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, Chronogram, The 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.