We first saw it on a night pitch as a dungeon, the world’s midnight. It appeared the only brightness in the universe, a bird of pure light soaring, a crystal ship sailing the dark deluge, a dazzling denizen of heaven leaping the vast vault towards our long lost world....
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Poetry Rx | “Chemotherapy” by Julia Darlingd
Julia Darling (1956-2005) I did not imagine being bald at forty four. I didn’t have a plan. Perhaps a scar or two from growing old, hot flushes. I’d sit fluttering a fan. But I am bald, and hardly ever walk by day, I’m the invalid of these rooms, stirring soups, awake...
Poetry Rx | “From Cedi la Strada Agli Alberi” by Franco Arminio
From Cedi la Strada Agli Alberi Franco Arminio (b. 1960) Translated by Sarah Lambert-Porter We need farmers, poets, people who know how to make bread, who love trees and recognize the wind. More than a year of growth, it would take a year of attention. Attention to...
Poetry Rx | “Sorrow Is Not My Name” by Ross Gay
“Sorrow Is Not My Name” Ross Gay (b. 1974) — after Gwendolyn Brooks No matter the pull toward brink. No matter the florid, deep sleep awaits. There is a time for everything. Look, just this morning a vulture nodded his red, grizzled head at me, and I looked at him,...
Our Friends | Do You Remember Barbara
“Remember Barbara,” begins a wonderful poem by Jacques Prevert about love and war: the Second World War and the destruction of the French port, Brest; the love of Barbara and the desolate loss of that love. It reminded me of my friend, Barbara, and the Alzheimer's...
Poetry Rx | “My Heart Can Take on Any Form” by Ibn Arabi
My heart can take on any form: A meadow for gazelles, A cloister for monks, For the idols, sacred ground, Ka'ba for the circling pilgrim, The tables of the Torah, The scrolls of the Quran. My creed is Love; Wherever its caravan turns along the way, That is my belief,...
Poetry Rx | “Affirmation” by Donald Hall
To grow old is to lose everything. Aging, everybody knows it. Even when we are young, we glimpse it sometimes, and nod our heads when a grandfather dies. Then we row for years on the midsummer pond, ignorant and content. But a marriage, that began without harm, scatters into debris on the shore, and a […]
Did You Know That Walt Whitman Served as a Nurse during the Civil War?
Walt Whitman (1819–1892) was born May 31, 1819 into a working-class family in Long Island, New York. He worked throughout his life as a teacher and in the publishing and printing trades. Whitman also served as a nurse during the American Civil War, 1861–1865, which he...
Poetry Rx | “Evergreen 6.22.15” by Cassidy Macdonald
A poem Cassidy wrote in memory of a beloved Coral Tree client, Mary, a Japanese-American woman, who lived in Irvine and passed away in June, 2015 at 90 years old. Mary was buried at Evergreen Cemetery, in Boyle Heights, in East Los Angeles. Evergreen is one of the...
Poetry Rx | “A Private Singularity” by John Koethe
The American poet John Koethe is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I used to like being young, and I still do, Because I think I still am. There are physical Objections to that thought, and yet what Fascinates me now is how...
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