Poem of the Week

Thank you to everyone who has suggested poems for us to put up on the shop window of The Good Heart during the lockdown.

Photograph by Alexander Andrews on www.unsplash.com
Week One: Stay Home by Wendell Berry

 I will wait here in the fields
 to see how well the rain
 brings on the grass.
 In the labor of the fields
 longer than a man’s life
 I am at home. Don’t come with me.
 You stay home too.
 I will be standing in the woods
 where the old trees
 move only with the wind
 and then with gravity.
 In the stillness of the trees
 I am at home. Don’t come with me.
 You stay home too.
Week Two: Covid Spring by Dan Lupton
 As we are confined and turned in on ourselves
 The rest of life is coming into bud
 Days lengthen, soils warm
 -       And we are grounded
 A shock in one species which the rest of life ignores
 We humans are fixated by our dramas
 Of course I am too
 I monopolise the centre of my universe
 This tide between self-importance
 (Species and individual)
 And the flow of life
 That may shrug off both humans and covid,
 Mirrors winter and spring
 We may emerge purified
 By tragedy or isolation 
 Or give a sigh of relief
 And jump back into our familiar prisons
Week Three: Today by Mary Oliver
 Today I’m flying low and I’m
 not saying a word
 I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.
 The world goes on as it must,
 the bees in the garden rumbling a little,
 the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.
 And so forth.
 But I’m taking the day off.
 Quiet as a feather.
 I hardly move though really I’m traveling
 a terrific distance.
 Stillness. One of the doors
 into the temple.

Week Four: Spring by e e cummings

 O sweet spontaneous
 earth how often have
 fingers of
 prurient philosophers pinched
 , has the naughty thumb
 of science prodded
 beauty, how
 often have religions taken
 thee upon their scraggy knees
 squeezing and
 buffeting thee that thou mightest conceive
 to the incomparable
 couch of death thy
 thou answerest
 them only with

Week Five: Keeping Quiet by Pablo Neruda

 Now we will count to twelve
 and we will all keep still
 for once on the face of the earth,
 let’s not speak in any language;
 let’s stop for a second,
 and not move our arms so much.
 It would be an exotic moment
 without rush, without engines;
 we would all be together
 in a sudden strangeness.
 Fishermen in the cold sea
 would not harm whales
 and the man gathering salt
 would not look at his hurt hands.
 Those who prepare green wars,
 wars with gas, wars with fire,
 victories with no survivors,
 would put on clean clothes
 and walk about with their brothers
 in the shade, doing nothing.
 What I want should not be confused
 with total inactivity.
 Life is what it is about;
 I want no truck with death.
 If we were not so single-minded
 about keeping our lives moving,
 and for once could do nothing,
 perhaps a huge silence
 might interrupt this sadness
 of never understanding ourselves
 and of threatening ourselves with death.
 Perhaps the earth can teach us
 as when everything seems dead
 and later proves to be alive.
 Now I’ll count up to twelve
 and you keep quiet and I will go. 

Week Six: How to make Apple Crumble by Cathy Grindrod

 Balance in your palm a green winter moon. 
 Slide a steel blade in
 to set in motion
 the fall of spiralling skin
 wheeling in rings, twisting its light path,
 splashing a snake-trail on marble. 
 Slice your naked moon. 
 Let flour rain
 like dust motes through sun beams
 in kitchens of glass.
 Make a sweet blanket,
 rough as a cottage, pebble-dashed;
 where a witch once lived
 who stirred a spell in an earthenware dish
 the colour of sand.
 Smother your slives of applie moon
 like a fresh snowfall. 
 Make it white hot.
 Take a cold spoon;
 dig deep to its creaking core.