Poetry For Children: John Mouldy by Walter de le Mare
2:33 PM

I spied John Mouldy in his cellar,
Deep down twenty steps of stone;
In the dusk he sat a-smiling,
….Smiling there all alone.

He read no book, he snuffed no candle;
The rats ran in, the rats ran out,
And far and near, the drip of water
….Went whisp'ring about.

The dusk was still, with dew a-falling,
I saw the Dog-star bleak and grim,
I saw a slim brown rat of Norway
….Creep over him.

I spied John Mouldy in his cellar,
Deep down twenty steps of stone;
In the dusk he sat a-smiling
….Smiling there all alone.


tea with sugar gives me the cramps

Jupiter by Brian Doyle
2:32 PM

Michael LeBeau has wet his pants.

He is Jupiter, the fifth planet, with a mass

318 times that of the earth.

He is soaked.

Even his socks are wet.

He is crying tears of great magnitude.

They are falling on the surface

Of his plaster planet like meteorites.

Michael's father,

With a mass five times that of his son,

Sits in the dark,

Front row far right,

Where he can see the commotion,

Where he can see Miss Oullette's panic,

Where he can see his son's moons shaking.

Saturn comforts Jupiter in reedy silver voice.

Saturn is the sixth planet,

95 times the size of Earth,

Half the size of Michael.

Finally Mars sings Michael's part

And the show goes on,

Saturn to Uranus to Neptune to Pluto.

Pluto is a first-grader

And that is the end of the play.

Michael and his father drive home,

Where his father helps him out of his costume.

Michael falls asleep shivering on the couch.

His father looks up the moons of Jupiter

And begins to recite them in the dark:

Adrastea, Amalthea, Ananke

He covers the boy with a blanket

Carme, Callisto, Europa,

Ganymede, Himalia, Sinope,

And sags into his chair

Thebe, Metis, Lysithea,

Pasiphae, Leda, Elara, Io,

And stares at the moon

Poor little Io

And falls asleep too.


tea with sugar gives me the cramps

Scarecrow on Fire by Dean Young
2:24 PM

We all think about suddenly disappearing.
The train tracks lead there, into the woods.
Even in the financial district: wooden doors
in alleyways. First I want to put something small
into your hand, a button or river stone or
key I don’t know to what. I don’t
have that house anymore across from the graveyard
and its black angel. What counts as a proper
goodbye? My last winter in Iowa there was always
a ladybug or two in the kitchen for cheer
even when it was ten below. We all feel
suspended over a drop into nothingness.
Once you get close enough, you see what
one is stitching is a human heart. Another
is vomiting wings. Hell, even now I love life.
Whenever you put your feet on the floor
in the morning, whatever the nightmare,
it’s a miracle or fantastic illusion:
the solidity of the boards, the steadiness
coming into the legs. Where did we get
the idea when we were kids to rub dirt
into the wound or was that just in Pennsylvania?
Maybe poems are made of breath, the way water,
cajoled to boil, says, This is my soul, freed.


tea with sugar gives me the cramps

The Cats Will Know by Cesare Pavese
12:55 PM

Rain will fall again
on your smooth pavement,
a light rain like
a breath or a step.
The breeze and the dawn
will flourish again
when you return,
as if beneath your step.
Between flowers and sills
the cats will know.

There will be other days,
there will be other voices.
You will smile alone.
The cats will know.
You will hear words
old and spent and useless
like costumes left over
from yesterday’s parties.

You too will make gestures.
You’ll answer with words—
face of springtime,
you too will make gestures.

The cats will know,
face of springtime;
and the light rain
and the hyacinth dawn
that wrench the heart of him
who hopes no more for you—
they are the sad smile
you smile by yourself.

There will be other days,
other voices and renewals.
Face of springtime,
we will suffer at daybreak.

Translated by Geoffrey Brock


tea with sugar gives me the cramps