I Am Waiting by Lawrence Ferlinghetti


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I am waiting for my case to come up
and I am waiting
for a rebirth of wonder
and I am waiting for someone
to really discover America
and wail
and I am waiting
for the discovery
of a new symbolic western frontier
and I am waiting
for the American Eagle
to really spread its wings
and straighten up and fly right
and I am waiting
for the Age of Anxiety
to drop dead
and I am waiting
for the war to be fought
which will make the world safe
for anarchy
and I am waiting
for the final withering away
of all governments
and I am perpetually awaiting
a rebirth of wonder
I am waiting for the Second Coming
and I am waiting
for a religious revival
to sweep thru the state of Arizona
and I am waiting
for the Grapes of Wrath to be stored
and I am waiting
for them to prove
that God is really American
and I am waiting
to see God on television
piped onto church altars
if only they can find
the right channel
to tune in on
and I am waiting
for the Last Supper to be served again
with a strange new appetizer
and I am perpetually awaiting
a rebirth of wonder
I am waiting for my number to be called
and I am waiting
for the Salvation Army to take over
and I am waiting
for the meek to be blessed
and inherit the earth
without taxes
and I am waiting
for forests and animals
to reclaim the earth as theirs
and I am waiting
for a way to be devised
to destroy all nationalisms
without killing anybody
and I am waiting
for linnets and planets to fall like rain
and I am waiting for lovers and weepers
to lie down together again
in a new rebirth of wonder
I am waiting for the Great Divide to be crossed
and I am anxiously waiting
for the secret of eternal life to be discovered
by an obscure general practitioner
and I am waiting
for the storms of life
to be over
and I am waiting
to set sail for happiness
and I am waiting
for a reconstructed Mayflower
to reach America
with its picture story and tv rights
sold in advance to the natives
and I am waiting
for the lost music to sound again
in the Lost Continent
in a new rebirth of wonder
I am waiting for the day
that maketh all things clear
and I am awaiting retribution
for what America did
to Tom Sawyer
and I am waiting
for Alice in Wonderland
to retransmit to me
her total dream of innocence
and I am waiting
for Childe Roland to come
to the final darkest tower
and I am waiting
for Aphrodite
to grow live arms
at a final disarmament conference
in a new rebirth of wonder
I am waiting
to get some intimations
of immortality
by recollecting my early childhood
and I am waiting
for the green mornings to come again
youth’s dumb green fields come back again
and I am waiting
for some strains of unpremeditated art
to shake my typewriter
and I am waiting to write
the great indelible poem
and I am waiting
for the last long careless rapture
and I am perpetually waiting
for the fleeing lovers on the Grecian Urn
to catch each other up at last
and embrace
and I am awaiting
perpetually and forever
a renaissance of wonder

The Mind Is an Enchanting Thing by Marianne Moore



is an enchanted thing
    like the glaze on a
        subdivided by sun
        till the nettings are legion.
Like Gieseking playing Scarlatti;

like the apteryx-awl
    as a beak, or the
kiwi’s rain-shawl
        of haired feathers, the mind
        feeling its way as though blind,
walks along with its eyes on the ground.

It has memory’s ear
    that can hear without
having to hear.
        Like the gyroscope’s fall,
        truly unequivocal
because trued by regnant certainty,

it is a power of
    strong enchantment. It
is like the dove-
        neck animated by
        sun; it is memory’s eye;
it’s conscientious inconsistency.

It tears off the veil, tears
    the temptation, the
mist the heart wears,
        from its eyes—if the heart
        has a face; it takes apart
dejection. It’s fire in the dove-neck’s

iridescence; in the
of Scarlatti.
        Unconfusion submits
        its confusion to proof; it’s
not a Herod’s oath that cannot change.

From Ecclesiastes 3, King James Bible…


To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to get, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 A time to love, and a time to hate;
a time of war, and a time of peace.

Merry Autumn by Paul Laurence Dunbar


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It’s all a farce,—these tales they tell
About the breezes sighing,
And moans astir o’er field and dell,
Because the year is dying.

Such principles are most absurd,—
I care not who first taught ’em;
There’s nothing known to beast or bird
To make a solemn autumn.

In solemn times, when grief holds sway
With countenance distressing,
You’ll note the more of black and gray
Will then be used in dressing.

Now purple tints are all around;
The sky is blue and mellow;
And e’en the grasses turn the ground
From modest green to yellow.

The seed burrs all with laughter crack
On featherweed and jimson;
And leaves that should be dressed in black
Are all decked out in crimson.

A butterfly goes winging by;
A singing bird comes after;
And Nature, all from earth to sky,
Is bubbling o’er with laughter.

The ripples wimple on the rills,
Like sparkling little lasses;
The sunlight runs along the hills,
And laughs among the grasses.

