so far I've come across a few poems that I really like, so I thought I'd share.
So here's my little disclaimer: I own nothing. All of the following poems were written by Billy Collins. Not me. I'm not so talented. There you go...
In the club car that morning I had my notebook
open on my lap and my pen uncapped,
looking every inch the writer
right down to the little writer's frown on my face,
but there was nothing to write about
except life and death
and the low warning sound of the train whistle.
I did not want to write about the scenery
that was flashing past, cows spread over a pasture,
hay rolled up meticulously --
things you see once and will never see again.
But I kept my pen moving by drawing
over and over again
the face of a motorcyclist in profile --
for no reason I can think of --
a biker with sunglasses and a weak chin,
leaning forward, helmetless,
his long thin hair trailing behind him in the wind.
I also drew many lines to indicate speed,
to show the air becoming visible
as it broke over the biker's face
the way it was breaking over the face
of the locomotive that was pulling me
toward Omaha and whatever lay beyond Omaha
for me and all the other stops to make
before the time would arrive to stop for good.
We must always look at things
from the point of view of eternity,
the college theologians used to insist,
from which, I imagine, we would all
appear to have speed lines trailing behind us
as we rush along the road of the world,
as we rush down the long tunnel of time --
the biker, of course, drunk on the wind,
but also the man reading by a fire,
speed lines coming off his shoulders and his book,
and the woman standing on a beach
studying the curve of horizon,
even the child asleep on a summer night,
speed lines flying from the posters of her bed,
from the white tips of the pillowcases,
and from the edges of her perfectly motionless body.
"More Than a Woman"
Ever since I woke up today,
a song has been playing uncontrollably
in my head -- a tape looping
over the spools of the brain,
a rosary in the hands of a frenetic nun,
mad fan belt of a tune.
It must have escaped from the radio
last night on the drive home
and tunneled while I slept
from my ears to the center of my cortex.
It is a song so cloying and vapid
I won't even bother mentioning the title,
but on it plays as if I were a turntable
covered with dancing children and their spooky pantomimes,
as if everything I had ever learned
was being slowly replaced
by its slinky chords and the puffballs of its lyrics.
It played while I watered the plant
and continued when I brought the mail
and fanned out the letters on a table.
It repeated itself when I took a walk
and watched from a bridge
brown leaves floating in the channels of a current.
In the late afternoon it seemed to fade,
but I heard it again at the restaurant
when I peered in at the lobsters
lying on the bottom of an illuminated
tank which was filled to the brim
with their copious tears.
And now at this dark window
in the middle of the night
I am beginning to think
I coudl be listening to music of the spheres,
the sound no one ever hears
because it has been playing forever,
only the spheres are colored pool balls,
and the music is oozing from a jukebox
whose lights I can just make out through the clouds.
If ever there were a spring day so perfect,
so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze
that it made you want to throw
open all the windows in the house
and unlatch the door to the canary's cage,
indeed, rip the little door from its jamb,
a day when the cool brick paths
and the garden bursting with peonies
seemed so etched in sunlight
that you felt like taking
a hammer to the glass paperweight
on the living room end table,
releasing the inhabitants
from their snow-covered cottage
so they could walk out,
holding hands and squinting
into this larger dome of blue and white,
well, today is just that kind of day.
So that was my poetry sharing break. I hope you enjoyed it. I've been thinking about posting some of my own stuff if/when I ever start writing again. We shall see. But I do like sharing the stuff I'm reading and poetry is something that I can easily put up here for you guys to read.
1 day ago