Monday 11 November 2019

2 Poems by Grace Cavalieri

Of Our Own Making

To be at peace, we’re told there is no other world

outside ourselves,

to water the seed  every day.

Let us think of Yeats,

“Things reveal themselves passing away,”

of Eliot, “A sudden piercing joy.”

We’ve learned to hold suffering like

the wind, the weather, the sound of the rain,

yet as I sit

writing with a borrowed pen

fireflies vanish in the sky,

and under the slivered moon

we begin to lose our loneliness

but should this pass away

into time’s web

we’ll touch with a hand of tenderness again,

remembering  the poet who wrote

“Do what you can with this.”


In the small grey hut of self-doubt where the ceilings are too low for you to stand,

by the road where your friend would only drive you half-way home,

next to the trench of holes filled with grief and wrong choices,

where it’s better not to know how you should do things a different way,

tulips droop from their vases,

and death has never had so many faces.

That’s the time to go out at dusk when even the deaf talk softly;

Don’t look at the hummingbird hovering

afraid of the bubbles rising in their nectar—

Bluebirds know of danger, their air made of smoke–

large wings of prey

never far distant—

Try to find the bluebirds in their church of air,

star seeds of sound that crystallize, then burst.


Grace Cavalieri is the author of 20 books and chapbooks of poetry. She’s had 26 plays produced on American stages, most recently “Anna Nicole: Blonde Glory,” NYC, 2011. She founded two small presses, still thriving, “The Washington Writer’s Publishing House” and “The Bunny and the Crocodile Press.” She founded, produces and hosts “The Poet and the Poem, for public radio, 20 years “live” on WPFW-FM, 21 years from the Library of Congress,” now celebrating her 42 years on-air. She’s the poetry columnist/reviewer for The Washington Independent Review of Books. Among honors Grace holds 2013 Associated Writer’s Program’s George Garrett Award, the Pen-Fiction Award, two Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards, the Bordighera Poetry Award, two Paterson Poetry Awards, the inaugural Folger Library Columbia Award, The Washington Independent Review Lifetime Achievement Award, and The CPB Silver Medal.

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