National Poetry Month 2016

A poem a day from my list of favorites.

Apr 30: Trust by Thomas R. Smith
Most things are out of your control. Does that make you nervous?

Apr 29: ‪Mambo Cadillac by Barbara Hamby
This one you have to read aloud at a frenetic pace.

Apr 28: After Psalm 137 by Anne Porter
Every once in a while, you need a thought provoking poem. Ps 137.

Apr 27: Moving Day by Ron Koertge
This is even better than my patented Moving Party (TM) scheme.

Apr 26: Fault by Ron Koertge
It’s not my fault, it’s San Andreas fault.

Apr 25: Advice to Young Poets by Martin Espada
Good advice for anyone, really.

Apr 24: Reverence by Julie Cadwallader-Staub
Do you have a moment from your childhood that is frozen in time?

Apr 23: The Twelfth Year by Mary Jo Salter
Knowledge available only to those with the guts to go the distance.

Apr 22: Green Tea by Dale Ritterbusch
Who can say this much in 55 words?

Apr 21: The Ineffable by George Bilgere
Eventually, it all becomes effable.

Apr 20: In The Alley by Ted Kooser
Happy Valentine’s day, honey.

Apr 19: Temple by Jeffrey Harrison
Is it just me, or is it hot in here?

Apr 18: Late Summer by Carrie Fountain
Sometimes I wonder how it feels for life to be so simple.

Apr 17: Adage by Billy Collins
Totally a sucker for wordplay. That’s no secret.

Apr 16: Rendezvous by Ted McMahon
When I ran across this poem in the archives of the Writer’s Almanac, I knew I had found the perfect poem for the front matter of The Reluctant Saint.

Apr 15: Bridal Shower by George Bilgere
Don’t tell me you haven’t thought about it.

Apr 14: Bottled Water by Kim Dower
If somebody told me to write a poem about bottled water, I wouldn’t know where to start.

Apr 13: 66 by E. E. Cummings
Few can write a love poem like E. E. Cummings

Apr 12: Turtle by Kay Ryan
I ask you, who could resist a poem that starts like this: Who would be a turtle who could help it?

Apr 11: Portmanterrorism by Nick Lantz
I confess that I can’t resist a masterful display of wordplay.

Apr 10: Four Kinds of Lilacs by Leo Dangel
Like I said, let’s go see some lilacs.

Apr 9: Among the Things He Does Not Deserve by Dan Albergotti
My list is a lot longer than his. The Woman is at the top.

Apr 8: Starting a Poem by Robert Bly
This might apply to starting anything at all.

Apr 7: You Should Avoid Young Children by Claire Keyes

Today’s poem is dedicated to Hensley, hero of The Reluctant Saint.

Chapter Six: Hensley had no objection to children in principle. It was the actual incarnation of that principle that elicited in him a desire to reformulate society along the lines of the London gentleman’s club of the nineteenth century, a place of gentility, restraint, and discretion furnished with an implacable doorman to keep out the untoward disruptions that those under twenty-five invariably introduced. Primary among the trials of cohabiting with tadpoles was the necessity of quelling their screams by entertaining them with mind-numbing pastimes involving an endless repetition of elemental memes. Hensley recognized the necessity of such building blocks for the developing mind, but he didn’t have the constitution to endure the accompanying ennui.

Apr 6: San Francisco Remembered by Philip Schultz
Just remember one thing: This isn’t about women.

Apr 5: Hear My Prayer, O Lord… by Barbara Hamby
This is one wacky chick.

April 4: Music at My Mother’s Funeral by Faith Shearin
I have a list of songs for my funeral. Don’t you?

April 3: What She Said by Billy Collins
You may think you don’t like poetry. Before you slam down the gavel, give this one a read. Or hit play to hear Garrison Keillor read it.

April 2: The Sunday Swim, Comanche Trace by Noel Crook
I heard this one as I was driving to my critique group, and a few days later discovered we had a mutual friend, the woman that I dedicated The Reluctant Saint to. You can click Look Inside to see the dedication.

April 1: Umpty Squat by Brad Whittington
The painful account of the woefully short poetry career of the Wunderfool.