Twenty-three years today since our father had his gun salute and American-flag folding. He was not a pilot, but he was a B-52 navigator.
from The Lost Pilot / by James Tate
and you, passing over again,
fast, perfect, and unwilling
to tell me that you are doing
An extra one today, for the rain. The poem that carried me to Florida.
from Bus Stop / by Donald Justice
And the last bus
Comes letting dark
Umbrellas out —
Black flowers, black flowers.
from Sequestered Writing / by Carolyn Forché
What ghost comes to the bedside whispering You?
— With its no one without its I —
from Ars Poetica? / by Czeslaw Milosz trans. by Czeslaw Milosz and Lillian Vallee
What I’m saying here is not, I agree, poetry,
as poems should be written rarely and reluctantly,
under unbearable duress and only with the hope
that good spirits, not evil ones, choose us for their instrument.
from Poem Without a Hero / by Anna Akhmatova
But a dream — is also something real,
Soft embalmer, Blue Bird,
The parapets and terraces of Elsinore.
Dreams, fire, outrage.
from Armful of Twigs, Dream / by Novica Tadic trans. by Charles Simic
Armful of dry twigs
I carry to the fire
through busy streets.
War, dreams, home.
from In Your War Dream / by Richard Hugo
You ask, “Why must I do this again?” A man
replies, “Home.” You fly over one country
after another. The nations are bright, like a map.
Fathers and sons (written on the back of one of his father’s letters) and rivers.
from The Negro Speaks of Rivers / by Langston Hughes
I’ve known rivers:
I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
flow of human blood in human veins.
from Water Bottoms / by Aase Berg trans. by Johannes Goransson
And here a feather moves toward the river surface, as she who loves water sinks back through the bottoms of light.
Fathers and sons.
from Youth / by James Wright
I know his ghost will drift home
To the Ohio River, and sit down, alone,
Whittling a root.