National Poetry Month: Poem in Your Pocket Day

Love Poem #137

I will wake you up early
even though I know you like to stay through the credits.

I will leave pennies in your pockets,
postage stamps of superheroes
in between the pages of your books,
sugar packets on your kitchen counter.
I will Hansel and Gretel you home.

I talk through movies.
Even ones I have never seen before.

I will love you with too many commas,
but never any asterisks.

There will be more sweat than you are used to.
More skin.
More words than are necessary.

My hair in the shower drain,
my smell on your sweaters,
bobby pins all over the window sills.

I make the best sandwiches you’ve ever tasted.
You’ll be in charge of napkins.

I can’t do a pull-up.
But I’m great at excuses.

I count broken umbrellas after every thunderstorm,
and I fall asleep repeating the words thank you,

I will wake you up early
with my heavy heartbeat.
You will say, Can’t we just sleep in, and I will say,
No, trust me. You don’t want to miss a thing.

by Sarah Kay, from No Matter The Wreckage



Happy National Poetry Month!

Bless the notebook that I always carry in

my pocket.

And the pen.

Bless the words with which I try to say

what I see, think, or feel.

With gratitude for the grace of the earth.

The expected and the exception, both.

For all the hours I have been given to

be in this world.


From “Good Morning” by Mary Oliver

NPM: Toast by Leonard Nathan


Leonard Nathan


There was a woman in Ithaca

who cried softly all night

in the next room and helpless

I fell in love with her under the blanket

of snow that settled on all the roofs

of the town, filling up

every dark depression.


Next morning

in the motel coffee shop

I studied all the made-up faces

of women. Was it the middle-aged blonde

who kidded the waitress

or the young brunette lifting

her cup like a toast?


Love, whoever you are,

your courage was my companion

for many cold towns

after the betrayal of Ithaca,

and when I order coffee

in a strange place, still

in a strange place, still

I say, lifting, this is for you.


From Good Poems for Hard Times: Selected and Introduced by Garrison Keillor

NPM: Today really is Poem in Your Pocket Day

No, seriously. Today really is Poem in my Pocket Day. So if you thought you missed it yesterday, you didn’t. Here’s the poem that I’m carrying around:

Welcome Morning

by Anne Sexton


There is joy

in all:

in the hair I brush each morning,

in the Cannon towel, newly washed,

that I rub my body with each morning,

in the chapel of eggs I cook

each morning,

in the outcry from the kettle

that heats my coffee

each morning,

in the spoon and the chair

that cry “hello, there, Anne”

each morning,

in the godhead of the table

that I set my silver, plate, cup upon

each morning.


All this is God,

right here in my pea-green house

each morning

and I mean,

though often forget,

to give thanks,

to faint down by the kitchen table

in a prayer of rejoicing

as the holy birds at the kitchen window

peck into their marriage of seeds.


So while I think of it,

let me paint a thank-you on my palm

for this God, this laughter of the morning,

lest it go unspoken.


The Joy that isn’t shared, I’ve heard

dies young.


From, Good Poems: Selected and Introduced by Garrison Keillor

NPM: Poem in Your Pocket Day

Here’s the poem I’m carrying in my pocket today:


[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

by e.e. cummings


i carry your heart with me(i carry it in

my heart)i am never without it (anywhere

i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done

by only me is your doing,my darling)


i fear

no fate (for you are my fate,my sweet)i want

no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)

and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant

and whatever a sun will always sing is you


here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud

and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows

higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart


i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)


from Complete Poems: 1904-1962 by E.E. Cummings

NPM: For my husband’s mother by Ellen Bass

For my husband’s mother

Ellen Bass


Those months I carried Sara

I’d think of your mother,

the woman who carried you

though she could not

keep you.

This woman

we do not know, this girl

whose life was changed

in ways we’ll never know,

who wanted or did not want

who loved or did not love

who chose or did not choose

but, willing or reluctant

carried you.


Easily, like the grass that sprouts the pasture green

after first fall rains; or in great pain,

volcanic, slow,

the creaking

cracking of the earth, she

birthed you.


We do not know her name

or what she thought as her fingers soaped her taut

belly in the bath,

as your kicks reached her

first uncertain, then

definite, firm rabbit thumps.


We do not know if she could

keep food down, if

her legs cramped,

if she grew dizzy in the grocery

had to drop her head between her knees

to keep from blacking out.


We do not know if she held you in her hospital bed,

if her breasts were bound to keep the milk from

letting down

or if they drugged her and she woke

only to the new softness of her belly, like dough.

We do not know

what friends or family criticized her, if they

sent her out of town and brought her back

as though she’d been on holiday.


We know only

there was a woman who gave you

the food of her blood

the bed of her flesh,

who breathed for you.


We do not know

if anyone ever

thanked her.


From Claiming the Spirit Within: A Sourcebook of Women’s Poetry edited by Marilyn Sewell

NPM: Gemineye’s A Penny for Your Thoughts

When I was younger, I watched several episodes of Def Poetry Jam. I remember it coming on really late at night on HBO, so most nights I wasn’t able to catch it.  What I really loved about the show was that it wasn’t mindless, it was a different form of reality TV that illustrated to viewers how alive poetry can become when it’s spoken.

You can follow this talented poet on Facebook.

NPM: Sarah Kay’s If I Should Have a Daughter

“If I should have a daughter, instead of Mom, she’s gonna call me Point B. . .”

“Spoken word poetry is the art of performance poetry. . . it involves creating poetry that doesn’t want to sit on the paper. Something about it demands to be heard out loud or witnessed in person.”

For more information about Sarah Kay and Project V.O.I.C.E.