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Poetry in Motion Selections for 2010
Poetry in Motion® has returned in 2010 with 8 new poems being displayed inside TriMet buses and MAX trains.
This year, 2 poems were written by Portland Public high school students from Literary Arts' Writers in the Schools program, 3 poems are by Oregon Book Awards finalists and 3 other poems were chosen by public vote.
When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer
When I heard the learn'd astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Til rising and gliding out I wander'd off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.
it was the end of something,
and so we grew sad
according to how much we'd loved it.
but our great variety of sadnesses
and for some
a seed of instinct suggesting
may eventually begin.
I wrap a scarf around my snowman and give him a name
so we can be formally introduced. I light a small cigar
and give it to him but he lets it die.
We talk about how high the winds are
until the hat I gave him flies off and goes tumbling
down the snow covered beach, me running after it
because my sister made it for me
and there is something about winter and sibling rivalry I can't live without.
Always hiding when I need you
Under the bed
In the messy closet
At the bottom of the couch
Always making me find you
Always making me late.
Why is the sky so open and blue?
Free from the pull of gravity
Who is the person that replays an
Unseen movie over and over every night as I sleep?
What is that voice that I hear in my ear
When I dream of the past?
Why must sorrow haunt me
On the sixteenth of November every year?
Note to Niece About a Breakup
Outside the jewelry store with its gleam and bling bling,
a bee beats its wings against the window.
Inside: a series of fantastical flowers, silks and taffetas
bunched craftily & strung.
& although the window is unclean,
pitted with a month's worth of world-spew & debris,
the bee has seen; everything in her famished body insists the fantasy, the cold, cruel ruse is true.
& so she whips her wings with persistence
she cannot well sustain. She is hopeless, furious
& flinging ever towards the idea of it.
In Spite of Everything, The Stars
Like a stunned piano, like a bucket
of fresh milk flung into the air
or a dozen fists of confetti
thrown hard at a bride
stepping down from the altar,
the stars surprise the sky.
Think of dazed stones
floating overhead, or an ocean
of starfish hung up to dry. Yes,
like a conductor's expectant arm
about to lift toward the chorus,
or a juggler's plates defying gravity.
or a hundred fastballs fired at once
and freezing in midair, the stars
startle the sky over the city.
So many people
advised me against you.
How glad I am
we could not resist.