Sunday, August 12, 2018

The Diver / W.W.E. Ross

The Diver

I would like to dive
Into this still pool
Where the rocks at the bottom are safely deep,

Into the green
Of the water seen from within,
A strange light
Streaming past my eyes –

Things hostile;
You cannot stay here, they seem to say;
The rocks, slime covered, the undulating
Fronds of weed –

And drift slowly
Among the cooler zones;
Then, upward turning,
Break from the green glimmer

Into the light,
White and ordinary of the day;
And the mild air,
With the breeze and the comfortable shore.

W.W.E. Ross (1894-1966)
from Laconics, 1930

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada]

W.W.E. Ross biography

Saturday, August 11, 2018

The Ocean / Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Ocean

The Ocean has its silent caves,
Deep, quiet, and alone;
Though there be fury on the waves,
Beneath them there is none.

The awful spirits of the deep
Hold their communion there;
And there are those for whom we weep,
The young, the bright, the fair.

Calmly the wearied seamen rest
Beneath their own blue sea.
The ocean solitudes are blest,
For there is purity.

The earth has guilt, the earth has care,
Unquiet are its graves;
But peaceful sleep is ever there,
Beneath the dark blue waves.

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)
from The Mariner's Library; or, Voyager's companion, 1833

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Nathaniel Hawthorne biography

Sunday, August 5, 2018

To the Sea Angel / Will Dockery

To the Sea Angel

Riptide waves,
there goes the sea angel,
right above the waves.

These mystery years,
where would I be without them?
What if I'd stayed happy?

Years lost,
these last few I've played catch up,
drifting from the shore.

Barnacles on an olive shell,
brain choral in my mind.

Instrumental tune,
made by the incoming waves.

I tossed a starfish back in,
watched it twirl away,
and thought of you.

Will Dockery 

[All rights reserved - used with permission]

Will Dockery biography

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Sea Gulls / Jeanette Marks

Sea Gulls

On Leaving Eggemoggin

Sea gulls I saw lifting the dawn with rosy feet,
Bearing the sunlight on their wings,
Dripping the dusk from burnished plumes;
And I thought
It would be a joy to be a sea gull
At dusk, at dawn of way,
And through long sunlit hours.

Sea gulls I saw carrying the night on their backs,
Wide tail spread crescent for the moon and stars –
The moon a glowing jelly fish,
The stars foam flecks of light;
And I thought
It would be joy to be a sea gull!

How I would dart with them,
Strike storm with coral spur,
Rip whirling spray of angry tides,
Snatch mangled, light-shot offal of the sea,–
Torn, tossed, and moving terribly;
And stare for stare anser those myriad eyes
That float and sway, stab, sting, and die away!

How I would peer from wide cold eyes of fire –
At dusk, at dawn
And through the long daylight –
Into those coiling depths of sea;
Then split the sun, the moon, the stars,
With laughter, laughter, laughter,
For the sea's mad power!

Jeanette Marks (1874-1964)
from Willow Pollen, 1921

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada and the United States]

Jeanette Marks biography

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Penny's Top 20 / July 2018

Penny's Top 20
The most-visited poems on  The Penny Blog in July 2018:

  1.  Breeze, Ilya Shambat
  2.  When the World is Burning, Ebenezer Jones
  3.  Inniskeen Road: July Evening, Patrick Kavanagh
  4.  Cuckoo Song
  5.  Christ Walks in this Infernal District Too, Malcolm Lowry
  6.  Summer 1924, Mary Devenport O'Neill
  7.  A Summer's Night, Paul Laurence Dunbar
  8.  Esthetique du Mal, Wallace Stevens
  9.  I love to see the summer beaming forth, John Clare

10.  When Summer Comes, Sophia Almon Hensley

11.  Unwelcome, Mary Elizabeth Coleridge
12.  Daysleepers, George J. Dance
13.  The Flute of Spring, Bliss Carman
14.  Penny, or Penny's Hat, George J. Dance  
15.  The Reader, Wallace Stevens
16.  Vowels, Arthur Rimbaud
17.  A Christmas Greeting, Walt Whitman
18.  The Bright Extensive Will, AE Reiff
19.  May, Christina Rossetti
20.  Cherry-Ripe, Robert Herrick

Source: Blogger, "Stats"

Sunday, July 29, 2018

I love to see the summer beaming forth / John Clare


I love to see the summer beaming forth
And white wool sack clouds sailing to the north
I love to see the wild flowers come again
And Mare blobs stain with gold the meadow drain
And water lilies whiten on the floods
Where reed clumps rustle like a wind shook wood
Where from her hiding place the Moor Hen pushes
And seeks her flag nest floating in bull rushes
I like the willow leaning half way o'er
The clear deep lake to stand upon its shore
I love the hay grass when the flower head swings
To summer winds and insects happy wings
That sport about the meadow the bright day
And see bright beetles in the clear lake play

John Clare (1793-1864), 1841

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

John Clare biography

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Unwelcome / Mary Elizabeth Coleridge


We were young, we were merry, we were very very wise,
And the door stood open at our feast,
When there passed us a woman with the West in her eyes,
And a man with his back to the East.

Oh, still grew the hearts that were beating so fast,
The loudest voice was still,
The jest died away on our lips as they passed,
And the rays of July struck chill.

The cups of red wine turned pale on the board,
The white bread black as soot,
The hound forgot the hand of her lord,
She fell down at his foot.

Low let me lie, where the dead dog lies,
Ere I sit me down again at a feast,
When there passes a woman with the West in her eyes,
And a man with his back to the East.

Mary Elizabeth Coleridge (1861-1907)
from Poems, 1907

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]