by Larry D. Thomas
of the hibiscus.
of these full
“These Blooms” appears in Larry D. Thomas‘s collection Amazing Grace, Texas Review Press, 2001
Illustration: “Hibiscus,” watercolor by Carol Carter, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Larry D. Thomas, a member of the Texas Institute of Letters, was privileged to serve as the 2008 Texas Poet Laureate. He has published twenty collections of poems, the most recent of which is Uncle Ernest (Virtual Artists Collective, Chicago, 2013). His Larry D. Thomas: New and Selected Poems (TCU Press, 2008) was long-listed for the National Book Award.
We’d like to wish a very happy Mother’s Day to all the materfamiliases in the world — with a special tip of the hat to women who take time to read to their children.
You may have tangible wealth untold
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold
Richer than I you can never be
I had a mother who read to me.
From “The Reading Mother” by STRICKLAND GILLILAN
Painting: “August Reading to Her Daughter” (1910) by Mary Cassat
“Doesn’t it seem to you,” asked Madame Bovary, “that the mind moves more freely in the presence of that boundless expanse, that the sight of it elevates the soul and gives rise to thoughts of the infinite and the ideal?” GUSTAVE FLAUBERT, Madame Bovary (1857)
Painting: “Young Woman at the Window, Sunset” by Henry Matisse (1921)
Credit: Roz Chast, THE NEW YORKER, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
SONG ON A MAY MORNING
by John Milton (1608-1674)
Now the bright morning star, day’s harbinger,
Comes dancing from the east, and leads with her
The flowery May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow cowslip, and the pale primrose.
Hail, bounteous May, that doth inspire
Mirth, and youth, and warm desire;
Woods and groves are of thy dressing,
Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing,
Thus we salute thee with our early song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.
Painting: “Flowers” by Andy Warhol (1970)
IN THE MONTH OF MAY
by Robert Bly
In the month of May when all leaves open,
I see when I walk how well all things
lean on each other, how the bees work,
the fish make their living the first day.
Monarchs fly high; then I understand
I love you with what in me is unfinished.
I love you with what in me is still
changing, what has no head or arms
or legs, what has not found its body.
And why shouldn’t the miraculous,
caught on this earth, visit
the old man alone in his hut?
And why shouldn’t Gabriel, who loves honey,
be fed with our own radishes and walnuts?
And lovers, tough ones, how many there are
whose holy bodies are not yet born.
Along the roads, I see so many places
I would like us to spend the night.
Painting: “Apple Blossoms I” by Georgia O’Keeffe (1930)
by Jonathan Galassi
The backyard apple tree gets sad so soon,
takes on a used-up, feather-duster look
within a week.
The ivy’s spring reconnaissance campaign
sends red feelers out and up and down
to find the sun.
Ivy from last summer clogs the pool,
brewing a loamy, wormy, tea-leaf mulch
soft to the touch
and rank with interface of rut and rot.
The month after the month they say is cruel
is and is not.
…From NORTH STREET, a collection of poems by Jonathan Galassi, available at Amazon.com.
Painting: “Apple tree blooming in late spring” by Steve Kuzma, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
by Maurice Sendak
In May I think it truly best
to be a robin lightly dressed
concocting soup inside my nest
Mix it once, mix it twice,
mix that chicken soup with rice.
…From CHICKEN SOUP WITH RICE: A Book of Months by Maurice Sendak, available at Amazon.com.
Caption: If he doesn’t go nuts first, he’ll be the first person to ever write a novel on a cell phone.
CREDIT: New Yorker cartoon by Mick Stevens, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED