This Poem Needs You and Each Morning/ poetry by Joann Deiudicibus

for Bob Singleton

This Poem Needs You 
This poem needs a day off, 
a night to itself with its thoughts 
screaming hushed nothings  
as it drifts off, god knows not where. 
This poem needs a new coat 
to wear against winter and words, 
a map through snow squalls  
that bleach meaning from vision. 
This poem needs a cat 
that won’t stay inside or out, 
that lives on laps, or disappears  
into darkness, depending on the day. 
This poem has your eyes,  
but cannot see where it’s going.         
This poem needs you to tell it  
what to do. This poem needs you. 


Each Morning  
For Mary Oliver 
Thank you for reminding me  
that prayers are poems, poems prayers, 
that my body, too, is lion and lamb, 
that darkness speaks through sky in starlight. 
What we are made of will be 
everything else—atomic wonder, 
thunderous sun, wild tides. 
Blessed is the smiling dog unleashed, 
the falling song of starling from oak canopy. 
We sing poems against the hour of your death, 
when lungs slowed to stillness then slumber. 
This music, where there is no nothingness, 
where energy scatters to ground itself  
in bone, breath, stone— 
carves a silence in which another voice may speak. 
In stillness, listen: the ripening of each new morning. 
Note: the italics are Mary Oliver’s from an interview


Joann K. Deiudicibus (MA, English 2003) is a writing instructor and the Staff Assistant for the Composition Program at SUNY New Paltz. Her poems appear in Typishly, ChronogramThe Shawangunk Review, Awosting Alchemy,A Slant of Light: Contemporary Women Writers of the Hudson Valley (Codhill Press), and the Calling All Poets Twentieth Anniversary Anthology (CAPS Press). Joann is the poetry co-editor of WaterWrites, (ed. Laurence Carr, Codhill Press). Her essays about poetry appear in Reflecting Pool: Poets and the Creative Process (Codhill Press)and Affective Disorder and the Writing Life (Palgrave Macmillan). She’s been reading poetry out loud in coffee houses, classrooms, and churches since her late teens.  Her interests include cats, composition, creativity, and confessionalism.   

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