And climb the stairs to the beach...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday Morning-Some Poems I found on the Web

I was looking at some poetry on line this morning, something I enjoy, especially on a cloudy Sunday morning with some nice music playing in the background. I happened upon a website for a Cape Cod poet named Barry Hellman. You can find more of his poetry by clicking Here For Barry Hellman's web site. He is located in Eastham, but also has ties with the Cultural Center right in South Yarmouth. I spend a good part of the summer in South Yarmouth, so maybe I will get a chance to go to one of his open mic evenings...just to listen. 

In addition to his own poetry, he also selects some poems he likes and posts them on this site, including some poems by Jane Kenyon. I knew nothing about her until this morning. But, when I checked out her biography, I was sorry to hear that she died in 1995 at just 48 years old. Such a shame, but that's happened before on several occasions, that disappointment in discovering an artist just to find out he or she has passed away. But, we do have her poems forever. And I have chosen a couple to post here that Barry Hellman has on his site. For more of Jane Kenyon's poems click here to go to

These are a little sad, but touching, and I think just right on a gloomy Sunday morning in March.

The Blue Bowl

Jane Kenyon

Like primitives we buried the cat
with his bowl. Bare-handed
we scraped sand and gravel
back into the hole.

They fell with a hiss
and thud on his side,
on his long red fur, the white feathers
between his toes, and his
long, not to say aquiline, nose.

We stood and brushed each other off.
There are sorrows keener than these.
Silent the rest of the day, we worked,
ate, stared, and slept. It stormed
all night; now it clears, and a robin
burbles from a dripping bush
like the neighbor who means well
but always says the wrong thing.

What Came to Me
by Jane Kenyon
I took the last
dusty piece of china
out of the barrel.

It was your gravy boat,
with a hard, brown
drop of gravy still
on the porcelain lip.

I grieved for you then
as I never had before.


Most of us are alone
when the man at the piano,
who is also a Minister of God,
says it’s alright to call out,
and some do.

A few have cups of tea on their knee,
so delicately balanced they are in danger
of spilling everything— and all the songs
are by people who have gone.

On some faces there is a light:
I know this song, and I am still alive—
and a few know the music from the first bar.

When he plays Deep Purple,
I see the awning over the entrance
to the home where my mother
spent her last days—
although she never left her room
to dream with others
gathered in the atrium,

and I can not understand why,
when he plays Good Night, Sweetheart,
I want to cry— and I am surprised,
because I have never written a sweet poem
about my mother.

There are many people who are tearful—
some because they know the words,
and others because they do not.

Barry Hellman
Published in
“ World of Water, World of Sand:
A Cape Cod Collection of Poetry, Fiction and Memoir”

Cape Cod Literary Press, 2006

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