Friday, April 26, 2019

Waiting for Music

Tight buds loosen
and tiny fists bring
gifts: new leaves
pea green and shy.

The leaves will become
uncountable chimes
played and replayed
by the rusting wind.

Listen to the earth’s first
music, lovely and common
like the beating of rain
or the beating of hearts.

 from Ordinary Things: Poems from a Walk in Early Spring

Thursday, April 25, 2019


Help wanted: sturdy individual
interested in grassroots work
at a number of rugged locations
(cliffs, desert, some tundra).
Good benefits. Must be strong
and adaptable, self-starter,
persistent, willing to relocate,
with no fear of high places
and no known allergies
to bees.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Owl pellets? They’re fascinating, for sure, but they’re also rather gruesome and a little bit gross. Owl pellets are about the unlikeliest subject for a love poem—maybe that’s why this poem has always been one of my personal favorites.

Owl Pellets
                           by Ralph Fletcher         

A month ago
in biology lab
you sat close to me
knee touching mine
your sweet smell
almost drowning out
the formaldehyde stink
which crinkled up
your nose
while I dissected
our fetal pig.

Now I take apart
this owl pellet
small bag that holds
skin and hair and bones
little skeletons
what the owl ate
but couldn’t digest
and coughed back up.

You sit with Jon Fox
ignore me completely
laugh at his dumb jokes
let your head fall onto
his bony shoulder
while I attempt
to piece together
with trembling hands
the tiny bones
of a baby snake.

Certain things 
are just about
to swallow. 

                 from I Am Wings: Poems About Love