how rainbows are made

June 17, 2020

Poetry is the journal of the sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air. Poetry is a search for syllables to shoot at the barriers of the unknown and the unknowable. Poetry is a phantom script telling how rainbows are made and why they go away.

Carl Sandburg,
The Atlantic Monthly March 1923

love is a deep and a dark and a lonely
and you take it deep take it dark
and take it with a lonely winding
and when the winding gets too lonely
then may come the windflowers
and the breath of wind over many flowers
winding its way out of many lonely flowers
waiting in rainleaf whispers
waiting in dry stalks of noon
wanting in a music of windbreaths
so you can take love as it comes keening
as it comes with a voice and a face
and you make a talk of it
talking to yourself a talk worth keeping
and you put it away for a keen keeping
and you find it to be a hoarding
and you give it away and yet it stays hoarded

like a book read over and over again
like one book being a long row of books
like leaves of windflowers bending low
and bending to be never broken

Carl Sandburg


May 27, 2018

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking over harbour and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

Carl Sandburg


They all want to play Hamlet.
They have not exactly seen their fathers killed
Nor their mothers in a frame-up to kill,
Nor an Ophelia dying with a dust gagging the heart,
Not exactly the spinning circles of singing golden spiders,
Not exactly this have they got at nor the meaning of the flowers–O flowers,
flowers slung by a dancing girl–in the saddest play the inkfish, Shakespeare,
ever wrote;
Yet they all want to play Hamlet because it is sad like all actors are sad and to
stand by an open grave with a joker’s skull in the hand and then to say over
slow and say over slow wise, keen, beautiful words masking a heart that’s
breaking, breaking,
This is something that calls to their blood.
They are acting when they talk about it and they know it is acting to be
particular about it and yet: They all want to play Hamlet.

Carl Sandburg