Put a Poem in Your Pocket

The poet wrote:

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

April also National Poetry Month, a celebration of poetry started in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets. As part of the celebration, today (April 30th) is the second national Poem in Your Pocket Day. Put a poem in your pocket today and read it to your friends, family, and co-workers and a few other times to yourself, as well.

I’ve been pondering the poem I will put in my pocket today. Since I usually have a couple of extra pockets, I am going to carry around the following three, leaving open for now the reasons for my selections:

Czeslaw Milosz An Honest Description of Myself with a Glass of Whiskey at an Airport, Let us say, in Minneapolis

My ears catch less and less of conversations, and my eyes have weakened, though they are still insatiable.

I see their legs in miniskirts, slacks, wavy fabrics.

Peep at each one separately, at their buttocks and thighs, lulled by the imaginings of porn.

Old lecher, it's time for you to the grave, not to the games and amusements of youth.

But I do what I have always done: compose scenes of this earth under orders from the erotic imagination.

It's not that I desire these creatures precisely; I desire everything, and they are like a sign of ecstatic union.

It's not my fault that we are made so, half from disinterested contemplation, half from appetite.

If I should accede one day to Heaven, it must be there as it is here, except that I will be rid of my dull senses and my heavy bones.

Changed into pure seeing, I will absorb, as before, the proportions of human bodies, the color of irises, a Paris street in June at dawn, all of it incomprehensible, incomprehensible the multitude of visible things.

Mary Oliver The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Harold Pinter A Poem (To A)

I shall miss you so much when I’m dead
The loveliest of smiles
The softness of your body in our bed

My everlasting bride
Remember that when I am dead
You are forever alive in my heart and my head

What poem(s) will you carry in your pocket today?