Archive for the ‘Billy Collins’ Tag

Today — Bee On Desert Marigold   4 comments

Desert Marigold blogBee On Desert Marigold — Image by kenne

Today

If ever there were a spring day so perfect,
so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze

that in made you want to throw
open all the windows in the house

and unlatch the door to the canary’s cage,
indeed, rip the little door from the jamb,

a day when the cool brick paths
and the garden sprouting tulips

seemed so etched in sunlight
that you felt like taking

a hammer to the glass paperweight
on the living room end table,

releasing the inhabitants
from their snow-covered cottage

so they could walk out,
holding hands and squinting

into this larger dome of blue and white,
well, today is just that kind of day.

— Billy Collins

Billy Collins At The Tucson Festival Of Books, 2018   Leave a comment

One of my favorite living poets is Billy Collins, and no less than the Wall Street Journal has called him “America’s Favorite Poet.” If you were to do a search on this blog, you would find five references to Billy Collins.

This year’s festival is the 10th, and as usual, the two-day event was loaded with many great writers, and when it comes to poets, Collins is worthy of “rock-star” status. Let there were two poets I regret not being able to see and visit with: Sarah Cortez who has been a frequent reader at the annual Walt Whitman and Emily Dickenson birthday celebrations part of the Montgomery County Literary Arts Council “Writers In Performance Series” (One of the blogs I manage but have not updated since leaving Texas in 2010, is Writers In Performance); Juan Felipe Herrera a poet, performance artist and activist. Herrera is the son of migrant farm workers and was the U.S. Poet Laureate from 2015–2017. 

There is so much to do and see at this annual festival, which means there is so much to miss.

— kenne

Billy Collins blogBilly Collins at the Tucson Festival of Books, 2018 — Image by kenne

Billie Collins blogImage by Joy

 

Video — Billy Collins reading about goats fainting at the Tucson Festival of Books (March 10, 2018)

— Video by kenne

Balboa Park Rose Garden   1 comment

 

Balboa Park Rose Garden — Images by kenne
(Click on any of the images for larger view in a slideshow format.)

I am a lake, my poem is an empty boat,
and my life is the breeze that blows
through the whole scene

stirring everything it touches —
the surface of the water, the limp sail,
even the heavy, leafy trees along the shore.

— from “My Life” by Billy Collins

 

Dragonfly Grange ‘n’   3 comments

Dragonfly_DSC8503 grunge art blogDragonfly Grange ‘n’ — Image by kenne

This is my envoy to nothing
where I say Go, little poem — 
not out into the world of stranger’s eyes,
but off to some airy limbo,

home to lost epics,
unremembered names,
and fugitive dreams
such as the one I had last night,

which, like a fantastic city in pencil,
erased itself
in the bright morning air
just as I was waking up.

— from “Lines Lost Among Trees” by Billy Collins

A Gift for My Mother   1 comment

motherchristmaslucus03-12-21-31-blog-ii framedMy mother, Agnes — Image by kenne

As we near Mother’s Day, 2015, much will be written, gifts given and loved shared. Remembering Mother is truly a daily exercise in life. Over the last ten years, this blog has had many postings on mothers. One of my favorite poems about mothers is one by Billy Collins, titled, “The Lanyard.”

THE LANYARD

The other day as I was ricocheting slowly
off the blue walls of this room
bouncing from typewriter to piano
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
I found myself in the “L” section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word, Lanyard. 
No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one more suddenly into the past.
A past where I sat at a workbench
at a camp by a deep Adirondack lake 
learning how to braid thin plastic strips into a lanyard. 
A gift for my mother.
I had never seen anyone use a lanyard. 
Or wear one, if that’s what you did with them. 
But that did not keep me from crossing strand over strand 
again and again until I had made a boxy, red and white lanyard for my mother. 
She gave me life and milk from her breasts, 
and I gave her a lanyard 
She nursed me in many a sick room, 
lifted teaspoons of medicine to my lips, 
set cold facecloths on my forehead
then led me out into the airy light
and taught me to walk and swim and I in turn presented her with a lanyard. 
“Here are thousands of meals” she said, 
“and here is clothing and a good education.” 
“And here is your lanyard,” I replied,
“which I made with a little help from a counselor.” 
“Here is a breathing body and a beating heart, 
strong legs, bones and teeth and two clear eyes to read the world.” she whispered.
“And here,” I said, “is the lanyard I made at camp.”
“And here,” I wish to say to her now, 
“is a smaller gift. Not the archaic truth, 
that you can never repay your mother, 
but the rueful admission that when she took the two-toned lanyard from my hands,
I was as sure as a boy could be 
that this useless worthless thing I wove out of boredom 
would be enough to make us even.”

— Billy Collins

The Hikers — “It Is Time For Me To Cross The Mountain”   2 comments

Milagrosa Loop (1 of 1)-29_art blogThe Hikers — Canvas Image by kenne

It is time for me to cross the mountain. 

It is time for me to cross the mountain. 

And find another shore to darken with my pain.

And find another shore to darken with my pain.

Another pain for me to darken the mountain.

And find the time, cross my shore, to with it is be.

— from “Paradelle for Susan” by Billy Collins

Looking For Sun On A Rainy Desert Day   Leave a comment

Bernhardt Winery Ezra Charles 5-31-09Computer Painting by kenne

desert needing the rain
not meant to complain
an inch on the ground
still coming down
looking at camera dropping
doing some cropping
followed by a sun painting
while it’s still raining . . .

enough of the rhyming
I feel cheap forcing rhymes
knowing my fans will be
screaming from empty bleachers.
I seek solitude
on the patio porch
smelling the desert air
in its creosote freshness
seeking to share
a quote from
the Billy Collins poem
Marginalia —

“. . . if you have managed
to graduate from college
without ever having written
‘Man vs. Nature’
in the margin,
perhaps now is the time
to take one step forward.”

— kenne

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