The News

I am reading poetry these days
more than I read the news.
I gather armfuls of poetry: Whitman,
Wordsworth, Byron, Shelley, Keats,
Yeats — Whitman again.

I scoop up handfuls of Glück and
Rilke; they must be pored over,
examined in the hand, turned over
like seeds and nuts in the palm, rationed
carefully.

I take a pinch of Emily: a little bit seasons
the stew. She is the salt that brings
up the flavor of these potato days and
the sigh of attention to the diamond ground
upon which
I walk.

There is Milosz and Szymborska and
Herbert — both Zbigniew and George —
Heaney, Hill, and Kavanaugh, Neruda,
Bishop, Olds, Harjo, and Frost. Always
Frost, even in summer.

Collins, Stafford, Kooser, Hirshfield,
Basho, Beowulf, Sidney, and Howe.
Shakespeare then and again and now;
Larkin, Levertov, Wiman, and Brooks.

Am I Donne (not yet) or Job or the Psalmist?
St. Paul on a good day, St. John's Chapter One,
Isaiah, Jeremiah, or Solomon's Song? Or
Morrison, Clifton, Hayden or Hughes?

I am reading poetry more than the news,
for the news does not change; it's not new.
But the poetry I read can be read more than once,
gathered in armfuls, held in the hand,
salted and savored and sung on demand,
and carried like water in these desert lands.

2 thoughts on “The News

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