The earth is just so full of fun
It really can’t contain it;
And streams of mirth so freely run
The heavens seem to rain it.

Don’t talk to me of solemn days
In autumn’s time of splendor,
Because the sun shows fewer rays,
And these grow slant and slender.

Why, it’s the climax of the year,—
The highest time of living!—
Till naturally its bursting cheer
Just melts into thanksgiving.

Sonnet 123 by William Shakespeare


No, Time, thou shalt not boast that I do change:
Thy pyramids built up with newer might
To me are nothing novel, nothing strange;
They are but dressings of a former sight.
Our dates are brief, and therefore we admire
What thou dost foist upon us that is old,
And rather make them born to our desire
Than think that we before have heard them told.
Thy registers and thee I both defy,
Not wondering at the present nor the past;
For thy records and what we see doth lie,
Made more or less by that continual haste.
   This I do vow, and this shall ever be:
   I will be true, despite thy scythe and thee.

The Sanctuary by Ford Madox Ford


Shadowed by your dear hair, your dear kind eyes
Look on wine-purple seas, whitened afar
With marble foam, where the dim islands are.
We sit forgetting. For the great pines rise
Above dark cypress to the dim white skies
So clear and black and still—to one great star.
The marble dryads and the veined white jar
Gleam from the grove.  Glimmering, the white owl flies
In the dark shade.  .  .  .
.                                 If ever life was harsh
Here we forget—or ever friends turned foes.
The sea cliffs beetle down above the marsh
And through sea-holly the black panther goes.
And in the shadows of this secret place
Your kind, dear eyes shine in your dear, dear face.


All Hallows’ Eve by Dorothea Tanning



Be perfect, make it otherwise.
Yesterday is torn in shreds.
Lightning’s thousand sulfur eyes
Rip apart the breathing beds.
Hear bones crack and pulverize.
Doom creeps in on rubber treads.
Countless overwrought housewives,
Minds unraveling like threads,
Try lipstick shades to tranquilize
Fears of age and general dreads.
Sit tight, be perfect, swat the spies,
Don’t take faucets for fountainheads.
Drink tasty antidotes. Otherwise
You and the werewolf: newlyweds.

The Owl by Robert Penn Warren


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From Kentucky Mountain Farm…


Here was the sound of water falling only,
Which is not sound but silence musical
Tumbling forever down the gorge’s wall.
Like late milkweed that blooms beside the lonely
And sunlit stone, peace bloomed all afternoon.
Where time is not is peace; and here the shadow,
That crept to him across the western meadow
And climbed the hill to mark the dropping sun,
Seemed held a space, washed downward by the water
Whose music flowed against the flow of time.
It could not be. Dark fell along the stream,
And like a child grown suddenly afraid,
With shaking knees, hands bloody on the stone,
Toward the upland gleaming fields he fled.
Light burned against their rim, was quickly gone.

Later he would remember this, and start.
And once or twice again his tough old heart
Knew sickness that the rabbit’s heart must know,
When star by star the great wings float,
And down the moonlit track below
Their mortal silken shadow sweeps the snow.
O scaled bent claw, infatuate deep throat!

a nature poem for you by Charles Bukowski



I’ve got these two kittens who are rapidly growing into
cats and
we sleep on the same bed – the problem being that
they are early risers:
I am often awakened by claws running across my

all they do is run, eat, sleep, shit and
but at moments they are still and they look
at me
with eyes
far more beautiful than any human eyes I have ever
they are good guys.

late at night when I drink and type
they are about
like say
one on the back of my chair and the other down there
nibbling at my toes.
we have a natural concern for each other, like to know
where we are and where everything

they come out
run across the floor
run across the typed sheet there
leaving wrinkles and tiny puncture-holes in the

they leap into the big box of letters I get from
but they don’t answer, they are house-

I expect any number of cat poems from them
of which this is the

“my god,” they will say, “all Chinaski writes about
are cats!”
“my god,” they used to say, “all Chinaski writes about
are whores!”

the complainers will complain and keep buying my
books: they love the way I irritate

this is the last poem of any number of poems
tonight, there’s
one drink of wine left
and both of those guys
they are asleep across the top of my feet.
I can feel the gentle weight of them
the touch of fur
I am aware of their breathing:
good things happen often, remember that
as the Bombs trundle out in their magnificent
at my feet
know more,
and instants of the moments explode
and a lucky past
can never be

Knoxville, Tennessee by Nikki Giovanni



I always like summer
you can eat fresh corn
from daddy’s garden
and okra
and greens
and cabbage
and lots of
and buttermilk
and homemade ice-cream
at the church picnic
and listen to
gospel music
at the church
and go to the mountains with
your grandmother
and go barefooted
and be warm
all the time
not only when you go to bed
and sleep