Tag Archives: poetry

Flames by Billy Collins


Only you can prevent wildfires.


Dear Readers

“Faith” is a fine invention
When Gentlemen can see—
But Microscopes are prudent
In an Emergency.

Hello dear readers, I just want to write an old fashioned blog piece that may bore you to tears, but it helps me. So, a few days ago I recorded 8 poems. I was going to post 5 of them at once here on the blog. However, a few silly mistakes happened. By that i mean more than the blooper of the poem above. And maybe not all of them my fault. I read from a source that was probably not the original version. Poems were worded differently and without Emily’s intended punctuation (including the dashes).Another embarrassing mistake I made was that I thought I was reading a four line poem. But actually I was reading the last stanza of a poem titled It Might Be Lonelier by Emily Dickinson.

So, I may redo some of that. The good news is I did 3 other recordings. One of them was a reading of John Ashbery’s Just Walking Around. But I made two other recordings. One of them a poem by Billy Collins and the other a poem by Tony Hoagland. I will post those two soon. I don’t know if anybody besides me is reading this but if you are thank you and have a good one. 



Chalkey Cameron from The New Spoon River by Edgar Lee Masters

Here is a new reading of mine. I have the text to this poem below. And the whole book can be read here.

Chalkley Cameron

If the Declaration of Independence

Is the soul of the Constitution,

Why can you never get a court

To test ordinances and laws

By the inalienable right of the pursuit of happiness?

Here was I, a young lawyer with my first case,

Attacking an ordinance of Spoon River

Which forbade the ballet,

And arguing that it was void because it interfered

With the pursuit of happiness.

Well, the judges smiled at me,

And the crowd hooted me,

And I didn’t have a friend but my client,

And some of the ballet girls.

And I faded out for shame.



Micah Bauman, Summer 2016

The following poem was first published in Word Fountain

My House
Micah Bauman

my house
is slowly leaving me
piece by piece
it departs

I’ll have nowhere
to live
to sleep
my house is slowly leaving me

the wall left
It desired some time alone
the ceiling left
It reached an all-time low
the floor left
It couldn’t handle the pressure anymore
the door left
In search of greater opportunities
the roof left
It was feeling under the weather
the window left
It yearned to see the world

the stairs
they come and go
can never make up their mind

my house is slowly leaving me
soon I will leave too
not yet though
i’ll stay here for now
just me and the closet
hanging around

My House is a poem I started back in high school. For some reason writing the poem seemed more interesting than what the lesson was for that day. I won’t say what class it was or mention the name of the teacher. I will say that I did not get away (sort of) with writing the note. It was taken away from me as soon as she noticed it. It wasn’t until later that the note was returned to me, the teacher commenting that it was “deep”, but that I “Should not have been writing it during class”. Her giving me back the note may have encouraged me to finish the poem.

The original idea was to anthropomorphize parts of a house and explore how they might interact. The poem slightly changed from time to time until eventually it took this form. I don’t want to get into too many details. But I will say that it did not have an ending until I took the note home and typed it up on the computer.

Before it was published in Word Fountain Summer 2016 ,it was read in the fall of 2012 at an event called Poetry Under the Paintings in Lewisburg. I, feeling too shy to read it at the moment, settled for having my father read it (after I emailed it to him and gave him permission). People there seemed to like it. Anyway, I read it to several other audiences and edited it until eventually it was completed and eventually published.



Source: Micah Bauman, Summer 2016

Burning In The Rain by Richard Blanco

You can read the text to this week’s poem by clicking here at the Poetry Foundation’s website. This is a reading I tried hard to get right. I think this recording I did here is pretty close, if not quite perfect.  I hope it’s perfect for you too. Not that I’m bragging about how great this recording is or anything. I said at the beginning of the month that I’m not very good at this. Well, that was just me trying to set low expectations, so we could blow you away with our poetry readings.

On another note, there’s a lot of talk going around about poetry during tough times or poetry in other situations. Poetry is a lot like music. It can set the mood for many things. And maybe there’s something to these poetry recordings too. Also, I don’t care what David Orr says, poetry is not pointless if it means something to you.  Anyway here’s your reading:

All Your Horses by Kay Ryan read by Micah Bauman

All Your Horses
Say when rain
cannot make
you more wet
or a certain
thought can’t
deepen and yet
you think it again:
you have lost
count. A larger
amount is
no longer a
larger amount.
There has been
a collapse; perhaps
in the night.
Like a rupture
in water (which
can’t rupture
of course). All
your horses
broken out with
all your horses.