Poem of the day

Ruffled Feathers

by Debjani Chatterjee

My parrot with the ruffled feathers

is bolshie;

its language

is nobody’s business;

its squawk stabs the ears.


And such attitude!

You see it when it cocks its head;

catch its crazed gleam — and freeze!

When it flies

above you — duck!


My bird’s one wicked pet.

Yeah — it’s teaching me a thing or two.

16 July

Strong Black Tea with Honey and Lemon

by Billy Collins

I think back to making the tea,

filling the kettle from the cold water tap

as I looked out the kitchen window

at the stone walls and patches of yesterday’s snow,


then turning a knob on the stove,

putting a flaming wooden match to the gas jet,

and heating the cup with hot water,

as I thought of my mother doing the same.


I pulled a teabag from the little box

and a cloud in the shape of England passed over me.

The boiling water spit from the kettle,

and every season seemed sadder than the last one.


I cut a lemon wedge

and thought about my wife on another continent,

and when I lowered a spoonful

of shining honey into the dark water,


the sick and the poor

crossed my mind as well as soldiers and the police.

A Rhine maiden swam along the bottom of a river

and a man on crutches swung by.


A steaming cup and a room full of sunlight,

a good hand to lift the cup to my lips

and another to wave pen

over a wide open notebook –


for a few minutes, that was enough –

to be alone with tea

on a Sunday morning in February –

then came the poem and not knowing when it was done.

15 July

Trunk Dream

by Ulli McCarthy

                            half bred upon mountain


                                hawk walk is wound

                                    by scree


                       bottle fed from beak

                    lure of feathers

                           wide wingspan gate

                                     bracken deep


                             red flame proof carpet


                                    shreds a night world


                         the market place pedigree


                               grand dragon

                                     leaving the time

                        scale & file


                  along car tail beam



                               of breath

                       head above city

            spreading broken glass

                                     roar moat


                       we slide down peat bunker




                                your hands


                           being open


                              enter lamb


                      hot spring




               dual blade grass

14 July

Lucky Men

by Partaw Naderi

When your star is unseen in this desolate sky,

your despair itself becomes a star.


My twin, the steadfast sun, and I

both grasp its far-flung brilliance.




In a land where water is locked up

in the very depths of desiccated rocks,

the trees are ashamed of their wizened fruits.


The honest orchard is laid waste —

such a bloodied carpet

is spread before the future.




Yesterday, leaning on my cane,

I returned from the trees’ cremation.


Today, I search the ashes

for my lost, homeless phoenix.


Perhaps it was you who shadowed me,

perhaps it was only my shadow.


Even though the lucky men in my land

lack stars in the heavens, lack shadows on the earth


they welcome any stars

that grace their devastated sky.


O, my friend, my only friend,

turn your anguish into constellations!

13 July


by Mimi Khalvati

Mimi Khalvati

Image Credit: 
Caroline Forbes
12 July

A made-up / true story

by Sam Winston

11 July

My true love hath my heart and I have his

by Sir Philip Sidney