Two Poems

The News

Politics of the day brings anger
the comics bring relief,
the crossword puzzle brings
struggle, a search for the right word,
elusive in the fog of memory.
Today the news brings
great sadness, 
beloved poet, 
Mary Oliver, has died.

I carried her with me on my travels,
read her poems as the plane roared
into flight, as we soared
through O’Keefe’s clouds,
and finally arrived 
on the runways of adventure.
She was a good companion on my journeys.

Reading her poems 
was a reprieve from the noise of the world.
Hearing her read
felt like she was speaking just to me,
as when I heard her read
“What I Have Learned So Far."
               Can one be passionate about the just
               and yet commit to no labor in its cause,
               . . . I don’t think so.
               The gospel of light is at the crossroads of—
               indolence or action.
               Be ignited or be gone.

(Mary Oliver 9/10/35—1/17/19)

The wall is very, very on its way

—     Donald T.  2/13/19

But the wall has no feet,
no running shoes
how can it be on its way?
And which way would it be going?
Is someone pushing the wall,
pulling the wall?
Is someone carrying the wall on his back?
Is the wall screaming to be set free?
Is the wall willing to serve as border,
to separate families, pull children
from parents?
Does the wall want to be—a wall of tears?
How many bricks or steel slats
does a billion dollars buy, 
and another billion, and another, and another . . .
and why?

Janet Leahy.jpg

Janet views poetry as a shelter from the storm of noise that bombards us.  She enjoys the way the rhythms of poetry cross borders and stir connections between diverse groups.  She has published two collections of poetry, and is currently working on a new book of Witness Poems.