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Highlights and Interstices
by Jack Gilbert, from The Great Fires Poems 1982-1992

We think of lifetimes as mostly the exceptional
and sorrows.  Marriage we remember as the children,
vacations, and emergencies.  The uncommon parts.
But the best is often when nothing is happening.
The way a mother picks up the child almost without
noticing and carries her across Waller Street
while talking with the other woman.  What if she
could keep all of that?  Our lives happen between
the memorable.  I have lost two thousand habitual
breakfasts with Michiko.  What I miss about
her is that commonplace I can no longer remember.

 

Remembering

August 6, 2009

Remembering Hiroshima, lantern floating ceremony at Green Lake

Remembering Hiroshima, lantern floating ceremony at Green Lake

“Make of yourself a light.”
     — The Buddha

Love’s Lantern
by Joyce Kilmer

Because the road was steep and long
And through a dark and lonely land,
God set upon my lips a song
And put a lantern in my hand.

Through miles on weary miles of night
That stretch relentless in my way
My lantern burns serene and white,
An unexhausted cup of day.

O golden lights and lights like wine,
How dim your boasted splendors are.
Behold this little lamp of mine;
It is more starlike than a star!